Westward to Cornwall

I had a busy day of “savings” on Thursday, visiting four different properties along my route from Corfe Castle to Plymouth Sound. First was Athelhampton near Dorchester, a medieval manor house and gardens. The house was ok and the gardens were extremely attractive, but you wouldn’t have wanted to pay the £13 standard admission fee (I of course paid nothing and dutifully noted the £13 down on Mark’s “savings” list).

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I then visited both Thomas Hardy’s birthplace and the house nearby that he had built later in life. Both were interesting as “houses of their period” more than anything else, though there were a few Hardy aficionados beetling round each property and wanting to know where exactly particular books would have been written….

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Finally, near Plymouth, I stopped off at Saltram, another National Trust property that was on my route. It was a pretty “standard” National Trust stately home with no added points of interest like photography museums or Egyptian collections.

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Plymouth Sound Caravan Club Site was in a very pretty location overlooking the Sound. The weather was still bright and sunny when I arrived. I did find this caravan a bit perturbing though. What on Earth were they thinking? Half of me hoped that the mega-flag would result in the whole caravan blowing away, Mary Poppins-style, during the night…

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The weather on Friday was overcast and drizzly. Unperturbed I headed off to Morwellham, which is an open air museum in the Tamar valley right on the border between Devon and Cornwall. This was a big copper mining area and Morwellham was a major port, so given my newfound interest in copper mining it was a must. I took a little train into the nearby copper mine, a trip that took about 45 minutes in total. There were the usual buildings to explore – the blacksmith’s, the pottery, the harbourmaster’s house (posh) and so on. The miner’s cottage was, to coin a phrase, “a bit basic”.

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From there I continued up to Tintagel on the North coast of Cornwall, popping into the Old Post Office (another National Trust property) before retiring to Kampington for the night on one of the pay-and-display car parks (a privately owned one allowing motorhomes to stay overnight for £3).

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I stopped off in Padstow on Saturday. The Rick Stein empire seems to be growing at an exponential rate. Chip shop, patisserie, deli, cafe and B&B, shop selling kitchen stuff, you name it…. and that’s without the posh restaurants (which I wouldn’t have noticed as these things don’t tend to grab my attention).

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The weather turned really nasty mid-afternoon so I decided to press on to St Agnes, my new caravan club home….. I’ve now arrived in my target area for further explorations….

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