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First attempt at SW England itinerary - comments please?

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Sep 19th, 2013, 09:29 PM
  #1
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First attempt at SW England itinerary - comments please?

Hello fellow travellers, I am hoping for some help to fine tune my itinerary in this beautiful part of the world.
We will have about four weeks to spend and are very keen to limit the amount of stops we make so have planned around mostly 4-7 day stays based on availability of the cottages/accommodations I like the look of!
Interests are walking, horse riding, photography, history and the ubiquitous quaint villages.

So far, I have something like this - nothing booked yet but wanting to soon because many of my favourites are disappearing already .....

Night 1 Arrive Gatwick at midday from Oz - maybe stay somewhere close by to recover
Nights 2 and 3 Dorset - somewhere near Poole area perhaps
Nights 4-7 Cottage near Exeter
Nights 8-14 cottage near St Mawes
Nights 15-21 cottage in Boscastle
Nights 22 and 23 ? Lynton/Lynmouth (nothing chosen yet, maybe B&B)
Nights 24 -26 Bath (nothing chosen)

I am a little constricted by when start and minimum days are for the chosen cottages but think this would give us time to explore each area quite well.
Would love to hear the experts thoughts please!
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Sep 20th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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hi ozgirl,

I'd love to help you plan this trip to our lovely South west, but first of all - WHEN is it? it may not matter, but it might affect some of what I suggest.

Regards

Ann [who lives in cornwall, BTW]
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Sep 20th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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I love Boscastle and have stayed there for a week or more for several years. I know that part of the north Cornwall coast reasonably well as far as surfing beaches and villages go, but whatever your tastes, St Nectan's Glen has to be on your 'to visit' list. It is a magical place.

But as Ann (Fodors' Cornwall [Cornish?] Expert!)asks - when are you visiting?
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Sep 20th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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We stayed at the Apple Tree Guesthouse in Bath. It is a very short walk to the Cathedral and Roman Baths. Les and Lynsay, the hosts are wonderful and breakfast was great each day. Check out their website for more details but we enjoyed it thoroughly!
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Sep 20th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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Sorry guys, that WAS remiss of me!
Will land June 13. Fly to Ireland from Bristol probably on July 10.
Thanks annhig, Julia and livetoroam will check out all suggestions when I wake up properly , keep them coming please.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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St Nectan's Glen>>

St Nectan's Glen, Julia? as they say round these parts, where's that to? [emphasis on the THAT please]

thanks, ozgirl - that helps a lot.

I'll leave the Dorset bit to others, ditto Exeter as they are not my specialist subjects, but to move onto the best bit, if you fancy St. Mawes, you've probably already worked out that it's quite quiet, and to fill 5-6 days, you'll need a car [presumably you are going to be hiring a car?] if you want a bit more excitement there's always Falmouth, accessible by the ferry either from Custom House Quay or the main quay in the centre of town by the Moor, but the ferry doesn't run after about 6pm.

an alternative of course is to stay IN Falmouth, and use it as a base for getting boats and doing trips all round the area. If seeing the Roseland specifically and in depth is your desire, that's probably not a good idea; OTOH if you want to see a wider area, have something to do if it rains, and more to do at night than just play scrabble, Falmouth would be my choice. [you can see which way I lean in that debate, can't you?] Don't get me wrong, St. Mawes is lovely and particularly if the weather is good you could have an excellent time, but for me, a week in a cottage there could be a VERY long time.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 04:22 PM
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Hi annhig, thanks for the feedback - exactly what I'm after
Yes, we will have a car and enjoy driving although I understand it will likely be busy on the roads at this time?
I was envisaging this cottage as the base for all of southern Cornwall, so day trips from there?
Would it be suitable for that? We would probably go out for dinner a few nights of the week but DH loves to cook local produce so not fussed too much about not being 'in a town.'
However, if the location is too remote to be considered a good 'base' then I would reconsider.
It was less about St. Mawes itself and more about the fact that I have seen two properties that I like that just happen to be in the vicinity!
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Sep 20th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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Ok Ann - so now I'm zooming in on my map a bit and see the potential problem. The Roseland is somewhat "cut off" from the South - perhaps I would be better looking west of Falmouth?
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Sep 21st, 2013, 10:06 AM
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ozgirl, St Mawes is undoubtedly a lovely place with a few nice restaurants to eat in, but shops for provisioning are few and far between and you might be hard pressed to fill 5-6 days without resorting to driving quite a long way.

IMO Falmouth or environs are a better bet - you have the whole of the Helford area to explore, some great NT [and private] gardens to visit, you are within reach of Penzance and even Lands end and you can easily get to St. Mawes by getting the ferry from Falmouth. if you're keen on walking, there is a classic walk from Place [reached by the tiniest ferry from St. Mawes] to St. Anthony's Head and back, and also a lovely stroll/walk from St. Mawes up to St. just in Roseland and back, but that's about it in the immediate area.

