Falmouth to Bude

Tuesday 27th February

 

We slept well in our separate beds, but Adrian's back was still bad and my head wasn't too good! We had breakfast and left Terry and Alison to their busy schedules and continued on our way (sadly Terry has since died. He was loved by everybody). We stopped first at the Post Office for Adrian to photocopy some maps. Alison had kindly done our washing for us and the other thing we wanted – an Internet cafe didn't seem to exist in Falmouth!

We managed to find our way to the Pendennis Castle peninsular and drove around it. It was good looking across to the other peninsulas we had visited – St Anthony's head and St Mawes, even on this gusty day of heavy showers.

Just south of here there are several beaches. We stopped briefly at Swanpool and Maen Porth. We had passed fields of cultivated daffodils.

Now it was down to the Helford River – an area difficult to explore by road because of its many inlets and steep narrow roads, which usually are no through roads. First though we – or rather I – visited two delightful gardens – Glendurgan (National Trust) and Trebah almost adjacent to it. Both were in sheltered valleys which ran down to the Helford River just before it reached the sea. Both had masses of daffodils of various sorts; primroses, camellias, early rhododendrons, tree ferns and wonderful trees. Glendurgan came down to the shore at a tiny cluster of houses called Durgan.

Trebah had its own little beach and many water features including a pond of Koi carp. There were wattle trees in the flower too and tree heathers and a large pieris tree in flower. We'd had lunch before I attempted Trebah.

Glendurgan gardens

Adrian stayed in the Tiv both times, and drew our route on the photocopied maps.

Just after Trebah we drove down the steep narrow road to Helford Passage and had views across the Helford River and also difficulty in turning round and passing parked vehicles. A pretty place.

 

Trebah Gardens

At Constantine I went into a Post Office supermarket and got most things we wanted including Nurofen for Adrian and milk for tonight's pancakes. We were becoming increasingly aware of the "Foot and mouth disease problem" – the woman at the CL Adrian rang said we couldn't stay there as it was a farm – as of course the majority of CL's are. We were in desperate need of water, so at Gweek we entered the boat yard and after Adrian enquired, we were able to fill the tank from the hose there.

We had to travel on the B road to the south of the Helford estuary, but were able to turn off to Helford itself – or at least the car park near Helford. The sky had become blue, so the water reflected this.

We took the road along to St Anthony-en-Meneage at the sea end of the Helford River, but didn't continue on this narrow road, returning via Manacean where I viewed the ancient fig tree growing out of the wall of the church. The roads to Gillan Harbour and another "Flushing" looked too narrow for us, so we next came down to Porthallow, with a rocky beach in an attractive setting. Apparently the beach used to be of sand, the rocks coming from past quarrying further south.

The road down to Porthoustock looked too steep and difficult to attempt, so we headed for St. Keverne and then reached the sea again at Coverack, a nice little harbour town. We returned from here to the crossroads, where at 6 o'clock we parked for the night on a spare bit of track here. Being Shrove Tuesday, I made pancakes which we really enjoyed for supper. I tried sending one or two emails/text messages and wrote a couple of cards. We were feeling rather unsettled about things, what with Adrian's bad back; the severe weather – we had passed little bits of snow, but Scotland and Ireland and the North were experiencing really bad weather; and implications of the very worrying "Foot and mouth disease" outbreak.

Helford Passage

Wednesday 28th February

 

A day of mixed weather – some heavy showers, including hail, but the odd bit of sun. The disastrous news of the Foot and Mouth problem was overshadowed today by a tragic disaster in Yorkshire involving a Land Rover skidding off the road on to the railway line, and subsequent colliding with it of a passenger and goods train, with the loss of several lives and with many more injured.

We left about 9.45 and headed across the Goonhilly Downs, through Kuggar to a delightful little beach called Kennack Sands. It was damping a bit, but Adrian gallantly strode out with me across the sand.

We drove on through Cadgwith towards Lizard Point. We couldn't get to Church Cove, so continued to the point itself where we braved the cold at this southernmost point in England.

We made for Kynance Cove and I walked out to a viewpoint down to this delightful cove which we had visited many years ago.

