Notices

Cornwall Without a Car--DONE!

Old Jul 8th, 2018, 08:24 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cornwall Without a Car--DONE!

On a previous post inquiry, I shared that we were trying to do two things: explore Cornwall without a car and get to the sites of my husband's ancestors. Helpful people tried to answer things for which I did not ask. They, in a most loving way, tried a) talk us out of public transport and b) tell me how to research ancestors. Taking a deep breath, I had to explain that a) driving would not be an option and b) I had already researched every darn ancestor and did not need to know one more bit about them. I just had to visit the sites.

I am happy to report that we successfully enjoyed Cornwall without endangering its driving and pedestrian citizens, and our goal to visit my husband's great grandfather's birthplace was quite successfully reached.

I hope to report in this thread how we traveled, where we went, whose services we used, and what (almost everything!) we enjoyed. I always like to post our hotels as part of the structure, too. I might even post a packing list.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 09:04 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Cornwall Without a Car--DONE!

Post Two: How We Got Across the Pond and How I Arranged Other Transport

Our lifelong travel had been in abeyance. My husband travels routinely and has racked up FF miles on several different systems, but we have not been able to tap many of those. My recently deceased mother had been ill for quite some time, and then we were stuck with a pretty old (but beloved) Westie. On the spur of the moment, we, who are now older than dirt, decided to chance our pet's death* in order to use some of our zillions of miles with American Airlines via our old routing with the absorbed US Airways BEFORE the birth of our first grandchild.

So in early April, I found a flight sequence out of Atlanta that would provide us with 1st Class BA tickets for 1.3K each. No, the flight price itself was not cheap if one were flying Economy. However, that amount may have been 7K cheaper than the average 1st Class fare. I snagged it, and I'm quite happy I did. I've always said I'd probably sell my soul for leg room.

Then I had to keep in mind my husband's "No Driving" edict. Rail pass or no rail pass--that IS the question. We are firm believers that point-to-point is the way to go, and in the past, I'd been pretty good at timing cheap advance ticket sales in Italy, France and Spain. Heck, when we go to Paris, we only do carnets now. But I did not know if time and energy would allow us to make all the reservations for the connections necessary in the 16 days of travel (the darn old dog takes A LOT of my time), so when I found a 15-day Plus one Extra Day First Class Senior SouthWest Rail pass that would cost $996 delivered to our house, I took it. This pass allowed unlimited travel on any South West line from Paddington, plus paid for Heathrow Express both ways.

So here is my review of the wisdom of what I decided:
  • The BA flight--I'll review it, but it was a pretty good decision overall.
  • The SouthWest Senior Pass--Convenience gets an A+. We never had to stand in line for a ticket. Cost effectiveness probably gets a C. I could have arranged it so that our point-to-point connections for the two of us would have cost around $600. But I certainly never had the time to make that work. And even in considering that often our trains had NO CLASS (we were lucky to get on two-car trains), having the ability to leap at the last minute did work out for us.
Where we failed: I wish I had figured out the PlusBus thing. Our overall bus costs were quite minimal, but I could have done better.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 09:33 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can't wait as we are the public transport people also. My husband will drive in some countries but not Italy, Ireland or UK.
Macross is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 10:05 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cornwall Without a Car--DONE!

Post Three: Scrambline for Lodging AFTER Finding the Needed Guide

So here's the catch: Without a car, I needed to arrange lodging that is either within walking distance of a rail station or at least viable via bus. Then my husband made the dictate that he wanted to stay no less than TWO nights in any one place and even better, he'd prefer THREE nights. Add onto this perimeter of planning that fact that I needed either a driver or a guide to get us to two places within a reasonable time: my husband's ancestor's birthplace of Altarnum and as a wish, Tintagel.

I went for the Altarnum need first, contacting two guides who had been mentioned in various reviews:
James Coulton https://selectsouthwesttours.com/
Andrew Mills Very Special Tours of Cornwall - Individual, guided and accompanied personal Tours of Cornwall, for one person on their own or up to parties of 8 people.

