Archive for October 2015
Main focus of the post to come but a few photos from a lunchtime stroll around the thronging crowds in RickSteinVille aka Padstow. It’s a really rather splendid little place and despite my dislike of tourist crowds I have something of a soft sport for the place. Possibly on account of the fact that it’s a foodies heaven with lots of great cafes, and the best pasties in Cornwall in my opinion from The Chough Bakery. The views from up on the hill just out-of-town are rather splendid as you can see
One of my recent book purchases from the “Wild” series by Daniel Start was one about the South West containing more than just Wild Swimming spots. Bodmin Moor looked to be packed with interesting stuff and I’d never seen it (other than passing through on the A30 on way to and from Cornwall). Time to change that. I’d been looking across longingly from the campsite at the distant tors from the campsite but the weather always looked considerably greyer and gloomier than the coast. However on our last day it looked better and we’d headed off for a day of exploration
First stop was Delford Bridge. It was a beautiful spot, with an old bridge across a lazy river surrounding by grassy expanses, just perfect for a laze in the sun and a picnic. Of course as soon as we stepped from the car it chucked it down. A picnic sheltering under the tailgate of the car had to suffice 🙂
I’d had grand plans for some Bodmin Moor wild swimming either here in the nearby quarry lakes on Carbilly Tor. The weather was just awful, heavy persistent drizzle and low cloud. In search of inspiration I took a punt that with a northerly wind the southern side of the moors might be drier.
Inspired. As soon as we crossed the A30 the rain stopped and the sun appeared. Smug hat ready. We stopped off for a stroll at Golitha Falls. A series of cascades on the River Fowey and very nice they were too. No major cascades but very pretty with a very large pool at the end for a swim in warmer weather and lots of old mine workings.
Onwards and moor-wards to the wonderfully named village of Minions. Loads of interesting stuff round here and we went out for an explore. The area is full of old mine workings and they create an evocative sense of a past age now long gone
First stop was the summit of Stowe’s Hill with its granite tors. Most famous is the Cheesewring, an impossibly piled collection of rocks perched above a disused quarry.
The views across the moors were impressive and were just begging for a long walk and an explore
As we continued our walk the skies became a mix of sunshine and dark stormy clouds that lit up the tors to great effect.
Onto our next objective, the disused Goldiggins Quarry with its spring fed lake. It looks stunning even under a greyish sky. Another potential spot for a swim but it was still very chilly and there were some people camped there who probably didn’t wish to their evening spoiled by the sight of me splashing about.
The other attraction on Bodmin Moor are the remains of ancient civilisations and stone circles. The local one here is The Hurlers. Have to say that I always find these things of limited interest but this one was impressively sited and the late afternoon light made it an evocative place.
So with our Bodmin Moor itch scratched for the day we headed home to a final sunset.
The British weather gave us a final little slap by delivering a fine warm and sunny day when we needed to go home. We thought it would be nice to spend a last day on the beach before the long journey. As the campsite was half empty and the main summer weeks over I asked if we could leave the camper up for an extra few hours so we could enjoy our last few hours. I was slightly taken aback when this was firmly refused as the owner gave no indication that there was anyone using the pitch that day. We often ask for this favour on campsites when they are not busy and have never been refused before. In fact once on a nearby site when staying in a static I asked the same thing and we were welcomed to stay an extra night and the owners refused to take any extra money for the extra night.
My main concern was having to tow the trailer down the narrow lanes to the beach. I asked if I could just leave the trailer tucked away somewhere on the site which I thought was a perfectly reasonable request. Again this request was flatly refused and we were left in no uncertain terms that we were to be off the site completely by the stated time. Have to say this left a very sour taste after a great week and developing a real affection for the site and it’s location. Some of the conversations around the site seem to indicate a large number of guests have been coming back for years leaving me feeling that the site is little cliquey. It rather ruined my view of the site and despite its fantastic location I doubt I will ever go back. A real shame.
So we towed the trailer down the lanes to the beach and spent a last happy afternoon at Treyarnon Bay. A hot pork sandwich from the beach cafe followed by a swim around the rocks to the rock pool and an ice cream to finish off the trip
A great week despite it being colder than October and no waves. A long wait till the next major holiday but that should be good one – more of that later in the year
A tribute post to the lovely TBF on her Birthday. She was in control of the days activities and kicked off with a bit of body boarding at Harlyn Bay
Me a TJF took a walk along the beach while she played
To be honest the waves were pretty rubbish all week due to the northerly wind as most of the beaches face west. Harlyn Bay however faces north so whilst there wasn’t much natural swell the wind had at least whipped up a bit of surf
I took a load of photos to show TBF in action as a special birthday treat
Lunch was a special request for a cream tea and scones at the very nice Berryfields Farm. The afternoon was a coastal walk from Harlyn Bay again (we had a car park ticket for the day, there’s always room for some frugality even on a Birthday)
The weather was gloriously clear and the water looked invitingly clear – apart from the fact it was still cold and windy!
