Here’s the long overdue sequel to Winkles, Cockles and Clams! We tried to see as much of the villages, valleys and bays as we could on our brief weekend exploration to Cornwall. Boscastle was a small village on the northwest coast, that laid between a cliff and a bay, boasting of all things Cornwall: pottery, pasties, and clotted cream. The village was bustling that Saturday morning and with a cappuccino in hand, David and I walked to the cliffs to take pictures. The seagulls were circling and the tide was low, while David climbed around the rocks with the camera . My shoes weren’t meant for walking along the rocks, so I sat on soaking up the sun and sea-air.
Next, we drove southwest along the coast to the village of Tintagel and I knew David would have a hard time getting me out of the quintessential Cornwall village. Tintagel is the self-proclaimed epicenter of King Arthur lore. David set off towards the sea-side cliffs to take pictures of the Tintagel Castle ruins, while I rummaged around town to peek into all the shops. Most of the gift shops were filled with trinkets of dragons, fairies, pixies, and all mythical creatures. Curious as to why this was, I asked the older gentleman at the King Arthur gift store:
Me: What is the story behind the dragons and fairies?
Older Gentleman: Story? There’s no story.
Me: I’m sorry, I meant what is the history behind them? They seem to be quite popular in Cornwall.
Older Gentleman: There’s no history. We just like dragons, fairies and witches that’s all.
With the mythical creatures issue resolved, we carried on and drove along the coast to Padstow for our lunch reservations at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant. More details can be found from my previous post, Winkles, Cockles and Clams. Padstow seemed to be a popular village that was packed with locals enjoying the restaurants, shops and fortuitous spring weather. After a very long lunch, we hurried out of Padstow in order to make it to St. Ives for the golden hour (photographer speak for sunset).
St. Ives is a seaside town well known for being the home and inspiration to many artists and it was also named the best seaside town by the British Travel Awards for consecutive years. The picturesque town is surrounded by beaches, cliffs, and bays, which were busied with fishing boats, friendly faces, shops and restaurants. With so many similarities between New England and Cornwall, one difference that really stuck out was the color of the water. The waters were a gorgeous deep teal color and I sat down on a wooden bench to take in all that was St. Ives. The town was what I would imagine paradise to be; Teal waters, potters, art galleries, restaurants, seafood shacks, beaches, boardwalks and boats. To top it off, Cornerways B&B, was a perfect place to stay (although I’m sure you cannot go wrong with the plethora of local B&B’s). Tim, our host, was very hospitable and for £80/night you got a seaside view room with a full breakfast included in the morning. Tim welcomed us with a glass (or two) of wine when we first arrived. When we woke up on Sunday morning, most of the galleries were closed which means I left empty-handed with no art or pottery and knew that at some point, we would have to return.
After breakfast on Sunday, we drove to Land’s End which is the western most point of England. Not too far outside of St. Ives, we ran into some heavy traffic on a back road. As we came around a corner, a herd of dairy cattle filled the road. David brought the Benz to an immediate halt and the 2 cars behind us followed suit. I jumped out to take pictures and left David to defend the car. After taking many more pictures than necessary, I decided to get back into the car before I got lost in the herd. I was laughing hysterically as we watched the cows pass us. One “couple” even tried to get busy while en route and I thought for sure the bull was going to fall on the car. Once the traffic passed, we resumed our voyage and eventually made it to Land’s End. The wind was was severe and I looked like a babushka with my sunglasses on and my scarf wrapped tightly around my head. I walked around the cliffs shivering, so I called it quits and left David to work on his photography while I warmed up in the car.
The town of Falmouth was next on our hit list for fish n’ chips and Pendennis Castle. King Henry VIII built the fortress in 1540 to shield the coast from the threat of France and Spain. I felt like a kid again wandering around the fortress, and jumped every time the “cannon” went off (they had mannequins positioned at the cannons and an incredible sound system replicating battle sounds). The last stop on our way home was the Lanhydrock Estate, which thanks to the National Trust, is open to the public. A magnificent monstrosity is the only way to describe this Victorian country home set on over 900 acres of parkland. We got there just past closing time thanks to our dilly-dallying along the coast, but we were still able to sneak into the grounds and take pictures of the house. National Trust sites are truly one of a kind and being able to get a glimpse into some of England’s greatest houses, estates and castles is such an opportunity. Each house is different from one another and I’m not sure about you, but I never get sick of taking a step back through history and looking into a place that someone use to (or sometimes still does) call home.
Cornwall was a whirlwind of a weekend, but a perfect mix of energetic and relaxing. There’s so much to take in and discover, but only so many hours in the day. I realize I keep saying that I want to go back to most of the places we have visited thus far and to say it yet again may seem a bit disingenuous. However, Cornwall was different for David and I. The region really resonated with the two of us and we felt right at home. Cornwall was easier to leave knowing that at some point on our lives, we would make sure that we would come back.