Ahoy me mateys.
Fire the canons and pass the grog! Here we be in Penzance. Home of th’ pirates and us fer th’ last three nights. (That’s enough pirate talk as me throat has gone ‘oarse and th’ parrot has long flown away).
It was such a stunningly beautiful sunny day on Friday. We woke up from our food coma from the previous evenings five coarse feast at Fifteen Cornwall, and rolled ourselves down the stairs and into the hire car for the beginning of our driving holiday. With Chloe as our chauffeur, we left Newquay after a quick walk around Fistral Beach and headed to St Ives.
I had read that it was best to use the park and ride at Lelant Saltings rather than risk driving around looking for a parking spot in crowded St Ives. Also the twelve minute train ride that rims the Hayle estuary before spilling out onto the coast, is touted as one of Britain’s best train journeys. It didn’t disappoint.We spent the next few hours in blazing sunshine walking the cobbled streets of this seaside village, that is listed as one of the most favorite holiday destinations in the UK. No doubt the icecream vendors were making a nice profit on this fine day. We managed to luck out and grab a table outside the popular Sloop Inn in the middle of the mayhem. This establishment has been appeasing the thirsty sailors and now tourists since 1312. A great place to settle with a beer (or cider) and people watch for a while.
Then it was back in the car and onto the Minack Theatre. Our weather app had predicted foul weather for the next few days, so we thought that we should drive past Penzance and go to the Minack whilst the sun was still shining. In the end, it was a great decision. The Minack Theatre, perched high above the granite cliffs of Porthcurno Beach, four miles east of Lands End. The amazing Rowena Cade made it her life’s work to personally build this imposing outdoor theatre with just the help of her elderly gardener. Unfortunately the theatre season finished last weekend but we were still able to wonder around and have a cream tea in the shop whilst perched over the Atlantic Ocean.
Saturday was wet, grey and drab. Google told us about the Farmer’s Market at Helston which was suppose to be one of the biggest and best in Cornwall. Crowded into the Old Cattle Market, the local wares were fine but on this soggy day, very limited. A local told us to ditch our plan of walking around the Lizard, the most southerly point of the UK, as it would just be a slip sliding affair, and suggested a trip to Falmouth instead. A good call, as we spent the rest of the day popping in and out of the quirky shops on the main street. No trip to this seafaring town is complete without a visit to the National Maritime Museum. Sheltered from the rain, we wandered around the exhibits which included a lesson on Captain Bligh- Myth, Man and Mutiny. They even had a few treasures from Pitcairn which I found amusing.
Today we woke to grey skies but no rain. A late start saw us drive into Mousehole (just 2 miles west of Penzance) for a late brunch. The town surrounds the very protected boat harbour. We sat in the cafe and watched the tide sweep out as all the boats grounded on the mud.
Low tide is also the best (and only) time to walk the causeway to St Michael’s Mount, the castle on the hill that dominates the view of the bay. Bronze age settlers, monks, pilgrims and soldiers have all left their mark on the Mount, and now so to have the Australians. The castle is home to the St Aubyn family who have lived there since the 17th century and reside there still. We trekked up on the slippery cobbled stone path and toured the impressive castle. As you would expect, the views from the top made the treacherous climb worthwhile.
Lastly, no trip to this corner of the country is complete without paying the five pound parking fee to visit Land’s End. Which is what we did. And I have a picture to prove it.
So as th’ fog sets ‘n, it now be time t’ bid farewell t’ this corner o’ th’ world and start settin’ th’ sails t’ north.
Now whar’s me parrot?