I told them specifically what I needed to see. James replied first, and he told me he had two openings during our 16-day stay, one of which would take place the day after we landed at Heathrow. I lept on it, and I configured the rest of our itinerary from that point. We knew the grandchild could be born on "her" time, and at least The Trip Mission would be accomplished no matter what else our plan. We agreed to meet in Plymouth, his home turf. James sent us various hotel recommendations, and I worked through all of them to find something available.

With the idea that our last four nights in England would certainly be in question, I used this basic rail map to plan the rest of our Cornwall route:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja &uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiZhZ_MiZDcAhVpkuAKHfWNDToQjRx6B AgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2 FList_of_railway_stations_in_Cornwall&psig=AOvVaw3 bn-g4IkqNlMsaaVa7121p&ust=1531158917079177
and tested the waters for find acceptable available lodging.

Our route and stays ended thusly:
Plymouth: Imperial Hotel One Night https://www.imperialplymouth.co.uk/
Liskeard: Pencubitt House Four Nights https://www.pencubitt.com/
Falmouth: Oceanic Aparthotel Three Nights Oceanic Luxury Hotel Apartments Falmouth Cornwall Boutique Hotel Suites
Penzance/Marazion: Mount Haven Hotel Three Nights https://www.mounthaven.co.uk/
Plymouth: Crowne Plaza Two Nights https://www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hote...P-_-GB-_-PLHUK
London: Hotel Indigo Paddington Two Nights Hotel Indigo London-Paddington - Guest Reservations

Last edited by AlessandraZoe; Jul 8th, 2018 at 10:25 AM.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 10:08 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sidepost:
I forgot to mention that the Westie survived. He is asleep on my foot, reminding me, as all Westies do, that somehow, we did not do enough for him today.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 11:07 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post Four: Getting to Cornwall--A Bit Easier Said Than Done: Revising Packing, Landing, Getting to Paddington, Etc

I get impatient when people start reporting on their moment-by-moment TSA experience. But it's important to note that one certain obstacle in Atlanta and much of the rest of the US East Coast is thunderstorm activity. Sudden weather systems not only can shut down the airport but other cities with connection to the airport. I am so happy I am not "The Decider" of who gets to land first. Our plane into Atlanta was delayed FOREVER because of weather systems. Luckily, we know that problem. Therefore, we gave ourselves 36 hours of leeway. 10 of those hours were used up by the time we landed in ATL. Yep, we had another place to stay in ATL and could chill.

We used much of the remaining time to repack our belongings. BA First has a generous checked baggage allowance; it has a quite squinting revised carry-on policy. We had packed accordingly, and therein lies the rub: once you know you can only check, you can pack too much. We therefore weeded out clothing based on the latest weather reports (much hotter and less wet than notices just one day earlier) and we sent the excess clothing home via UPS to my husband's business office.

Once at the airport, we only dipped in to the First Class Lounge area of ATL International. Yes, as others have reported, it's horrible. We exited to go down to Ecco, where the bar staff and we got along just fine for the entire delay.

Yes, as expected, our departing flight was delayed--yes, to weather systems--and we were grateful, grateful, grateful we had a lie-flat seat. We immediately informed the flight attendants we were only interested in sleep. "Serve me some of your lovely champagne, and it will be nighty night." The attendants were kind enough to make up our beds as soon as they could. The nightshades in the amenities kit are brilliant, and with ear plugs, I was out darn quick. Tip: don't use their "mattress" or quilt. Just grab a pillow, get the seat to lie flat, make sure you have comfortable layers, and get shut-eye. I did like using their pajamas, though!

Once we landed, we found out more holes in the BA service besides a lack of cleaning pre-boarding. My husband had to remind them to give us landing cards; even then, they did not give us Fast Track. Luckily, we had landed in Heathrow about three years ago, and we queried the line guards at Entry about it, showing our First Class boarding passes. We got through to the First line, but it was still so slow. Our Global Entry carried 0 weight there! We were grateful that unlike businessmen trying to make connections we had nowhere we had to be.