Cornish daffodils

We turned off next to Mullion, where there were very badly organised roadworks. We continued to Mullion Cove, but there was nowhere to park, so we had to return. Instead we came down to Poldhu Cove – quite a large sandy beach and we walked on to it before returning for lunch in the Tiv. It was from here that Marconi transmitted the first transatlantic radio message in 1901.

On the way back, we saw some daffodils in the fields.

On The Lizard Point

Kynance Cove

We continued now through Helston and stopped at a motor caravanning place where Adrian got more camping gas and one or two things. Then on to Porthleven, where we walked out briefly before the next shower, enjoying the views along to the hoe.

Poldhu Cove

Our next stop was Praa Sands where we walked through the dunes to the long sandy beach and returned to the Tiv before the next hail shower. This left everywhere extra wet. We turned off on the track to Kennegy, where we camped with Emma in 1971 but it was too difficult.

Porthleven

And equally we had no success at the neighbouring Prussia Cove.

At Perran Sands we did get on to the beach before the next lot of hail. Back at the main road we found a parking area suitable for tonights stop, near Marazion, just before another heavy shower of hail fell.

I wrote a couple more cards and then cooked a nice chicken meal, like a late birthday meal.

Later I finished reading the book "Africa House" which Tom had given me for Christmas and which I have found enthralling.

At one point there was a huge rumble of thunder and a flash of lightning.

'Late birthday' meal

Emma at Kennegy beach 1971

Thursday 1st March

 

March came in like a lion – we looked out to see the hills dusted with snow. It remained very cold all day, but bright and dry. It was a day of disappointments and frustrations. Adrian's back was improving, but I had developed a stiff and painful shoulder – what a couple of old crocs!

We didn't leave until nearly 10.30, then stopped in Marazion to post my cards and buy rolls for lunch and an iced Belgian type bun – but this turned out to be almond flavour, so not to my liking.

We stopped at the car park opposite St Michael's Mount, which had looked wonderful with the snow covered hills behind when we set off. We walked on to the sandy beach and onto the end of the Causeway, most of which was still under water. We have visited this area several times, most recently on my birthday in 1987 (Drat not bringing that diary!)

 

We now drove via the heliport, where we enquired about trips to the Scilly Isles and on to Tesco's, where we did quite a big shop. I had wanted to visit Trengwaiton Gardens, a National Trust property just outside Penzance. We made our way there, with the intention of having lunch there before visiting the gardens. We knew that the gardens were closed on Fridays and Saturdays hence I was keen to go today. Imagine our dismay to arrive at the gates and find notices saying that the gardens were closed due to the Foot and mouth epidemic and it would appear that all National Trust properties were likewise shut.

We returned to the coast near St Michael's Mount to have lunch and discuss the possibility of visiting the Scilly Isles. Adrian telephoned the Scilly Isles information office and found that there were no Foot and mouth restrictions, so we returned to the heliport and provisionally booked flights for Monday, there being none available tomorrow morning.

We drove on to Penzance and parked by the harbour, paying for two hours as we intended visiting the Internet cafe (we had found out the address when at Terry's). Disappointment again the Internet cafe had closed down! I had no luck either in getting my photos developed (matt) but we did manage to get the few bits and pieces in Boots that we wanted and also some little pale coloured narcissi to replace the bright yellow ones which have done so well. We wandered back to the Tiv and had tea and scones and cream then continued along the front and through Newlyn to Mousehole. We enjoyed seeing both harbours and the numerous fishing boats and also the views across delightful Mounts Bay.

At Mousehole we were directed back through Paul to the 'B' road and soon after at Sheffield found a pull-off beside the road.

I cooked some undyed haddock for supper, which was delicious and we drank some excellent wine from Sicily while listening to a local radio with reports and discussions on Foot and Mouth disease.

 

St Michael's Mount

And on my birthday 1987

Friday 2nd March

 

We woke to a cold and windy morning and it stayed that way all day, although the sun peeped through occasionally. We enjoyed listening to Desert Island Discs – the guest was Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. This was followed by the last part of a book about someone travelling by horse in Mongolia – we had heard part 4 yesterday.

We left at 10 o'clock and drove through the hamlet of Sheffield to turn off to Lamorna Valley.

This was down a narrow road beside a tree-lined stream to rocky Lamorna Cove. We viewed it only, from the Tiv, as there was nowhere easy to walk. We had come here in 1987.

