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When we went away to Cornwall for a week at the end of September little did we know that my other half would manage to find what he wanted for his birthday (back in June) in a charity shop, even less so in Falmouth!!
We went back to stay at a lovely Country House Hotel, that we’d been to before that is in a tiny place called Budock Water, which is just outside Falmouth.
Penmorvah Manor Hotel, is a lovely friendly Hotel set in lovely grounds overlooking the sea. The food is gorgeous and it is a good place to get away from it all.
Whilst there, we obviously went and checked out the town of Falmouth, and the surrounding area. Falmouth as you may know is home to the Maritime Museum, more about that later. Surrounding this, was obviously Truro, where we went for the day, we spent some time in the Cathedral and the restaurant/cafe there, as we wondered if anyone would be able to tell us, in what part of the roof our Slate would now be placed, this was from 3 years ago when we paid to decorate a slate, that they would use on the roof and all proceeds went to the new roof for the Cathedral. This was significant for us, as when we visited 3 years ago, it was for the celebration of our Silver Wedding, and although that was the year before, we had saved up to have a decent holiday, the first time without the children, and the first time in four years we had actually been away properly, so it really was a complete break from everything.
The first day we were there we just went into Falmouth basically to go to the Tourist Information to find out what was going on locally, but also to see if there were some different things we could do. One of these was to visit Trellisck House and Gardens by boat. Whilst we were in Falmouth we discovered that there was a little garden open to the public within walking distance of the town, so we walked up to it and discovered that it was behind Falmouth University. It was very peaceful with lots of hideaways to sit in and some interesting plants as well.
The trees with this amazing bark I have been reliably informed are likely to be Crepe Myrtle trees, I’m guessing they enjoy Cornwalls micro climate.
In the middle of the week we went to visit the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, which has changed an awful lot since the last time I was there at the age of around 13/14. When I first visited basically there was the hospital and the rehabilitation pools and not a lot else. This time we could have quite easily spent a lot longer there than we did, as there were Penguins, Otters, and Sealions, as well as walks around the grounds that we could have done. Penguins always make me laugh as they are so comical, but the seals put on a good show too. It’s amazing how quickly you forget how big these creatures are, there are viewing portals so you can see under the water, as the seals and sealions swim around. I was amazed at how fast they were, but also at how enormous they were, the sealions were absoloutely huge. There was also a display just inside reception about plastic pollution and one of the exhibits really brought it home about how big and worrying the problem is.
All the pebbles in this box are plastic except one, can you spot the real one? This hit home hard.
We went back into Falmouth nearly everyday, so inevitably we ended up mooching around the shops. My husband decided that because we were probably in the right place to find what he wanted for his birthday we should perhaps seek out the local charity shops of Falmouth. Well obviously I wasn’t going to argue with that!! He was after the big garden lanterns that would accomodate a big (church) pillar candle and he didn’t just want one either, he wanted two or three for our garden at home. After visiting several shops we came across the Cornwall Childrens Hospice shop, which was actually having a sale (yes, charity shops do that too!). In the window was an enormous metal Lantern exactly what my husband was looking for, and when we went inside there were two more big lanterns but this time green wooden ones. All 3 cost us around £34 pounds in total. We didn’t buy these until our last day, as we just wanted to put them in the car and drive home.
We did visit Trellisick house eventually, first day we tried the boats weren’t running as the weather was too dangerous, so we were told to go back another day and they told us when it was looking most suitable. From my point of view, Trellisick house was extremely interesting, and they have tried a new way of letting people see the house. None of the rooms are roped off, so you experience the house as an ordinary visitor would have done, and this made the experience a bit like being nosey, in your neighbours house. I was not very enamoured with the gardens, but they may have had something to do with the time of year (middle of September), but to be honest, I don’t think I would have found them that interesting in the summer either, it just came across as very bland.
On our penultimate day, the heavens opened and we had torrential rain all day, so we drove into Falmouth and went and took in the Maritime Museum. At the time they had an exhibition on, all about the Titanic, so we wandered into there and lost ourselves for well over an hour and a half in the exhibition, absoloutely fascinating, as it told the story that we all know so well with artefacts from the time and newspaper cuttings etc. It also dealt with the industry that grew up around the Titanic Story with the different films that have been made about her, and how you have to be careful to try and extract the fact from the fiction. It also dealt with the fact that the Titanics resting place was found and the filming that happened there. It was extremely interesting and I was surprised we lost ourselves there as long as we did.
On our last day, we went to find the Tunnel Beach. Why was it called that, because you accessed the beach via a tunnel above!! We had actually discovered that there was a tea festival going on in the Princess Gardens across the road but it didn’t open until later on that morning. We spent some time rock pooling on the beach, before we went across the road, to discover a very local tea festival, with performances from local dance schools, and local singers, plus dance lessons for tea dancing. The most interesting thing we did though was we went to a tea tasting session, of tea from a plantation that is grown in Cornwall, of all places!!
The plantation is called Tregothnan and is the only place in Britain where tea is grown, and for someone like me who detests peppermint tea, I can tell you theirs was out of this world, it smelled and tasted like liquid Extra Strong Mints! to the point where we came home with a packet!
Some of the gardens we visited were fab, the one across the road from the hotel, was like going for a walk around the Jungle and I could imagine a load of kids having a wail of a time building dens and getting lost in it. I actually felt like a big kid as it was like going on an adventure around these gardens. What was nice was the way it was run, there was a laminated map and instructions to take you around the garden, it cost £3 and there was an honesty box at the end of the tour. A very magical way to tour a garden.
The Princess Gardens were free to access and this was also a bit like going on an adventure as there were lots of little hidey holes to find as you walked around, and I’m guessing with these two experiences is why I didn’t find the gardens at Trellisick much to write home about.
So when you’re away from home, checkout the local charity shops there, it was interesting to compare and contrast and we even found what we were looking for, that we would never have found here.
See you next time.