Tag Archives: Fowey river cruise

On the beach

Vettriano,_Singing_ButlerNaturally we couldn’t have travelled all the way to Cornwall for our summer holidays and left without spending some time on the beach. We were definitely busy enjoying our numerous day trips, but we were determined to squeeze in some beach time too and I’m so glad that we did. The weather might not have been as gloriously hot and sunny as either Portugal or Florida, but we certainly didn’t let some damp starts or chillier winds stop us enjoying all that beautiful Cornwall has to offer from a beach point of view. Due to some strange twists of fate, our week away happened to coincide with the travels of a mix of old friends and godparents, which meant we enjoyed our beach days in the company of others and journeyed between the Cornish coasts to visit them all.

Swanpool, near Falmouth – We were introduced to our first beach by G’s Godmama and her family. It was an unexpected stop as the forecast had been for heavy rain and we had actually arranged to spend the day with them at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. However, by the time the sun had come out and appeared determined to stay for more than just a few minutes, we mutually agreed to abandon the museum as a rainy day pursuit and head to the beach for a couple of hours instead. 20150823_163118Situated less than 10 minutes drive from the central car-park near the Maritime museum, we made our way to Swanpool and parked a little way from the beach itself and tackled the remaining journey by foot.

To G’s dismay, we were completely unprepared for a trip to the beach and so she had to settle for paddling along the shoreline, rather than going for the swim she longed to do. She happily spent the next couple of hours building sand-castles and splashing through the waves with Mike and her Godmama’s youngest son, H, whilst M and their middle son D clambered the rocks with his dad John. As our children and husbands entertained themselves and each other, Godmama C and I soaked up the sun and caught up on a year’s worth of news and gossip in person. And once their family decided to pack up and head back towards their North Cornwall house, we enjoyed a last few lingering moments together before our own journey back to our base in Fowey,

ReadyMoney Cove, Fowey – When investigating on-line all that Fowey and the surrounding area has to offer before heading down there in August, I discovered this fantastic website that told me the top 8 beaches in the Fowey area. Heading up this list was ReadyMoney Cove, a place that appealed to both Mike and me, so imagine my delight when my old school-friend, Jo, told me that she and her family were also staying in Fowey that week and 20150826_132107suggested ReadyMoney Cove as the perfect place for us all to meet up.

We parked at the main town car-park and walked around 15 minutes along the coast until we reached the furthest point accessible on foot and arrived at this beautiful small beach. Donning their new wetsuits, picked up as we travelled down the M5, my intrepid pair took to the waves with their bodyboards for a few minutes before declaring it too cold and instead headed off to investigate the rock-pools, armed with buckets and some fishing nets borrowed from Jo. The sun was not quite as warm as our afternoon at Swanpool, but the children enjoyed our morning at the beach and were more than happy to sit on the sand and munch their picnic lunch before going back to the hotel swimming pool for the afternoon.

Treyarnon Bay, near Padstow – Our final beach was the amazing expanse that is Treyarnon Bay and M was thrilled to be introduced to it by his godmother, L and her family. This time we trekked across the county to visit this north Cornish beauty spot and it was well worth the effort. Found in the same part of the world as Padstow, this was the largest beach we went to and gave the children a completely different experience. 20150827_151840G, M and their long-time pal, H, spent a glorious afternoon body-boarding, wave-jumping, rock-pool exploring and building sand defences to protect us from the approaching waves.

As well as spending some precious time with H, both children also made new friends on the beach, which just added to their wonderful time. Mike and I had a fantastic afternoon catching up with L and M before spending a relaxed evening at their campsite, sharing good food, great wine and a night filled with laughter and tales, whilst the children spent the time burning off whatever energy they had left after a busy afternoon on the beach.

 

Cornish treasure

Of course, despite rumours suggesting otherwise, our week in Cornwall did not purely revolve around places to eat and we had an amazing time exploring many of the beautiful nooks and crannies the county has to offer. This wasn’t a week for sitting on a beach relaxing as instead we crammed as many day trips in as we possibly could and spent a lot of time making some marvellous, magical memories. Just as I gave you a quick taster of the many restaurants we were lucky enough to enjoy, here is my overview of some of the best places we visited and the adventures we had during our stay:

Fowey River Trips – having arrived in Fowey in time for lunch and enjoying a great meal at the Galleon Inn overlooking the river, 20150822_144741M begged for us to take a boat trip from Fowey harbour, which sailed us past such treasures as Daphne DuMaurier’s house before heading back towards the mouth of the estuary. It was a wonderful way to see a little of the area we were visiting before our week really started and we were able to enjoy the last races of the Fowey Royal Regatta from the water too. Both M and G enjoyed the trip, which was an amazing first as M usually needs coaxing onto anything smaller than a transatlantic cruise liner! They were quick and eager to ask questions of the skipper and we were lucky enough to share the boat with some locals, who were happy and keen to explain more about what we were seeing as well as pointing out many of the birds to be spotted along the river’s edge.