From Falmouth, there's the walk along the beaches/coastline to Maenporth, and good walking around the NT at Trelissick, reached by boat from Falmouth. further afield, if you go to the NT garden at Glendurgan, and walk through the gardens to Durgan village, you can walk along the coast path to Helford Passage, and eat either at the pub there, or get the ferry across to the Ferry Boat Inn across the water.

Phew - I feel tired just writing about it!

it shouldn't be too busy at the time you're here- the whitsun half term ends before you arrive, and the major summer school hols don't start til after you've left.
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Sep 21st, 2013, 10:24 AM
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if you're staying in Boscastle, there's lot to see along that part of the coast, though I don't know it as well as the area around Falmouth. .However, I would leave a night or so for the area between Boscastle and Lynton/Lynmouth specifically between Morwenstow and Appledore, which is rarely visited by "emmets" [apart from the over-commercialised village of Clovely] .but is simply stunning.

Starting north of Boscastle, Morwenstow was the home of the Rev Hawker, who tried to rescue the sailors and others whose ships fell prey to the "Wreckers" who used to lure ships onto the treacherous coast; Hawker was quite happy preaching to a congregation of animals apparently, and built a hut on the coast path as a look-out. He is also renowned for firstly marrying a woman 20+ years his senior, and when she died, taking a wife 20+ his junior.

If you can tear yourselves away from the beautiful coastline at this point, you can drive north to Hartland Point, where the coastline does a right angle turn, and the rocks stick out into the atlantic in weird angular formations - someone built a harbour here years ago but it didn't last long. Sadly the pub there has never been very good, but you can't beat the location.

further inland at this point are the lovely Hartland Abbey, and Docton Mill gardens - both lovely and with great teas!

then moving east along the north coast you get to Clovelley -picture postcard gorgeous but the victim of its own beauty, Buck's mill, which is almost as lovely with no-one there, the pretty town of Bideford, and overlooking the river Torridge, one of my all-time favourite places, the colourful fishing and shipping village of Appledore. Do try to squeeze a night in there if you can - you'll love it I'm sure. there are few things better than a stroll along Irsha street [all the houses painted different colours] to the lifeboat station, followed by a pint in the pub half-way back. Then wake up in the morning to sound of the curlews along the estuary - perfect.

from there it's an easy drive to Lynton/Lynmouth which makes a pretty good base for exploring the nearby Valley of the Rocks and Exmoor.

Hope that helps!
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Sep 21st, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Lynton/Lynmouth is in a beautiful area, spectacular views. We've stayed at The Rising Sun twice, excellent restaurant, small but nice rooms however the shower stalls were the tiniest I've ever experienced but I did succeed in showering!

http://www.risingsunlynmouth.co.uk/p...th-hotels.html

Our daughter lives in Bournemouth/Poole--I'm inclined to suggest you stay west of Poole along the coast but what are your interests and budget? There are several hotels I can recommend, or maybe a better word is reference, in the cities. We have stayed at a lovely b&b west of Poole just outside Bridport on our way to Cornwall. If interested, I will try to find the name.
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Sep 21st, 2013, 10:43 AM
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<>

St Nectan's Glen, also called St Nectan's Kieve, is a waterfall in a deep valley midway between Tintagel and Boscastle. It tumbles down through a hole in the rocks into a basin and then a pool. The Glen is about a mile's hike from the road, through the most enchanting wood with mossy banks and twisting paths.

And once you get there the silence apart from the sound of the water falling is profound. It has become known as a place for healing, and a sort of shrine - there are ribbons and candles and messages tucked into the rocks and tied onto the trees. If you go there late afternoon when most of the visitors have gone, and you have the place to yourself it can be a most uplifting experience.

However I hesitate to post the link to the website because they are really playing on the 'secret mystical' element, with whimsical references to fairies and piskies. Such a shame to exploit this beautiful natural feature in this way, because there is something special about it.

The wikipedia entry gives the facts, and there are some terrific pictures on google images. Take a look.
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Sep 21st, 2013, 11:23 AM
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thanks, Julia, will do.
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Sep 21st, 2013, 04:12 PM
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Exeter area (where I originally come from). I'd suggest staying in Topsham - an attractive little town and ancient port on the tidal estuary of the River Exe. Some good places to eat, great pubs, and 15 minutes by train or bus into the centre of Exeter where there's plenty to see and do. The city centre is pretty compact so easy to get around. Driving inland doesn't take long, and you're not far from Dartmoor, which is another must when the weather is fine. Plenty of picturesque villages with thatched roofs and thick cob (primarily a mixture of straw and mud) walls painted white, cream or a washed out pink. Plus plenty of decent country pubs. As an alternative inland I'd suggest Woodbury, on the coast Budleigh Salterton, both also southeast of Exeter. There's an excellent farm shop now expanded into a whole complex just outside Topsham - Darts Farm Village, that includes one of the best fish and chip shops in Britain and a great butchers.

