Welcome to my world

22nd June 2007 at 01:00
Paul Adams teaches physics at West Buckland School, an independent school in Barnstaple, North Devon

Favourite place when you have a day off?

Exmoor starts about 400 yards from my house in the village of Bampton. We have four children, a beagle and a golden retriever and every weekend we park in one of the carparks in the middle of the moor and just walk. We see wild Exmoor ponies.

When's a good time to come?

Any time is good, but Exmoor can be a challenge, particularly in winter.

The weather can come in quickly and when it rains, it really rains. We're near Ilfracombe and Woolacombe, so in summer you get hundreds of caravans.

My favourite time of year is spring, before the tourists come. You feel the place is exclusively yours.

Lunchtime treats?

Mostly we just picnic on the moor, but The Rock Inn in Watterow does a good Sunday lunch using local produce, as does the Quarryman's Rest in Bampton.

Evening delights?

I like the Angus steaks at Woods, a rustic country pub in Dulverton, and I get good treatment because one of my sixth formers is a waiter there.

The artist Damien Hirst has a restaurant in Ilfracombe called The Quay (www.11thequay.co.uk) that's supposed to be the best in the area but I haven't been yet. Devon Badger Watch (www.devonbadgerwatch.co.uk), runs an online wildlife diary and organises wildlife walks from its base near Tiverton.

Don't miss

The North Devon festival (www.northdevonfestival.org, until June 30) is a mixture of Glastonbury, the Hay Festival and a choir festival.

Visitors beware

Minehead can be a little bit ropey, especially on Bank Holiday weekends.

But it has the West Somerset steam railway (www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk).

Remember to buy

Homemade pork and apple pasties from Bawdens, the Hovis bakery in Bampton (www.bawdensthebakers.co.uk) are fabulous Paul Adams was talking to Renata Rubnikowicz

Find out more

Useful links on www.devonshireheartland.co.uk.

The official Barnstaple tourist information centre (www.staynorthdevon.co.uk) has details of all local attractions and accommodation, also see www.northdevon.com.

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