Dallying In Wells

Although not strictly part of my “Coast & Cornwall” trip, I took the opportunity to stop off in picturesque Wells, in Somerset, on my way back home, via a stop in Wiltshire to visit friends. I’d seen the Cathedral on a previous trip, but I had never visited the Bishop’s Palace Gardens, which are well worth a visit:

[The Bishop’s Prison is in the garden, tucked away in a shady corner]

You can wander around the grounds, ruins and building which still stand, including the peaceful Chapel:

[The quiet Chapel in the Bishop’s Palace]

There is also a restaurant serving lunches and teas, but on this occasion, their patio was unoccupied:

[Even the chairs on the patio have a churchey theme!]

There are also plenty of flowers to attract the attention, here’s one I can’t identify, but I loved the deep pink colours:

[Cerise pink flowers on a green background]

See a few more photos taken today.

Coast & Cornwall Day 9 – Tintagel & Boscastle

I set off from Padstow this morning with a hazy sky above, but by late morning it had burned off a bit. I had a look around the ancient village of Tintagel and King Arthur’s alleged castle. It’s a stiff climb up the cliffs but the views from the top are worth it:

[View from high up on the cliffs at Tintagel, with ruins and the rocky cove below]

My next stop was just a few miles up the road, to the bustling village of Boscastle, star of the BBC’s “A Country Parish” which was devastated by a massive flash flood in August 2004. They are still rebuiling parts of it, although most of the shops and houses are back to normal. Here’s an innocuous view of low tide in the 16th Centuary harbour:

[A few boats sitting quietly in Boscastle Harbour at low tide]

My final stop of the coastal tour was back in Devon, at Westward Ho!, where I found a nice restaurant for dinner, after exploring the pebbly beach. Some of the smooth grey pebbles have lovely white stripes running through them – they were so pretty, I couldn’t resist picking up a few to bring home (you may see some more studies of them in due course):

[Attractive pebbles on Westward Ho!’s rocky beach]

So, that’s it for my coastal wanderings. Tomorrow I’m off to visit friends in Wiltshire on the way home, for a couple of days. I’ll post some more pictures if I see anything interesting on the way, although I think rain is forecast, so I might not stop many places. I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my trip!

See a few more photos taken today.

Coast & Cornwall Day 8 – Lappa Valley & Padstow

My first stop after leaving St. Ives was the Lappa Valley Steam Railway, a few miles south of Newquay. They have a narrow gague track which was running a lovely little engine called Zebedee today:

[Lappa Valley Railway No. 1 “Zebedee” chuffing off from East Wheel Rose station]

I drove through Newquay, but didn’t see anything which inspired me enough to stop for pictures. After some lunch at a local pub in Mawgan Porth, I headed along the coast road and eventually stopped at Harlyn Bay for about an hour. There’s a huge sandy beach (suitable for surfing if there were big enough waves, sadly not today) and lots of people were enjoying the sun, including one lady taking her horse out for a run:

[Harlyn Bay white horse, with Gulland Rock one mile off in the distance, on the horizon]

It’s then a short hop to Padstow, where I found the passenger ferry to Rock across the Camel Estuary was still running, so I took an hour’s trip across the water. While waiting for the return ferry, I saw this speedboat haring up and down the estuary:

[Speed boat on the Camel Estuary, looking towards Padstow]

Having fought off the seagulls who seemed intent on trying to steal my fish and chips from under my nose, I pottered around Padstow for a while before turning in to the B&B to catch up with some blogging and picture sorting. The internet connection has been pretty flakey in St. Ives and was taking an age to do anything, but it seems much better here. Let’s hope normal service is now resumed!

See a few more photos taken today.

Coast & Cornwall Day 7 – Newlyn To Land's End

Another stop-start day, with a bit of driving followed by a break for pictures.

My attention was attracted first off by the ruin of an old mine near Cripplesease, as I was heading for Penzance & Newlyn. Both had lovely harbours, but Newlyn’s was a little more picturesque:

[Float My Boat – just how many fishing floats does one boat need?]

I moved round the coast to Mousehole around lunchtime, but sadly the tide was out and it wasn’t quite as pretty as it could have been with a little more water in the harbour. Then on couple of miles to Porth Curno and the Minack Theatre, a bizarre creation perched on the side of a cliff with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop:

[The Minack Theatre is perched on the side of a cliff]

As I’m down here, I had to take a trip to Land’s End, but as expected it was a horribly over-commercialised enterprise – most of which was closed by 4:30pm! Thank heavens I didn’t have to part with any more coinage to pay for parking or to get a look at the cliffs. Here’s a punter posing with the famous sign:

[Land’s End Random Bloke – he claimed to have worn the same shirt on his last visit in 1960 – let’s hope he’d washed it inbetween!]

See a few more photos taken today.

Coast & Cornwall Day 6 – Goonhilly, Lizard & St. Ives

My first stop of the day was at Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, where visitors can see lots of the dishes and even get a guided tour round one. I guess the old engineer in me never dies! Here’s a shot of Arthur, built in 1962 to track the fast-moving Telstar satellite – apparently it can do one full azimuth revolution in 3 minutes!

[Arthur, the oldest dish at Goonhilly, and you can tour round inside]

My next stop was Lizard Point, the most southernmost point in mainland Britain. There are rugged rocks and coastal flowers, one of the most prevalent is a native of South Africa and has taken a strong foothold on the rocks about the Lizard, it’s a succulent called the Hottentot Fig:

[Yellow Hottentot Fig, but they also come in orange and delicate shades of pink]

I also stopped at Mullion Cove and St. Michael’s Mount on the way to St. Ives, where I’ll be spending two nights. Here’s a view of part of the harbour as I walked out to find dinner – the tide was splashing the walkways with foam, so you had to time your walk carefully!

[St. Ives and a few crashing waves]

See a few more photos taken today.