Well, aiming for 8am.
Actually got away at just after 9am.
First had to walk all three dogs (even though possessed hound was coming with us) , wash dishes from previous night (freely confess -AM a house slut), hang out bed linens so children would have clean sheets this evening AND have a shower. CK and terences just managed to have breakfast and get dressed in that hour and a half.
Two hours later we landed in Lydford and set out on our adventure.
We started off in the old goal, walked up and down the stairs imagining being imprisoned in such a dank, cold and gloomy place. They imagined that. I imagined them being locked up and left behind to rot ;-)
destructoBoy and I raced down the hill (think tech name is bailey) then some minutes later raced back up the hill to see who could be the ultimate winner. Without a second of cheating I touched the castle wall first. Honest. I did not hold back small boy to ensure my victory nor did he end up on the ground squealing with laughter and being clambered on by a highly excited, licky puppy. Once equilibrums had been restored Lydford Gorge beckoned.
We headed off following the up and down path all the way down. We even got all energetic and at final node chose the steep, speedy route to the bottom. Yay us!
(photo from www.geograph.org.uk/photos/16122)
It was lovely and pretty and beautiful and after about five minutes the childer were a bit bored. Fortunately there was more than just a stunning cascade of water, there was a pool-type area.
(Somebody's tourist brochure picture from the innernets)
Much hilarity and enjoyment ensued as we paddled, splashed and gave my assistant swimming lessons. While no-one actually fell in both d/Boy and myself got a little cocky and ended up with soggy wellies and socks. But only a little wet.
Once on the far side of the river from the falls we walked the mile and half back to the car park. The path was slippery and damp and steep and steppy and beautiful and stunning and fabulous. It took us near enough three hours and we had a fabulous time. We chatted and did science, we talked about history and folklore, we gripped the rail for dear life and made jokes and had a fabulous family day. Eventually we got back up to the top, had some lunch, piled back in to the car and made our way home. The old men were pleased to see us and more especially pleased to see the great outdoors as they reeeeeeeaaaaaaaaalllly needed a wee.
Despite being an inch or so shorter in the leg than she was at the start of the day, after just half an hour's rest, my assistant came out when I walked the big dogs tonight. I haven't heard a sound since she finished her dinner, I think we should do this more often ;-)