Cornwall, England…Just Glorious!
My husband and I were so enthralled to be able to travel to Cornwall a few years back, that we arrived at the airport a day ahead of time! The looks on the faces of those employees at check-in were priceless.
Not to worry. We took the night flight, arriving in London early next morning; within two days, we were driving down the highway to a magical land where kings, queens, and 'round tables' once held court.
Cornwall sits at the very southwest end of the English peninsula. Its expansive seaside villages boast of Celtic lore, high rugged cliffs, and sandy beaches….Daphne Du Murier wrote many of her famous novels here. Also famous for clotted cream–and-jam scones with a pot of freshly brewed tea, Cornwall boasts the very best Cornish pasties (large baked hand-sized sealed sandwiches in homemade crusts, filled with steak, mince, potato, onion, turnip and more).
Our first stop was a beautiful little fishing town called Looe. Back in 1965 two middle-aged sisters, formerly of county Surrey, retired and bought an island right off of the Looe coastline. This little private island is about twenty two acres in size and more than a mile in its circumference. We took a boat ride around it and an old salt of a fisherman told us its most magical story while we toured its perimeter…often woodsy, very coastal with a tiny beach, and very green and fertile. …boasting magnificent flowers, as even the winters are much milder there. Since the sisters have now passed, the island has become property of The National Trust. Looe’s town was remarkable in the fact that it had so many unique cottages pressed tightly into corner alley slots shared with many village stores.
When we arrived at St. Ives, we had to pinch ourselves. We truly had never seen such a picturesque place in our lifetimes. We had made reservations at a castle/hotel high up in the hills overlooking the town of St. Ives.
Tregenna Castle Hotel was surrounded by gorgeous sub-tropical gardens and smaller cottages. We hiked each day down a very long cobblestoned path into town, and in doing so required almost standing on our tip toes it was such a steep adventure. So many shops and such little time! The enormous coastline was filled with holiday sun worshippers and it was an artists’ colony superb. One of our favorite memories is meeting actresses Maggie Smith and Dame Judy Dench coming out of our castle’s dining room. They were finishing up scenes from their latest movie, “Lavender Ladies.”
Onto Penzance, we visited interesting pubs, spoke with the Cornish natives, bought Toby jugs and souvenirs for family, ate wonderfully seasoned seafood, and visited the busy main route railway station. We saw no “pirates,” but even if we had, we would have smiled, walked right up to them, and informed them that they had to be living right in the midst of the most beautiful and colorful part of the entire kingdom!
Pam Munson Steadman, copyrighted, 2004