June isn't peak season (schools don't break up until early/mid-July for the summer break) so places won't be that crowded.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:29 AM
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Thanks for those great replies everyone!
Cathinjoetown, would love the name of the B&B if possible? We want to be close enough to visit a little pub that my son worked in for awhile in a little village near Wimborne Minster.

Grindeloo thanks for the tips on Exeter, I had a look in Topsham and Budleigh Salterton and couldn't find exactly what I wanted but have emailed about a lovely looking place in Woodbury and waiting to hear back.

Now Cornwall, Ann I have found a couple of likely looking cottages down near Mullion/Helston - ideally I would like to do perhaps nights 8 and 9 in Falmouth (and do St Mawes from there) and then finish that week off further south perhaps in the property near Mullion? The problem being of sourse that everyone requires one week bookings at this time. Maybe we could do a 2 night B&B/hotel stay in or near Falmouth and pay for the week in the Mullion (or surrounds) cottage and only stay 5.
With regard to further north, google maps says it is only 2 hours from Boscastle to Lynmouth (obviously longer with stops) so would we need to overnight in somewhere like Appledore or are you simply suggesting we do because it is so good?
I was planning to cover that area in day trips from Boscastle but could stay there instead of Lynmouth I guess? I was just looking for somewhere to be an easy drive into Bath for the last couple of nights.
Love the story about Rev Hawker by the way, he sounds very versatile!!
Thanks to all once again, I am feeling a little more organised.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 04:15 AM
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Here it is:

http://www.highwayfarm.co.uk/
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 06:57 AM
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Hi Oxgirl. We've stayed in villages in the south of England on several occasions including a rural farmhouse on the Dartmoor, Helston in Cornwall, and Topsham and Branscombe in Devon. We enjoyed all of them but Branscombe is our absolute favourite. We've been there several times. It's a beautiful small, unspoiled village 85% owned by the National Trust. It's situated on the coast near Seaton and Sidmouth and has amazing walks along the cliffs to Beer. A 25 minute drive along some lovely country roads will get you into to Exeter. If you're interested in B and B there's the Mason's Arms ... a fabulous small inn and pub. There are also lots of cottage rentals.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:07 PM
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Ann I have found a couple of likely looking cottages down near Mullion/Helston - ideally I would like to do perhaps nights 8 and 9 in Falmouth (and do St Mawes from there) and then finish that week off further south perhaps in the property near Mullion? >>

mmm - you do like these out of the way places, don't you? Mullion is quite a long way down on the Lizard, great if you want to spend the entirety of your time walking parts of the coast path round the lizard [there are some lovely paths to walk, including one around Cadgwith, and other at the Lizard itself,] but going anywhere else requires quite a boring drive back up the length of the Lizard. there are a few other places to see - Coverack, Helston, Porthleven, the Trelowarren Estate [great restaurant] Gunwalloe [gastropub, or it was] but it's very weather dependent.

definitely I would give Falmouth 3 nights - I day for St. Mawes, another for Falmouth itself [Pendennis Castle is worth 1/2 a day] and/or Trebah and Glendurgan gardens and the coastal path along the Helford [described above]. Even so i think that sells it short, but that's just me.

Whichever you choose, don't miss having lunch or dinner at the excellent Trengilly Wartha Inn at Constantine - we found it when we rented a house in the village when we first moved to Cornwall and had it been within walking distance of the village, we might well have stayed there. terrific food, a great wine list, a good range of beer and proper cider, and nice people too. come to think of it, they have rooms and cottages to rent and the position might make a nice compromise:

http://www.trengilly.co.uk/

I see that there are some negative reviews for the accommodation on TA, though some are good as well - we've never stayed there so I can't personally comment. But the food is well worth the trip.

going further north, yes, I AM saying that Appledore is worth staying in because it's so good! and it makes sense - you can drive up to Morwenstow for a walk then lunch, call in at Hartland in the afternoon, then overnight in Appledore, which puts you nice a close to Lynmouth for the next day.

I'm surprised that at that time of year, renters want full week lets. where are you looking? the tourist board keeps a list of property that is inspected - www.visitcornwall.co.uk
What are the places that you are looking at near Mullion?
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Oct 1st, 2013, 04:43 AM
  #19
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Thanks for the latest replies - have been without my precious internet for awhile unfortunately
Yes, Ann, we do seem to like the out of the way places I guess!
Will do some more research on next days off and be back with more questions no doubt!
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Oct 1st, 2013, 11:09 AM
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keep them coming ozgirl.

just try to hang onto that naughty internet!
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