Bournemouth - Dartmoor National Park - Marazion


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May 24th 2015
Published: May 28th 2015
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This morning we set off down to Cornwall, specifically to St Michael's Mount which is linked to the mainland at Marazion by a causeway at low tide. When the tide is in visitors are taken across to the island by boat. We visited St Michael's Mount on our first trip to the UK in 1993 although I should say - attempted to visit - because when we arrived the rain and fog was so bad that we could barely see the mount. In the end we thought that it was just too miserable to be bothered going across to St Michael's Mount and we decided that we would just have to come back another time to make the trip across to visit the castle and gardens.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself - first we set the Sat-Nav for Lyme Regis. We decided that it would be a good place to stop to break our journey and have a stretch. We parked the car and walked down to the harbour. You have to admire the fortitude of the English people who have decided to spend their bank holiday long weekend on the coast and are determined to sit on the beach even though it is really cold! Lyme Regis is situated on the 'Jurassic Coast' where a significant number of fossil finds have been made. We spent enough time in town to realise that it has a rich and varied history that deserves to be explored further. Put it on the list for a possible visit in the future!

We had sort of planned to proceed towards Cornwall via Plymouth, but we set the Sat-Nav for our final destination of Marazion and Ken decided that we should travel there via the A30 rather than the A38. I wanted to visit Plymouth for no other reason than Captain Cook set sail from Plymouth on each of his great voyages of discovery. It was only when we started to head north-west around Dartmoor National Park, rather than south-west, that we realised which route had been planned for us.

It was about lunchtime so we stopped at Cheriton Bishop for a bite to eat and some debate over how we would proceed with our journey. We had seen some signs for the National Trust property Castle Drogo so we though that we might go to have a look at the castle. While we were waiting for our lunch to be brought out to us we browsed through some Dartmoor National Park magazines. As luck would have it, one of these featured an article about the extensive restoration work currently underway at the Castle so we decided that we wouldn't visit due to all the scaffolding that is in place.

One of the staff at the cafe asked us if we were staying in the National Park or just passing through. When we said that we were just passing through she suggested that we should at least drive over the moor rather than around the moor. With the weather poised to go either way she admitted that it would be a bit of a gamble because it would be a lovely drive if the weather held, but not so good if it started to rain!

We decided that we would drive over the moor so headed towards Mortonhampstead on some tiny single track roads hemmed in by hedgerows. The hedgerows are very pretty at the moment with their fresh green leaves and white, yellow, pink and blue flowers. I have no idea what the flowering plants in the hedgerows are, but they make for a very colourful springtime show as you drive amongst them.

From Mortonhampstead we continued over the moor on B3212 through Postbridge where we stopped to take photos of the old clapper bridge and the more recent arched stone bridge. We also saw some Dartmoor Ponies and some sheep with their lambs as we drove over the moor. The members of the MG Club were out for the day on a 'Moor to Sea' rally so we saw quite a few MGs heading in the opposite direction.

The weather was quite variable - we had some clear spells and quite good views over the moor, but a couple of times the cloud descended and it started to drizzle lightly.

We took the B3557 down towards Tavistock and then the A390 to Liskeard where we picked up the A38. Near Bodmin we intersected with the A30 which took us the rest of the way to Marazion. With the weather continuing to be cloudy with occasional sunny patches we were hoping that it wouldn't close in completely and prevent us from being able to see St Michael's Mount ... again! However, as we arrived in Marazion, we were relieved to be able to see the mount perched off the coast. So, our final approach into Marazion was visually pleasing, but what an assault on our noses; the smell was decidedly, um, rural as it seemed that the local farmers had been spreading manure on their fields!!

Determined to make sure that we had some photos of St Michael's Mount on our memory cards, we parked near the beachfront and took a few photos before making our way to our B&B. Bernie decided to spend a bit more on a luxury B&B for the next couple of nights as a birthday treat. Our room was very spacious and included a lovely view of the mount.

Bernie booked a table at Ben's Kitchen for tonight. This is a local restaurant with a very good reputation ... and excellent Trip Advisor reviews! With it being a long weekend the restaurant is opening on Sunday night and closing on Monday night so we needed to dine at Ben's tonight if we were going to enjoy a nice meal for Bernie's birthday. Since it was already his birthday in Australia and Facebook birthday greetings had already been received, it didn't seem to be too much of a stretch to treat the meal as his birthday outing ... even though it was still the 24th of May locally.

As we walked back to the B&B from the restaurant we took some photos of the floodlit castle on St Michael's Mount ... hand held and using the sea wall for support because our tripods were back at the B&B!



Steps for the day 9,303 (6.34 km)


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29th May 2015
Dartmoor foal

Wonderful
Lovely picture, wanna be there riding it.
30th May 2015
St Michael's Mount

Happy Birthday, Bernie!
I hope you do make it out to St. Michael's Mount, which looks so like my beloved Le Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy; it would be a proper birthday present! How lovely to get a recommendation from your lunch staff that led you over the moors--another b'day present, I suppose. Love the ponies, lambs and postbridge. Happy travels in your new year!
31st May 2015
St Michael's Mount

Mont St Michel is beautiful too!
Hi Tara, thank you for Bernie's birthday wishes. We caught the boat out to St Michael's Mount on the 25th and enjoyed our exploration of the castle and the amazing gardens. I think we visited Mont St Michel before we started blogging on this site. When we return home I'll have to try to remember to find our photos and post a couple here. Bernie's photos of Mont St Michel are pretty good ... even if I say so myself. We got up early and took some amazing early morning photos of the mont reflected in the tidal estuary. I looked up your blog the other day and you don't seem to have posted for a while. Are you still on your epic travels in South America or are you back in California at the moment? Cheers, Tracey.

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