We returned up the pretty valley to the 'B' road and then through lovely country to turn off to Penberth. This was down a similarly delightful valley with daffodils everywhere. As we turned off, we bought some violets from beside the road – we had seen these growing at the roadside too. There were buckets of daffs and other flowers for sale outside many of the houses. Beside the stream where we stopped, there were bright yellow marsh marigolds (King cups).

Lamorna valley

We walked down to the little cove, with an ancient capstan on the rocks. It became very windy as we reached the sea. We returned to the Tiv and Adrian fetched water from the stream for the loo flushing (we were very low on water again and the Tiv had a separate water tank for the loo).

Apparently Phoenician sailors called at this beach in the past to buy tin, but the local miners wouldn't let them off the beach, anxious to preserve their mining methods.

Our next stop was Porthcurno. We didn't see the theatre (we had visited it in 1971), but we did walk down to the wonderful steeply shelving sandy cove. The wind was still bitter.

Penberth - daffodils and king cups

We next came down to Porthgwarra, another delightful steep sandy cove with an archway through the rocks to get to it and an adjacent rocky cove. We walked down through the arch braving the cold again (it would be beautiful here on a warm day) then returned for lunch in the Tiv.

On now to Lands End, where we were only charged £2 instead of the publicised £3. There was a bitterly icy wind, but we enjoyed the views . Someone kindly took a photo of us by the sign post and Adrian took me with Cape Cornwall in the distance.

Porthcurno

Adrian through the arch at Porthgwarra

We drove round to lovely Sennen Cove, with its wonderful long sandy beach. Again we braved the cold to walk across it. 

Afterwards we drove up to so-called Sunny Corner, where we parked in a private park looking back down to Sennen Cove.

We hadn't been able to get any water, but Adrian had found a campsite open near Craws-an-wra. We made our way there. There were several "Garage morts", but otherwise it was just like being in the country and it only cost us £5 – the same as many CL's.

We telephoned Emma (she had sent a text message earlier) and learned that it was just as cold there. We enjoyed a simple pizza meal for supper with some pleasant South African wine.

Sennen Cove

Rosie (bottom left) with friends 1962

Adrian (bottom left) with friends 1963

With wriggly Emma 1971

With all 4 children Feb 1987

Us 2001

Us John o Groats - Lands End 2014

Looking to Cape Cornwall

Our times at Land's End

Saturday 3rd March

 

The day remained overcast all day, sometimes with rain and later with snow! We lay in bed listening to "sounds of the 60s" with Brian Matthew, then got up to have a late breakfast listening to a programme on English people living in France and then one on 1955.

We were most disconcerted to hear of a "foot and mouth" case in Cornwall and as we drove around today, we saw more "keep out" signs and signs put up by Cornwall County Council to say that all foot paths were closed. The outlook seemed pretty bleak and our spirits low.

We left our latest yet – gone 11.30 – after Adrian doing the "emptying and filling" in the freezing cold and saying goodbye to the pleasant owner. There were a group of people camping here!

We drove past the aerodrome (I had toyed earlier with the idea of flying to the Scillies from here – today's bleak weather put paid to that idea!) and through St. Just taking a little road through what appeared to be called Cot Valley to Porth Nanven. This was a pretty little road beside a rushing stream, through rather Scottish looking moor like country. The end of the road stopped high above the sea – we couldn't get out and explore even if the weather had been better. We could see out across the gloom two rocks called "The Brisons".

We returned through St. Just and down a track south of Cape Cornwall, again aware that we couldn't walk anywhere.

Cot Valley

We drove round to Cape Cornwall itself – a splendid sight with the chimney high on the hill, but the weather still abysmal. We watched a little dunnock outside and ate soup for lunch.

Returning via St. Just, we took the track to Levant Steam Engine, but this like all National Trust properties was closed. The rain now turned to snow and little bits of snow lay beside the road.

We drove down to Pendeen Lighthouse, in what had returned to rain, but very bleak. Splendid coastal scenery though.

We continued along the road towards St. Ives, through remote moorland country. It was now snowing and snow covered the hillsides, looking quite pretty, but cold and grey. We continued to St. Ives. It was becoming unfortunately clear to us that we might have to abandon our journey around the coast because of the restrictions of the Foot and mouth outbreak – this was something neither of us wanted to accept.

