Lets go Down in the Woods Today
Cardinham Woods are located two miles from the Cornish town of Bodmin and is an area full of beautiful nature. There are walking and cycling trails to be enjoyed and lots of trees and woodland to admire and explore. The woods are managed by the Forestry Commission. You have to pay and display for parking and on the Sunday we went it was quite busy with cars. We saw lots of families enjoying the Gruffalo Spotting trail, along with couples walking their dogs and cycling groups out for a Sunday cycle.
The woods are also home to the Woods Cafe which looked nice and busy when we were there but we didn’t have time to stop off ourselves – maybe next time!
A Sunday Stroll
We were a bit pressed for time here so weren’t able to complete any of the suggested trails or walks but we enjoyed spending some time walking through the trees and getting immersed in nature and the feelings of Autumn.
I would recommend Cardinham Woods for a Sunday stroll and some fresh air and hope to return soon to complete one of the designated walking or cycling routes.
Ever been to Cardinham Woods? Where’s your favourite place for a Sunday stroll?
I lived in Porthtowan, minutes from the beach, for over two and half years however never got to see their annual fireworks display for November 5th. The first year I lived there I went home to Kent the weekend they were on as it was my little sister’s 18th birthday party so I missed them. The second year I lived there I had to go to Nathan’s Gran’s birthday meal so missed them again!
This year, despite leaving Porthtowan back in September I was determined to go back and finally see their fireworks. I’m so glad we made the effort to go – they were awesome and even better they were free!
Heading Back to P-Town!
The display was on Sunday 29th October which did seem a bit early for fireworks but I guess it was only a week before the 5th November and it did mean I could go to a second fireworks show at Exeter WestPoint. Everyone was in the fireworks spirit and was wrapped up in their winter clothes and wooly hats.
It did get quite busy, and parking looked like it was a bit of a nightmare with the road in and out being blocked. Luckily we had the foresight to get there early and parked up near where I used to live (this also gave us the chance to have a little nose around to see who had moved into my old place!)
Dinner at the Beach Cafe
As we were early we stopped by the Porthtowan Beach Cafe for some food. There were no tables left inside and had to wait quite a while to order at the counter as they were so busy. We both chose to have a beef burger and chips, along with a hot chocolate. In total the bill came to £20 and was, in my eyes, a bit of a rip off! I know the cafe was busy but the burger wasn’t that special and the chips were rather lacking in flavour and quantity – they didn’t match the high price tag unfortunately and I did end up leaving quite a bit of it all. A bit disappointing really.
The fireworks certainly made up for the food though. My good friend Nel arrived just in time for us to have a quick catch up before walking down watch the show outside the Blue Bar (who put on the show). The fireworks lasted quite a while, and considering they were free, I thought they were excellent! I’m such a big kid when watching them though – I couldn’t help but ooh and ahh throughout!!
Sadly I didn’t take any pictures of the fireworks so this post looks a little bare! However I can assure you they were awesome!
On the Wish List
I’ve wanted to visit Bedruthan Steps for ages and so on an October weekend return to Cornwall, Nathan and I decided to head to the well-known spot and see what all the fuss was about!
When we arrived the Carnewas at Bedruthan National Trust car park had quite a few cars in, but there was plenty of space and free for us National Trust members. Even the coastal view from the car park was awesome and very inviting for us to explore further. We had a quick cup of tea in the car and then wrapped up warm to brace the wind and set off to explore the steps.
The Giant’s Steps
Bedruthan is particularly popular with both Cornish locals and visitors and offers spectacular coastal views over large rocks (known as sea stacks) that are dotted not too far from the shoreline. According to historic folklore, the legend is, that the large granite sea stacks are stepping stones for the ‘Giant Bedruthan’ which believe it or not isn’t too hard to imagine once you see them!
We made our way from the car park out to the clifftops overlooking the giant’s stepping stones. The view was just amazing took my breath away – more than the harsh Autumn winds did!
We carried on further and descended the steps down to the viewing point. Here you can get better shots of the steps and see them in their full glory from above.
We stood here for a while and saw some rocks fall down from the cliffs onto the shore below. As we watched in amazement a couple next to us, who had their camera out, told us a few minutes earlier there had been a much bigger rock fall. Quite scary really! We took a seat on a big rock and watched eagerly to see if anything else fell but nothing else did. We decided to carry on walking and find a spot to stop for lunch.
Bedruthan Lunch Stop
After walking up the shoreline a bit further we found some secluded benches and choose one to have our rolls and tea at. Whilst it was a bit nippy, it was peaceful and had stunning views. There were a few groups of walkers who passed us but it felt pretty quiet and unspoilt.
We weren’t able to due to the tide times, but when the tide is out, you can head down to the beach. Apparently, getting down to the beach can be difficult as there is a steep, narrow parade of steps cut into the cliff which sounded a bit scary for my liking; especially with the rock falls we had seen and heard about earlier!
Did Somebody Call the Coastguard?
