This is Part 2 of West Country Christmas, you can find Part 1 here.
After Christmas the four of us hit the road and headed to Cornwall. We had 2 nights booked at an Inn above a pub giving Lisa and Peter the full British experience. After finding our accommodation in the lovely small village of Mullion (lets face it most villages in Cornwall are small and lovely) we headed to St Ives to spend the afternoon exploring the lanes and beaches there.
After we met up met up with some of my friends for Indian, my sister takes any chance she can to have spicy food because when she is back in Poland where she’s been based for the past year her options are limited. This particular Indian in Hayle is also one of my favorites. After dinner we headed back to our Inn/Pub not knowing what to expect because when we checked in they warned us there was a live band that night. When we approached the pub it was confirmed, there was live music and what seemed to be the whole village inside. As we were tired we decided to relax in our rooms and were relieved to find out the sound didn’t travel well but shortly after lights out I realized there might be little sleep that night due to the howling wind coming off the water just half a mile away which didn’t let up all night. In morning to our relief (and our sightseeing plans) the wind had calmed down quite a bit.
After breakfast we headed down to Mullion Cove to see the sea. From the parking lot (which is at least 600m back from the harbour and out of site of the water) we could fee the sea spray on our faces. We soon realized though the wind had calmed down a lot it was still quite windy by the water and the ocean swell was still very dramatic. We stood and admired the beauty and power of the sea and took a few photos between wiping sea spray from our lenses. All four of us had grown up on the ocean and we all have a great respect for both the beauty and danger of the ocean so we kept our distance while watching the waves crash over the barrier built to protect the inner harbour.
After we had our fill of the rough seas off we went for the grand tour of the deepest depths of Cornwall, an area I’ve been exploring since 2000 and have gotten to know well. Up first was a quick stop to see St Michael’s Mount which when the tide is out can be reached across a cobbled stone pathway. We then headed to the nearby Madron Wishing Well which is a tree over a small pond in which people tie bits of cloth as an offering for their wishes. A little further along the path are remains of a Celtic chapel with an altar and a babbling brook which due to all the rainfall had turned the chappel into a bit of a lake.
After our ramble we headed down the road to see Quyote Layton a Celtic burial chamber found in a field beside the road.
The next stop on the whirlwind tour was the Minack Theatre near Lands End (the most westerly point in England) and overlooks one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall, Porthcurno. The Minack Theatre is an open air theatre built into the cliff side by a woman in the 1930’s. As the seating of the theater is very steep and it can be windy on a nice summer day I wasn’t sure what we conditions would be like on a such a blustery day. We were in luck it was open. When I asked if the wind ever closed the theatre, the woman looked at me as if I was mad. Apparently, there is no such thing as too windy at the Minack.
Our last stop before heading back to the Inn was Mousehole to see the famous Mousehole Harbour Christmas lights which were celebrating their 50th year. We got there just in time go get a spot in the parking lot, grab some mulled wine and find a nice spot to view the switching on of the lights. Mousehole is a pretty place, a fishing village just on the outskirts of Penzance which is popular with tourists in summer and in the winter the Christmas lights draw in the crowds.
After admiring the effect from the village and going down to the harbour beach for a different vantage we headed back to the car and back to our inn for a dinner, a pint (or 2) of ale in the nice warm pub below before resting up for the long journey back to London the next day.
I didn’t get my pint of Otter ale this time around but it’s always lovely to visit the west country, eat lots of clotted cream, get out into the open, breathe the fresh air and be near the ocean.