Thank goodness I had read tips from past travelers to encourage to make use of the BA Arrivals Lounge. We barely made it there in time to use it (closes at 2 pm and basically, the staff would like it to shut down at 1:30 pm), but we both got showers! What a blessing. We repacked again (and discarded stuff) and headed for Heathrow Express to Paddington.

After going booth to booth at Paddington, we got our rail passes validated at Paddington (you can't do that at Heathrow, but at least the officials there knew our rail pass was valid for it). I did not get to make seat reservations for First Class--you have to do that three to 24 hours before--and I have to tell you that for long-distance treks, that can be iffy. We "played the field", checking the seat reservation cards over each seat and plopping ourselves in ones that would not be used until further out.

Our hotel, the Imperial, once we got off in Plymouth was not far. Yep, we knew that. What we had no idea of knowing was that it was all uphill. Luckily, I had talked my husband, Mr. Fitness, into getting his decrepit wife an easily available taxi. Once he saw the terrain of the route, even HE knew the taxi was a wise decision.

He will deny this.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 11:16 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Macross,
We are always amused when people tell us, "You can't get there without a car."

For much of our time abroad, we have been willing to cycle ANYWHERE while weather was good. When it was bad, that was why God and man made in His Image made public transportation.

Our Riviera sojourn by rail in spring was WONDERFUL. Every day in Nice, the kids and we would breakfast, pull out a rail map, and decide where we'd go with our art pass that day. Ireland has a wonderful bus system that we used when not on a cycle. When that did not work quite right, we hired a driver (not that expensive!) for the day. We even made bus connections towards Puglia work in Italy.

New Zealand DID present a bit of a problem, and we did rent a car then once we got off our South Island cycles to go to the far north of the North Island. It worked out, but I think if we went back, we'd just redesign the trip and get a driver.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 09:33 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a bit of clarification: The Britrail South West Senior First Class Pass we bought was good for unlimited SouthWest travel for 15 consecutive days plus one bonus day (16 total days). It cost $996 for the TWO of us, and I think it was delivered via FedEx (the delivery was included in the price). It cannot be bought in Britain. I purchased it through a Rick Steve's link: https://ricksteves.mytraintravel.com...west-pass-7970

My emailed receipt read:
The BritRail South West Pass is valid on most mainline and branch line services operated by First Great Western, South West Trains and Heathrow Express trains.
Territory and Boundaries: The Boundary Stations of the BritRail South West Pass are: London Paddington, Greenford, Marlow, Henley, Reading, Didcot, Oxford, Banbury, Hereford, Gloucester, Bristol Parkway, Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-Super-Mare, Barnstaple, Gunnislake, Newquay, St.Ives, Penzance, Falmouth Docks, Looe, Exmouth, Weymouth, Portsmouth Harbour, Basingstoke and Gatwick Airport (access to Gatwick Airport via Reading, not valid on Gatwick Express trains).

Excluded Services:
The BritRail South West Pass cannot be used to travel on the following routes: any train west of Swansea; any train between Gloucester and Newport via Chepstow; First Great Western s Night Riviera sleeper service, unless a berth has been purchased in addition to the BritRail South West Pass; any train services east of Portsmouth, even if this route is operated by First Great Western; any route in South Wales other than the Newport - Cardiff - Swansea mainline; any service operated by Arriva Cross Country, Arriva Trains Wales, Chiltern, Southern, First Capital Connect, Southeastern or London Midland.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2018, 04:20 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
oh dear, I hope I wasn't one of the guilty parties telling you that Cornwall and public transport don't match. I can't say I remember your planning thread but in any event I'm glad it all worked out fine, despite people telling you things you didn't want to know. I could however have told you that it was all uphill [most places you want to get to in Plymouth ARE uphill from the station] and you'd need a cab to the Imperial - I've stayed there a number of times - and that they do a very nice breakfast. I hope you enjoyed it!

Looking forward to reading more!
annhig is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2018, 04:28 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post Five: Finding the Birthplace of My Husband's Great-Grandfather--Altarnun
We slept well at The Imperial Plymouth in the topmost room, especially having had a great dinner at Quay 33 (Quay 33 - Restaurant & Cafe, Plymouth Barbican) down the road.

