By: Blonde Two

There is this thing about Blonde One. She is a most excellent planner, in fact I think planning must be one of her favourite things; but every now and again she takes me by surprise, jumps (with both feet) off the plan, and asks a question to which she knows I won’t be able to say ‘no’. The question goes like this …

“Shall we try and find it?”

Well, it would be rude not to wouldn’t it?

We have ended up in all sorts of places after the asking of the question. The last time, we were on our way back (in the Blonde-Adventure-Mobile) from the trouser trip to Cotswold Outdoor. The ‘it’ turned out to be Haldon Belvedere which is a well-known local landmark overlooking the Exe Estuary.

In theory, the Haldon Belvedere should be easy to find; it is brilliant white, it is on top of a very big hill and everybody knows where it is. Even we know where it is, we just didn’t know how to get there from our particular location in our particular vehicle. I got a bit fixated for a while, on turning left; and we ended up at a place which looked very familiar. The Blonde conversation went a bit like this:

B1 “DofE don’t recommend routes through forests.”

B2 “I can see why, this all looks the same to me.”

B1 “I think we should have turned right.”

B2 “Do you remember that time we met that chap to assess Numbers’, Search’s and Brummie’s (substitute real names here) Sports Leader qualification? It was in woods just like these, the car park looked just like this.”

B1 “I remember, the car park with the obelisk.”

B2 “Is an obelisk the same as a belvedere? I remember having a wee behind the obelisk. This car park looks just like that one, weird how forests all look the same!”

B1 “That’s because it was this car park … or should we just look at the info board to check?”

In our new world of interviews, people keep asking us why we chose to be called Blonde. It really wasn’t anything to do with hair colour, more thinking style; despite actually being quite good at navigation, the conversation above is fairly typical!

We did eventually find the Haldon Belvedere and had a short but steep march up the drive to visit it. Here it is in all its resplendent glory.

Belvedere 1

And here a few Blonde belvedere facts:

  1. ‘Belvedere’ is taken from the Italian ‘beautiful view’ and is a structure build to take advantage of  a lovely outlook.
  2. This particular belvedere stands at 244 metres and cost between £2,000 and £3,000 to  build.
  3. It is the only triangle shaped building I have ever walked around (will take Toblerone with me next time).
  4. It is so windy on top of the 244 metre hill that I am amazed that the belvedere is still there.
  5. One of our very good friends got married there. It snowed, she wore fetching white wellies and they had to call on four by fours to get the celebrant and guests up the drive.

If you would like some more sensible facts and some better pictures, have a look at the Haldon Belvedere’s website. It was very chilly and we Blondes didn’t stay long, but I would like to go back again.

I am too embarrassed to tell you about finding our way home again!