Sunday, August 31, 2008

31st August 2008: Last leg of the journey home

The overnight temperature had fallen sharply, so we woke to a heavy dew outside and a thin fog, but we were up and away by ten past eight and for once there were no accidents (despite the normal number of lunatic drivers on the motorways)
We made good time and reached home for half past one, even though we had two long breaks for a tea break and lunch on the way.
Looking back on the holiday we had mixed feelings, certainly the weather had been pretty poor for much of the time, but against that we had had some good days, enjoyable meals and pleasant visits to National Trust properties: while it hadn't been optimum, it hadn't been a disaster either, as we say in Yorkshire: "It were fair to middlin'"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

30th August 2008 :sunshine and Snowshill Manor

The weather here haas been the best we have had this holiday, and a very enjoyable day it's turned out to be too, we spent the mornng touring around the lovely cotswold coutryside and watched the harvest being brought in, before visiting our intended destination of the day
Snowshill Manor and Garden. the manor house is built of yellow stone, as are most Cotswold houses and it is set high on a hillside above the vale of evesham.
It has extensive gardens with beautiful flowers, but the main attraction of the house is the collection of amazing crafsmanship objects of all kinds it houses.
The house was bought by an eccentricCharles Paget Wade in 1919, and was virtually in ruins. He rebuilt it, but not to live in, rather to house his incredible collection (he lived in an outhouse in the yard!!!) a statue of St George and the Dragon are on the wall outside the outhouse.
It's kind of reassuring to know there are people out there who were actually madder than me!
The house front has been altered: on the right it's 17th century, on the left 19th, and you can see the join(as Ernie Wise would say) in the stones of the wall.
The gardens are a treasure, with an incredibly ornate clock on one of the levels, and some beautiful flowers. The garden is arranged into "rooms" and is very popular with humans and insect visitors.
Admission to the house is by timed ticket, as there is limited space and so much to see, if you are ever in the area don't miss it!
Tonight is the last night of this Temporary holiday meet and people are sitting outside, it is still over 20C and looking down over the hill we can just see bourton On the Water in the distance.
It has been a memorable day!

Friday, August 29, 2008

29th August 2008: homeward bound via Bourton on the water

We woke to the by now usual fine rain and coastal fog, and were on the road just before 8:00 AM.
Progress was good until junction 23 on the M5, where an accident reduced the traffic to a stop start situation. We left the motorway and diverted onto the north bound A38 and rejoined it two junctions further to th north, and managed to get back on at just before the accient site, which by then had cleared so we were able to continue at a normal speed.
We reached Bourton on the water for just after two pm, and were surprised at how much better the weather was, the whole distance through Cornwall we had been in fog and rain and it had cleared as we entered Devon, but here at bourton it was actually 23C and Sunny!
This was the warmest temperature we had experienced during the last two weeks, so we decided there and then that we would leave going home till Sunday and enjoy a day in the area.
After an hour or so's rest we set of for a run round and bought fish and chips for tea at Stow on the Wold, sitting on a bench outside the shop, sweltering in the sunshine!
We stopped off in bourton and had a walk along the river, which was busy with visitors, I took several pictueres, first of the memorial cross

Then others as we walked along the river

Thursday, August 28, 2008

28th August Last day here and Mevagissy

The day got off to a bad start weather wise, it was raining and there was a sea fog: hardly what you would hope for in cornwall!
However we decided to make the best of it and drove to Mevagissey were though not sunny, it was a least mild and not raining!
I took a couple of shots to make this panoramic, and quite afew others around the harbour, and wondered will I ever see the place when the tide is in? no matter how often I go there it always manages to be out.
It was good to see that there were both pleasure
And fishing boats using the harbour an that is was so busy
It really is a colourful place, lots to see and photograph!
We had a good couple of hours around the harbour and snacked on a savoury pasty and one containing apple, rhubarb and custard! And very nice too!
After Mevagissy we followed the cost roads in the direction of St Mawes and rediscovered that incredibly narrow road (read narrow squeeze for a push bike never mind a car!) that drops into and out of Boswinger: Pat has marked the map "Don't go here!" with your wing mirrors in the shrubbery at either side, hairpin bends and a 1 in 4 hill (at least) it's not a good place to meet traffic coming the other way (we did) and no place for a nervous driver (we met one of those too!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

