Tour De Cornwall – Week 2

At the end of our first week we moved to the north of Cornwall for our second seven night home. This is the story of that week. We will continue exactly where we left off.

Day 9 – Having left Loweneck Barn we made our way north. Destination was Talehay holiday cottages which was south of Liskeard and not far north of Polperro and Looe. We left the barn at around 9:30 and the journey was only scheduled to take around 90 minutes. Not being able to check in till 3pm meant we had time to kill. Therefore instead of heading straight for the cottage we made for Bodmin. Parking was easily found right in the heart of Bodmin. The tourist information centre was only yards away. Just next door was a free admission museum of Bodmin history. Donation was expected but we literally had no money so “sorry” for being cheap skates!

A walk through Bodmin town centre was if truth be told underwhelming. Bodmin had an “end of the line” feel with the high street not what you would maybe expect in a well known Cornish town. It was functional but not a street or indeed town centre you would be rushing back to. Apologies to any locals reading this but that’s just the way we felt. We had no plans to return on our week in the area and we didn’t. After Bodmin we made for Liskeard where we stocked up on our supplies. A bite of lunch and soon time was rolling round to mid-afternoon so we headed for Talehay.

corn13Thanks to the wonders of the web and Google Street View we knew what to expect when arriving at Talehay and we weren’t disappointed. Superb location with an excellent selection of cottages. The owner lived in the main building but most of the property was given over to holiday lets. Ours was called “The Barn” and in the picture to the left is on the right hand side of the building in focus. Lounge and kitchen downstairs with one double bedroom and pleasant modern bathroom upstairs. Small but perfectly adequate for our needs.

After a chat with the owner we settled into the Barn and spent the rest of the day on site.

Day 10 – As with the previous Sunday we decided to leave the engine switched off today and use foot power. A look at the OS map showed Polperro was only four or five miles away so off we set. An enjoyable ramble through the Cornish countryside followed. The now expected narrow single track roads with high hedges. The sun was out and it was a lovely day for a walk. After 90 minutes or so we reached what turned out to be the top end of Polperro. Unfortunately a map reading error convinced us, err me, that Polperro wasn’t straight on (which it was) but right up a hill. Net result of this map reading malfunction was that a five minute stroll down into Polperro actually took us up hill and down dale, through farm land and eventually into Polperro from the other side. In short what should have been five minutes took more like an hour. But hey, it was a nice day and we saw more of the surrounding countryside that we would have otherwise!

corn8Polperro is exactly as it says on the tin. A classic Cornish fishing village. Another description would be a tourist hot spot. Even on a Sunday in early season the village was packed. The narrow streets perhaps make it feel busier than it is but I wouldn’t like to be in town in high summer. Must be pretty claustrophobic! The picture to the right shows Polperro harbour. We sat down close by and ate our well earned lunch.

After lunch we continued to wander round the village. Eventually we decided to head for home. This time we would follow the main road. First thing to note there is a serious lack of pavements around here. The steep uphill hike out of Polperro had to be done walking into the oncoming traffic. Not a problem but not very walker friendly on a really busy day. After a couple of miles we did veer off the main road back onto the country lanes and were grateful to be away from the traffic again. With feet beginning to ache we reached Pelynt and another mile or so later were home. In total something like 11 miles were covered and we had certainly earned our scones when we got back to the Barn.

Rest of the day was spent at home with two dogs fast asleep in front of the fire.

corn18Day 11 – Just along the coast from Polperro is the much larger town of Looe. Talking of large the car park we used must be the largest car park I’ve ever seen. Must have been umpteen football pitches worth. If it ever gets full then Looe would have to be full to bursting. That said I’m sure it probably does get full in summer as Looe like Polperro is aimed firmly at the tourist market.

The town is actually split in half by the East Looe river. On the east bank there seem to be more holiday lets, hotels and residential areas. The west side is where all the chip shops, pasty takeouts, pubs and amusements are to be found. Also on the west is the main beach. Unfortunately this was a non dog friendly beach but the slipway near the lifeboat station provided a spot for a canine paddle. An hour or so of Looe and we decided to head on somewhere else. That somewhere else was just up the coast in a nice spot called Seaton. Unlike Looe the beach here was dog friendly and also unlike Looe it was almost empty. A great place to spend some time. We had lunch here before the dogs had a swim. After Seaton we looked at the map and decided to keep going west as we made for Torpoint.

corn9The reason we headed to Torpoint was that it would give us a good view over to Plymouth. As it happened we got more than a good view. To explain. Torpoint has a busy ferry connection to Plymouth with sailings there and back every few minutes. Not by design we ended up in the ferry queue. As it happens we could have got out of it but decided instead to hop aboard and leave Cornwall for Devon. Glad we did as Plymouth was well worth a visit. A huge place in comparison to anywhere we’d visited so far on our trip but just as fascinating. The place everybody has heard of is The Hoe so that was where he headed to. A parking spot right next to The Hoe was found and with the sun beating down we went for a walk.

