For my Grandpa’s 80th birthday back in February we booked tickets on the PS Waverley – the last seafaring paddle steamer in the world!
It’s been up in Scotland for the summer so we waited until last weekend to use our tickets and spent a Sunday cruising the seas.
We set off from Clevedon Pier in the wonderful, lucky sunshine, before sailing out down the Bristol Channel, past the Welsh coast, and on to Ilfracombe. There we were greeted by the Town Crier and a bizarrely large crowd; we waved at lots of people!
We also saw Verity, the Damien Hirst sculpture on the Ilfracombe pier. Having only seen artists’ impressions back when the sculpture was first proposed, I was expecting to really dislike it, but I found it incredibly compelling. It’s currently the tallest sculpture in the UK, and she makes an impressively striking feature against the landscape.
From Ilfracombe we sailed out along the Atlantic Coast, where we happened to get a little wave from the RAF Rescue helicopter whilst sitting out on deck with a perfectly chilled glass of Pinot Grigio.
We were out for just over 10 hours so there was plenty of time to explore the boat. You can go in the engine room and see everything working, and I loved all the little places to stand and let the sea air blow through your hair! I was really surprised by how relaxing the whole experience was – once you’re out at the water you can’t feel bad that you aren’t cleaning or doing some work, because you’re on a boat! Instead we whiled away the time chatting, reading, playing card games, picnicking, drinking lots of coffee and wine, taking far too many photos of the absolutely stunning scenery and sunning ourselves out on the deck.
The PS Waverley was a really great day out for our family and I’d definitely recommend it for yours. Just remember to take lots of activities along and don’t forget your cameras!