We came down to Carbis Bay, just southeast of St. Ives – a beautiful bay of golden sand stretching right past Hayle. We braved the drizzle and walked across the wide beach to the sea and back, arriving at the Tiv at the same time as a young chap who was living in a hut/house next to us. It appears that the car park belongs to the grand Carbis Bay Hotel behind us, but there are no signs to say so.

After supper of bacon, egg and mushrooms we played a game of Yahtzee using my new tray to throw the dice on. Then despite the cold, we dressed up and walked out along this splendid beach and back, amazed at the few fishermen standing there in the coldness.

 

 

Cape Cornwall, with its tin mine chimney

Sunday 4th March

 

A really beautiful day – blue sky all day, and it often felt really warm. After breakfast we walked on the beach in the opposite direction, then drove back into St. Ives and parked. We walked about this beautiful town for a couple of hours. We have visited several times before, but not in such lovely weather. We walked around the harbour and on to Porthmeor Beach – where we remember the children paddling on my birthday in 1987.

Here we came across the Tate Gallery – what an unattractive building – quite spoiling this lovely spot. We decided to pay it a visit, but were not impressed. I quite liked some pen and ink drawings and there was some pleasant pottery, but nothing better than in potteries and shops anywhere. We had tea/coffee and carrot/chocolate cake in the coffee shop overlooking the beautiful blue sea and white sand – quite the best bit of the place is the view!

We wandered back through the delightful little streets and sat in the warm sunshine for a while overlooking the beach and watching a little bird (a rock pippit we think).

Porthmeor beach. St.Ives, and below our children in 1987

We returned to the Tiv at about midday, to find that Emma had phoned.

We drove down to the Hayle Estuary by a pretty little station with daffodils in the garden. Here we watched a curlew in the water, then continued round towards Hayle and enjoyed our lunch on a spare bit of land by the water and near the viaduct where trains occasionally passed.

 

St. Ives 2001 and Emma there in 1971

We drove round Hayle to the bit called The Towans and here we parked and had a longish walk along this beautiful sandy estuary with St. Ives in the distance. The beach was busy with families and with people walking dogs – one of the few places where people can go at the moment is the beach. Again it was lovely in the sun.

We now took little roads through St. Erth and back to Marazion on the south coast. It looked splendid in the afternoon sunshine. We enjoyed tea and scones sitting outside above the beach – again very busy with people enjoying themselves.

By the station, then on to Towans beach

The sky was beautiful. We made our way back to Wednesday nights spot near Marazion and sat watching until the light faded from the sky – so different from the last time we were here.

We ate Gammon for supper, wondering if we would be able to buy any more meat.

We were waiting for the waves to recede a bit so that we could cross the Causeway. Luckily we put on our wellies, as the waves were still covering the Causeway and we could hear the squeals of people following us over, trying to avoid the waves!

We enjoyed walking around the little harbour before making our way back again to the mainland and the Tiv. We sat here watching as the sun went down (6 o'clock) and the beach became deserted.

The causeway uncovers

The castle harbour

Monday 5th March

 

A brilliant, brilliant day! This was our day planned to go to Tresco in the Scilly Isles, but we had wondered if it would happen. As it was we woke up to a grey morning and roused ourselves early, leaving before 8.20 for the nearby heliport. We arrived there early for our 9.35 flight and enquired if things had changed over the weekend regarding restrictions. It appeared not – we tried fruitlessly to ring Scilly Isles tourist information just to check, then parked the Tiv and hope that all will work out. (it turned out much later that to keep tourism going they had moved all the animals on Tresco over to Bryher).

We left a bit late at 9.45, but really loved the flight – just high enough to see everything spread out below – St Michael's Mount, then the patchwork of fields as we headed for Land's End, then over the sea. Our helicopter landed first at St Mary's, then just as we got to Tresco, the sun came out!

 

We walked away from the helicopter and made our way to the gardens. The £6.50 entry fee seemed a bit stiff. I showed the woman our "Great Gardens of Cornwall" brochure, which she knew nothing about, but on ringing the curator charged us as "group rate" – a grand reduction of 50p each! Then I had to buy a pencil priced 60p! as the pen I had brought with me didn't work!

We had a short walk around. We remembered how tame the birds are here – they literally take the food from your mouth! Lovely to see them so close – robins, blackbirds and chaffinches. Later, eating our lunch-time sandwich – the robin befriended us again and then just before we were leaving he reappeared – was he the same one?