After the Hoe we set the compass back for Cornwall. One thing to note. In returning to Cornwall you head over the Tamar Road Bridge. This is actually a toll bridge but only on the way from Cornwall to Devon i.e. not the way we were going!

corn22Day 12 – As this was an area Deena had visited as a child two places in particular were familiar to her. The first was Polperro and the second Lostwithiel. Polperro was done a couple of days ago so today it was the turn of Lostwithiel. Straight away it has to be said Lostwithiel was a beautiful little town. Quiet, not particularly aimed towards tourists but none the worse for it. We spent a good couple of hours here. There was a handy little bit of river where the dogs were able to have a swim. Also nipped to the station to watch the Penzance train arrive and head on it’s way again. After that we bought some lunch and dined out by the river. Really did enjoy our time in Lostwithiel. Somewhere I could imagine living if the opportunity ever arose!

corn24Carrying on from Lostwithiel we made for St. Austell and more specifically the village of Charlestown. Here there is to be found something relatively unique, a dog friendly museum! An interesting collection of bits and pieces from the world of shipwrecks and sea faring in general. Was always on alert that the dogs might bark or “cock a leg”. Thankfully they didn’t and instead were on their best behaviour.

corn19Day 13 – Today we decided to have a car free day. We therefore walked the three or so miles from Talehay to Lansallos. The first part of the route was the same as Sunday but after that it was up hill before the walk down into the tiny village of Lansallos. Why did we walk here? Well it’s simple. A dog friendly beach. Not only that a secluded and very quiet spot. Was a fair trek down from the village and for those with small children or prams forget it. Same goes for anyone with a wheelchair. It’s a long, steep and at times narrow winding path down to the cove. Worth it if you can manage but just to be aware that reaching Lansallos is only half the battle!

Ocne there the dogs loved it. Unfortunately Toby took his bark count to new levels. Fortunately those already on the beach also had dogs so didn’t mind. After an hour or so we had the place to ourselves anyway. Whether this was connected to Toby’s barking is unclear!

corn14Day 14 – With just a couple of days to go we agreed that today would be our last road trip. The destinations were Newquay and Padstow. Had been to Padstow before but Newquay was virgin territory. I’ve described Newquay since we were there to people as  Magaluf meets Skegness with surfers thrown in. As far away from somewhere like Lostwithiel as you could imagine. Extremely tourist driven with sandy beaches, pubs, cafes and amusements galore. Almost a Blackpool feel. Nothing bad about that just not the side of Cornwall we were that bothered about seeing. Probably a great place to go for families with kids. For us worth a visit but not somewhere we will likely head back to. The dogs though appreciated the chance of a paddle. Word of warning the car parking was extremely expensive. Almost £4 for just two hours!

After Newquay we headed up the coast to Padstow AKA PadStein after the famous TV chef. Like Newquay, Padstow is also aiming very much for tourists but is a more traditional Cornish fishing village. More our cup of tea. A check of the watch showed it was approaching 2:45. Rick Stein’s chippy closes at 3:00 in the afternoon. Not to worry. Plenty of time and soon we were munching on our second Rick Stein fish supper of the holiday. As ever it was delicious. A walk round the village and when done we headed for home. The end of our last big day out of the holiday.

corn20Day 15 – As with our last day at the first cottage the plan was to stay close to base. Allow some time for a tidy up and to begin packing. Therefore we made for Fowey. This involved a loop round through Lostwithiel for the last time. Said it before but we really liked Lostwithiel. Fowey was similar to Padstow without the Rick Stein outlets everywhere. Enjoyed a pasty and coffee by the water. Confession time. This was actually our one and only locally baked pasty of the holiday. We did have a Ginsters effort in week one but this one today was the only pasty consumed that wasn’t out of a packet. I went against tradition and had Chili in mine while Deena stuck to the tried and trusted ingredients.

Rather than going back via Lostwithiel we instead took the car ferry over to Bodinnick. Takes about a minute and runs all day back and forth. From here we took what is known as the Lanteglos Highway. In rural Cornish terms it is indeed a highway with two lanes and a dotted white line! Extremely rare for these parts but perhaps to do with it being the road to the Fowey ferry. Soon we were back at base and other than one more night in the cottage our holiday was almost at an end.

Day 16 – Up bright and early. Breakfast, one last hoover of the cottage, a chat with the owner and we were off. Took us about eight hours to get back to Larbert and reality. Cornwall seemed a long way away. I think we’ll probably be back!

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