UK 2018: Part 4
Cornwall! Hurrah! Home of many of my childhood holidays. I couldn’t wait!
We arrived in good time. In fact, we were early. We parked and took a stroll around the town.
Liskeard is inland and so it doesn’t have the same quaint feel of the seaside towns. It does, however, have all you need on a day to day basis – stores, supermarkets, banks, a post office and restaurants. And those all important charity shops which are such a feature of every town these days. The one thing Liskeard does have, is a train station with great links to the rest of the country.
We got a little sidetracked during our first visit to Liskeard town and overstayed in the pay-and-display car park. Luckily Liskeard didn’t seem to have traffic wardens!
Our next TrustedHouseSitters pet sit was for a truly delightful, friendly couple in a super cozy home with two cats, Oz and James. They were brothers who didn’t share a particularly brotherly bond. They tolerated each other but had no intention of being friends!
They took their time warming to us but we were soon on good terms, albeit their terms!
They slept…a lot! But also made full use of the cat flap, garden and surrounding area. They were just down to earth, straightforward cats!
For Oz, sleeping was of course an important part of his day, but he also pursued more practical past-times; cooking, computer programming and crafts (such as basketry) to name just a few.
James, on the other hand, was more into inner self improvement. Regular stretching sessions, yoga and meditation!
Liskeard is really well placed for visiting the rest of Cornwall. It’s slap bang between the north and south Cornish coasts and so all those idyllic places you’ve heard of are not more than an hour or so away. We used our hire car regularly but also took the train on a few occasions – it’s great not to have to worry about finding parking.
I should mention that Cornwall is famous for its narrow, high banked, rural roads. Please believe me when I say NARROW and HIGH BANKED. Although we opted for the smallest, cheapest rental car we could find, which is usually the charming Fiat 500, we were upgraded to a VW Golf. This was a total bonus, especially for me as the Golf has been my car of choice for years. However, even the width of this compact motor gave us a few scary moments when we wondered if we would still have the wing mirrors by the end of the journey. How people drive at speed in 4X4s on those roads is beyond my imagination. I had my eyes closed most of the time when they passed us, and I was the one driving our car!
Looe was a short car journey from Liskeard and was our first serious introduction to the narrow roads I mentioned. Even with a relatively slow driving speed we could get there in round 20 minutes.
It’s a really quaint fishing town. This is an expression that sums up so many of our Cornish destinations. I’ll do my best to think of different descriptions for our future locations!
If you like clean sea breezes, fantastic views, a sandy beach, coastal path walking, fish and chips, and ice cream you’ll love Looe. It has all of that and a few little extras to boot!
This rather blurry picture is of me, Lou, outside a storefront called ‘In Lieu’ , in Looe!
I told you it was quaint!
Cornwall: St. Ives
You may have heard the old nursery rhyme…
“As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, each cat had seven kits. Kits, cats, sacks, and wives. How many were there going to St. Ives?”
So what d’you think is the answer?
I have good but vague memories of family holidays at St. Ives. I don’t remember there being such large crowds though. Cornwall has seen it’s summer visitors increase due to successful tourism campaigns. More tourists can be a bit double edged though!
Thank goodness we took the train!
St. Ives was the furthest south we travelled. It’s on the north Cornish coast and is of course a fishing town but this one is full of really good arts and crafts. Great for browsing!
Oh, alright! For eating too!
We spent an entertaining evening at Sterts Theatre, which was less than a 10 minute drive from Liskeard.
Sterts is the brainchild of Ewart and Ann Sturrock. They were convinced that there was a need to provide an arts and environmental centre designed to fulfill a long existing desire for children, young people and adults to meet and work together in a creative environment. After many years of pursuing their vision the Sterts Open Air Theatre opened on 2nd June 1990. This represented a huge achievement for the centre and also a milestone for the arts in Cornwall. Although the opening night, (Othello directed by Ewart), was performed to 300 people sheltering under umbrellas, only 3 performances were stopped by rain that summer.
Luckily for us, the performances now take place under a huge waterproof canopy. This keeps the audience dry but also ensures there’s a wonderous feeling of being outdoors. We took cushions and a blanket so were super comfy as we sat back to watch the enormous cast, of all ages, perform ‘Oliver Twist’. This is a must do experience.
It took us about 50 minutes from Liskeard. We drove which meant we spent quite a while finding parking. To be honest I found Newquay a little disappointing. Way to many trashy tourist shops and arcades. The beach area is picturesque but busy.
I wouldn’t want to carry my weekly groceries up those steps and across the bridge!
We stayed long enough to eat fish and chips overlooking the beach, then headed out, taking the opportunity to use our extra time to stop off on the way back to Liskeard.
Bodmin is one of Cornwall’s oldest towns and the home of the famous Bodmin Jail. We didn’t stay long enough to visit the jail but did manage to sample the charity stores and some brownies!
If you’re a Poldark fan, or maybe just lust after Aidan Turner or Eleanor Tomlinson, you’ve probably seen Charlestown on the TV. This place was an unexpected bonus find.
It’s an authentic Georgian working port so it’s like stepping back in time, as long as you can ignore the ice cream vans and restaurants. We spent a lovely afternoon exploring the port and walking the breezy coastal path.
Our reward was an indulgent meal!
All of this and we were still only about half way through our Cornish adventures.
Stay tuned campers!