27th August 2008:Godolphin House and Coverack

Godolphin House has only recently been acquired by the National Trust and frankly is a wreck inside at the moment, but no doubt the Trust will work their usual wonders on it given a year or two. For the moment the interior has one or two fine rooms, but the remainders are in a parlous state, it must have been a dire place to live in for the family in it's latter years!
The gardens too have gone to seed, though they are being worked on with great industry and i'm sure a trnsformation is under way.
I have always been fascinated by these giant "thistles?" and here is a picture of one.
After eating our packed lunch in the car park we drove down to Coverack on the Lizard and were very fortunate to get parked right on the harbour, an easy walk for Pat who was suffering with a knee that had decided to ache. It really is a compact harbour, and yet I had to do a three image panorama to get it all in and also of course a couple more pictures of the boats, looking out of the harbour, and back into it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

26th August 2008 Godrevy Beach and along the coast

With the bank holiday traffic out of the way, the coast seemed like a good proposition, we took the back roads across to Hayle, and despite the dire lack of road signs (and misleading ones where there were any! we got to Hayle and shopped for our Pasties (and a piece of chocolate cake) at Hampsons in our book the suppliers of the best Pasties that you will buy!
Since it was too early to tuck into them we drove along the coast to Godrevy, a National Trust coastal property with a sensational beach and views across to St Ives.
Unfortunately today the sun wouldn't come out for us, so no blue skies, but the view across to St ives was good, and the crashing waves made a great foreground for the lighthouse on it's island.
The coast road skirts the cliff top and there are spectacular views down into the bays, this one is to one called "fishing cove" with "Point Navax" in the distance.
A little further along the coast is Porth Towan, and we stopped to watch the surfers, enjoying the large breakers provided by the strong on shore wind.

Our finally visit of the day was to the Wheal coates Tin mine at St Agnes Head, it's amazing how often the cornish miners sank shafts on a cliff edge and worked out under the sea!

Monday, August 25, 2008

25th Augusr 2008: Trelissick Gardens

Where to go on bank holiday Monday? working on the principle that you can expect the coast to be packed we decided to go to a Nationa Trust Property we hadn't visited before "Trelissic Gardens".
Near Falmouth and not too far away, and we arrived there bang on twelve noon, just in time for Dinner!
The restaurant there isn't cheap, but it's good and we enjoyed a very tasty lunch before entering the gardens. As we walked through the entrance there were some lovely flowers that look to my untutoured eye like orchids, and there was a splendid lawn surrounded by flower beds stretching down the hill.
There are literally miles of walks along the hillside, though the gardens are not at their best at this time of year as most of the flowers have gone to seed.
At length we reached the hilltop and the great lawn with a view out over the river and of the front of the great house.
Though the gardens were given to the National Trust the house remains the residence of the family and isn't open to the public.
During our vist there was a Dahlia exhibition given by the "Cornish Dahlia society" in the Stables and it was well visiting. I took the following two images, first of an exquisite basket of flowers, and second of a grouping lit from above under a window, they looked as it they were on fire!
Last shot of the day was of this amazing tower near the entrance. Despite appearances it is described in the brochure as a water tower!

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and even on the Bank holiday monday. it was pleasant and there was plenty of space and a very relaxed atmosphere.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

24th August 2008; Mousehole and Pendeen

Mousehole is always a spot where parking is difficult, but since it is Sunday and we get there early we hoped to get lucky and find a place on the harbour, but it wasn't to be.
However on the run into the village I did spot a carpark at the cliff top that wasn't very busy, so as we left Mousehole, I doubled back via Paul and dropped back down into the viallge centre.
It turned out that the walk wasn't too bad and we were soon down on the harbour, where I took three shots to make this panorama.
We had a very nice rum and Raisin flavoured ice cream, and walking through the narrow streets spotted this young lady stroking an elderly cat that seemed quite happy to let her!
We wandered in and out of the colourful and quaint winding little streets enjoying the views and then came out onto the end of the harbour where there is a little beach
And photographed the view looking back past the beached rowing boat to the closed end of the harbour, and as we walked out along the harbour wall, we saw wet suited children ignoring the danger notice and jumping into the harbour mouth.
Once at the end I caught sight of this rather evocative schooner sailing beyond the distant rocks and couldn't resist it!
All too soon it was time to move on, and on the road out I took a couple of quick long telephoto zoom lens shots of distant Penzance and St Michael's mount.
What to do next? since further walking wasnt a good idea for Pat we went across country and stopped at Chapel Carn Brea (the most westerly hill in England) I made the long walk to the summit hile Pat devoured a magazine in the car.
A can be seen from this group I wasn't the only one to think it was hard work!
The views from the top were superb, though there was quite a bit of distant mist obscuring some details. Our final destination was Pendeen lighthouse, and we parked up and had a cuppa while I did a bit of legwork.
The cliff scenery here is superb, and in the distance you could see the chimneys of the Levant mine, where the only beam engine still working under steam in cornwall operates

