Friday, 27 October 2017

Golitha falls and Chapel Porth

Golitha Falls
Today the weather forecast was dry and warm. Steve wanted to look at Siblyback lake and thought we could have a picnic there.  Then we could drive on to Halfords at Truro to get Chloe’s birthday present.
Again Lottie was not up for a long walk first thing, so that was good with what we had planned.
Stepping stones
After breakfast we got a picnic together and headed off for Siblyback lake, which is the other side of Minions.  We found Siblyback lake okay after following some very narrow lanes. Unfortunately it had been developed as an activity centre, with parking charges and nowhere for Lottie to run free.  We turned round and drove back  along the twisty lanes until we could turn off for Golitha falls where Lottie could enjoy herself.
fadt flowing water
Thankfully there was plenty of space to park at Golitha falls. We followed the river along to the falls and scrambled over boulders to reach parts of the cascade. Lottie enjoyed being able to get into the river Fowey when she liked to cool off.
“Watch out it’s slippery,” Steve said as I put my foot on a large stone in the middle of the stream. I immediately lost my balance, wobbled sideways and put my left foot down into the water. Well it was better than falling flat on my face.
 My wet foot didn’t hamper me on the return trek to the car. Once back at the car park Steve suggested eating in the cafe there as it was lunch time, in fact 12:45 was rather late for him.  I checked that Lottie was allowed to sit at the tables in the porch at the front and then we ordered food and drinks.
A quiet pool to paddle in
After that I was free to change into dry footwear. The small cafe was busy. While waiting for our food Lottie was very well behaved and watched the people and dogs coming and going. Her nose went into overdrive each time a tray of steaming pulled pork or beef passed within inches of her upturned nose. As we were in the shade Steve had to take her for a walk in the sun to warm up as she had grown cold due to her wet coat.
upturned tree
Our food arrived after 30 minutes - hot, freshly cooked BBQ pork (in a bap for him or a wrap for me). The food was delicious and very good value for money. Having eaten and used the facilities we drove on to find a small lake. Although my navigation was fine we did not reach this lake as the road to it was so narrow and poor looking that Steve refused to drive along it. Instead he went onto Colliford lake and gave Lottie a short walk there before going to Truro.
We had an easy drive to Truro and found a skateboard for Chloe’s approaching birthday at Halfords.
The steep path up from Chapel Porth beach
As it was mid afternoon and too early to go to Chelle’s we headed on to St Agnes head, where we intended having a walk. However, Steve decided to try  Chapel Porth and have a look at the beach.  Because we were arriving about 16:00 there were spaces in the car park, so we stopped.
We took Lottie for a walk up towards Wheal Coates and back.  There were two reasons we did not walk the beach, which looks quite spectacular at low tide, 1 the tide was in and 2 dogs are not allowed on the beach.
view across the headland
Once back at the car park we took Lottie to the stream for a drink and then bought ourselves coffees, which we drank at the car while Lottie ate her dinner.
heather and sea
We had Chloe’s birthday present, but no wrapping paper, so I suggested going into St Agnes on our way back to see if we could get some there. We parked in St Agnes and had just  left the car park when we were assaulted by another heavy shower. Naturally we ran straight back to the car. We decided not to bother with wrapping paper and drove on to Chelle’s.
Turning round before Wheal Coates
When we arrived we found that they were all back from their parties. The girls were playing with their friends across the road, so Lynne was able to wrap Chloe’s present with some paper Chelle had. The children had enjoyed the parties, but Stu stayed at home and rested, as his work has been very busy.
We said good bye to the children as they went to bed. Once they were all asleep Steve went and fetched a Chinese takeaway.  After eating we said our goodbyes to Chelle and Stu and went back to our cottage.
Tomorrow we will spend the day driving home.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Hurlers