Awakened by sea gulls at 4:00 am, it was our first introduction to truly long summer days. We packed up, ate breakfast, and met our guide James Coulton (https://selectsouthwesttours.com/) at the door.

With his help and with my basic research, we were able to track the footsteps of my husband's great-grandfather, who had immigrated to Pennsylvania around 1870. We actually headed for the town of Bodmin first, where the Bodmin Goal had housed my husband's GREAT great-grandfather three times for non-support of his family. Yes, I usually refer to him as "The Rotter." We did not go into the jail. It's a tourist trap of the first order (10 pounds per person), and just seeing the outside was quite enough thank you. It was interesting to see the list of people who were hanged at the jail, and very interesting to see what offenses were hanging offences. I guess it was a big no-no to set fire to a haystack.

Our next stop was Bolventor, where the great-grandfather was recorded as staying as a little boy for the 1841 census. Their hovel in this bleak area must have been quite close to Jamaica Inn (another tourist trap--no, we did not stop). We tracked down the second/third edition of the St. Luke's BC church because we knew my husband's great grand aunt had been christened there. The original Norman church foundation was elsewhere, somewhere around Dozemary Pool, also known for its King Arthur associations; the other versions were on a parallel lane. It turns out the final church edition was sold to an enterprising couple who are slowly renovating it. The owner was so kind, coming outside when she saw us and giving us a tour of what all they were doing to the place. She is amazing.

After exploring the surrounds of Dozemary Pool, we headed to the village of Altarnun, the home of my husband's great great-grandmother and the site where his great-grandfather's christening. Chills went down our spines as we descended into the village. Compared to the bleakness of Bodmin Moor, this little place was so cozy and sheltered. St Nonna's, the church, sometimes called "The Cathedral of the Moor", is quite attractive. In fact, it was used as the church for the wedding of Louisa and Doc in "Doc Martin." We got to see the ancient font where my husband's great-grandfather (and great great grandmother) was christened. Then we started exploring the graveyard.

There is no map that we know of for the St Nonna's graveyard, and so many of the inscriptions were hard to read. In addition, the graveyard was terribly overgrown. But with my list of last names we ventured forth. A half hour later, James exclaimed: "My goodness--you're related to 2/3rds of this cemetery!" It's true. As the family historian, I get contacted frequently for DNA matches. My standard reply to anyone with an Altarnun ancestor seems to be: "Yes, the family member you named IS related to my husband, but actually, if you just stepped forward or backward a generation or two, you'd be related in two to four other ways." I told my husband that the town is so inbred it's amazing that no one in the family is a cross-eyed albino. Just had a thought--wasn't the Vicar of Altarnun in DuMaurier's "Jamaica Inn" an albino? Hmmm.

We had an unexpectedly lovely pub lunch at "The Rising Sun" Rising Sun Inn, Altarnun 16th Century Moorland Inn & Restaurant in North Cornwall - Great Food, Great Ales - 01566 86636

Our afternoon trek was to the outlying area of Trewint, the site of Wesley Cottage Wesley Cottage, Trewint (aka Digory Isbell's Cottage) Methodist Heritage My husband may be related (of course!) to DiGory Isbell, the man whose wife Elizabeth welcomed John Wesley on his journey. DiGory and Elizabeth were so impressed with Wesley that they built a special area for him in their small house to assist him in his constant travels throughout Cornwall. The house/museum is generally open by appointment only so do check ahead for details.

James made sure we saw more of the Moor before we headed to our next accommodation. He drove us to see The Minions Minions Bodmin Moor -The Hurlers stone circles Cheeswring Cornwall Online, where not only did we see the stone circles named "The Hurlers" but also the ghostly remains of mining works.

