Monday, March 14, 2022

A week in the Tamar Valley

I mentioned in my previous blog post that we unexpectedly ended up going to Cornwall for a week. We had been planning to go to Cambridge but then our reason for going over there got cancelled. So we headed to Kernow instead, literally just inside the county staying in sight of the River Tamar with Devon on the far bank. 

We were staying in a little cottage in Calstock, a small village with an impressive viaduct over the Tamar.

We could see the river over the roofs and chimneys from our bedroom window.

Calstock isn't very big. It had a couple of pubs, some nice art galleries, a coffee shop and an ice cream parlour. I tried the peanut ice cream. It was delicious.

Walking along the river, we visited Cotehele, which the locals call C'teel. It's a big National Trust property set in nicely scaped gardens.

The closest 'big' place was Tavistock, just across the county border. Neither of us had visited the town before and we enjoyed exploring it. It has some impressive 19th century buildings.

In the Guild Hall we got to see the old magistrates court (and the cells underneath!). Cathy got to sit on the magistrates bench...

... while I was in the dock!

In the exhibition in the building, the list of offences tried in the court included "refusing vaccination" (is it time to bring that back?) and the 19th century equivalent of road rage.

Tavistock also seemed to have an abundance of toy shops, which was great! We got the obligatory photo with a giant Playmobil figure outside the Toymaster.

I really love the wildness of the Cornish coast and the dinky little traditional fishing ports. We went to see the sea at Portwrinkle and then went for an explore in Looe.

And we were also very close to Plymouth. We had both been to Plymouth before. I had a memory of it being a dismal city centre built out of concrete. We saw a different side to the city this time. We parked near the Barbican area next to the Marina.

We saw the Mayflower steps, where the pilgrims set sail for the New World.

And we saw the Leviathan, which is apparently also referred to as the Prawn.

The Barbican is claimed to have more cobbled streets than anywhere else in England. It was full of galleries, boutiques and independent eating houses. Apparently it is where both Catherine of Aragon and Pocahontas both first set foot in England (not off the same boat!). It's also where the word "potatoes" was used for the first time!

We finished our exploring by driving around Plymouth Hoe. The views out to sea were wonderful.

We, thankfully, didn't see any Armadas though.

We drove through the outskirts of Plymouth another day as well - on our way to Dartmoor Zoo. We took lots of photos of animals, enough for a standalone blog post. So that's coming next!

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