Walking towards Caradon Hill
Although Lottie was up early she did not want a long walk just enough to do what was necessary. Steve was relieved.
Ruined mine building
Yesterday we agreed with Chelle to meet up at Minions for a walk, as Chelle has never been there. As it was a 10:30 meet up we had a leisurely breakfast. However, heavy showers are forecast for today, so we might get rained off.
We arrived before Chelle and gave Lottie a quick walk around. The sky was cloudy and we could see heavy showers in the distance, but hoped they would not come our way.
By the time Chelle arrived it had started to look very much like rain. One of the first things Steve did was to explain to the children that some of the large puddles were very deep and they were not to go in them. 
And another nearby mine
Other than that they were free to splash about as they wanted. They liked the open space to run around in and did not mind the wet ground.
The oldest girls were keen to search out the Hurlers circles. These stone circled are three in a line. The middle one is larger with most of its stones standing.
They also quickly spotted the two larger standing stones known as the Pipers.
Boggy grass and puddles
Asher enjoyed jumping in the puddles and seeing the sheep. At one puddle I think Asher was considering splashing in it when Steve told him that it was deep. Just then Lottie came along and stepped in the puddle and the water came up to her neck, if not a bit higher. Asher and the girls were all surprised just how deep such a small puddle could be!
Hurlers ahead!
We were a few hundred yards from the car park and we could see the rain heading our way, so we started back to the vehicles as quickly as we could. Unfortunately we were not quick enough as two of the children lagged behind.
Waiting for them we all got caught in the rain. As we all had waterproof coats it was not too bad. From Minions we all went back to Chelle’s as our cottage was not big enough for so many visitors.
Once the shower had stopped it brightened up again. The rest of the day was similar, heavy showers and rain. Back at Chelle’s we had lunch and watched a film.
One of the stone circles
Mid afternoon Lottie asked to go for a walk. Steve only intended going to the field and the only one who realised this was happening was the four year old who asked if she could come. Steve said yes, as the others were not around.
They had a sunny walk to the field, but a very dark cloud blew across from Newquay – they were going to get wet.
Thankfully when the rain started they were on the side of the field where there were some trees. The downpour was instant and very heavy worrying Naomi who started cry. Steve had little time to explain how we were going to keep dry, as they had no water proof clothing, so he just picked her up and carried her under the trees, explaining they would act like an umbrella.
tree canopy equals
The only problem was that Steve had had to run along a narrow track through brambles to the trees and carrying Naomi on slippery uneven ground was not easy. At one point he slipped, but just managed to keep his balance. 
...tree umbrella
Lottie just followed Steve as he has sheltered like this before. Neither hound nor child liked the heavy rain, but both stayed dry under the trees, even thought the rain was very heavy.
After about 5 minutes the torrential rain stopped and the sun shone again. Once out on the field it was lovely and warm and we soon dried off on the walk home.
Meanwhile at home Chelle wondered what we ought to do as she knew Naomi might get worried. We were surprised that the walkers were all dry.
We agreed to have a day on our own tomorrow as Chelle and family had parties morning and afternoon and come over late afternoon to say goodbye to the children.
We went back to the cottage for a rest and dinner.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017


Carodon Hill
Old mine used as a Heritage Centre
Lottie ignored the fields this morning, as she wanted to explore the drive.  She led Steve down the drive then on down the road towards the River Inny.  Steve was not happy walking along the road as it had high Cornish hedges and is very narrow.  So if they met any cars or any other road user it could be difficult to get past, and impossible to leap out of the way if they were going too fast. However they met nothing.
Front of the Heritage Centre
As we were just turning up at Chelle’s to go to Holywell late afternoon, we decided to explore the Tors we could see from the kitchen window. Steve was not sure which tors these were but one had two aereals on it so it stood out. But after debating it and consulting the map I found our host had named them for us in her welcome pack. We decided to look at The Hurlers Circles out at Minions and see if the Tors there were the ones we could see from the window.
It was a nice drive out to Minions, through Rilla Mill, which is very picturesque.  As drove to Minions we crossed a cattle grid, so I was aware that there may well be sheep about.
The Cheesewring
Lottie exploring
Once at Minions we parked in the car park nearest the Heritage Centre. Lottie was keen to explore, but she did allow us to look round the Heritage Centre first. It had interesting information on the mining history of Minions and a glass roof so we could look up through the ruined interior. We then walked quite a way towards the Cheesewring, with Lottie running free, so that we had a very good view of it.  It did look like the Tor we could see from the window and the one with the two aerials on was the other side of Minions, so we had found the Tors we could see from the cottage. The views from Minions were lovely and we could see for miles due to the good weather.
The ground was saturated with many deep puddles around. Lottie enjoyed this because she could cool off when she wanted to and have a drink.
“Look out sheep,” I called urging Steve to put Lottie on the lead.
Minions worked here
“Isn’t that a rock,” he replied. He put her back on the lead and stared at a recumbent sheep. When the sheep were lying down it was very difficult to see them as they blended into the landscape, as their colour was similar to ground cover. Lottie did not mind the lead and headed straight for the brown fleeced sheep. At last one sheep raised her head and Steve agreed it was not a rock.
On the way back to the car park we read the information boards. 
It was getting close to lunch time when we left Minions, so we headed straight to Chelle’s going over the top of Bodmin moor.
The view from Minions
We got to Chelle’s for lunch, a bit later than anticipated but not a problem. We explained where we had been and suggested it would be a very good place to take the children.
After lunch we rested and Lottie took the opportunity to catch up on her sleep.
We left Chelle’s about 15:30 for Holywell. We set off first hoping to give Lottie a run before Chelle arrived. There was plenty of room in the NT car park, as many had left and the car park has been extended.
It was not easy to let Lottie off the lead due to the number of holiday makers about. The good weather meant the beach was fairly crowded.
Unusual stone circles
. We did manage to let her have a run over some of the dunes, but she was reluctant as she seemed to know Chelle and the children were meeting us.
We went back to meet Chelle, who appreciated help getting all the children to the stream. Once we were all together the girls found where they wanted to play on the dunes just above the stream. So we didn’t have to trek through the dunes to reach the beach.
one of the many mines at Minions
Lottie soon got fed up and started to grab the children’s buckets. she annoyed them trying to play with everything.  After about ten minutes Steve realised Lottie was hungry, as it was more than an hour after her normal dinner time.  So we took her back to the car to give her dinner. Once she eaten we were going to go home, but Lottie seemed keen to stay, so we decided to go back and help Chelle with the children and everything she had with her. This time Lottie was well behaved and we were able to help Chelle walk the children back and carry some of the bags.

