John Clarke


John Clarke

Planning our next trip!

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London October 12th 2012

Our final day in London...and indeed of our holiday! We revisited the City and Westminster. After a leisurely wander around the vicinity of the Royal Courts of Justice, Fleet Street and the Strand we ended up at the Temple Church. It was originally built in the late 12th century by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. After the fall of the Knights, the church became Crown property and is now the church of the Inner and Middle Temple, two of London's four Inns of Court. It feels a bit different from a normal visit to a church It is quite hard to find as it is tucked away among the buildings of the Inns of Court, which you enter through a huge but almost nondescript door leading into medieval lanes and passageways. We have to ... read more
Twinings Tea House on the Strand
The George on the Strand
The Royal Courts of Justice, also on the Strand

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London October 11th 2012

Ali had always wanted to visit the area of Lincoln's Inn, mainly because it is featured in a number of Dickens' works. Lincoln's Inn is one of four 'Inns of Court' in London. These are a complex of buildings which house chambers, libraries, chapel etc (and in the past accommodation) for use by the legal fraternity. Right next door is the former home of architect, Sir John Soane which is now a musuem. To quote their website ( "Soane designed this house to live in, but also as a setting for his antiquities and his works of art. After the death of his wife (1815), he lived here alone, constantly adding to and rearranging his collections. Having been deeply disappointed by the conduct of his two sons, one of whom survived him, he determined to establish ... read more
Lincoln's Inn
John Soane's Museum
John Soane's Museum

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London October 10th 2012

The day promised to be fine so we decided to tube it to Hammersmith, follow the Thames Path to Strand-on-the-Green and then go on to Kew Gardens. The Path only leaves the river in a few places and it was extremely pleasant walking on this lovely sunny day. We had a delicious lunch at the Bell and Crown Pub which sits right on the river bank. We were joined by the friend of a friend who lives just a few doors down. She kindly invited us back for coffee and then it was just a short stroll across the bridge to Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens deserves at least a whole day! As we by now we didn't have anywhere near this long we picked a couple of spots to visit. First was the Princess of Wales ... read more
Along the Thames Path
Along the Thames Path
Along the Thames Path

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London October 9th 2012

Yesterday we took the very picturesque train ride from Penzance to London. We're staying in a very small B&B in Notting Hill. Here it feels like you really are staying in someone's front room (which we were!). Every B&B is different, and this one is chock-full of works of art (some of which are painted by the talented owner) and decorated in a distinctively African style. We walked to the Grand Central Canal, via our daughter's favourite lingerie shop in Portobello Rd! The walk along the canal took us to 'Little Venice', where Regent's Canal meets the Grand Central. Even though we don't usually do this kind of thing, we decided to take a ride on one of the tourist "narrow boats" (we were told quite firmly that they are not "barges"!). We're glad we did; ... read more
Little Venice, London
Little Venice, London
Regent's Canal, London

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall October 7th 2012

Despite the light drizzle and looming dark clouds, we decided that even though we had occassionally ventured on to the south west coastal path, today was the day to tackle a complete section. We walked from Mousehole to Lamorna Cove, a mere 7.5 miles or so round trip! The path was very wet and muddy in places and before we made it to Lamorna Cove the rain started falling in earnest. We were sad and sorry specimens by the time we made it home but the anticipation of another great dinner in 'our' local restaurant kept our spirits up!... read more
Coastline from the south west coastal path
A bit muddy!
More coastline

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall October 6th 2012

With the promise of a fine, sunny day we decided to hit the road early (well early for us)! We headed for the Lizard Peninsula and had a lovely day exploring various churches, villages and beaches. As usual there wasn't enough time to fit everything in but we both agreed that it is one of the most beautiful areas in Cornwall.... read more
Mousehole Harbour with St. Michael's Mount in the distance
Dollar Cove
St Winwaloe's Church, Gunwalloe

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall October 5th 2012

Our first stop for the day was Prima Bakery for more pasties! This time John tried a beef and stilton - excellent! One of the reasons we had decided to visit Cornwall was because the trip was in honour of John's pending 50th birthday and it seemed appropriate to visit the land of his forebears (well at least some of them). We are really only half-hearted genealogists but we felt a visit to the Cornwall Family History Society in Truro (administative capital of Cornwall) would be worthwhile. It was - they have an amazing array of resources as well as extremely helpful volunteer staff. Sadly, John's hopes of finding some pirates in the family tree were dashed! They seem to have just been all tin miners! As it was yet another wet day Ali decided it ... read more
The old Coinage Hall, Truro
Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes
Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall October 4th 2012

A fine day saw us checking out a couple of ancient sites - namely Lanyon Quoit (Neolithic) and Men an Tol (Bronze Age). There are so many ancient sites scattered around Cornwall we decided we had to be selective and limit the number we tried to see. Nearby is the little village of Zennor where we found the graves of some of John's paternal ancestors. We thought it appropriate to have a beer in the Tinners Arms - we are certain this is what they would have done! On the way home we called in to Botallack to have a look at some amazing tin mine ruins. The most spectacular are the Crown Mine engine houses which were constructed in 1815 to pump water and so allow submarine mining. The shafts extend 400 metres out under ... read more
Mousehole harbour
Lanyon Quoit
Men an Tol

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall October 3rd 2012

Oh, the sad task of packing up when your really don't want to leave. Even the elements didn't want us to go - it poured - more sleet. As usual though, there's the anticipation of heading off to places unknown. When we were talking to Lynne, who runs the B&B where we stayed in St Cadou in Brittany, she mentioned that her husband ran Prima Bakeries in Cornwall. As our route took us past the bakery right on lunchtime we thought it a good opportunity to call in. We met their lovely daughter who sold us two of, to quote Lynne, 'the best pasties in Cornwall' and in retrospect - yes, we confess we're actually writing this on the plane home!- we agree (well we haven't tried every pastie in Cornwall!). After a bit of searching ... read more
Portreath, Cornwall
Mousehole, Cornwall
Mousehole, Cornwall

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall October 2nd 2012

Today the wet weather we had been expecting finally arrived. After another lazy morning we packed ourselves a lunch and with hopes of the weather clearing headed for Rough Tor (Pron: Row, as in a fight!) and Brown Willy - the second highest and highest points on Bodmin Moor, respectively). The weather didn't clear! After a quick foray to see if there was a protected spot to eat our lunch we very soon found ourselves back in the car! Once our tummies were full we set off with renewed zeal into the cold, wind and by now sleet! We received a few odd looks from the cows as we trudged past them up the side of Rough Tor. We had a decent view from there of Brown Willy, which we decided didn't need climbing today! The ... read more
Bodmin Moor, looking towards Rough Tor
Bodmin Moor, Rough Tor
Bodmin Moor, view from Rough Tor

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