September 1 – 15 2016
London had been a wonderful experience and we had enjoyed some of the best weather so far on our ‘adventure’, but we were looking forward to getting far away from the “madding crowd”.
We chose Callington as being central to both the north and south coasts of Cornwall. Also, the pictures of this Airbnb looked like something out of a designer magazine. That should have rung alarm bells! The building was a former Coach House & our entrance is the 1 st door on the right in the above photo.
We thought it would be charming , but reality was something else.
The photo on the left shows the stairs going up and the photo on the right are the same stairs going down: steep and narrow. Jouko had to get our suitcases up there…….
These are the 2nd set of stairs leading to our bedroom on the 3rd floor. One had to lean into them as one climbed, or else you would fall backwards. Oh well, some places are better than others!
It was a beautiful afternoon, so after spreading ourselves out, we hopped back into the car and headed to PORT ISAAC to see the village where “Doc Martin” was filmed.
It was late, but we still enjoyed meandering around the village and recognized corners and buildings from the hit TV show.
His “surgery” is actually 2nd from the right in this picture.
But is was close to sundown, so we needed to head on back to our new abode and climb those stairs 😵
We left the northern coast behind, bathed in the evening golden light.
Besides being located between the northern and southern coasts, we were also between Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley.
So we started by exploring the valley, and we found ourselves in the small, sleepy village of CALSTOCK.
The tide was out as we walked along the river and then returned through the woods.
For my non British friends, ‘solicitor’ is a play on words. This is like saying “no beggars”. A Solicitor can also mean someone who is a chief law officer in a city or government department. They can also draw up Wills for instance. A ‘Barrister’ is the same as an Attorney.
The villagers certainly had a sense of humour!
They posted sentries to keep a lookout for the occasional offender.
One of the top places to visit on our list was POLPERRO, situated on the south coast. 47 yrs ago it turned into the most romantic place in our courtship/dating experience (our children probably find both words old fashioned). It certainly deserved a visit, but of course nothing is ever ” like it used to be “. One now has to park outside the village and get a quaint little bus into the center.
We made our way through the village, heading for the cliffs and the walk that we had made so long ago along the ocean. Back then we had walked from LOOE, through the fields and along the cliffs (5.5 miles or 8.8 km).
On the left is the path leading up to the Ocean Path.
All those years ago we had hitch-hiked from Newbold College in Berkeshire with about 14 other people during our Easter break, staying in youth hostels along the way.
This was as far as we could go now; there was a sign telling us it was PRIVATE land,
so we turned back and
took a “selfie”!
The tide was out but the village still looks beautiful from up here.
One more view of the coastline from the other side of the bay.
Since Jouko had only played golf twice in the past 7 months, he deserved to get in at least one round. So while he played nearby, I went into PLYMOUTH to do some shopping and wander around. I didn’t take my ‘big’ camera, so all these photos are with my phone – which has an amazing camera.
After getting the few things I needed, I made my way to Hoe Park overlooking Plymouth Sound. It was a glorious, balmy day. There are quite a few war memorials here as well as a statue of Sir Francis Drake who sailed from Plymouth to defeat the Spanish Armada.
I had probably been to Plymouth as a child but certainly had not paid any attention to it.
Walking along the front I came across this commemorative stone.
I’m sorry I cut off part of it; he died in 1821. At the bottom it reads, “May our hearts be open to friendship and our arms reach across the sea to unite our two nations.”
Later I will point out Dartmoor Prison.
It has several natural bays, packed full of fishing boats, sail boats and yachts.
When Jouko had finished his game, he picked me up and I brought him back to the front where we got a bite to eat.
It had been a delightful afternoon.
In between though, the weather was not very co-operative, so we took advantage of those days to rest and I caught up with my blogging.
The day we chose to visit BOSCASTLE on the north coast could not have been prettier.
In this picture, right in the middle, one can barely make out a church sitting in a field. We will visit it after our visit to the village.
The village is located way down deep inside a ravine where the river Valency flows out into the ocean.
After parking the car, one can walk to the ocean along this path. In 2004 the village suffered extensive damage from floods and mud. People had to be rescued by helicopter from rooftops.
Just the perfect place for a morning coffee!
A natural harbour.
The curvaceous turns of the inlet.
Once on top of the rocks one can look up and down to see the rugged beauty of the coastline.
So we set out to walk along part of the Southwest Coastal Path, before making a loop back to the village.
Before leaving I wanted to visit that church…
It wasn’t that easy to find, but once there, it was such a beautifully peaceful corner of the world.