We were heading for Trevone Bay just around the coast. It has another one of those semi-natural rock swimming pools. A little deeper and smaller than the one at Treyaron. If we’d had swimming stuff with us we’d probably had taken a dip
We wandered down the beach to the watch people trying to make the most of the non-existent waves and then up onto the coast path to look at the Trevone Round Hole, a collapsed sea cave where you can scramble down and through the cave onto the rocks.
Looked a little precarious to me and that’s saying something for a man with precious little sense of danger
The day was finished off with a meal at The View restaurant in St Merryn and very fine it was too. Oh, and another sunset
Happy Birthday TBF
More beach fun and coastal views this time from the local beach at Treyarnon Bay.
One of the main reasons for visiting Cornwall (well for me and the Funsters anyway) is a chance to play in the big Atlantic waves. Kayaking for me, body-boarding for the Funsters. Alas a northerly wind killed the surf so we had to seek alternative enjoyment
Treyarnon is a wonderful beach and has an extra feature in the form of huge natural rock-pool perfect for swimming and jumping.
We spent a very happy hour in the sunshine (and cold wind) playing in its icy waters. TBF was in charge of the camera so you get the dubious honour of seeing photos of me for a change!
Even TJS took a swim which was unusual
We found a lovely warm , sheltered rock shelf to relax and warm up after the swim.
Another coastal walk with the tide extremely low reveals a section of stunning hidden beaches at Pepper Cove, Warren Cove and Fox Cove just by the campsite. It would take some serious and rather edgy looking cliff scrambling to access these gems.
The evening delivered another stunning sunset as we took our regular, cold stroll along the cliffs to finish the day
Next up is a day dedicated to TBF and her Birthday day out 🙂
Time to move on. We were spending the majority of our holiday down near Padstow at a place called Trethias Farm. It’s a splendid place, quiet, walking distance from the beach with stunning coastal views.
The perfect site, or so we thought until the day we left but more of that in a later post.
Our first evening treated us to a spectacular sunset, probably the best part of holiday on the west coast.
After a washout day of dreary rain, things improved and the rest of the week was mainly sunny albeit unseasonably cold with a strong northerly wind for the whole time we were there. We took the short drive to Bedruthan Steps which, as you can see is a spectacular spot.
It’s only accessible at low tide and even then only by a steep set of steps hewn into the rock. Once on the sands on a sunny day its a fabulous spot to spend a couple of hours
Strong currents mean there is no swimming here so wandering about scrambling on the rocks (and through them, there are several caves) and just enjoying the scene are the order of the day
As it’s a taxing climb and more than a 5 second walk from the car its relatively quiet by Cornwall standards
The beach gets its name from the huge rock towers that stud the beach, said to be stepping-stones for the giant Bedruthan. Evocative names as well. Carnewas Island, Pendarves Island, Redcove Island, Samaritan Island, Queen Bess Rock, Diggory’s Island, They add a very photogenic attraction to this superb stretch of golden sand.
It’s pretty much the perfect beach for walking and exploring (if not water-based fun). Loads of secret little corners, and pocket coves with deep turquoise pools in the sand.
Perfect morning activity to work up an appetite for a picnic lunch back at the campsite – and a quick snooze for some
More water based fun to come
Our second holiday of the summer and just the family this time. We’d not been to Cornwall for a few years so time to re-aquaint ourselves and get some more use out of the camper. To beat the traffic of the Bank Holiday weekend we travelled down few days early and stayed a few nights near Bude as we’d never done that part of the coast. Bude was a bit down-market to be honest. Our impression not helped by a full tide and lots of scum floating in the water sea, washed from the farmers fields in recent heavy rains
We stayed just south of Widemouth Bay, itself a few miles south of the main town. Very nice it was too. We stayed on the very welcoming and friendly Penhalt Farm campsite, high above the sea with some fine views.
A quiet, uneventful yet very enjoyable stay. We took a stroll along the coast down to, and across, Widemouth Bay itself
We also took in some body boarding while TJS went for a solo stroll from Crackington Haven back to the campsite along the spectacular coast path. The cliffs here are some of the highest in the SW
In the afternoon we took a family stroll down to Boscastle (via an Ice Cream shop) and had a very fine early evening on the cliffs above the harbour after all the tourists had gone home
Crackington Haven was revisited. Another fine spot for an evening with a cafe doing freshly baked pizzas and a BBQ – perfect for an al-fresco meal if we’d not had a BBQ ourselves at lunchtime. Noted for a return visit
Our stay was completed with a magnificent sunset from the campsite
Short post for a short but enjoyable stay before we moved on further South and West for the rest of the week