Weston-super-Mare is our first stop in England – after negotiating the M3 and the A30 again. This is a typical English seaside resort town with a pier (although part of it burnt down only recently) a little like St Kilda pier. It was raining for most of the day but we didn’t care – walking in the English soft rain in raincoats was just lovely. Back into the suburbs for our BnB in a tiny room up two flights of stairs – don’t they have ground floor accommodation in English BnB’s? Another hearty breakfast and we set off for Cornwall.
Setting the GPS for Tintagel we arrive in the tiny coastal town where it is said King Arthur was born. The castle is in ruins and has been for centuries but it is well laid out for tourists to wander the cliff tops and pretend they’re back in medieval times. There is a long downhill track to reach the ruins where of course you can buy souvenirs etc, eat lunch and then catch a four wheel drive back up to the township – this we did as we were much in need of our lunch and too weary to walk. What a woos! Dining in the King Arthur’s Arms hotel was our final sight of this little town before setting off to find Port Isaac. Now this little fishing village is where the Doc Martin series was filmed and of course is a popular tourist attraction. It is not well sign-posted and it took us a little while to find it. On arrival at the Bay Hotel, where we had booked in for 2 nights, we were told they had no record of us. Oh well, not to worry, just down the road a pace was a delightful BnB called the Anchorage and we stayed there in a ‘room with a view’ for 2 nights. To wake in the morning to dawn rising over the Atlantic Ocean was a real joy! Hope these photos turn out well. (speaking of photos – some of these will be posted here in the blog soon as I get to a PC that allows me to download from my camera.)
A day trip in Cornwall must include a trip to Penzance (but first make sure of your directions – its tricky) St Ives and St Michael’s Mount, this we did the next day. The Cornish coastal areas are so rugged and beautiful, once again I drained the battery on my new digital video camera. This camera has been absolutely delightful to use – takes a 10 mpixel photo and holds 60 gb for my videos.
Next day we set off for Devon – more genealogy trails to follow – first stop Lieskard to ask directions to the Bodmin Moor where The Hurlers stand – a circle of standing stones – much smaller than Stonehenge but we could walk across the moor to touch and photograph them. (Will it work to walk around it anticlockwise and make a wish?) Let’s try it I say. 🙂
Next stop is Totnes for lunch – about an hour and a half’s journey from the Bodmin Moor – to visit St Mary’s Church where some of my ancestors were either married or baptised. This lovely church dates back to the 12th century and is absolutely full of history interred in its walls and floors. More Photos and postcard mementos and I’m happy once again to be esconced in ancient history.
On to Salisbury, we wish to visit the Cathedral before closing time. Luckily we have no trouble in locating our digs for the night and we have a whole hour and a half to roam and gaze the awe inspiring majesty of one of England’s most famous cathedrals. We were lucky enough to hear an organ recital happening whilst there – makes an interesting background soundtrack for our videoing.
To walk amongst the many chapels and vestries, tombs and prayer rooms as well as the vast naves and trancepts with many altars was truly magnificent. Into the Red Lion Inn for our dinner and then home for bed.
Early morning visit to Stonehenge just topped off my wish list for my UK trip – to see those ancient standing stones and to listen to their history on audio guides provided for tourists was another highlight for me. They are an enigma still, were they for religious ceremonies?, were they for local meetings of druids?, do they have some significance for calendars, and special seasonal moments in time? Who knows, but I do Know that it was truly gob smacking to be among them.
Back to Heathrow before our trip to Cairo and I’ll have more to tell you about Egypt in the next instalment of Travels with my Aunt.