Time to keep up with times so my first road trip in the UK happened this week, a five days trip in Cornwall and 950 miles driven.
The destinations are in chronological order and the details are kept to basics so will not become to boring. I will add tips and hacks now and then, from my personal experience, and hopefully to enhance the experience of future holidaymakers.
Callestick Farm (Callestick, Truro TR4 9LL)
The Callestick Farm is just moments away from the North Cornwall coastline. This place was the first stop, even before getting the key to the accommodation. The Callestick Farm Ice-cream is well-known, being a champion brand with many awards. You can find it in shops, terraces and restaurants but I wanted to visit the HQ. The champion Cornish ice cream is made for generations to the original family recipe, with free range milk from 300 strong grass fed herd that graze naturally on the farm.
Tintagel Castle (Castle Rd, Tintagel PL34 0HE)
Built half on the mainland and half on a jagged headland projecting into the Cornish sea, the Tintagel Castle is one of the most spectacular historic sites in Britain. The association with the legendary King Arthur makes it one of Cornwall top attractions. History and legend are inseparable at Tintagel, and the views are breath taking. Between the 5th to the 7th century AD it was an important stronghold, the Cornwall rulers residence of rulers. Legends are saying that this was the place where Arthur and Merlin lived, while other writers are linking the love story of Tristan and Iseult with Tintagel.
The associations with legend led the hugely rich and ambitious Richard, Earl of Cornwall, to build a castle here in the 1230s. Long after the castle had fallen into decay, the mythical associations kept interest in Tintagel alive.
The mainland section of the castle is in two parts, the lower and upper wards. The lower ward is the courtyard forming the entrance to the whole castle, and enclosed on the south-east and north-east sides by a curtain wall. The inner ward, on the island, contained the castle’s Great Hall, built on a sheltered, man-made terrace. The main focus of activity on the summit of the island is the area around the chapel.
The Adult ticket costs £16.00 while the entry for children between 5 and 17 years is £9.60. Parking is available along the route, the closest being about 10 minutes walk from the gate. Make sure you have coins, parking apps and cards as some parking meters being limited to only one option. The drive up to Tintagel is quite adventurous with narrow country roads through the woods.
Trebarwith Strand (PL34 0HB)
Just 2 miles down from Tintagel, through the same narrow country roads, lays the popular beach of Trebarwith Strand, one of the few easily accessible beaches along this stretch of North Cornwall coast. The beach at Trebarwith Strand is a long stretch of golden sand backed by flat rocks and steep cliffs. At low tide the beach extends almost a mile , however as the tide pushes in this all but disappears leaving just the rocks at the base of the cliffs. If you do visit the beach make sure you check the tides before going for a walk as each year a number of people need rescuing after becoming cut off by the tide. Unfortunately, this visit was linked to the Tintagel Castle tour, and at beach was covered by the tide. Make sure you have coins as the parking is coins only.
The Minack Theatre Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JU)
The Minack Theatre is built on a cliff side, with lots of steep steps and is listed as one of the world's most spectacular theatres. There is access for wheelchairs and disabled visitors to the top levels of the site, toilets and a balcony with great views over the theatre and the bay, however, it is imposible for them to reach the lower levels. The parking is free for those who booked tickets. The open-air theater was constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. The season runs each year from May to September, and over 80,000 people a year see a show, and other 100,000 pay an entrance fee to look around the site. The Minack's gardens are one of the most inspiring features of the site, as the planted cliffs will look wonderful all year, with something in flower every month of the year.
The 700 seats open-air theatre was planned, built and financed by Rowena Cade. Tickets to visit and for daytime storytelling shows are £6 for adults, £3 for age 12 – 15 and £1 for age 2 – 11. For shows, the booking must be made in advance and price may vary. The seating is on either grass or concrete terraces and individual concrete seats can be selected when booking.
Porthcurno Beach (Porthcurno, Cornwall TR19 6JX)
Described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, the Porthcurno Beach has won many awards. The beach is 2 minutes away from Minack Theatre, and has fine soft white sand washed by a sea that turns turquoise in the sun. The large beach, has a stream that flows down one side which is great for kids to paddle in. This beach is one of the most photographed beach in the UK.
The Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, that tells the story of Cornwall’s role in the pioneering days of global communications. Cables from here were buried beneath the beach and then laid on the seabed all over the world. The Telegraph Museum parking has card and coins options, while the National Trust one was coin only parking meters.
Land's End (TR19 7AA)
Land's End is the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall and England. This attraction can be linked with the Minack Theatre visit. Land's End has a particular resonance because it is often used to suggest distance. The Longships, a group of rocky islets are just over 1 mile offshore, and together with the Seven Stones Reef and the Isles of Scilly are part of the mythical lost land of Lyonesse, referred to in Arthurian literature. The complex has shops, pubs, and 4D experiences for kids.
St.Michael Mount (TR17 0HS)
The tidal island in Mount's Bay is a civil parish linked to the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water. St Michael's Mount is one of 43 unbridged tidal islands that one can walk to from mainland Britain, and has been the site of a monastery from the 8th to the early 11th centuries. The parking nearby is £4.50, however, you can park on the road for 30 minutes if you want to make some pictures for Instagram and continue the tour. When open, the adult tariff for the garden is £8.50 and £4 for a child. National Trust members have free entry.
