At the start of July, my handsome husband and I took a road trip down to the southern coast of England; Cornwall if you will. The goal was to reach Lands End, a place that actually means what it says. And might I just say, the scenery along the way was absolutely stunning, more than I could have hoped for. We had gorgeous weather, scenic views, visited the place where Shakespeare was born, the place where Doc Martin lives, and enjoyed some incredible food along the way. Oh and we made some new memories, as you often tend to do.
Our first stop on the way down to Cornwall was in Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was born. It was a scorcher of a day, but oh so perfect in so many ways. We walked the city a bit, found his birthplace (after walking all the way around the city only to find that we actually parked right next to it), and got a bit of a tan whilst doing so. The city is amazing, beautiful, charming, and could even be considered to be a touch quaint if it weren’t for all the bloody tourists. (I’m trying my English-isms on since my language is beginning to change a bit.)
From SuA, we made our way to Bath, our first overnight stay on our 355.5 mile journey. We stayed at a place called The Boathouse Hotel which proved to be not only beautiful, but also quite restful and exactly what we needed after a long day’s journey. The hotel itself was charming and lovely, the food was fabulous, and the scenery was rather serene.
As much as we wanted to stay for more than one night, our journey was calling and so one night was all we had time for. Breakfast at the hotel the following morning was fabulous; I had Eggs Benedict and as picky as I am about them, the expectations were fully met and devoured, in a lady-like fashion of course. After breakfast we walked around Bath, taking in sights such as the Roman Baths, The Royal Crescent, and a living area referred to as The Circus. Eventually it began to rain on us (imagine that, rain, in England) and since we needed a rest and also needed to dry off a bit, we decided to duck into a little cafe for a latte and some light conversation.
Walking around Bath you gain a great sense of history, of community, of wealth, and of loyalty. It seemed very much to be, in my opinion, the kind of place small business owner’s only dream of. Very much a touristy town, but on a much grander, more adorably English village sort of way. It’s a great city, one I’d love to visit and explore again. And again.
From Bath we set out to complete our goal of making it to Land’s End by heading down to a lovely little place you may have heard of before, a place called Penzance. To say that it is a beautiful city would be an incredible understatement, so I’ll just tell you this: it was amazing. Simply amazing. The scenery, the views, the town, the palm trees (yes, I said palm trees), the people, the climate, the ocean… all so amazingly fantastic. So rich in history and exploration, so totally and undoubtedly unforgettable, just wow; I was blown away from the word ‘go’.
Whilst in Penzance we stayed at a boutique hotel called Artist Residence and I have to say, it was my favorite place, by far, that we have ever stayed in. It was fun, quirky, and encouraged you to bring out your inner artist. Chalkboards to draw on, how-to books teaching you how to create origami, books to read, and so much more. Refurbished furnishings, re-purposed signage and lighting… it was just perfect.
The only downside of the hotel, again in my opinion, is that because it is rather close to the shore (within walking distance), the seagulls were horrendous. Honestly, they are huge and they never shut up (even at 3am when you are attempting to sleep). Even closing the windows could not keep their cackle out of earshot but the second night we wised up and asked for a fan for our room which eventually helped to drown out the sound of the birdasaurus rex family outside our windows. I would say if you can get over the mating calls of seagulls with the use of a fan and some very effective earplugs, this would be the perfect place for you. I know we will definitely be staying there again.
Our first night we settled in, went for a light tea (dinner) at a pirate-themed restaurant across the street from the hotel, and had ourselves a wander down to the shore. It was a gorgeous evening, a fabulous way to end the day. The following day we made our way to St Michael’s Mount, an impressive house on a challenging hill…yes, that’s putting it mildly. It’s a place you can only reach by foot at certain times of the day for if you want to visit whilst the tide is in, you’ll need to wait for the ferryboat. This place is a palace, a castle, a home… it was spectacular. We spent a great portion of our day there and were not disappointed by the views, the tour, or the weather. England really did us proud that day.
After our exploration of an awe-inspiring wonder, we made our way to another incredible sight that the UK has to offer: Land’s End. Something that struck me as really cool and just a tiny bit odd was the fact that as you’re following your SatNav to the destination, you see just how little road you actually have left to drive on and then the road ends and you eventually hit the ocean.
Land’s End. This is a place that holds many a memories for many people, a place that serves as a starting point or an ending point, depending on your goal. Some people ride, walk, run all the way from Joan O’Groats down to Land’s End and others do it the other way around. No matter what you choose, it’s quite the site to see and quite the goal to make. When we pulled into the car park (that is a parking lot to Americans), there were two women wearing all pink who had just rode in on their bicycles and there were maybe a dozen or so people to greet them. There were tears, hugs, laughter, smiles… Si and I could only assume that those two women had just completed their goal, crossed their finish line; being there to see that was something special that I doubt I will ever forget.
If there is anything I have learned in the midst of all of the changes and challenges that have taken place this past year and then some it is the fact that life goes on, the world continues to turn, and you can either choose to move forward with it all, move towards your goal or you can choose to stand still, turn around, or never even begin. The more I think about it, the more I would much rather be one who moves forward, even if my steps are small and my goal is miles away.
The following day, the last day of our road tripping holiday, we decided to visit Doc Martin’s place and for anyone who is a fan of the show, once you go there, you keep saying things like, ‘Hey that’s on the show!’ and ‘Hey that’s the school!’ and ‘Wow people actually live here and there and there, too!’ … I could go on and quite frankly, I did. If you are a fan of the show or even if you simply know of the show, you may know that in TV Land the village is known as Port Wenn, but in real life it is known as Port Isaac. And to summarize: Port Isaac is as close to a typical seaside village as one can get. Oh and it’s awesome. Really.
From start to finish this road trip, our little adventure from Clowne to Cornwall, is something I will never forget; truth be told I may not remember all of the details all of the time, but I guess that’s why I carry a camera with me, just in case.