We continued walking up the coast as far as Cromwell's Castle – we were able to climb up this – then back over the moorland hills to New Grimsby.

The nice thing was that there were lots of seats, so we often sat and enjoyed the views and the tranquillity. We watched the seabirds – oystercatchers, terns and a curlew. The sun was beautifully warm as we made our way back down the western side of the island, often walking on the beach, back to the heliport. We arrived here early, so wandered back into the gardens in the late afternoon sunshine. We had enjoyed the sculptures – a lovely one of three young people, a fountain like an aloe/algarve, and one of a woman

. Also there was a wonderful mosaic made of shells, but depicting a scene of plants. This was in a newly made "bothy" – they seem to be working hard on updating the gardens.

Our return helicopter was later than its 4.35 supposed time – by now the wind had got up and the clouds had gathered. There was a change forecast again in the weather – from really cold to wet and windy. It was certainly blowy as we made our way to the helicopter for our return flight. We felt chilled, but still enjoyed our journey back

. At the heliport we walked straight to the Tiv, paid the car park fee (£2.50 for the day) and drove away. We headed for Safeway (perhaps it should have been Tesco after Tresco!), filled with diesel (unfortunately the one gaz bottle was empty) then "did a shop" – pleased to find meat to buy. Our bill came to £36 (including some wine and a small bottle of gin for Adrian). This pleased us as you got 5p a litre off petrol if you spent £40 and we had just got our diesel!

Now nearly 6.30 we headed north to Hayle, to the spare bit of land where we had lunch yesterday, arriving just as darkness fell, for me to cook spaghetti Bolognese. A brilliant day.

 

 

Tuesday 6th March

 

Weren't we lucky! Today started grey and very windy the wind had woken us several times in the night. About lunch time it came on to rain and rained continually from then on horrible driving rain accompanied by high winds just yuk!

We moved the Tiv to have a view down to the sea, to have our breakfast we were just clearing up when a van pulled alongside and a man got out and said that this was harbour property we said we were just going! In fact we had just heard about this derelict area on local radio this is where the foundry stood for copper smelting when this was a big mining area.

We left at 9.40 and stopped in Hayle to get some gas, then continued on the road near the coast. There was wonderful coastal scenery, but inaccessible because of the foot and mouth outbreak. We did pass some cows and some sheep in the fields mostly the fields are empty of animals, giving an eerie feel to everywhere.

We came down to Portreath, where in the past quays stood for the mining industry. Now there are some unattractive houses down in the valley, but the sand and stone beach is very pleasant with a stack out to sea, the waves were being whipped up by the wind. We walked briefly on to the beach, then came back to the Tiv. We had been listening to an interview with Jimmy Osmond (little no longer) on the radio he sounded very nice and would appear to have a good singing voice too.

We came down next to Porthtowan a place which should have been nice. Again we had a "blow" on the sandy and pebbly beach, which at low tide is enormous and stretches past Chapel Porth, which we came to next. We had visited here with the children in 1974 and have memorable pictures of them, particularly 16-month old Simon, amongst the huge caverns in the sand. Now however, was almost high tide and all we could see was a rock strewn bit of beach and windswept waves. We had similarly visited in 1987.

 

We left the gardens, having eaten sandwiches I had made, and walked up between the estate and the Great Pool to New Grimsby, where we caught the boat from last time. Everywhere looked so delightful. We were looking across to the island of Bryher.

The lovely thing about the gardens was that we were almost totally on our own – we saw about four other people, plus the gardeners. We enjoyed seeing plants from far away places – South Africa and Australia – banksias, grevilleas, protoceas, succulents, ferms. At first it felt a bit chilly, but just as on our previous visit here – only that was in June – gradually the sun won.

Our helicopter arrives in Tresco

The birds were really unafraid

Terrific Tresco gardens

Looking to the island of Bryher

Cromwelll's castle in the distance

Adrian at the top

Looking out from the castle

The beautiful statue of children

St Mary's from the helicopter

Soon after here at Trevellas we unexpectedly came across a caravan/camping supplies store and bought several things and had a few words with the amenable owner. It was now that it had started to rain. We drove down into Perranporth, both of us instantly remembering the place Adrian had been trying to describe it for the last couple of weeks, but was muddling it with other places. I think we visited in 1987 with Simon and Tom. We would have loved a stroll on the wonderful wide sandy beach, but the weather was just abysmal.

