Overview: Getting to Cornwall from North East UK is what we northerners might somewhat unposhly deem a ‘canny shank’, involving around 480 miles. I unreservedly suggest that if you decide to drive such a distance, you break your journey at least once with an overnight stop in both directions. Rail or air travel are also options, although to make the most of this beautiful area you might need transport for getting around on arrival.
Itinerary: We chose Kidderminster as a rough half way point for the outward journey. We were very warmly welcomed by the superb team at the Hogarths Stone Manor Hotel where we were lodged in a delightful room – and dined on (posh of course) fish and chips – breakfast was excellent too – and then it was back to our carriage.
Traffic was horrendous as we drove on to Cornwall, but we somehow made it to the SeaDrift Kitchen, Porthleven (beautiful Cornish fishing port) in time for a very princely dinner.
Abode: We were blown away by the Wheal Jane Cottage – housing 8 adults and a 2-year old, this well-equipped bungalow with enclosed garden and hot-tub, also boasts access to a football-golf pitch and access to its good-quality restaurant on-site. Parking for 3 cars.
Out and about: Itching for a scenic walking opportunity, we made for the circular Loe Bar walk (about 10km) – parking at the Fairground Carpark on Porthleven Road, Helston. The ‘Bar’ is actually a sand/shale barrier, separating the sparkling turquoise sea from the Loe Pool’s fresh water – apparently in high storm situations the twain can and do meet – hence the work being done to protect this beautiful area from the worst of nature’s wrath.
Coverack: An exquisite little fishing and water activities cove, around 12 miles south of Helston on the B3293 is well worth a jaunt – lunch at the Lightboat House did quite nicely thank you, awesome view of the cove. Followed by a cornish ice cream, then a saunter down to the beach got the thumbs up particularly from the two-year old. Beware of the tide sweeping in quickly – the two-year old noticed alright – quickly dragging belongings after yelling at us laid back oldies!
The Eden Project: 35 miles north from Helston on the A390 with its subtropical domes and outside features is well worth a visit and to do it justice you will need a full day – be thunderstruck as you gaze at this spectacle borne out of a rocky crater, unforgettable.
Prince Charles’ Garden Centre: Situated at Lostwithiel, The Dutchy Plant Nursery and Garden Centre has a superb cafe – the best crab lunch I had in Cornwall, and a shop, well just full of gorgeous things darlings! 45 miles North of Helston on the A39 and A30.
Falmouth – Larger (and busier) than the smaller ports, Falmouth is full of pretty shops, quirky cafes, interesting inns – 12 miles North East of Helston on the A394. Go to the National Maritime Museum, and marvel at the flotilla of model boats.
Drink and Be Merry: There’s a whole lotta brewing going on down here, Doom Bar Ale (cask version – the bottled variety is made in Burton Upon Trent!) is one of my favourites, I quite poshly partake of a pint or two of this when it’s a guest keg ale up North – there is also the St Austell Brewery, why not do a tour and then buy some souvenirs from the shop?
Poldark float your boat? Visit The Poldark Mine at Trenear, 8 miles north of Helston on the B3297 – discover the story of tin mining through a guided tour of the workings, the museum and chill out in the gardens.
Oh no, time to go – we decide to stay near Loughborough on the way home, and wisely chose the Royal Oak Inn at Long Whatton – we decided to avoid the M5 as the traffic was atrocious. This meant we went through many pretty towns and more roundabouts than I care to mention. Our daughter ‘collects’ roundabouts (!) not sure why….. but there were enough to satisfy any such collector’s appetite. We stopped off at Crittenden (Devon), and found The Mole Country Store selling great quality country wear and goods – thought the cafe was gorgeous – home cooked food – so much more civilised than the motorway services alternative! Arriving at the Royal Oak Inn at last (about 350 miles drive) – we were relieved that the restaurant was still serving as we were running late. What a delicious dinner served in its snug bistro.
Equally – breakfast the next morning was exceptional – everything cooked fresh to order. Happily, the journey back to the North-East was only about 3 hours drive away, bringing another of Poshmum’s Journeys to a blissful end!