After spending the morning exploring the wonderful Bygones and going back in time to the Victorian era we made our way to Torquay’s harbour. Here we spent an interesting hour or so at Torquay’s Dinosaur World learning about all things dinosaur!
All this exploring, taking photos and time travelling had left us pretty hungry and we were in need of a late lunch. I had read good things on Tripadvisor about Anstey’s Cove Cafe and so we thought we would head there.
Discovering Ansteys Cove
Anstey’s Cove isn’t far from Torquay’s harbour and town and was easy to find. We parked in the large car park and took the steep walk down to the beach. What a view!
On arrival at the beach, we were greeted with some lovely views of the sea and lots of tables and chairs on the promenade waiting for us to take a seat.
Anstey’s Cove Cafe has a moderately sized menu including burgers, paninis, jacket potatoes, cake, ice creams and drinks. Nathan chose to have a cheeky Cornish pasty and chips whilst I opted for a tuna and cheese panini. We both went for mugs of steaming hot chocolate too.
As we sat and enjoyed our lunch overlooking the sea we watched a couple of boats sail by. Even though it was mid-late afternoon the sun was shining and it felt like we could have been abroad! There were quite a few other people enjoying the sun and various dog walkers walking their dogs down to the sea.
Apparently, Ansteys Cove has connections to the writer Agatha Christie. It is said that Ansteys Cove provided Agatha with some inspiration for her book the ‘Five Little Pigs’. I can see how this place would provide writers with some amazing views and sights to write about – it’s beautiful.
I love a tasty lunch with a view and this really fitted the bill! I bet it would be even nicer in the summer months, but possibly a lot busier too. I really enjoyed finding this hidden gem of a place and admiring the sunny views. The walk back up to the car park wasn’t so enjoyable though!
I don’t believe in ghosts. That’s something I’ve always told myself and others – partly because I’ve never experienced anything from the paranormal, and partly because the thought of anything ghostly scares me! So when Bodmin Jail in Cornwall invited us down for an overnight stay at Britain’s most haunted venue I wasn’t so sure! Staying overnight and exploring a jail I hadn’t visited before, with a group of people I didn’t know, – not quite for me on my first paranormal experience I don’t think.
History and Paranormal Tour
We opted to go on the 2 hour Historical and Paranormal Tour. The jail offers this every Friday and Saturday night at 6.30pm. The tour is advertised as “an in-depth guided paranormal jail tour through the history of this unique destination”. And this is exactly what we got!
We were met by our host Kirsten in the restaurant and gift shop area of the jail. Kirsten introduced herself and told us we were going to have a private tour around the jail – how exciting! Kirsten told us about her work and her role at the jail; she seemed genuinely really interested in all things paranormal and was full of awesome stories and facts.
Our tour started outside by the front entrance to the jail – I was glad we brought our coats as it was a chilly night indeed – the ghost stories only made the goosebumps increase! Kirsten told us about how the prisoners would have arrived at the jail back in the 1700 – 1800 hundreds. She explained some of the common crimes that would have led to the prisoners being imprisoned here which was quite enlightening.
This was taken during the day – it was much more scary at night time!
We moved on to where the medical section of the prison had been. Kirsten had lots of gruesome stories for this section of the prison! It was hard to believe that women would have given birth in this section of the prison whilst they were detained. Many children lived within the prison too – what kind of life must that have been?
Next we spent time looking around the stables and the execution pit. Apparently there were 60 executions at the jail between 1735 and 1909. You can see a list of all the prisoners that were hung whilst at the prison.
It’s mad to think that an execution used to be a public display and crowds of people (up to 25,000!) would go and watch; as it was some sort of family attraction. Apparently, people used to be able to see the executions from trains that run from London to Penzance – trains would stop below the prison wall so passengers could witness the execution from their seats! Imagine that! It’s certainly not something I would have wanted to see – the thought of it really gives me the creeps. In 1868 the law was changed which ensured that executions took place in private.
Whilst standing by the stables Kirsten said she felt a presence.. definitely time for us to move on!
Inside the Jail
We moved on through to the entrance to the jail – we were actually the first people to be taken through the new entrance – how exciting! There are quite a few renovation and building works going on at the moment but this didn’t disrupt our tour – only added to it when we heard about how the builders will now only work in pairs due to mysterious going ons!
We entered the jail and went down to the ground floor. Here, Kirsten turned off her torch meaning it was pitch black! Kirsten asked us if it was ok if she shared with us if she saw any orbs or felt any presence of paranormal spirits. I reluctantly said yes.