James drove onward to Liskeard, where we would spend the next four nights at Pencubbit House. We felt we had accomplished the entire trip mission by Day 1, and we were very happy.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2018, 04:49 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,880
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having just had 3 wonderful days in Cornwall in June, I'm enjoying going on a re-visit via your TR. We did have a car and it was...stressful on lots of little lanes, but DH did well and it worked for us to have a car--once, anyway! So, enlightening to hear how to do without, too.
texasbookworm is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2018, 04:50 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,954
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
" Dozemary Pool, also known for its King Arthur associations " ah the disneyfication of Cornwall continues ;-)

good write up.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2018, 05:15 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,814
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the report, looking forward to more. Glad the ancestry day went so well. I, too, choose not to drive, and had a successful month in England and Wales year before last. I am considering Devon for the next trip, but going back to Cornwall is on the list, too. I used a senior rail card for the last trip, and plan to do so for the next as well, as I need longer coverage for a larger area. I think I just saved the cost of the pass (30 GBP) booking a first class ticket on the Caledonian sleeper, so the rest will be a bonus.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2018, 08:13 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Catch up to comments:

Annhig: You may have been one of the naysayers of my determination to use public transport, but then again, I assure you that I know how helpful you always are, so obviously it did not register badly with me. I'm also very used to people telling us we can't enjoy anything without a car. I'm also very used to people telling me I can't cycle places, either, so that does not bother me one bit.

thursdaysd: I may have done so much differently had we had more time to plan, but we still WOULD NOT DRIVE. Thus I shall cheer lead for you! I told my sister that I would have started planning at the very least nine months ahead if I could have done so. I had hoped to get to my Devon ancestry places--those are MY folks, not my husband's--but it's amazing how much we just did not want to leave Cornwall.

bilboburgler: Thanks for the lovely comment. Actually, Geoffrey of Monmouth started the whole she-bang of Arthurian mania with his fake Historia Regum Britanniae circa 1130. I have no clue as to exactly who assigned Dozemary Pool the relationship with the sword, even though I've just searched this entry on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dozmary_Pool. However, the legend (with an acknowledgement of its relative nonsense) is described by Daphne du Maurier in a simply lovely book, Vanishing Cornwall. If anyone "Disneyfied" Cornwall, it is she, and this book of hers serves as very much an apology for that. Yet in the very same apologetic book, Du Maurier transgressed greatly with her warped and rather unkind account of the Vicar of Warleggan. Thank goodness there are still some people who willing to set the record straight: https://warleggan.wordpress.com/the-...-of-warleggan/.

texasbookworm: There are certainly times where having a car would have been lovely. But when we watched line-ups for parking spots, and so on, we'd say, "We can suffer our pretty walk to the rail station." I'm happy you are enjoying an alternative description.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2018, 12:22 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,430
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think my reply went to Fodorland.

So a brief second attempt.

Cornwall/Devon without a self hire vehicle is definitely feasible, Cornwall/Devon without any car of any kind (if only taxi, private day tours sprinkled here and there) is definitely challenging, if my own research added to your own experience is any indication.

Congrats on the careful airline planning. enjoying your report.

Last edited by Sue_xx_yy; Jul 10th, 2018 at 12:27 AM.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2018, 03:46 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post Six--Looe and Liskeard
One of the reasons we based ourselves in Liskeard for more than three nights was that we could take advantage of both the GWR and private rail spurs in the area. Based upon my internet reading, I decided our first venture would be to Looe on the short Liskeard to Looe line.

Our five-minute walk to and from the Liskeard Rail Station would prove to be an absolute daily delight. First, imagine a shaded single lane road bordered by stone walls with cascading wildflowers accompanied by the sounds of birds and sheep and trickling water. As we would crest the hill to the small main road, we'd be taking our life in our hands for a few meters walking its blind curve, but even then, up ahead we'd always get to see this darling little white dog--some sort of mutt--quietly keeping silent sentry, either in the yard or at the window inside his house.

The Liskeard Rail Station is not big, but stops are frequent. It was one of the easiest places to use our rail pass because there are no entry gates. There are, however, ticket lines, all of which we easily sidestepped. The "First-Class" aspect of our pass, however, was worth nothing on the little Looe line. The view on our 1/2 hour ride was nice, but I would not say it was as stunning as described by some writers.