Eden Project – this was M’s choice for a day out and despite our disappointment at the food offerings available and the inevitable rainy start, all in all we had a wonderful day. This wasn’t our first trip to the Project and it was fascinating to see how the environment had developed since the last time 5 years ago. The children loved spotting the different plants they knew in the biomes and M took particular pleasure in b20150824_171621eing photographed next to the rice. This summer, the Eden Project was also home to the Dinosaur Uproar, which meant there was lots for G and M to do whilst we were there. They enjoyed the puppetry displays, though both were a little nervous of the giant dragonflies when they first took flight nearby! Sadly, the wait to climb up to the Nest platform for a bird’s-eye view of the Rainforest biome was just too long for us to endure, but we did enjoy the Rainforest canopy walkway, which gave us a taste of what you could see from the very top and at least it leaves us with a good reason to go back and visit another time.

St Ives – G’s pick for the holiday was to visit an art gallery and what better place to go than the Tate St Ives? Thanks to a top tip from my ever-trusty hairdresser, I was also keen to take a peek at the fascinating sculptures at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and thought it might provoke some interest in both G and M too. We parked at the fantastic Lelant Saltings park and ride to travel into St Ives via train and not bus as we’re more used to doing in our home town. The Tate St Ives had organised a children’s art trail between the Barbara Hepworth house and the Tate itself, which asked them to identify 12 pieces of art from the partial images given and note down the artist, the name of the artwork and where they had spotted it. Two pieces were taken from the route between the two sites and provided a great opportunity to explore the art on display at each. Having found 11 of the 12 works, we stopped for G and M to take part in the creative workshop, which asked them to create sea-themed art of their own in clay.

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We must have spent a good hour there as their creative juices flowed and they created stories behind what they had made to share with the volunteers running the workshop. G recreated her pinch-pot “werefish” she had first made during the first week of the summer holidays and M gave his interpretation of a sea serpent – “…but it’s not Nessie Mummy…” I’m still not convinced I’m a fan of modern art – give me the National Gallery any day – but it was a great way for the kids to access it and start to develop their own opinions.

St Michael’s Mount – in what now feels like a lifetime ago, I sang with my cathedral choir at the awe-inspiring St Michael’s Mount and have fond, though somewhat vague memories of that whole trip. It is a place that none of the rest of the family had been to and so was the perfect place to go back and visit whilst in the area, so to speak. 20150828_113744M was fascinated by the nature of the local tides, which means that the Mount is accessible by foot for part of the day and by boat for the rest of it and was desperate to experience both – a wish that was easy to fulfil. We arrived at the Marazion car-park fairly early and were thrilled to be able to walk across the sands and then the causeway to the Mount. The children were curious about how the tides would cause the walkway to disappear later in the day and keen to see it happen.

We started our visit at the Castle, having spotted the Giant’s heart stone on our way up the steep and rocky path. The views from the top were amazing and we discussed how difficult it would have been for anyone to successfully scale the rocks to attack. Inside the castle itself, G and M decided to attempt the quiz and were interested in talking to the numerous guides dotted around the rooms to find out more about what we could see on display. M was particularly taken by the story of the 7-foot man banished from the mainland, who took refuge with the monks and is now convinced that 20150828_131826he is the “truth” behind the story of the giant, which we later heard told by the storyteller in the grounds. Before we headed back down to the beautiful gardens, we watched from the top as the waters began to cover the walkway and commented on those brave few who were still venturing across by foot. G and M could easily have spent hours exploring the gardens surrounding the castle as they clambered up and down the winding, narrow pathways and stairs that led to nowhere. The WWII pill boxes that surrounded the coastline also captured their attention and our day there turned into an unexpectedly educational trip! We returned back to the mainland by boat at the end of the day, tired out, but delighted by our decision to visit.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan – our final day in Cornwall was spent exploring the Lost Gardens of Heligan, uncharted territory for us all and Mike’s fine choice for our adventures. I found the history and story behind the Heligan gardens really interesting and you can read more about it here. Yet again, we were thrilled to find a whole host of children’s activities available and started with the sculpture trail that led us past the stunning20150829_124054 Giant’s Head, the sleeping Mud Maiden and the ghostly Grey Lady. Pausing briefly for lunch, G and M then enjoyed time in the hammocks that had been strung between the trees before coaxing Mike and I into helping them build a den in the woods from the vast supplies available to use. They were understandably proud of the den they designed and worked on together and were disappointed to have to take it apart before we headed on to the next section.

Having dismantled and returned the building equipment, and having even enjoyed a toasted marshmallow or two courtesy of M, we wound our way through the “jungle” towards the Burma rope bridge. I wasn’t quite brave enough to stop halfway across to take photos of my intrepid duo who were following close in my footsteps as I was too worried about dropping my faithful tablet into the depths below, but was impressed that neither child was phased about crossing the jungle floor which was a 100 feet beneath them! We finished our day by the Steward’s house, enjoying the rope swing and traditional garden games that were on offer.

As you can tell, we had the most amazing week away from home, experiencing just some of the Cornish treasures that are on offer. In M’s words, “…it was almost as good as Portugal…” and he’s already clamouring for a return visit next year.