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Published: June 13th 2017
Thursday 8 June we arrived in Newquay, a town on the west coast of England, and once again relied on the Sat/Nav to get us to our B&B in the middle of town where parking is at a premium...our host has two witches hats ready and waiting in the laneway marking our parking spot! The weather wasn't too good but it was heartening to see surfers hoping to catch a wave...they could still be waiting!
Friday morning we drove to Land's End, famous for its unique location and stunning scenery. Land's End is mainland Britain’s most south-westerly point and one of the country’s most famous landmarks. From the 200 foot high granite cliffs that rise out of the Atlantic Ocean you can gaze across to the Longships Lighthouse, the Isles of Scilly twenty eight miles away and beyond that, North America. The day was blustery but we enjoyed the walk. We then headed to the quaint harbour village of Mousehole which is situated just three miles to the west of Penzance and is a lovely harbour village. Cobbled narrow lanes set with granite and slate cottages spiral out from the traditional granite walled Cornish harbour. We walked along the harbour
wall and for lunch had our first Cornish pasty. We set out for Penzance but didn't stop as parking was a nightmare but we did drive through the town before heading back to Newquay.
The country roads and lanes in England certainly are quaint - and very narrow! More often than not a car will pull over slightly to let another car pass and in the villages car parking takes up one side of the road so one ends up driving on the wrong side. Still, it's all very civilised and each driver acknowledges the other with a lift of the hand.
Saturday we headed out to the Eden Project, near St Austell, which is nestled in a huge crater with massive covered Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, Mediterranean landscapes and stunning plant and crop displays. We were very impressed! I had seen an article in our local paper about it so had to check it out. They say mad dogs and englishmen go out in the midday sun - well, they also go out in the rain and it rained! When we left, more people were heading in - the rain certainly didn't stop families
and their dogs and the car park was full! We drove to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Europe's largest garden restoration project which I had read about but as it was still raining, we opted not to go through. Thankfully the next day was dry and sort of sunny so we went back and enjoyed time wandering through these gardens. It's worth Googling to read about its history.
We left bustling Newquay on Sunday and arrived in Plymouth for three nights. Once again, good old Sat/Nav! John is going to buy one in Duty Free on our way home. We found The Walkabout pub just around the corner so settled in there for a few drinks before having dinner at the local casino, upstairs in their dining room. Very nice! We wandered down to the harbour on Monday and found the spot where the pilgrims left for America in 1620. Last year in Boston we walked on a replica of the Mayflower but there wasn't anything like that here. There were some plaques on a building acknowledging the fact that early Cornish settlers set out from here bound for South Australia and also convict ships left here bound for
Port Jackson. The harbour was very quiet Monday morning and a lot of the shops were shut so we wandered back into the city and into St Andrews Church, built in the 12th century and possibly existing in the 8th century - dates that don't "compute" with us! Apparently William Bligh was baptised here in 1754.
Tuesday we drove to Brixham on the south Devon coast. A replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship, Golden Hind, sits in the harbour. It was a goegeous warm and sunny day and all the mad dogs and englishmen were out and about, lapping up the sunshine! Every spot that could be sat on was sat on! We strolled around the village for a few hours, enjoyed lunch at a local pub and headed back to Plymouth.
Tomorrow we are off to Portsmouth for a few days and we are hoping that this terrific weather follows us!
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