So what about Looe itself? Hmm. I think it's one of those places that has received too much PR, so our expectations could not possibly have been met. Yes, it has a gorgeous setting. And yes, one can do boat trips, and visit a monkey sanctuary, etc., none of which we really wanted to do that day. But nothing could make us miss the obvious--in general, the main street looked like the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, only with cars. Imagine wading through wall-to-wall people with sidewalks that cannot handle a basic crowd trying to avoid being run-down by constant vehicular traffic. Endless tea shops, arcades, ticky-tacky souvenir shops, etc.

This was also our first day of Cornwall "dogdom". We swear one in every three families had at least one dog with them, and we loved it. Within 2.5 hours, we got to visit with at least four Westies "on parade", most of whom were just as sweetly disrespectful to their owners as ours is (Westies think the world exists solely to suit their needs). In general, we observed that most dogs were expected to follow civilized rules of behavior. In fact, the two Alsatians who ended up causing a dog ruckus near the Looe station that day were the only dogs of our entire trip who could not seem to get along with others. We so enjoyed stopping for a cappuccino to enjoy watching the canine world go by our Looe cafe window.

We made it through the shopping area onto the far beach, and then Looe became more interesting to us. The temperature, and certainly the water, was not that warm, but the little kids on the beach were undeterred, and they and their families were busy making sandcastles, burying Daddy, and exploring the tidal pools in the various rock formations. Returning in the direction from which we came, we then checked out the rather underwhelming Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol Museum, East Looe and stopped across the street for what I refer to as "breakfast beer."

Sipping away, we looked up more things to do. Mmm. Cute little kids and sweet dogs aside, we really, really, really wanted to leave town. And rail pass in hand, we did.

We considered getting off at one of the stops back to Liskeard to take a woodland walk I had downloaded. But that walk would lead us back to Looe, and we really did not want to go back. Once back at the Liskeard Rail Station, we headed into the town of Liskeard instead. I knew there was a Liskeard Heritage Trail map one could get at the Liskead Tourist Information Office
Liskeard Tourist Information Centre: Maps, Guides, Free Advice.
We headed specifically to the little Liskeard Museum
Visit the Liskeard Museum on Pike Street Your Liskeard
where the LTI was located. I had read somewhere that the tiny top room had a nice little mining exhibit, and I looked forward to that place as our first stop.

We were inside this tiny museum with lovely, very dedicated staff for well over an hour. The mining exhibit was indeed modest, but also quite good. This small top floor had everything from models of mining works, to a beautifully done timeline, to examples of standard miner's equipment of the 1800s, to samples of the tin and copper found in the area. My favorite thing was a wall plaque showing all the places to which Cornish miners had emigrated. We had not only been to most of those US locations, but I had also toured mines in most of them. It was so great to be able to draw on past memories, realizing that the early technology I had seen in such places as Grass Valley and Leadville were reliant on the expertise of Cornish engineers and miners. Again, I was irked my husband got to have Cornish roots and I had none.

By the way, if one is researching Liskeard area ancestors, the staff at the museum can certainly get you in touch with the right people. We ourselves didn't have anyone to research--we had already done our Altarnun peeps and we knew the paternal line would be in Roche if we cared to go (we did not).

Most of the rest of the museum was devoted to memorabilia, including toys and lovely old photographs, of this centuries old stannary town. For those that don't know, there were originally five stannary towns in Cornwall: Lostwithiel, Bodmin, Truro, Helston, and Liskeard. The principal role of a stannary town was assaying and coinage of tin, the proceeds of which were passed to the powers that be in Cornwall and/or to the King. Here is a good article on the stannary towns: https://www.cornwalls.co.uk/history/...nary_towns.htm.

Practically next door was the Stuart House . This was sort of a "George Washington Slept Here" sort of place, only with King Charles the Ist as the star. Still, it's a good example of a typical town house of the era, and they had an exhibit on King Doniert. Usually known as King Dungarth/Donyarth, Doniet's legend stands because of the Doniert Stone, two pieces of an enscribed 9th century cross located near St Cleer on Bodmin Moor. The stone, found three miles to the north of Liskeard, commemorates this royal who drowned in around 875 and who is believed to have been the last-known independent king of Cornwall before it was dominated by the Saxons.