We didn’t have much longer to explore as we had plans for the evening so we took a slow walk back up to the top of the cliffs. As we did we saw the Coastguard Helicopter approach and hoover for ages over where we had been. It looked as if they were looking out into the sea and we could see a rescue team member hanging out of the helicopter’s door having a good look. We don’t imagine they found what they were looking for as after about 10 minutes they went back inside the helicopter and it flew away. Quite a sight to see up close.
We made sure to stop off quickly at the National Trust Gift Shop, which is located in the car park, before we went – after all I needed to make sure I picked up some postcards didn’t I!
Have you ever been to Bedruthan? What did you think?
A Birthday Treat
As Nathan turned 28 at the end of August I decided to treat him to a birthday Chocolate Afternoon Tea – take a look at menu here. We have enjoyed quite a few afternoon teas together and so I thought adding the chocolate element would be different and something special for us to try. Nathan, like me, also loves chocolate so what was there not to like!
After a competitive morning playing crazy golf with my friends Janna and Scott at Swanpool we made our way to Falmouth’s Greenbank Hotel. The hotel is located right on the harbour front and has some stunning views. We found there wasn’t much parking at the hotel – some reserved spaces for guests out the front but that was about it. Luckily you can park on the road which is opposite the hotel and if you’re good at parallel parking into tight spots you’re ok!
We arrived at the hotel which appeared to be quite grand and expensive looking (I had looked into staying but it was well out of my price range – especially for a 2 night minimum stay!) We were seated in the restaurant area that has wonderful views overlooking the harbour. We ordered our tea and waited for it to arrive whilst we admired the gorgeous views of the boats on the water. We couldn’t quite decide which one we would try and buy!
Our pots of tea and jug of water arrived, shortly followed by our chocolate afternoon tea. It was presented beautifully on a three tiered stand and looked indulgent and delicious! We could wait to get stuck in. As usual we started with the finger sandwiches and took it in turns to choose which ones to try. The sandwiches weren’t chocolate themed and included the usual cucumber, salmon and ham and mustard. They were tasty but really just the starter to the chocolate feast we were about to encounter.
We chose to have the scones next. We decided to do this after not being able to eat them at our last afternoon tea in Tavistock. We didn’t want to miss out on them as they looked delicious and were still warm meaning the chocolate chips inside were all gooey and lush!
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
After finishing our scones we were annoyingly starting to feel full! Maybe the ice cream on the beach earlier hadn’t been such a good idea! We powered through though and made our way through the chocolate goodies on the top tier of the rack. These included a very rich chocolate pot presented in a cute little jar, chocolate brownies, muffins and truffles. There was no way we were going to eat it all and so luckily we could take the few bits we hadn’t been able to eat home with us for later.
Too Much Choc?!
We really enjoyed our afternoon tea here – the food was lovely and the views stunning. We saw other people getting the regular afternoon tea and this looked really scrummy too and did include some chocolate based cakes. I think if I was to go again I would save paying the extra money for the chocolate afternoon tea and stick to the basic one – it looked just as good!
** The chocolate afternoon tea at the Greenbank was £20 per person and it has to be pre-booked in advance. You don’t need to book if you want to have the traditional afternoon tea and you can upgrade to have a glass of fizz for an additional fee.
You can read about a previous traditional afternoon tea Nathan and I had at the birthplace of cream teas in Tavistock here.
Has anyone else ever tried this afternoon tea or visited the Greenbank? What did you think? Can you recommend anywhere else that does awesome afternoon teas for us to try?
Best Friends and Golf
One of my closest friends Janna was in Cornwall having a family holiday. I met Janna when I from when I completed my undergraduate degree at Kent university in 2008 and we have been great friends since. When I found out she was in the county I was certainly keen to meet up!
Janna and her boyfriend Scott were staying with Janna’s family in Crantock, near Newquay. Nathan and I thought it would be a good idea to meet at Swanpool for a round of crazy golf and chill at the beach. Janna and Scott agreed to our plan and so after parking up in the large car park it was game on!
Despite it being August Bank Holiday Monday the crazy golf course was quiet and we were the only group on it for a good while. It seemed like most people were choosing to chill on the beach instead of getting their competition on playing golf! We played the 18 hole course whilst gossiping and catching up on what everyone had been up to. Nathan and I had our usual golf bet on – looser buys the ice creams and so the competition was rife as usual. I started off well and was in the lead, however as usual, despite a wobbly start, Nathan got into the game and a hole in one on the penultimate hole led to him winning the game by one point. One point!! Janna and Scott were clearly not used to playing crazy golf as much as Nathan and I were and didn’t do quite so well. Janna in particular had a rather interesting technique (sorry Janna!)
After rerunning our clubs and balls and purchasing our ice creams we decided to try and find ourselves a spot on the beach. This was no mean feat! The beach was pretty rammed with holiday makers and sunbathers. Swanpool isn’t the biggest stretch of beach and so it did feel like people were rather all on top of each other – not my favourite way to spend the day. However we found a spot and sat enjoying our ice creams and cans of fizzy drinks. We talked some more and Nathan and I recommended some of our favourite Cornish places for Janna, Scott and family to visit during their time in Cornwall.
