Review: P C Coaches
Travel Service - Tour Operator/Travel Provider
Crofton Road, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN3 4NL, United Kingdom
The jury is still out
150 people found this review helpful
The family were away for a week in the Easter Holidays meaning I was free of grandparenting duties. Searching for suitable holidays I decided on five days in North Devon with PC Coaches, who are based in Lincoln. I have used them twice previously with mixed experiences. One trip was good. The next disappointing.
After a third trip, the jury is still out. It was a good break staying at a very nice hotel
in East the Water, just over the river from Bideford. We had a free day to explore under our own steam with a full day trip to Lynmouth and Lynton with an afternoon in Dunster. We also visited the RHS gardens at Rosemoor.
It was a long drive there and back. The company covers all of Lincolnshire with feeder services. I was the only person travelling from Scunthorpe and was picked up by taxi from Scunthorpe bus station. We then picked up another two people from Brigg before being dropped at the Lincoln depot where we got on the coach. We had a short stop at Grantham Services where we picked up more passengers.
We had been told we would have a lunch break at a garden centre near Gloucester, only the driver missed the turn so we continued to the next service area for lunch. From there we headed to Bideford, arriving just turned 4pm. We stopped at the "Royal Hotel ":https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/196378-review-the-royal-hotel in East the Water, just across the river from Bideford. It was a very comfortable hotel in a good location and the food was excellent.
The following day I caught the bus to Instow where I walked along the Promenade and up to the church at the far end of the village. After visiting the restored signal box I walked back along the disused railway line along the Tarka rail to Westleigh. The village is on the hillside above the railway and I went to visit the church.
I caught the bus back to Bideford and then another bus to Appledore. After visiting the church and exploring I had an ice cream, from Hocking’s Ice Cream on the quayside before catching the bus back to Bideford.
Lynmouth and Lynton are on the north coast and just over an hours drive from Bideford along some marrow and winding roads. We were dropped off in Lynmouth and had 2.5 hours to explore on a very cold and dull morning. After visiting Lynmouth Church I walked past the harbour to the cliff railway up to Lynton. I visited the church and explored the town with its steep and narrow streets.
After Lynton we continued to Dunster, over Porlock Hill with its 1 in 4 gradient and the steepest A road in Britain. By now the sun had come out and it turned into a beautiful afternoon. Dunster is a delightful village with castle, dove cot, tithe barn and yarn market. The church was originally a priory with the monks and parish sharing (and arguing over) the same building. It was agreed the monks should use the chancel with the parish using the rest of the church including the transepts and side aisles. It is one of the few examples of a monastic choir. We had 90 minutes here which I felt wasn’t long enough and didn’t give time to visit the castle. It was a long drive back to Bideford and I did wonder whether the day justified the four hours we spent travelling in the coach.
The final day was spent at the RHS gardens at Rosemoor, a few miles south of Bideford near Great Torrington. These are wonderful gardens and in mid April there was plenty of colour with blossom and spring bulbs. We had 4.5 hours here which gave ample time to enjoy the gardens. Fortunately it was a warm and sunny day. It wouldn’t have been much fun if it had rained as there was little shelter.
It took us all the final day to travel back to Lincolnshire. We stopped at a ‘garden centre and country park’ on the way back for lunch. This was on the edge of Evesham and a three hour journey. Actually the description was inaccurate as it was a garden centre in a"shopping park. ":http://www.thevalleyshopping.co.uk/ This was a shopping experience. When we arrived there was plenty of information about the shops but not the country park. I asked the driver who gave a rather vague answer that the park was all round the shops. Fortunately the staff in one of the outdoor shops could enlighten me. Rather than shopping I spent the time wandering around a fishing lake and down to the river. From the non committal replies when the driver asked us if we’d enjoyed the break I suspect others hadn’t been over keen either. I suspect he may have been given a back hander in bringing us there.
We then had another stop at Grantham Services where a feeder service was waiting to take people back to locations to the south of Lincolnshire. We were then taken back to the coach depot in Lincoln where I was brought back to Scunthorpe by taxi and the driver kindly dropped me off at home rather than the bus station.
I enjoyed north Devon, although I had forgotten how hilly it was.
My only criticism of the holiday was the driver and the radio which was on permanently when we were travelling in the coach. PC coaches is the only coach company I’ve used who ‘inflict’ the radio on its passengers. At no time were we asked if we wanted the radio. Sound quality was poor and worse when at speed when it became almost unlistenable.
The driver can make or break a holiday. I’m afraid Mal broke it for me. He talked too much and it was a bit like listening to a (not very good) standup comic at a working men’s club. I didn’t warm to him and have a feeling that may have been mutual… We were given no information about the area and I suspect the driver didn’t know anything about it either.
The holiday cost £415 with a £40 single supplement. I did feel it was expensive for what was provided.
150 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.