After our walk through the haunted woods, Larissa and I piled back into our rental and set out in search of dinner at the Castle Inn. The road there proved to be a little more challenging than planned. The trusted navigation got the better of us and we ended up driving through fields of vegetation where no car should be allowed to venture, praying audibly along the twisted, smaller-than-one-lane-endless-road that we would not meet another vehicle heading in the opposite direction until we were dumped into a slightly wider road and then finally found the tavern we were searching for.
Exhausted from limited sleep and a long day of driving, and more than a tad bit hungry, I pulled into a full parking lot and started cursing my fortune as an amused pedestrian ambled in front of me. After one unsuccessful trip around the parking lot, I decided to pull over to the side behind a parked car in a spot that wasn’t really a spot. Crooked. “Um, do you want to straighten the car out a bit?” Larissa offered, wondering, like me, if we were illegally parked. “Nope,” I declared. “I’m done.”
Luck, it seemed, was actually on our side and we found our car as we left it after our meal. A meal that was surprisingly tasty and filling, and was served to us in record time. After finishing the last remaining morsel of curry, I turned to Larissa with renewed faith in the world and suggested we venture over to the castle beside the pub. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be closed,” she declared.
Although it was inching well past dusk, the gates were open, and, feeling a bit like rebellious teenagers, we went inside to explore Lydford Castle. It’s just not a complete trip to the UK if you don’t stop and see at least one castle, in my opinion. So I got my castle, by what felt like pure happenstance.
Since we were the only visitors, Larissa and I explored the dank remnants at our leisure. It didn’t take long. The castle, as many that are still standing (in-part), has outer walls but no floors or interior room divisions. An imagination is necessary to fill in what it once may have looked like. It didn’t take us long to explore what remained, and the slippery footing and ever-darkening light, I could tell, was making my companion a little nervous.
The castle sits nearby an old church, and the grounds beneath are mounded by the remains of ancient forts, which makes one wonder what predated the battlegrounds. Whatever it once was, Larissa and I did not linger to investigate. We were tired and wanted to make sure we found our way back to Lee Byre before dark descended upon the landscape. In the morning we would begin our adventures at Brentor with Sue and Stuart…