 

A couple in an "executive" camper pulled alongside and had a short chat. We started listening to my cassette "Dear Joyce, Dear Jenny" letters written between Joyce Grenfell and her friend. We watched three horse riders come on to the beach and a few people ignoring the weather, walking their dogs. We had noticed how full the "dog poo" bins are, as people are restricted to exercising their dogs on the beach or along roads.

We set off, looking for somewhere to stop with the added difficulty of high winds so we didn't want anywhere exposed and the rain, which had left lower lying places flooded. We drove on minor roads past Penhale Sands (no access because of foot and mouth) and saw a couple of vaguely suitable pull off's, but continued through Cubert and passed Hollywell where we stayed at Trevornick Farm twice in the early 70s. There is now a large static caravan park nearby and the only car park, being National Trust, was closed as is everything owned by the National Trust. We had to stay with our memories of the great sand dunes spreading down to the sea.

We returned to Cubert and up to Crantock and West Pentire, but were having no luck in finding stopping place in this abominable weather. Adrian decided to try a site just south of Newquay called Riverside. Notices displayed said that it was open, but when we reached it and an unattractive static site we were told that it was only open for the sale of caravans! Being desperate for somewhere to stop in this appalling weather, we persuaded the "owners" (who were just leaving at that point) that we didn't need anything except a bit of ground to park on, they let us pull in The rain still lashed down, the wind still blew and the forecast didn't sound too hopeful either!

I started cooking a beef casserole which tasted good, but I had left things in the grill drawer my new tray and a plastic bag which unfortunately got stuck to the base of the grill drawer.

Meanwhile it appeared to have stopped raining. Adrian went outside to dispose of the washing up water and discovered a tap we needed water. The people had told us that there was no water turned on we know they were trying to put us off. We felt like criminals filling the water container in the dead of night, to fill our water tank!

We wound back up the hill and round St Agnes Beacon and through St Agnes to Trevaunance Cove. This was a delightful little place with a steep road down to a pebbly beach, which is obviously sandy at low tide. Again we walked briefly, then came back to the Tiv to have our lunch overlooking this lovely bit of coastal scenery. One felt a great sense of community spirit here there were lots of "improvements" such as sitting areas happening.

1974 Simon - Chapel Porth

1987 - Rosie, Tom, Simon - Chapel Porth

Trevaunance Cove 2001

Perranporth 1987

Wednesday 7th March

 

The wind had dropped in the night, but the morning started grey, with a few splatters of rain before we got up, but then a beautiful day followed – blue sky, a fresh breeze, and much better than we could have imagined.

We had our cup of tea, then decided to move on to have breakfast – this had proved a useful 'overnighter'. We drove down to Newquay – a place famous for its wonderful beaches and parked by Fistral Beach to have breakfast. Afterwards we walked on the beach – much of which had been washed up on to the car park. We enjoyed the sunshine but the wind was quite strong.

We drove back to Pentire Head and had superb views from the end of it to the beaches and coastline north and south. We then had a useful time in Newquay, much of which seems to be dug up with roadworks. We managed to locate the Tourist Information, which opened for 10.00 am just as I got there. I asked about a  swimming pool, Internet cafe and launderette. However, when I came out Adrian and I lost each other (he had dropped me off from the Tiv). When we met up again, we headed for the Internet cafe (there are several in Newquay!) And found a launderette nearby – one the woman hadn't told me about. So, while our washing got clean, we went to read all our emails. The chap running it was South African from Durban and had only been in England for a few months. They had returned, like many whites, fearing for their safety. However, making a go of it in England was a struggle moneywise. We conversed for some time, then had a tea/coffee while we read our messages.

We returned to dry our washing at the launderette, then as we had parked in Somerfield's car park, thought we ought to do a quick shop in there.

We had bought a French loaf, so headed off to look for a lunch stop, trekking down to the harbour and back through the town and stopping by Lusty Glaze Cove to the North of Newquay. We sat in the Tiv in the sunshine, then having eaten, walked around the green above the sea. The the waves were pounding, with spray bursting up like a blowhole. Now we made our way to "Waterworld" – the swimming pool set in parkland next to the zoo. Only when we were leaving did we realise that this was Newquay Zoo, where we brought Emma in 1971 and where she showed her dislike of large birds!

