We are lucky enough to own a holiday lodge in North Cornwall and in between our busy working lives, try to visit as much as we can. 7 days is never enough and we don’t ever get bored. Our visit in May was no exception and here is just a snap shot of our highlights.
We clocked up the miles, by car and on foot. Our first highlight being a trip to St.Michaels Mount, a National Trust part owned Island, castle and gardens in Marazion near Penzance.
The castle is still occupied by the St.Aubyn family and has been visited by the likes of the Queen, as well as tourists from all over the world. Depending on the tides, you can walk over the causeway to access the island or take a short boat ride to and from. We timed our visit perfectly. The sun was shining and the tide was out, allowing us to experience the walk across and back. Being National Trust members, we took advantage of viewing the gardens and castle.
The garden is an impressive sloping array of colour, particularly in spring, somewhat like a large expansive rockery and the castle, which includes quite a steep walk, was equally impressive and provides great views out to sea and back towards Marazion itself.
The island has a couple of decent cafe/restaurants as well. All well worth the drive from our lodge in Bossiney
Another highlight were the two coastal circular walks. We love a circular walk, particularly ones that offer spectacular ocean views and decent refreshment along the way. All adds to the incentive to keep walking.
The first we did was from Port Quin to Port Isaac. You can park at the small national trust car park, which also has a cool coffee/snack van, to grab some refreshment before or after your walk. The walk does have a few ups and downs and is quite strenuous in places but the coastal views are spectacular.
Once you get to Port Isaac, you can have a wander round the lovely cobbled streets and also find plenty of eateries for a pit stop. We had a great burger at The Mote, which is by the harbour. We also saw one or two well known British actors, who were filming for the new film ‘Fisherman’s Friends’, which was an extra treat. The walk back to Port Quin is shorter and much easier, across field and farmland.
The second Coastal circular walk we did was from Holywell Bay. This is a bit further afield to drive to from Gilbert Lodge, down near Newquay. Again, there is a national trust car park and free if you are a member but there is also other beach parking. Holywell Bay is a beautiful expanse of beach and dunes and if you don’t fancy the walk, you could spend the day on the beach instead.
There are a few amenities around, so you don’t need to go far for a bite to eat and the all important public loos. We walked over the dunes and along the coastal path, all the way round to Crantock beach, before turning round back across the countryside. During June and July, there is the sight of a field full of poppies along this route and if you are really lucky, you might see a few sea lions and dolphins splashing about in the sea too. There is a great pub overlooking Crantock beach called the Bowgie, where you can get some decent food and all important pint of something cold. We had some fabulous weather, so a cold alcoholic ginger beer was very welcome.
For some evening entertainment, we ended up, by taxi I hasten to add, at one of our favourite places for homemade farmhouse food, Boscastle farm shop. But this particular evening, they were hosting a ‘Gin tasting’.
The gin in question was a Cornwall favourite ‘Tarquins’. They do a number of different flavours and strengths and it was great fun sampling most of them. Our personal favourite, ‘mulled cranberry and tangerine with a slice of orange, sprig of rosemary and slimline tonic..we had to bring a bottle home!
For something different, we decided to sample a future lifestyle move, in preparation for our ‘semi retirement’. We spent a really enjoyable couple of hours meetings some cheeky but cute alpacas at Popham alpaca farm near Saltash. Our companions were ‘Leah’ and ‘Radiance’ and they didn’t disappoint.
Such calming and generally gentle animals, you can take them for a little walk around the 25 acre farmland owned by Gary and Felicia. They have a number of fields with alpacas everywhere and you could observe them for hours, watching all their individual personalities at work. We certainly haven’t been put off at the idea of owning some of our own in the future..watch this space!
Another jam packed, enjoyable week visiting our little bit of Cornwall heaven and we were even blessed with some amazing May weather.