From Holywell we went straight back to the cottage, which was at least an hours’ drive.  We had a rest once we were back and then dinner.  Lottie just slept all evening.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017


Entrance to Lanhydrock House
This morning Lottie and Steve found the footpath down to the River Inny. Although they walked a fair way down the path, and could see a river in the distance, they turned around dreading the long walk back up the hill.
old fir
The weather was a bit overcast, but warm and dry which meant we could meet Chelle and family at Lanhydrock this morning for a walk and a picnic. We arrived after Chelle, so by the time we parked she was ready to go.
We decided not to walk down the avenue from the house, but to try a circular walk around the woods. Unfortunately we could not take Lottie around the gardens at the back and above the house. We had not gone far before hunger attacked the children so they had lunch on the way around.
No dogs in here
We did find a good circular walk that bought us back along to the main path and a tiny stream for Lottie to cool down in. The oldest three enjoyed crossing the stepping stones and went back and forth without slipping in.
Formal gardens
Along the wide walk were places for children to explore with paths through the bamboo. The children loved playing in these. Near the end of the walk was a tree with a sign in front of it indicating it could be climbed. We had varying heights achieved with the youngest satisfied with reaching waist height.
by the time we walked past the grand house the children were flagging but their strength was renewed by the lure of the play area. Having reached the play area we had lunch at a picnic table while the girls and their younger brother played. 
Then we went back to Chelle’s but left before they went to bed so that we could have dinner back at the cottage.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Cotehele Quay

By the slip way
River Tamar
Steve had another early walk with Lottie and again he failed to follow the footpath and did not find the woods, but assured me that he had got closer.
As it was not far to Cotehele we had another leisurely breakfast. The sunny views this morning were excellent and from the kitchen window we can see the Cheesewring and Caradon hill either side of Minions.
The Mill Wheel
It took just under 30 minutes to get to Cotehele Quay and we arrived before Chelle. While waiting for Chelle we looked around the Quay. Lottie went down the slip way to have a dip in the River Tamar. We went back to the car park as Chelle arrived.
Front of Cotehele Mill
Next to the car park was a small play area which the girls used while Chelle got the younger two ready, as well their lunch.  Once we were all ready we walked to Cotehele Mill, which took about 20 minutes. It was a lovely walk, following a tributary to the Tamar.  We spent quite a bit of time looking around the Mill, as the children enjoyed completing a questionnaire about the mill.  
inside Cotehele Mill
Lottie had to stay on her lead and enjoyed sniffing around the outside of the buildings.  She only got noisy when we split up. I took her to a different part of the mill until Steve had seen inside and then we swapped over. At one point I walked back to the entrance to the mill and had a chat with one of the volunteers who made a fuss of Lottie.
Lottie waiting for our Mill explorers
 On the way back Lottie paddled in the stream, as it was a sunny hot day.  Back at the Quay we had a picnic. Lottie laid down and watched the world around her while we had lunch. After lunch she had another dip in the Tamar and found that the tide had gone out and she was down on the mud, which was thankfully solid.
Once everyone had finished eating we had a look around the activity centre and lime kilns. 
Lottie exploring
Then we all had a look around the Tamar sailing barge Shamrock.  We found out chatting to Carolyn, owner of the cottage, that visitors have not been allowed to board the Shamrock previously, so this must be something new NT are doing.  Anyway the girls and Asher enjoyed ½ hour or more playing around below and above deck. Obviously Lottie was not allowed onboard. There was only a limited time visitors were allowed onboard and it appeared to coincide with low tide. Again Lottie was very good waiting around while the children enjoyed playing on shamrock.  By the time we called them off it was time for Chelle to round them up and take them home, as it was mid afternoon and she had at least an hour’s drive back home.
Activity centre and Shamrock
On our way back to the cottage we went up Kit Hill to the car park at the summit and had a good walk around taking in the views and having a long chat with some local dog walkers. Kit Hill Country Park is a world Heritage Site and the highest point around Callington. There are earthworks and a brick pinnacle on the summit. Lottie enjoyed a run off the lead and meeting the other dogs. From the summit there are 360° views around Cornwall and Devon.  With a clear sunny afternoon these views were super.
The Shamrock
We eventually got back to the cottage.  Lottie had her dinner and relaxed for the rest of the evening.  We had a cold platter for dinner finishing off the food we bought down with us and then sat back and watched telly.