As we stood in the pitch black being able to see nothing, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous and let out an anxious laugh. I couldn’t even seen my hand in front of my face! Kirsten told us she could see a shadow in the door way behind us.. I couldn’t see anything myself but I think that’s because my eyes were closed out of fear!! I oddly felt a cold sensation behind my left shoulder, near to where Nathan was standing next to me. I didn’t think anything of it until a few minutes later Kirsten told us there was a presence standing behind Nathan – now that really freaked me out! Could I have witnessed a sudden drop in temperature that Kirsten had told us we could experience if a prison spirit was nearby!?
Nathan, who believes in paranormal stuff and ghosts more than me, said at times felt he could see shadows and explained he felt a funny sensation on his nose – not sure what that was about but Kirsten was very interested in it! Apparently all those that attend the overnight stays at the jail are added to a private Facebook page where photos and stories are shared based on their experiences.
Exploring the Cells
Having spent enough time in the dark we carried on our tour looking at the various displays with manikins. Each display is accompanied by information boards telling you what is being depicted in the scene. I read these with interest in the dim torch light. It’s amazing when you’re feeling a little spooked how the manikins look like they are moving or winking at you!
We climbed the spiral staircases to the other wings of the prison. Here we found out lots more about prison life and about some of the prisoners that resided here. I won’t go into too much detail about the stories incase you go on the tour for yourself – I don’t want any spoilers!
Kirsten was great in answering all our questions and appeared to know so much about the prion and its history. She told us lots of stories about paranormal activity she has witnessed during night time tours of the jail and also gave us information about how the over night stays work – I was even tempted to book one up! On reflection, I’m still not sure I could handle it but I know we would be in safe hands with Kirsten and her paranormal partner Paul.
Whilst we were walking around we spotted some of the building works which are going ahead to make a hotel at the jail. Can you imagine staying within the jail knowing all the gruesome encounters that went on – I don’t think I’d sleep! I reckon it would be pretty cool though and something to tick off your bucket list – I mean how many people can say they’ve stayed in a jail which happens to be the most haunted hotel! We even saw where there would be a room right next to where people used to be hung over the side of the building – imagine sleeping well knowing that!
The building of the 63 roomed hotel has caused some controversy locally. I remember seeing some articles in the media about it, with some locals being unhappy about the proposed idea. I guess you can get married at the jail so why not stay the night there too! I think some people are worried it will ruin the attraction but I’m undecided. They are currently creating the hotel from two derelict cell blocks so nothing I assume none of the current exhibition will be disrupted.
I will be really intrigued to see how it looks and what the decor is like – I mean how do you decorate a room in a prison! I can’t imagine how much a nights stay will cost but I’m sure it would be a night to remember – especially if you combine it with one of the jail’s overnight tours! Maybe we will get invited back sometime!
After two hours our tour had come to an end – I couldn’t believe how fast the time had past. I was relieved we had made it out without any dramas! My head was full of interesting ghost stories and prison facts – what a brilliant tour.
Nathan and I both really enjoyed the tour and it was something a bit different to do on a winters Friday night. We were talking about our experience for days and recommended it to all our friends. I think £25 per person is a reasonable price fun and memorable night out.
There is also also a restaurant and tea room at the jail and they run many special events. I liked the sound of the tapas night they were holding the same week we visited. The jail also offers scary cinema nights and during the day people can visit the jail and walk around at their own pace exploring the exhibits. There’s a well stocked and fun gift shop too. Check out the Bodmin Jail Facebook page for the latest info and events list.
Big thanks to all the lovely staff at Bodmin Jail and special gratitude to Kirsten for guiding us around and sharing all her knowledge with us. You never know, we might be back!!
***Whilst the tour was provided to us on a complementary basis, all thoughts and opinions within this post are my own***
Would you be brave enough to visit the jail? Take a tour and stay overnight? What do you think of a hotel being built within the jail? Let me know your thoughts below 🙂
So I thought it was about time Scrapbook Adventures ran its first giveaway! I am so excited for this and intrigued to see who enters and wins!
I decided to centre the giveaway theme around adventure planning and giveaway bits I frequently use when planning my days out and planning my blog posts.
Up for grabs is a cool travel notebook (I think I will buy another for myself as I like it so much!) and some pens to write all those important plans and memories down with.
I’ve also included some sticky notes – always useful, and a cute little sign that I think goes with the adventure theme well!
