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ENGLAND     DIARY 4   2016   

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                                WALES

From the first southern part, I remain in Cornwall....

20/5 It is another greyish day, but I will try to make the best of it. I am having a hard time figuring how to get to Tresco Island in the Scilly Islands. It seems like one ferry to St. Mary's and another to Tresco, where the botanical garden is. However, the timetables are not that informative, and I guess I have to take a night at a hotel on either St. Mary's or Tresco. The nearest tourist office is at Penzance, and I give it a go.
On the way, I spot a sign showing to Chysauster Ancient Village, and I follow it. It is a gathering of stonewalls from the first to third century, where the locals lived, while the Romans ruled. I am sure, it would be a great site on a sunny day, but it is moist, windy and cold, and unlike the girl working there, I freezes. She walks around in an very open and thin shirt, and feel fine. I take a fast stroll around the area, looking at the walls and the plants growing in them.

The Penzance tourist office direct me to the ferry office. They sell me a returned ferry for 83 pound, and a 75 pound hotel at Tresco. On my way out the door, she tells me, I would have had more time on Tresco, if I took a morning flight to St. Mary's and back the same evening. And I would have saved 85 pound. But the tickets she sold me is non refundable, despite she is the one selling the flights as well. Great, thanks a lot!
While I am in the town, I do the main street, finding an early lunch and dinner for later. As in some of the other towns, the most dominant building is either the church, nor the city hall. It is LLoyd's Bank. Huge, central and made entirely of huge, finely shaped granite boulders.
It is real low-tide by the harbour, and the sailing boats are stranded. They have a genius double keel, and remain standing. It starts to drizzle again, and I drive on.

I have to spend the weekend on the main island, avoiding the weekend crowds and the bad weather - I hope. The National Trust guide list some additional gardens and alike in the area, and why not? The nearest is Levant Mine and Beam Engine - kind of a steam engine. The address the guide list, does not work on either of my GPS', but I get a tour around the misty countryside. Newer mind that one...
While looking for it, I pass the signs for Lands End, and why not? Well, because the cliffs are covered in fog, the area is crawling with bus-loads of tourists and the parking fee is five pound.

I zigzag up the peninsular to the next sight, which is the Godolphin Castle and its garden. Behind a magnificent bluebell-forest, a small but real old mansion is found. Most of the buildings date back to 1320, and so do the garden, making it the oldest in Brittan. The buildings were restored in 16th century, changing the back of the main building, and changing the flat lead roof to a raised one. The other buildings scattered around the main buildings look just as old, and their walls are covered in interesting plants. Only one room can be accessed in the main building, and it is a bit empty.
The garden contain several square areas with a lawn in the middle and flowering plants in beds around. it. Two ponds at the highest point has dried out - centuries ago to judge from the vegetation.
In the old stables are some ancient horse-wagons, to great amusement for some wood-eating beetle larva.
Somehow, I end up outside the restaurant, munching on a biscuit-chocolate cake and a pot of tea. The hens picks around in a green enclosure between the ancient buildings, and the robin find insects all around the place.

Despite it is getting a bit late, I head on towards Trelissick, which is another mansion with garden. It have been recommended to me, and to judge from its location on a peninsula, it must offer great views. I cross to a rather afternoon busy town, then drive on real narrow roads along a huge river, turning into a fjord.
When I finally reach the site, I only got one hour to see it. The main building was furnitured in the 1850'ties, and really not that interesting. The view from the living rooms, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic, even in a misty day like this.
The garden is the classic romantic style, although here are just the lawns and flowering bushes and herbs. In a sunny day, it would make a great walk, but as it start to drizzle, I rather sit in my car. The entire area offers so many great views to the sea and huge, green hills, and the stonewalls are so interesting. However, I am sure they remains, and will be even greater a sunny day.

I head up north-east towards Lanhydrock, which is a huge castle and garden. I plan to find a camp-site on the way through the rainy Cornwall. I stick to the larger roads, hoping for one of the brown signs with a tent. I spot one, and despite it is called Gnome World, I turn in. It look fine, and is the cheapest so fare: Six pound. The last one charged five just for one day of internet access, here it is free. And I even get to choose the closest spot to the toilets.
It is raining, and I start with dinner. Then I work, hoping for a break in the massive rain. But just as my dachshund, I can wait for a leak, when it is pouring down. At least, it is fare from as cold as last evening in the gaming-room. Well, after ten, I find my blanket and socks.
There is a slideshow with the general photos from the last two days.