As Steve found it relaxing at the cottage we decided to do some shopping and have our dinners there, rather than spending each evening at our daughter’s.  He could eat when he wanted and it released Chelle from having think about feeding us each evening. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sun and rain

lovely morning
We had a good night’s sleep, but Lottie wanted to go out at 06:30. By the time Steve got up and was ready they had woken me up, but I stayed snuggled up in bed. Steve took her up in the fields where there are sheep, so she had to stay on the lead. He tried to find the footpath that went across the fields, through a wood to the river Inny. He went the wrong way this morning, but came back proclaiming that “the views to Bodmin and Dartmoor are wonderful.”Lottie enjoyed the walking the fields and watching the rabbits on the grass below the cottage.
the front of the cottage
While having a leisurely breakfast it started to rain. We drove over to Chelle’s for lunch, to also find it was too wet for Stu to work.
cliff top walk
After lunch it was drier and we decided to take Lottie for a walk at Park Head. Chelle and Stu decided to meet us there and walk with the children. We left ahead of them to give Lottie a run off the lead prior to meeting up with them. Within minutes of us starting to walk Lottie it started to rain, but we carried on. Lottie delighted in running along the cliff tops towards Bedruthen Steps.
The rain went from being a gentle type of shower to a steady light rain with some wind blowing it in. By the time we turned around it had got heavier, but thankfully it wasn’t too cold. We had expected to meet Chelle and family on the way back, but we reached the cars to find Stu sat in the van with the younger two asleep.  
rocks below
He explained that Chelle and the girls had gone to find us. Somehow we had missed them, yet Chelle and three mud splattered children turned up within 5 minutes of us getting back. We then found out that where we turned left to avoid the farm animals Chelle had turned right to avoid the cliff path. As we were all damp we all went back to Chelle’s.
We spent the rest of the day at Chelle’s and after the bedtime scramble we had take away fish and chips for dinner. One child who loves battered fish was woken by the smell and came down to complain that we were eating her favourite meal without her.
We agreed to meet Chelle and the children at Cotehele Quay tomorrow morning, as the weather forecast is dry. Our drive back to the cottage after dinner was relatively quick taking only 45 minutes. 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

the lonely cottage

Without a boat we were now free to spend more time in Cornwall, the most south westerly tip of England. Lottie had always found our trips enjoyable but Steve (the grumpy ex-captain) couldn’t face a week on a blow up bed in the lounge of a hectic family home. However the nearest cottage we had managed to rent for a week was an hour’s drive away from my daughter’s house.
After packing frantically with Lottie parked in the hall way we left home at 10:20, a bit later than intended.
our acess track
The traffic was heavy all the time I drove, but kept moving until Stonehenge. We made our first stop at Solstice services. Having used the facilities Steve took over the driving taking a detour to miss the slow traffic by Stonehenge.
Once back on the A303 we stopped for lunch at the large lay-by after Cricklade. fortunately it was a dry day, and warm enough to stand outside. It was rather primitive after having a boat kitchen to enjoy. We stood by the car eating sandwiches and cake and washed down with apple juice.
The parking space behind the cottage
view from the lounge
After lunch Steve drove on until after Exeter. I took over for last 30-40 minutes to the cottage while Steve studied the directions to Trefrize. To get to the cottage we’ve rented we had to leave the dual carriageway onto a narrow road. This led to a narrower lane with passing places. Next we turned onto a Cornish road just wide enough for a vehicle to pass along. Finally I turned up a steep drive (marked public footpath). the car crawled up it in 1st gear, and rounded a rough 90 degree left hand turn near the top. Lottie as usual, was well behaved on the drive to Cornwall, but she burst into song as we neared our goal along the ever narrowing lanes.
The cottage, a converted stable, is everything we expected from the details and photos on the website. It’s in the middle of nowhere, very quiet and peaceful.
The amiable owner soon popped in to welcome us which was lovely. By the time we’d unpacked there was time to visit Chelle (our daughter) and family. Having checked the routes, distance and timing at home we expect to have an hours drive to Chelle’s. However, it averaged out at 45 minutes each way.
the only buildings in sight
It was good to visit them and Chelle cooked us roast lamb for dinner. That cheered Steve considerably he was still positive when we set off back to the cottage. It was dark when we got back and apart from the stars there were no other lights around.

Lottie seemed to like the cottage and settled down for the night quickly in the small bedroom, even though there was not much spare room around the bed.