To enter the giveaway all . you need to do is head over to my Instagram page by clicking here and follow the rules on the giveaway post! The competition closes on Tuesday 27th Feb so you best be quick! Good luck!
So I am now a resident of Devon and living in the Exeter area! I’ve been here about a month now, but I am still adjusting and settling in. It’s been a busy few weeks, what with moving, a holiday to Italy and then starting my Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training. The latter has probably been the biggest and most prominent change of late – I am now officially registered as a postgrad student again and employed as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. This is what I am getting used to the most I think – the fact I am really here and this is my path for the next three years – madness – but good madness!
Back to Uni
I am taking the course at the University of Exeter which so far seems fab. I’ve met some lovely people on my cohort and hope our friendships will blossom as time goes on. I am based at the Streatham Campus near the city centre and it’s a lovely campus. It’s quite green and has a cool mix of some enchanting old buildings fused with newer, more urban type structures. I have explored a little bit (there are so many fresh faced students who look about 12 who have made me feel rather old) but am aware there is a lot more of the campus to see. I’m just taking it one step at a time!
Located near the building we are having our teaching in is Reed Hall. The hall is a conference and event centre located on the campus and it’s available for hire for events such as weddings and educational conferences. It has a restaurant too which looks quite posh. It also has the most gorgeous gardens and architecture surrounding it which I discovered during one of the teaching days in my first week. There are leafy trees and fountains offering a calm oasis which is bliss amongst the hub bub of a busy and populated university. It’s quiet and a place for reflection and peace. I love it! I aim to try and take my lunch here during the teaching blocks at least once a week – this will hopefully encourage me to get outside during the lunch break (hard in the winter at times I can imagine) and take some time to sit, relax and eat among the squirrels and rabbits I’ve seen wandering around this lovely, tranquil green space.
New Home, New Adventures
Although I am going to be extremely busy (and probably rather stressed!) with all the university work, teaching, being on placement and my research over the next three years I hope to be able to carry on my adventures and love for exploring my local towns and county. I hope to make some Devon bucket lists and provide myself with opportunities to explore and get to know this beautiful county. Whilst I’m unconvinced it will beat Cornwall in terms of winning my heart, I hope it will give me a run for my money!
Can you recommend any places for me to visit in Devon? Ever been to Exeter? What did you think? Please share your recommendations and thoughts below 🙂
Whilst I really enjoy blogging my trips and adventures, I also like to read other peoples blogs. I mostly enjoy reading blogs that are of a similar theme to mine – travel blogs and people who are sharing their travel experiences and adventures. I love reading about other countries and interesting places fellow bloggers have visited and learn a lot about different cultures, climates and foods from around the world. I pick up lots of travel tips and inspirational ideas of where I would like to visit – my travel wish list is now longer than ever! I also really enjoy reading posts from local bloggers – those from the UK and those who are based in the South West of England. These give me ides of places I can more easily visit and travel to as they are more local and so therefore more attainable and importantly affordable!
When looking for interesting and cool blogs to read I stumbled across Keya’s World. Sabrina is the blogger behind Keya’s World and her blog showcases her creative talents and offer insights into her world of travel through her amazing sketches. I was really attracted to Sabrina’s artistic blog as her watercolours and sketches were breathtaking and I really recommend checking out her work.
Whilst exploring the blog in more detail I noticed Sabrina’s post entitled “Borrowed Memories”. I was intrigued by this title and carried on reading. The premise of the post is all about Sabrina starting her first blog parade where Sabrina was asking for bloggers to leave links to their blog posts and social media accounts. This was with the aim of her choosing some ‘borrowed memories’ from other bloggers’ adventures that Sabrina could sketch.
A Very Exciting Email
I was so delighted to receive an email from Sabrina a few weeks ago letting me know she had chosen to feature one of my blog posts and that my sketches were attached. I was so excited to open them and wasn’t disappointed!
Sabrina chose to sketch some pictures from my National Trust Cotehele post. Sabrina described how she had lived in Cornwall for a short period when she was visiting a summer school in Torquay and had visited Cotehele with her parents. Sabrina said my post and pictures of Cotehele and its glorious gardens reminded her of a beautiful summer. I love that this has become a shared memory with Sabrina and the sketches are simply stunning – they really capture the essence of the place and I love them!
Sabrina also chose to feature a coupe of other bloggers memories in her first blog parade post which you can read all about here. They include memories from Europe and a classic English cuppa. I want to thank Sabrina for choosing to sketch memories and thank her for including me!