Learning in Devon

Pirate and sea-farers

Oooh-aaarr mi hearties! Pirates and sea-farers have been the theme of the learning this week. Based in Brixham, where a full-sized replica of the Golden Hind, the ship Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the world, sits in harbour, we explored the local history as well as that of the iconic sea-farer and pirate himself Francis Drake.

Town trails are a great way to get to know a place. Rather than head to the most obvious and central locations, a trail will take its followers down streets and alleys that might have otherwise have been undiscovered, revealing snippets of history along the way. So, as new visitors to Brixham we embarked on the free Blackbeard’s Town trail, a two and half mile trail around the town, in search of 7 clues that would tell us where Blackbeard had hidden his secret scroll. Leaving central Brixham, we climbed steps and walking down narrow cliff top streets, through gardens, past bays and Brixham harbour, reading information boards about the local history and nature associated with each location, before reaching the final destination that was revealed from the clues. Our reward, well apart from completing the trail successfully, was a Devonshire Apple pie and a Devon Cream Tea in a cafe overlooking the Golden Hind.

Blackbeard's Trail

Another more physical trail that we completed was the Drake’s Trail, a cycle path between Tavistock and Plymouth. The trail was named after the Elizabethan sea-farer Francis Drake since it passed his birth place, Tavistock, and the house which he owned when he died; there are many references to the man along the way including a statue of the renowned figure at both the starting and finishing points. This trail ticked our ed-venture box well since it not provided us with a brief historical lesson on the man himself but the adventure of a long and tiring cycle ride through wooded valleys and moorland.