Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Holidays in Cornwall, August 2013, Part 2

Following on from what I wrote a couple of days ago in my post Holidays in Cornwall, August 2013, Part 1, I am now going to write about some of the things we did on that holiday.

West Cornwall has a lot to offer the tourist: fabulous and very varied scenery - dramatic cliffs, rugged hills covered with heather and gorse, tiny hamlets of granite-built houses, ancient churches, castles and Iron Age settlements, as well as more modern attractions with something for all ages. Paradise Park at Hayle, for example, has not only rides and play equipment for little children, but also a fine collection of animals too (e.g. Otters and Red Pandas).

Years ago, when our children were young we took them to see the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, near Helston, so it was great to be able to go back again to this place with adult offspring and grandchildren too!

Rescued seal pups enjoying some play-time

Feeding time for the adult seals
Another unmissable attraction is St.Michael's Mount, the dominant feature of the eponymous Mount's Bay.

Formerly a Benedictine abbey, and a Royalist stronghold in the English Civil War, this castle perched on a rocky outcrop watches over the little town of Marazion, from which you can get a boat over to the Mount when the tide is in, or walk across the causeway when it's not.

The children loved visiting the Mount - there is just so much to see. Lara was particularly enthralled with the tale of the giant who once lived there and whose "petrified heart" can still be seen by visitors!

Of course, Cornwall is famous for its beaches and coves too, so we spent some time on the lovely beach at Porthcurno:

Up on the cliffs above Porthcurno there is an open-air theatre called The Minack. I have not been to a performance there, but I know some people who have, and they say that watching a play there is an amazing experience. Even to visit the theatre when there is NOT a show in progress costs a fair bit of money, so we didn't go in, but I can show you the theatre entrance...

In my previous post about this holiday I mentioned the gardens at Trengwainton, but I just want to make a mention of the "Dig for Victory" garden that was there.

It is a re-creation of the sort of allotment that people might have had during the Second World War, when lots of gardens (including those of stately homes like Trengwainton) were dug up in order to cultivate vegetables to supplement food rations. I particularly liked the replica Anderson Shelter (air-raid shelter):

During our visit we had ample opportunity to sample some of the great food that is available in Cornwall - like Saffron Cake, Cornish Pasties, and Cream Teas (tea and scones with clotted cream and jam). Our Panamanian son-in-law Juan Fernando (aka Juanfi) is particularly fond of fish (and ate it on every possible occasion!), so a visit to the fishing port of Newlyn was a must:

On one occasion Fiona and Juanfi ate lunch in a pub in Penzance where the origin of every piece of food was clearly advertised, and it was fascinating to see moored in Newlyn harbour the very boat that had caught the fish that Juanfi had eaten the day before! (It was "Ajax", the blue-and-white one in my photo above). As many of you will know, I don't eat any fish at all, but even I was impressed with the quality and variety of fish on sale in the Newlyn shops:

Hand-dived Scallops were £5 a dozen, and a whole dressed crab only £6.60 a kilo...

These attractions are all well and good, but THIS is what holidays in Cornwall are really about:-


The only bad thing about this holiday was the journey home. Despite travelling on a Friday (supposedly less busy than a Saturday), the 250-mile trip took us 7 hours. The traffic was just crazy!


  1. Your photos look just beautiful! I would love to visit Cornwall or really just about anywhere in Britain someday!

  2. Ah of my favourite vacation memories. Truly wonderful and captured so well in your blog post. Thanks Mark.

  3. Having recently come back from Cornwall myself, I really enjoyed this post. We've always stayed on the north coast, but we've meandered down to the Minack Theatre to take a look around, but haven't seen a play there. I'd like to someday though. We've seen St.Michael's Mount but haven't ventured across as we've had Archie with us, another place where dogs aren't allowed. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary looks a great place to visit with kids, another is the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Sanctuary if you're in the area again, we really enjoyed our visit there. How lovely to know the actual boat which caught your dinner, not many people can say that. I do enjoy fish but don't eat it as often as I'd like as the rest of the family aren't so keen. I loved the photos of Lara and Holly, you're so right, that's what holidays in Cornwall are all about. I made the most of our holiday this year as my son is heading off to university and it will probably be the last holiday we all take together. Rather sad really. We had the worst journey home this year than we've ever had before. 325 miles took us eight hours. Sorry for the essay like comment.

  4. Lovely place to vacation! Your photos are so good. Looks like a perfect holiday.

  5. I remember visiting that seal sanctuary some years ago - good to see it is still going strong.

  6. The pub where your daughter & son in law had lunch sounds like my sort of place. You look like you had a really good holiday.

  7. What a beautiful place by the sea. Now I want to go back to the Maine coast for a spell and breathe in the salt air.


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