After a couple of days with Mark's sister, we drove the 266 miles to Cornwall. Cornwall is in the south-west of England. The Cornish flag is a white cross on a black background. The local language (which I have never actually heard anyone speak, but appears on town-name signs) is Cornish.
The CottageWe stayed in a tiny little two bedroomed cottage -- barely larger than a static caravan. It was a lovely little cottage, but very dusty. Antihistamines and inhalers were needed to get us through the first couple of days. However, a bit of vacuuming and a couple of days of airing it out made it a lot better.
What is a trip to Cornwall without Cornish pasties? OK, one can buy them pretty much anywhere in the UK, but nevertheless, when in Cornwall one must have Cornish pasties. It's actually an unwritten rule.
Hayle EstuaryHayle is a small town on the mouth of the Hayle River. When the tide is in, the beach is fairly extensive. When the tide is out, the entire mouth of the river becomes one big beach.
St. ErthWe stayed in a tiny cottage in St. Erth. I love looking around old churches and St. Erth happens to boast a nice church that was built in the year 1211.
St. Michael's Mount
St. Michael's Mount is an island at high tide, but is accessible by foot at low tide. At it's top there is a medieval castle. St. Michael's Mount has a sister island in Normandy called Le Mont St. Michel. When the tide is high, one accesses the mount by boat, from the mainland town of Marazion. I have visited St. Michael's Mount three times now (caught up with Le Mont St. Michel, which I have also visited three times so far) and have never yet walked across the causeway -- perhaps next time.
St. IvesSt. Ives is a very bustling and touristy little fishing town -- good for pubs, shopping, cream teas and crabbing (off the harbour wall). After some lunch and shopping, we decided to take a boat ride to see the seals that tend to inhabit the rocky outcrops that lie just off the coast. We had the bonus of having a few wild bottle nosed dolphins swim alongside the boat for a while.
Cream TeasAlthough one can actually have a cream tea anywhere in the country, there is something quintessentially Cornish about the cream tea. Scone, jam and clotted cream come together to create a fat, sugary, artery-clogging version of heaven.
Coastal WalksCornwall is great for scenic coastal treks. Some don backpacks and walk from youth hostel to B&B. We did a circular walk that brought us back to the tiny village of Zennor, where we had parked.
Zennor itself boasts a lovely old church with a Norman tower, that dates back to 1150 AD, although previous churches on the same site are known to have existed from as early as the sixth century. There is also a lovely old pub (13th century) that serves good, old fashioned, hand pulled, real ale (all the more lovely after having been in America) and is famous for having D.H. Lawrence live there. The village is also home to a number of dairy farms and Cornwall's oldest privately owned museum.
We went on a very beautiful coastal walk along the cliff tops. There were some beautiful coves en route and if the tide were out we would have spent some time on their beaches. As it was, we just enjoyed the view. Back at Zennor, we rewarded ourselves with a well deserved pint or so of real ale at the Tinner's Arms.