We arrived at the pool at 1.30, just as the schoolchildren started their lessons in the main pool, so we had to use the "fun pool". Apart from being shallow and being enjoyed by a few parents and toddlers, this served as well. We didn't need the occasional "sprays" and fountains which came on and I was upset not to feel brave enough to use the gentle waterslide which the tots were going down with great glee!

Apart from our swim, this meant that we were able to have a shower and hair wash, thus saving on our water supply! We said goodbye to Newquay – we had done well.

We stopped next at a dear little inlet at Porth, just north of Newquay and once more walked on to the beach in the warm sunshine. Still breezy of course.

Next stop was Mawgan Porth, where we walked on the beach. 

The next cove, Porthcothan, is where we came when Renee and Lena and Mum and Dad stayed in a cottage in 1972 and we camped nearby for the weekend. We walked on the beach and I took a photo as a memento, but we seem short of photos for the weekend to compare.

Mawgan Porth - 2001

Mawgan Porth - 2014

We didn't stop at Treyarnon Beach as the only car park seemed to be a hotel one and there were many statics around although the cove itself looked attractive. We came on to Constantine Bay – a wonderful wide surf beach and we wandered here a bit, with Trevose Head in the distance, then came back to the Tiv .

Porthcothan

As we passed Harlyn Bay, we saw lots of surfers around – this was obviously the right beach today. We continued to Trevone – another delightful cove, where we were tempted to stop, but in fact drove on towards Padstow and found an old bit of road, which seemed the right place for us.

Around 7 o'clock we set off to walk down into Padstow. It was a beautiful evening with an almost full moon. It seemed as though time had stood still as we wandered through the delightful little streets then right in front of us we saw "Rick Stein's Cafe". We wandered around the little streets some more, having first checked that we could eat there later. The small harbour with its fishing boats and lobster pots looked like a magical film set – a picture to treasure. We couldn't find the butchers though, where Renee was being served when the man was called away to the fire engine!

We came back to Rick Stein's and enjoyed a meal of sole (me) and salmon (Adrian) with chips (too thin) and salad (just lettuce) and delicious French bread, and a glass of beer (A) and wine (me). Very nice but plenty pricey – how can a little bowl of skinny chips we worth £2.60?

Constantine Bay

Afterwards we wandered around some more and past Rick Stein's other places – the bistro and the seafood restaurant – the prices here were exorbitant!

As we began climbing the hill back to the Tiv, a little frog jumped up from the step "Flip-Flops Secret" re-enacted! We walked back under the star filled sky.

Rosie eating in Rick Stein's Café, Padstow

Thursday 8th March

 

Another good day. It was sunny for most of the day. We had breakfast and left at 9.30 and drove down into Padstow, parking on the harbour (30p for an hour). We enjoyed seeing Padstow by daylight. We wandered around the harbour and up the hill with a view towards the estuary. From here it was a so called footpath, therefore closed. There were a lot of memorial seats and a war memorial in a good position on this hillside. We walked back to the town and round the little streets a bit more, buying one or two things – a small bottle of scrumpy, a small stick of Padstow rock for Renee and some excellent brown baguette rolls and a "nutty twist".

By now the coaches of tourists were arriving, so it was time for us to leave!

We crossed the Camel River at Wadebridge, driving through the town and not on the new road and bridge.

We came down to Rock on the eastern side of the Camel opposite Padstow, which didn't look so good from here as most of the old town and harbour were hidden. There were lovely views of the River Camel though.

We drove on round to Daymer Bay, near the mouth of the Camel River. There was a huge expanse of sand here. We walked across the sands – the wind was strong and chill, but the sun pleasant. Afterwards we had lunch sitting in the Tiv, with our lovely view. The rolls were good.

We drove on through Polzeath – another Renee and Lena lookalike place, then a long drive round to New Polzeath, where we realised was the other side of the same bay. We walked on the beach here – another huge and lovely expanse of sand with lots of pools at the edge, which the sea rushed into. There were a few windsurfers out.

We took a long narrow and steep road down to Portquin, a narrow fjord like inlet, owned by the National Trust. There was nowhere to stop (car park closed) but we had a good views of "Rumps Point". Luckily we met no other vehicles on the really narrow bits.