It is only natural that after our "hard" museum work, we would step in down the road to the new King Doniert Pub (a new Wetherspoon venture) for a libation. We were resolved not to go for IPAs since our American taste buds demanded a more "hoppy", less sweet, IPA than British taste buds enjoyed. Since the weather was getting much warmer, a nice crisp lager would do the trick, and St. Austell Korev Cornish lager had started suiting us just fine.

We returned to our lovely room at the Pencubbitt House, cleaned up and headed out back to Liskeard to our meal at Tapenades https://www.tapenadesrestaurant.co.uk/ back in Liskeard. I forgot to mention that the night before we ate Turkish at Daddios DADDIO'S - Home.

When we returned to go to bed, I made sure I put my fabulous British Airways eye shades on the end table just in case. I had learned the night before that the sun was not likely to set soon, that the moon would shine in like a spotlight, and the sun and birds would be waking me up a little before I'd want.

What lovely problems to have!
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2018, 07:24 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Interruption Post: How We Packed
SKIP THIS POST IF YOU DO NOT CARE


I was going to start working on Post Seven: Lanhydrock, Wadebridge and Padstow, but a friend of mine who had started reading the thread said, "You know, if might be helpful if you explained how you guys pack. If people don't really know you, they don't really understand how this is done."

I see her point. If one is imagining our lugging huge suitcases up hill and dale, that vision would not work well with the concept of a "sans car" couple. Again, SKIP THIS POST IF YOU DO NOT CARE

Neither are we the sturdy, backpacker type. We're somewhere in between. My husband is 73; I am two months shy of 65. He is a lifelong athlete with better-than-perfect-vision who has dragged me, a person ideally designed by body type (tall, long arms, nearsighted) to be a fabulous librarian to match his athletic adventures. Nevertheless, he now has 0 cartilage left in his big toes and he has a wonky knee plus a golfer's elbow. I am an arthritic disaster, having had one hip replacement at 60 and will need the opposite hip done sometime in the next few years; my Achilles tendons remind me daily that they hate me; and I'd still rather be reading my Kindle that following his boney *** up a hill.

That said, I still like to travel, and I do equate "cruise" with "nursing home." I figure as long as I keep following his boney *** up a hill, our two kids won't commit me to the home. And no, he is STILL not allowed to carry my backpack. That's a long story that involves his running UP the Bright Angel Trail of the Grand Canyon (elevation gain 3K feet from Plateau Point), and impatient that I was merely walking it at a quite steady pace, he oh so kindly (only in his mind) offered to relieve me of my burden. My response can never be posted on a family website.

Over the past almost 40 years of married life, our European trips were either "museum" type--we'd head to a central spot and then do daily adventures--or "cycle trips", where we needed to lug, no matter how lightly we tried to go, at least three pairs of heavy padded biking shorts, rain gear, cycle seats, gloves, etc while moving hotels usually every 2-3 days. Often, we mixed the two trip types. No matter what, our rule of thumb was "Don't check luggage!" We used whatever carry-on suitcase size that was legal on the airline we were flying, plus a sturdy backpack (not the huge "camping out on the trail" type) as our personal item and we'd often wear our heaviest shoes and layers with lots of pockets. Airline luggage fees were never the envisioned problem; instead, not getting all the cycle gear by the time of our first ride could ruin the entire trip for our family of four. By doing this type of packing, we saw the side benefits: we packed far, far less; we could easily find what we packed; and our luggage always fit inside teeny tiny hotel rooms.

We have also always planned for two types of laundry washing: sink washing (blow-up hangers, Tide, stretchy clothesline) and perhaps a laundromat stop. We relied on two-day stays, and preferred 3-day, to get the job done. Bras and socks need a good 24-hour dry, for example. Heated towel racks can get that done faster.

This same type of packing mentality has usually made travel by rail--something we have done with almost every overseas adventure, whether it's a "museum" or "cycle" trip for at least one leg or two--easy.

These were the rules we shared with our kids:
  • Balance your weight between your backpack and your suitcase, erring on the side of the suitcase being heavier for balance.
  • Never pack more in the suitcase than you can hoist onto the first step of the train.
  • Never pack more on your back than you can hoist into the carriage overhead.
Those rules still work. It's the luggage itself, though, that can be key.