Nathan and I were due to go to Falmouth for his birthday treat – a chocolate afternoon tea at the Greenbank Hotel and so we had to leave Janna and Scott and make out way along the coast to Falmouth. We really enjoyed seeing Janna and Scott (and beating them at golf!) but didn’t rate the course or the beach all that highly. It feels like the golf course could do with a bit of a make over – a good lick of paint on the holes and some increased mainatence on the course. Not bad for £3 each though I guess. Swanpool isn’t a very sandy Bech as such, more gritty and was too busy for my liking. I couldn’t help but wonder why it was so busy – yes I know it was Bank Holiday Monday but I couldn’t understand why people were choosing to sit and stay there for so long when there are so many other nicer beaches nearby! Just personal preference I suppose!
You can read more about Nathan’s birthday Cholcoate Afternoon Tea here but clicking here.
Are you partial to a game of crazy golf? Ever make silly bets when you play competitive sports with your other half? Have you ever been to Swanpool – let me know if you agree with my review below!
A Bucket List Adventure
On a late summers Sunday Nathan and I decided to finally go to the National Trust property Lanhydrock which is located in Bodmin, Cornwall. Visiting here has been on my Cornwall Bucket List for while and so I was glad when we eventually found the time to go and visit.
We parked up easily in the huge car park amongst many other cars and walked to the entrance cabin. There is a separate entrance for National Trust Members meaning we beat a bit of a queue. After being given a map of the house and gardens we made our way down the long, slightly downhill walk-way to the imposing gated entrance to the country house and estate.
Lanhydrock was home to the Agar-Robartes family and is now a grade I listed building which dates back to the Victorian era. History tells us that a major fire in 1881 destroyed a large part of the house and led to new sections being rebuilt – still to the same grandiour.
Making Quite the Entrance
We enjoyed taking lots of photos as we approached the mansion and gardens – just the gates and walls around the estate were grand and gave a very impressive feel. We entered through the gates and were greeted by glorious lawns and trees lining the walkway up to the entrance to the house. Like many other National Trust properties we have visited recently, including Cotehele and Buckland Abbey, the building was grandiose and intricately detailed giving ample opportunities for Nathan to get his camera out!
We decided to tour around the inside of the Jacobean house first and entered the grand Victorian decorated house. Those with large bags or pushchairs are told to store them at the entrance. We took our time exploring the house, going from room to room admiring all of the artefacts and grand furniture on show. There were guides in most rooms who were ready with a wealth of information on the room and house would you wish to hear it. There were also some information boards detailing important heirlooms and points of interest. The majority of the grand dining, drawing and living rooms were full of large painted portraits and walls that were lined with tapestries.
Information and the guides will tell you how the Agar – Robartes family were affected during the First World War as heir Thomas Agar-Robartes was killed during the Battle of Loos in France.
A lot of the downstairs of the house is taken up by the kitchens. There were so many rooms related to cooking – the dairy, bread making room and a large main kitchen full of ovens. There was real edible food being used as part of the displays including fruit and cheese. I did have to resist taking a slice of the brie! Here you can also see the servants’ quarters and imagine what it might have been liked to have worked in the imposing house.
Upstairs you are able to explore the posh living quarters which include various bedrooms, bathrooms and the children’s nursery. I particularly enjoyed seeing how there were separate bathrooms for the Lord and Lady of the house. This seems like a great idea to me – never having to moan about Nathan not putting the toilet seat down would be nice!
As it was a sunny summers day there were quite a lot of other people looking around the house and this, combined with the heat of the day, made it feel a little busy and stuffy in the house.
Time for Ice Cream
After exploring the countless number of rooms we felt we needed some fresh air and took ourselves outside to the courtyard area. Here there is a restaurant with outdoor seating. We quickly spotted the ice cream counter selling Callestick ice cream – my favourite. After getting ourselves a double scooped cone with chocolate flake we walked back to the front of the house and sat within the gardens. We admired the views whilst sitting in the sun devouring our ice creams. By this time it was lunchtime and there were various families sitting around us enjoying their picnics.
We had a BBQ to go to at a friend’s house in the afternoon and so needed to make tracks. This meant we didn’t explore Lanhydrock’s large surrounding gardens anymore but I feel we saw enough for us to be tempted back another time for a longer visit. Apparently the extensive gardens include a variety of flowers, woodland trails and also off-road cycle paths for those wishing to bring their bikes.
I would be interested to see how the estate feels in the Autumn and Winter months and how the seasons affect the gardens and luscious greens of the place. It would also be nice to visit again when there aren’t quite so many other people around too! Luckily with our membership we can go back anytime to explore what else beautiful Lanhydrock has to offer!
You can see posts from a couple of other National Trust places we have visited this summer – Trelissick House in Truro and Buckland Abbey in Devon.
Ever visited Lanhydrock? What did you think? Let me know below.