It’s Day 5 – welcome back, my dedicated reader! 👍
New readers, this is what you might have missed…
Today, it’s a series of trips: the popular Tintagel Castle, home to the legend of King Arthur (or not); Port Isaac, a local fishing village; Finally, Padstow. We’re also going to squeeze in Trevathan Farm Shop (for lunch) recommended by our mate, Nicki!
But before we get into tourist mode again, there was our first breakfast at our new accommodation, here at Boscastle House B&B.
For my ‘Full English’, we were introduced to a local delicacy: ‘Hog’s Pudding‘. It’s the love-child of when a Daddy Sausage and a Mummy Black Pudding like each other very much! 😍. A very smooth taste – it’s apparently unique to Cornwall and Devon!
Well, breakfast didn’t disappoint! 😋.
9.45am: Tummies full? check! car charged? check! Tintagel tickets? check! Weather forecast OK? check! Let the day begin! 😁
10.04am: Time to warm up the English Heritage cards, here we are at Tintagel Castle (slightly late because the sign was obscured by the bin-men’s wagon!)
They’ve replaced the old bridge with something altogether more modern – and safer! It was opened on 11th August 2019 and became a massive construction challenge given the location.
An interesting video from English Heritage explaining how it was all constructed…
10.57am: Ignoring the Bridge for a second, the rest of the area was just as impressive. Whether or not, it was the home of King Arthur, judging by the number of people there, it was attracting a lot of visitors. Again, the views out to sea were unforgettable! 😍.
Just like at Clovelly, we wimped-out (again!) and decided to take advantage of the Land Rover service to take us back UP the hill! 😛. It was worth the £2 per person!
11.17am: It was quite a torturous car journey to Port Isaac. We’re not sure what the Sat-Nag did in computing the route, but we discovered some very narrow lanes and got quite intimate with a few hedgerows! 😮
Port Isaac is a small Cornish fishing village, but it’s probably better known for the filming location for ITV’s Doc Martin. No sign of Martin Clunes today, but the views more than made up for it… 👍
Getting to the village was relatively straightforward. We parked in a largish car-park (£3 for 3 hours + 20p for the loo! Kerrrrching!!!) ‘above’ Port Isaac and then walked about ½ mile down to the village. Like so many other places on this trip, we were surprised how busy it was, considering it’s September. The village had a nice feel to it, less claustrophobic than say, Clovelly yesterday, and where the shops, bars and restaurants seemed to be doing a good trade! 😊.
And in a break with tradition, we DIDN’T get a Land Rover to take us back to the top – there wasn’t one! 🙄
12.14pm: By the time we returned to the car park, it was full, bringing out all the best in the typical British car driver under pressure! Drivers were having to turn around in very confined spaces and backtrack to a smaller car park just up the road (that was also close to capacity). Word to the wise! Get there early!
Phew! Next stop, somewhere for a quick bite! Our friend Nicki had recommended a particular Farm Shop – and it was only fifteen minutes away.
Trevathan Farm Shop
12.25pm: I think by the time we arrived, we were ready for a sit-down! The building didn’t look much from the outside, but as we ventured around the side, there was acres of seating outside as well as a large restaurant space inside. By now the temperature was a clammy 18℃, and so we headed for cover! 🥵🥵
1.24pm: What a find! Cheers Nicki!! Great food and great service – and a gift shop too! With our batteries now fully recharged, we were ready for the ‘jewel in the crown’ and our final stop for the day – Padstow.
Padstow (via the Rock Ferry)
1.35pm: Anyone that’s been to Padstow knows that parking is a bit of a challenge! But before parking, there’s the journey getting there to consider. In short, there’s not a direct route from where we were by car – and that long-way-around route would have easily added another 40 minutes of drivetime. As in life, it’s always good to have a ‘Plan B’. So, we decided to drive to Rock (another coastal fishing village in Cornwall, population around 1200!), park the car there, and take the local foot ferry across the Camel Estuary. 😁 Result!
Well, sort of! 🙄. Clearly this is a very popular option. As we arrived in Rock (aka Kensington-of-Cornwall… it’s posh round here… and have you seen the property prices?) we headed for the main car-park for the Ferry.
It was full! So we spent the next twenty minutes doing my best Lewis Hamilton impression, driving lap after lap around the same circuit waiting for a space! We were just about to give up, when we spotted a slot!
1.59pm: That was close. We caught the 2pm Ferry with minutes to spare! In spite of the fiasco looking for a parking space, it was still quicker (and cheaper) to take the Ferry (£3 each single/no cash/card only) – and no parking to worry about on the other side either! A Brucie Bonus!! 😂
2.14pm: It was only about a ten-minute crossing and we were soon in Padstow. And so was the rest of mankind!!! 😫. At the risk of having two VMMs (Victor Meldrew Moments) in the same week: I don’t believe it! Who are all these people? Don’t they have jobs? Most of them were far too young to have retired!!! And why aren’t their kids at school? This is September, not peak holiday season! Has anyone heard of wearing a mask in enclosed spaces? 😠😠
OK rant over! But it was absolutely heaving! Therefore, there was no chance of any social distancing. Everywhere was packed, there were queues for the bars, the restaurants, the parking slots and the loos – and it wasn’t our scene!
3.09pm: We might have spent longer here, but there were just too many people. I guess it’s all good for the post-Covid recovery, but it just felt like one of those nice small towns that had been completely overrun by tourism.
When we were last here, it was a busy town, and we ate at the famous Rick Stein restaurant. Fast-forward (quite a few years) and a Dover Sole there will now set you back nearly £40! We’d heard that some of the locals now call Padstow ‘PadSTEIN’ (because in addition to the original fish restaurant and cookery school, there’s now a Stein Deli, Stein Fish & Chips and even a Stein Fishmongers). Still, I guess you can’t have it both ways, and these enterprises will have certainly brought jobs and opportunities to the town.
We couldn’t wait to get back on the Ferry – and that’s not our style at all! 😮. Onboard was a mix of locals, holidaymakers, cyclists, wet dogs, dry dogs and salty ol’ sea-dogs! But at least there was a bit of space between us – unlike Padstow! 😉
3.45pm: Just forty minutes later, we were back at our B&B. The weather had, once again, been kind to us, and we’d packed a lot into the day. We loved Tintagel Castle and Port Isaac too – but hated Padstow.
Just time for ‘feet up’! 😴😴 before walking down to town.
6.45pm: We were a little ahead of schedule, so before our meal in the Hotel we took a look around Boscastle Harbour – the whole area is owned by The National Trust and was the perfect antidote to the earlier pandemonium in Padstow!
On our walk, we noticed two ‘racy’ looking boats. Apparently, they belong to the Boscastle & Crackington Pilot Gig Club.
The Wellington Hotel
7.15pm: Time for our evening meal at the Wellington Hotel at the foot of the hill.
We were quickly shown to our table. It looked like the restaurant part was still closed and therefore guests were spread out around the various bar areas.
I chose the Cornish Venison Burger whilst Ann tucked into the Smoked Haddock Risotto. It was OK rather than something special, but it hit the mark and was good value.
8.05pm: A quick taxi ride up the hill, and we were just in time to catch the new series of All Creatures Great and Small at 9pm on Channel 5.
On our list tomorrow…
See you then! 👍👍
I got into blogging quite late in life, not publishing my first post until 2004 – well into my 40s!
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