21/5 It is a rainy morning, and I try to sleep it away. Does not work, and at nine, I head out to find the Castle and Garden of Lanhydrock. I have a hour in the gardens before the castle opens, and despite the rain, I head out to explore.
The area next to the castle is Victorian: Strict, square and nice. Further out, it is huge lawns with grazing stock and huge trees. The castle is made from granite, and various climbing vines fills the walls in the inner court.
Behind the main buildings, a more romantic garden is found with huge Rhododendrons, Magnolias and other flowering trees and herbs. The early part of the gardens dates back to 1694-7, while other parts have been added later.
The stables houses some old carriages and fire vehicles, and one part is the restaurant. The gutters and boxes have remained, and it is beautiful made. I end up here with a cup of tea, after have seen the line for the castle, just as it opened.
The inside is a late restoration, done after the big fire in 1850. The house was originally build in 1644, and all the outer walls are from that time. Everything inside is Victorian, and it look like they just left it a few minutes ago. I start exploring the more than 50 rooms, including everything from the master's bedroom to the kitchen. The kitchen area have a room for baking, a butchers room, the diary room and a cheesery along with rooms for preparing vegetables and the actually cooking. The latter is dominated by a huge grill, fitted for half an ox, I think.
One wing is for the children and their nannies, with play room, school and more.
Naturally, here is a church build into the castle, and the stained glass is fantastic. The hallways, the living rooms and most other rooms have oak-covered walls with a huge variety of cuttings.
I try to capture the interior and the atmosphere, but especially the real dark portraits on the walls cause me problems. The hallways with their arch-doorways and slim furniture fascinates me, along with some of the - at that time - real fancy inventions.
The gallery is partly a library, and the sealing is excusive. Hundreds of figures from biblical sceneries to hedgehogs. Like so many other of these castles, it was testamented to the National Trust by its last owner, who died without inherits. Bit strange, thinking about some had more than ten younger siblings, but they got nothing. That does explain the complete interior of these places. And things from other donations have been added, if the fitted time and style.
It have been so interesting to see this place, time have passes without I noticed. Actually, four and a half hour have passes, and I got 200 pictures to prove it.

It is still a misery day in Cornwall, and in some places, the mist leave the else so magnificent views to the imagination. Despite that, I still drive on the narrow, serpentineing, hedge-lined back-roads, some with grass on. It is four, when I reach the next site, which is quite the same; castle and garden. However, Cotehele dates back to the 13. century, while the interior mainly originates from 15-16'th century.
Before I reach the main buildings, I pass the mill and the river. It seems like the tide reach this area, and a large, wooden ship is at the dock.
Again, the state of the buildings are pristine, but the garden need the last, little touch for the finer details. That said, it is beautiful. I have to start with the castle, which will close first. Electricity have never been installed, and on a rainy day like this, it is rather dark inside.
The first room is a big hall, with a lot of armoury, stuffed animals and other curiosities. The sealing dates back to 1350, and so does most of the buildings, it seems. Most walls are covered in tapestry, made in Italy in the 15. century. The furniture is in real dark oak and walnut, filled with the finest cuttings. Again, the chapel have some fantastic stained glass windows.
There is a fireplace in most of the bigger rooms, but only the one in the main kitchen is working. Despite the real dark environment, I desperately try to catch it with my camera.
The garden is made in many sections, originating from different times. The first is dominated by a huge pond with waterlilies. Along the surrounding and overgrown walls, flowering plant and small bushes are kept in well maintained beds.
In another yard, a nursery with a greenhouse and benches are found. Then a yard with flower producing annuals for the house. Outside the walls is a collection of 150 sorts of apples, most of the flowering right now.
In front of the house is a garden with small terraces with lawns and beds in squares.
Further down comes the romantic garden with small buildings, ponds, creeks and numerous flowering trees and bushes. Somehow, I end up with 160 photos, and I tried to restrict my self!

Considering the sights of the day was not planned, but just to fill one day, waiting for better weather - and despite is rained all day - it have been an fantastic day. Those "intact" castles with their lovely gardens and interior are a treat, even in a miserable day.
I head from the eastern coast to the western, almost on the border of Cornwall and Devon. Once again, I'm on the narrow back-roads, and have to wait for the farmer to herd his cows home. Somewhere along the route, it start to brighten a bit.
I'm bounced at the first "camp-site" because I either have to have a camper with a kitchen or a tent. If I could present a tent, I would be aloud to sleep in the car. I really don't feel like staying there anyway. The next site is real friendly, and I think I talk with the owner for a hour. Then I start laundering and preparing dinner. Now, when the clouds could actually be at some use, they are gone, and it turns cold after dark. After I picked up my cloths from the tumbler, I consider to give my sleeping bag a tour.