We took the wider road down to Port Issac, parking beside the road (car park 60p) and walking down the steep narrow road to this little fishing village, tucked between high cliffs. It made us think of Robin Hoods Bay. We were intrigued by the old lifeboat building – now the Post Office – which was halfway up the steep, narrow hill. When the lifeboat was needed, it had to be taken down the steep hill and through the narrow streets before being launched!

Padstow Harbour

The Camel Estuary

The next inlet, Portgaverne, had very few houses and nothing much at all there (National Trust owned now).

We took another long, narrow and steep road through Trebarwith and down to the sea at Trebarwith Strand. This is one of the few places on this bit of coast where a road reaches the sea. It was a real fun place – a narrow inlet between high cliffs but the exciting thing was the waves were rushing in, but forming foam so that it looked like cream being churned. We sat on the low wall, looking out to Gull Rock and wondering if the foam would engulf us!

Pretty Port Isaac

Just north of here is Tintagel. Again we parked on the road and walked down the long road past the Castle (closed). We reminisced about our trip here with Emma in 1971. This time the tide was high and the waves were lashing against the rocks and caves. The nice thing here, as elsewhere, is that we usually have the place to ourselves.

The foaming sea at Trebarwith Strand 2001

How different when the tide is out - Rosie & Adrian at Trebarwith Strand 2012

We trekked back up the hill to the Tiv and drove on to Boscastle – I had stayed at the Youth Hostel here with Do in the early 60s and always marvelled at the position of the Youth Hostel, right on the water of the long narrow inlet of the harbour. We parked and walked down past the Hostel, marvelling at the "bore" formed by the high tide rushing up this narrow inlet. We walked right down past the harbour wall – the sea beyond it, in this narrow twist of the inlet – looked like an angry seething monster.

We returned to the Tiv and drove just outside Boscastle, where we found a place to pull off the road for the night. It was now 5.30. We cooked our fish for supper.

Tintagel 2001

With Emma 1971 above Tintagel

Tintagel Castle 1971

Dorothy outside Boscastle Youth Hostel 1963

Rosie outside Boscastle Youth Hostel 2001

Boscastle 2012 Restored after the 2004 floods

Friday 9th March

 

A grey morning. This was to be our last day on this episode of our "Road Around Britain", as we were to visit Emma, Stuart and Felix this afternoon before they left for a holiday in France.

We descended steeply to Crackington Haven – the name of which we both knew well, but didn't know why. We walked across the sandy beach between steep cliffs, with interesting "Hartland Quay" rock strata on the northern side.

We had been listening to "Desert Island Discs" with the guest being pianist Jon Lill.

We drove up steeply from Crackington Haven and took the road to St. Genny's Church, but on this grey day, the visibility was not good.

It drizzled a bit as we proceeded to Widemouth Bay – a really wide sandy bay, but with rocks higher up and then an area of humpy sand and pools of water before the large stretch of sand. We walked across to the edge of the water and back, the weather was now dry. Back at the Tiv the sun was now out.

At Bude we parked by the canal and walked along beside it to the sea. It was warm-ish but misty – I would have loved a cycle here - we haven't been able to use our bikes as cycle tracks are closed. The one here was open for about the first hundred yards only!

Crackington Haven

I decided to cook our pork chops for lunch and we had these in the Tiv in the car park by the canal before we made our way to Crooklets Beach, where again we walked across the sandy beach to see the water swishing in (our wellies had been much used this trip!)

Our last beach this trip was Northcott Mouth – a stony/rocky beach at this stage of the tide, but we walked on it all the same and took our last photo of the coast and left about 2.30, seeing two Osprey (we think) high overhead.

The Bude Canal

We now left and soon reached the border with Devon, where we had to drive across a disinfectant mat. On our journey across to South Devon, we passed much evidence of the farms affected by the foot and mouth outbreak. This epidemic and its effects, had dominated our travels on this trip and certainly curtailed our activities. Nevertheless, we had really enjoyed the Cornish coast and hope that we will be returning before too long – particularly to undertake some walks, which we have been unable to do and to visit or revisit some of the gardens(we returned in 2003).

 

 

 

Northcott Mouth

     

The next section is Bude to Severn Beach