I was so glad to find it open, too.
I just love these hand made prayer cushions and these ancient tombstones can really get one’s imagination going.
Even though the weather was not bright, it was dry, so we ventured out again, to visit CHARLESTOWN.
Situated on the south coast, it is charming.
But we had made reservations to have a Cream Tea, so we headed to…
…Fowey Hall, which sits high up on the side of the hill overlooking Polruan.
Just the right spot for the occasion.
The Hall commands a beautiful view over-looking the mouth of the river Fowey.
We then walked around the village down by the river.
It was time to explore Bodmin Moor. It is also home to the famous book, JAMACA INN, written by Daphne du Maurier
At the Hurlers, we followed the sounds of a beating drum…
and saw a gathering of people holding a ceremony….
with crystals and chanting.
The vast vistas of the Moors.
The wild ponies are protected.
The granite formations, “tors”, dotted around the Moor date back to Bronze Age and Neolithic times.
The Cheesering stands guard over the Moor. Legend has it that perhaps it is the result of “an epic struggle between the giants and the saints”.
We plodded back through the soggy ground.
On the edge of the Moor, a typical Cornish farmhouse made from local stone.
We walked to a little pub we had found to have something to eat.
Now that smoking is no longer allowed in public buildings, many pubs have turned to providing meals to attract folk back.
This one kind of became our ‘local’!
My cousin Vanessa and her husband Peter (standing here outside the 2nd church we visited) live in Devon and were staying in the area to meet with their Cornish History Society friends. It was lovely to see them again and they gave us an in-depth guide to a couple of local churches with rich histories.
What an idyllic location for a church! St Winnow Parish Church is located on the River Fowey, and is where the 1970s series of Poldark was filmed.
St Winnow was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 and during the plague, almost all of the villagers died. Although the foundation of the church is certainly from the Norman period, most of the present structure dates to the 15th century.
The 16th century, hand carved rood screen is one of the finest in Cornwall and is very rare. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day and the interior was very dark, so I did not get many good shots.
These hand carved pew ends are also very rare. Most of them of course depict Biblical scenes.
This one is unusual in that it depicts a sail boat and the connection with the sea.
The font dates from the 14th C. Here one can see the carving of smiling angels holding hands. Inscribed in Latin is, “Behold, the beloved of the true God shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit”. I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed with richness of it all!
They then led us through the lanes to LERRYN where we had lunch.
Oh, I’m glad he didn’t chose to go down there!
I just love the British “understatement”!
While we ate, someone kept a close eye on us.
Then it was time to move on to visit the next church.
To get there we had to cross the river, to the little town of Fowey where we had been the other day. In the photo on the right, one can see Daphne du Maurier’s house on the extreme right.
Note the two areas divided by columns down the middle with two arched ceilings.
The carved pulpit details are intricate.
I loved the bench ends. Exclusive or inclusive? A throwback to times past……
Too soon it was time to say a fond farewell. They had blessed us with their depth of knowledge and certainly opened our eyes to details we would never have noticed.
We had one more place we wanted to visit – DARTMOOR.
We had to go down into the Tamar Valley again,
and then drive through Tavistock, to get to the Moor.
Fairly soon, between the small villages dotted around, one only sees the occasional farmhouse.
Lots of sheep dot the open moors.
And, as on Bodmin, the wild ponies roam freely.
One of the beauties of the moors is in their ever changing colours, according to what the weather is at the time.
OOPPS! Watch out!
We stopped for tea at Two Bridges.
It looked as though the weather was turning brighter.
There were these same kind of granite formations here, too.
Hiking paths are everywhere, but they do warn one to be careful. Bad weather can suddenly descend and one becomes disorientated, cold and lost.
There, in passing, is the notorious Dartmoor Prison, where Napoleon’s men were held and as a child I still heard of people being held there. Now it is a museum.
As we arrived on the crest of a hill on our way home, we saw the valley before us cloaked in stormy clouds. But the sheep weren’t worried!
I loved the light and drama it was creating.
But then we had to make the plunge – that is where ‘home’ was!
We packed up our bags once again and the next day headed back to London for one more night. On the way, we stopped to visit with a childhood friend of mine, Angela.
We met her for lunch at this beautiful Manor (unfortunately her husband couldn’t join us).
We had a lovely time catching up with each other and our family members. Thank goodness for social media, so that we can continue to stay in touch.
It was time to bid a fond farewell to England and her beauties – until next time.