Saturday, August 23, 2008

23rd August 2008: Falmouth and Coverack

A nice bright sunny morning with a forecast for cloudy later: good enough! We decided to go to Falmouth, but not by the normal main roads, but using the country roads instead.
We headed first slightly north to Godolphin Cross, where the village, in fact just about everything else too is named after the family of the same name who introduced copper and tin mining onto their estates and made a great fortune.
Then across to the quaintly named "Praze and Beeble" using for directions some signs that were last painted went Noak built the ark. Some were so bad in fact that the direction arms had rusted so badly they had fallen off!
The roads are extremely narrow with often ten foot banks on either side, with traffic coming the other way up to the the size of juggernauts this is no area for the inexperienced driver!

Lots of signs were simply not there, Pat said she thinks they were taken down during the war to confuse the Germans ,and the locals still don't trust them enough to put them back!
(No wonder the German tour buses can be seen in some very odd places getting stuck!)

We eventually re- connected with the main roads at Longdowns which we have fond memories of as we used to camp at the quaintly named "Calamankey Farm" where if memory serves it always rained even if it didn't anywhere else within a mile away!
Then down into Falmouth and across the very busy town to a quiet corner called "Gyllynvase Beach" which is where the extraorinarily beautiful "Queen Mary Gardens" are.

The plants here are amazing and you can see cacti and succulents I have only seen in Crete, Cyprus and Malta growing happily here. We were told that the growing season here is a full ten months!
One plant that took my eye was the flower in a cactus that looked as if it was pink fondant icing dusted with icing sugar, it really didn't look real.
We ate our lunch here looking out with pleasure at the lovely garden then southbound to Gweek and round the estuary of the Helford river to "ST Anthony in Menege" and following the river round ; there are occasional glimpses like this one of boats and distant houses, but generally the tree cover prevents really good views.
On then to St Keverne and the final point of todays journey, Coverack.
Very pretty and with steep winding streets into and out of the village. I managed to park briefly on the harbour and took three shots to combine for this panoramic.
Then back to camp over Goonhilly downs and Helson, a really great day out!

Friday, August 22, 2008

22nd August 2008 to the Lizard!

A lovely sunny morning at last so first thing, get the chores out of the way and into Penzance shopping, before hitting the road to Helston on our way to the Lizard.
We ran into traffic jams there due to road works, and we had intended to shop and look for a chemist to get some gas refills for Pat's hair tongs, but to our surprise we didn't see a single one: chemist seem in short supply there!
Delayed by farm tractors, the short journey down to the lizard took a lot longer than expected, nd we parked on the National Trust car park and ate out packed lunch sat outside on our folding chairs, very pleasant!
The short walk down to the top of the slipway yielded the photos we wanted, and as the sky clouded over and we aren't exactly quick when walking uphill, we started back to the car.
Continuing our Journey we called next at Mullion Cove and enjoyed the walk down to the harbour , which was quieter than we had expected and all the more pleasureable for that.
Passing quickly through Poldhu Cove as the car park was absolutely full, we followed the winding coast road to Gunwalloe fishing Cove and Church Cove, once more stopping in a National Trust car park before walking down to look at the beaches.
There was a real holiday atmosphere with Surfers, Kite Fliers, kids building sandcastles, it was just like old times. We sat drinking it all in for quite a while.
Eventually it was time to move and we rejoined the main road to Helston then branched off to our last visit of the day Porthleven, which is of course the most southerly port in the British Isles, and here at lasat the found a chemist that stocked the gas cartridges that Pat so deperately needed for her hair tongues: the day was saved!
After that a gentle drive took us back to camp for a welcome snooze.