The Lizard Peninsula and the Lizard Point (Landewednack, Helston TR12 7NT)
The Lizard Peninsula cliffs are shaped by the Atlantic and welcomes tourists with white beaches, turquoise seas and unique nature. The Lizard Point is the UK's most southerly point. Guglielmo Marconi chose the Lizard for his radio transmission station, which was part of the first transatlantic radio message, and the flat Goonhilly Downs are home to an earth station currently working on a Moon exploration project.
Recently restored by the National Trust, it looks as it did in January 1901, when Marconi received the distance record signals of 186 miles (299 km) from his transmitter station at Niton, Isle of Wight. The parking is free for National Trust members, while non-members will need the PaybyPhone parking app. I highly recommended to install it before the visit as the phone signal and internet is close to non-existent once you reach Lizard Point.
Kynance cove (TR12 7PJ)
The Kynance Cove is a cove on the eastern side of Mount's Bay, north of Lizard Point. This visit was linked with Lizard point and St. Michel Mount. Kynance Cove and the surrounding coast are owned and managed by the National Trust, so their members have free parking in the area.
The rocks at the car park, cliffs to the south and the path to the cove are bastite serpentine, which is the primary serpentine on the Lizard. The rock is coarse-grained with large shiny crystals of bastite which give a flecked appearance. The islands and stacks within the cove and the valley are of tremolite serpentine which is fine-grained and banded. Tremolite is different from bastite serpentine because it was subject to higher pressure within the crust.
There are a number of small tidal islands and stacks within Kynance Cove, and the nearby beach is sandy. You can enjoy the views and have a picnic on the cliffs, or trek along the coast all the way up to The Lizard.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan (PL26 6EN)
Heligan is one of the most mysterious estates in England. Lost to the brambles of time since the outbreak of WW1, today Heligan’s 200 acres are a paradise for the explorer, wildlife, plant lover and garden romantic. The gardens include enormous rhodedondrons and camellias, as well as a series of lakes fed by ram pump. They include Europe's only remaining pineapple pit and two large sculptures known as the Mud Maid and Giant's Head.
Adults Garden Admission is £16.00 and the Child Garden Admission is £8.00
Eden Project (Bodelva, Par PL24 2SG)
The Eden Project is popular for the biomes, and the plants that are collected from many diverse climates and environments. The project is located in a reclaimed china clay pit. The complex is dominated by two huge enclosures, housing thousands of plants. The largest of the two biomes simulates a rainforest environment and the second, a Mediterranean environment. The attraction has an outside botanical garden, with plants and wildlife native to Cornwall.
The covered biomes are constructed from a tubular steel with mostly hexagonal external cladding panels made from the thermoplastic ETFE. The Adult ticket costs £28.50, child aged 5–16 costs £15 while children under 5 have free entry.
Newquay Zoo (Trenance Gardens, Newquay, TR7 2NN)
The Zoo is situated in the heart of Newquay and doesn't have it's own parking, sharing the nearby parking with a College and other venues. The pay for parking you will require the JustPark app. Adult £15.25 per ticket Adult, child 3-15 years £11.45 while children under 3 have free entry. The zoo hosts over 160 different species, playgrounds, indoor and outdoor picnic areas and shops.
Blue Reef Aquarium (Towan Promenade, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1DU)
No parking available as the Aquarium is on the Promenade, overlooking Towan beach. To reach the Aquarium from the above streets, use the stairs towards the beach. Juniors 3 - 12 years will be charged £8.75 while the Standard Ticket costs £11.30. The aquarium shop has themed gifts, souvenirs, toys and posters.
Newquay local beaches are ideal for surfing, snorkelling and splashing around. Watergate Bay is popular for surfing, while the huge sandy Perranporth is known for surfing and snorkelling. Fistral Beach and Port Beach are sheltered beaches, with headlands on both sides. Lusty Glaze Beach is a local secluded cove on the outskirts, privately owned, but free for the public.
Poldark film locations
If you are a Poldark fan, there are many film locations around Cornwell, many places from the movie, where you can discover the glistening blue waters, lush countryside and craggy cliffs. You can visit Charlestown, Botallack, Holywell Bay and Porthgwarra. The scenes featuring the exterior of Ross Poldark’s cottage, Nampara, are shot on the wild and rugged Bodmin Moor along with many capturing the cast on horseback. It’s also the site of the miners’ cottages, such as the one that Ross gives to Jim Carter and his wife Jenny, and is home to Dr Dwight’s original cottage.
With its pure white sand, turquoise waters and serpentine rock-towers, Kynance Cove makes the perfect setting for Poldark. It’s one of Cornwall’s most famous beaches so is a natural in front of the camera and provides long panning aerial shots, including clifftop riding scenes and the opening sequence of series two. This is also where Ross is marched at the hands of his arresting officers, towards Truro jail, having just been apprehended at St Agnes Head. The wild qualities of this windswept headland and wild-flower strewn cliffs at The Lizard provided the location for many of Poldark’s charges on horseback.
To try while in Cornwall
Obviously the traditional Cornish Pasty, fish dishes and crab sandwich
My author page: PV Mihalache
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