22/5 I wake up to a light shower, but this time, it disappears when I role over, sleep a bit more. Actually, the car is steaming when I wake up the second time. The nearest sight is just over the Devon border, and I head to Clovelly to see the Abbey or Court garden. It belong to a 13th century abbey, which was taken over by some king, and given to his wine-cellar master.
It is fare from large, but probably due to the return of the sun, it look lovely. I go through the glasshouses and the kitchen gardens. Then a loop around the private house and garden in front of it. Really not much to see, but the view to the sea is nice.
The church next to it have a service, and I can hear the organ and bells. I walk around it, admiring the sledge headstones and the ancient walls. One headstone is for James Bond. Some walls are made by beach-rounded sledge, other from raw sledge.

Just around the corner is the tiny fishing village of Clovelly. It is turned in to something like a living museum, and the entrance it through a huge tourist centre. The road leading down to the harbour village is made from rounded sledge cobbles, and too steep - and slippery - for vehicles. Instead, the local transport all their goods down by sledges, and they can be found all over the village. To drag things up, donkeys were used, but now they have a sneaky back road mend for Land Rovers.
Beside from all the cafes and souvenir shops, some of the houses and huts are open. One display how a fisherman lived around 1850. Another is the house of Charles Kingsley, and is partly brought back to the originally state.
All the alleys are winding, narrow, cobblestone covered and lined with small huts and houses.
Way down, at the end of the steep alleys is the large Red Lion Inn and the harbour. It is low tide, and it look a bit odd.
To both sides, steep hills, covered in beech follow the sea line. I try to capture it all, but the most colourful tourists. It is yet again a sunny Sunday, and the locals are out to enjoy. Some visitors luggage is drown down by sledge, and it seem to work fine. I have a breath look at the donkeys stables and an even faster at the souvenir shops.
But; it is time for tea, and seems there is no interesting sandwiches, I either have the Thai Latte Cake, or the Caramel Shortbread with a chick layer of chocolate? And no, I did not have both.

Considering I have to take the early ferry to St. Mary's in the morning, I better turn back south again. I spotted a "Car Boot fair 1.30" sign in Pendeen, and figured I'll give it a go. Not that I really need any first or second things, but just to see the locals.
It is on a huge field, facing a great view over the green hills. I see these beautiful hills all the time, but either I can't find a place to park, or they are hidden behind hedges - or they are disappointing at a second glance.
Right inside, I spot a stand with gloves, which I actually have been looking for in the shops. To avoid missing them I buy a pair, hoping I won't have to use them. But Wales is a head...
Here are once again everything you can think of - well, except from old LPs. They have become fashionable in Denmark by now, but here, it is DVDs and CDs. Car spare parts, china figurines, household, knitting, cloths, plants, food, garden tools, instruments, Hi-Fi, furniture, china and whatever should have been thrown out years ago.

As I once again try to capture the amassing hills, I stumble over a great looking cove, and have a short stroll in the area. The black sledge cliffs are great, so are the wild flowers covering them. It is a long drive "home", and I figure I can divide with a stop in Boscastle.
This little village is yet another harbour which have found tourists to be more profitable. The harbour is a narrow and deep gorge thought the sledge, and not big at all. I walk along the river to its mouth and the harbour, enjoying the sun.

On the way back, I find the Whichcraft and Magic museum, and it is quite interesting. Here are a lot of ancient and authentic items along with loads of information. From the head of ancient Egyptian princess to biblical symbols like St. Peter's up-side-down cross. Nice display, but not that big.
Anyway, it is getting late, and I still have 100 kilometres to the camp near the harbour for to morrow. Due to the sun, it is a fantastic drive, mainly on the Atlantic Highway. Well, it sounds big, but most of the time, it is merely a two lane road with so many roundabouts.
I reach the camp at six, and start with the first back-up on the tour. Dinner, diary, photos and packing for the Scilly Islands tour. A slideshow with the general Cornwall photo.

From the southern England, I now head out to the Scilly Islands.

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