I don't pack for my husband, even to the selection of which suitcase, etc. I do always share with him a packing list I'll be using, one generated from my too extensive database of past packing lists, and then he gets to go to the top shelf of our big closet in our apartment to seek what he'd like to take from our married years' worth of luggage. He independently decided upon the same type of luggage gear as I did for this specific trip:Notes:
1. I bought us the Lipaults eons ago as soon as they came on the market. We knew that European airlines were becoming quite exacting as to overhead sizes, and these fit the bill. Because of their small size, we could pack them for an easy "plop" onto the first step of a train.
2. The disappearance of the GoLite TravelLite Convertible Carry-On mystifies me. These bags are AMAZING. They are totally soft, perfect for packing clothes neatly, have backpack straps, a shoulder strap plus TWO handles that I can loop over a roll-on if need be. I hope someone can find its replacement. I know we'll get ours repaired should they ever break.


Amazingly, we both also independently decided to take both the large and small sizes of our New Outlander DayPacks. Empty, both can lie flat in the divider between both sides of the GoLite and weigh nothing. If we are checking luggage, we can whisk these out easily, divide our any of our carry-on stuff between the two daypacks so that one with our most immediate needs stays with us and one goes overhead. If our luggage is back in our room for a stay, we can decide which size we need for the adventure of the day. For example, on this trip, if we knew we were out for the whole day, we'd often have to lug an alternate pair of shoes and insoles (we are flat-out old and have found that changing shoes and/or insoles allows us to spend a bit more time on our feet).

As to other things, well, I don't rely on ziplock bags as much anymore. I used to swear by them. I used to be totally like Elizabeth Hurley's Vanessa in Austin Powers II with everything labeled ad nauseum. OK, I still pack a fresh stash of ziplocks in all possible sizes, along with a few white garbage bags, in the suitcase outside pocket and am always happy that I do that. However, my inside organizers are now packing cubes that I have picked up over the years at ebags, TJ MAXX and Marshalls. Like my ziplock bag packing of old, I can unpack by tossing these in whatever direction I need in two seconds. The larger packs fit perfectly into the two sides of my GoLite, allowing me to remove my pants packing cube and my tops packing cube quite quickly to place them quite nicely onto hotel room shelves or into drawers.

So I promise I shall resume this thread soon with
Post Seven: Lanhydrock, Wadebridge and Padstow
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2018, 08:02 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,954
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My sister lives close to Looe and the town has been well described here, but what is "breakfast beer"?
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2018, 08:50 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love my lipault 20 inch but am watching my husband packing his 18 inch and had to walk away. He is going to SD but has a military function so has dress shoes, uniform and cover. I laid my 20 inch on the bed and walked out.
Is the chapel also the same one the Aunt's funeral was held in Doc Martin? I always wonder what made my relatives leave England for America in the 1600's but what you describe explains much of it. Very interesting report.
Macross is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2018, 09:52 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bilboburgler--I'm afraid that breakfast beer is one enjoyed at or before 11 a.m. I guiltily and quite frequently partake. Heck, it's kept me following Mr. Fitness without grumbling as much.
He seems to support my decision.
I hope I did not offend with my description of Looe.

Macross--I cannot downsize beyond the 20". I would have had to have been a size 2, and since I was 5' 4" by fifth grade, that was never happening. And if I had a car available and have to check, you better believe I'm doing a 22". I am in awe of those people who board with the teeny tiny things. Then again, I think: "Don't envy. They probably checked HUGE suitcases that servants must manage."

As to the funeral church from Doc Martin, a quick search shows that one was in Cove Church in Gunwalloe. Its specific name is St Winwaloe (aka The Church of the Storms). It's actually on the opposite coast of where Port Isaac where most of the series is filmed. The wedding church in Altarnun is not that that far from Port Isaac, but it's not a coastal church at all. St. Nonna's is very nestled into the countryside, with a lovely bridge-over-babbling-brook type of thing. We did not visit St Winwaloe, but as I shall relate later, the cove view there is oft repeated throughout our journey.
AlessandraZoe is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO