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Preliminary itinerary check for whirlwind Cornish adventure

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Feb 1st, 2013, 09:07 PM
  #1
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Preliminary itinerary check for whirlwind Cornish adventure

Me and two of mine (husband and 16-year-old son) are flying over to England to join our daughter (19) for a short break from her studies in early March. She is only free for the weekend, and we do not have much longer.

We'll fly overnight on Tuesday, arriving in London on Wednesday.

We'll spend Wednesday and Thursday in London. We love London, and will be glad to wander her streets with no particular agenda other than getting over jet lag.

On Thursday night, my daughter will join us in London and we will take the Riviera Sleeper from Paddington down to Cornwall -- I know, lots of people hate night trains, but it is an adventure! And one unaccompanied by the same frisson we felt on the night train from Venice to Naples...

We'll be staying at a self-catering apartment (Hawkes Point) in Carbis Bay, a 5-minute train ride or 20-minute walk along the coastal path from St-Ives.

We'll have all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday to explore. So far the plan is to spend time in St-Ives and Penzance, adapting our activities to the weather, and hopefully doing some more walking along the coastal trail, maybe Sennec Cove to Land's End. Perhaps take in Mousehole and St-Michael's Mount -- castle and gardens will be closed though.

About us: We like to explore, hope to do a lot of walking, and we enjoy cultural activities (although my husband invokes a 'no more than two churches/galleries/museums a day' rule). We are more the live to eat than the eat to live type of family.

What are the must see and do's of southwest Cornwall in March? I know that it will still be very early Spring, but we are hardy Canadians. Any suggestions on places to eat?

Monday we have to get our daughter back to school in Herstmonceux, East Sussex. It is about a 5.5 hour drive along the south coast and we'll likely rent a car and drive ourselves. We have to have her back by 3:30 in the afternoon for class, but we will want to break our trip for lunch somewhere nice along the way? Any suggestions?

We'll spend a couple of days in Herstmonceux, staying at a 17th century b&b called Cleavers Lyng and exploring the surrounding area: Brighton, Eastborne, the Downs. Then, we kiss our daughter goodbye, drive up to Heathrow, return the car, and fly back home.

We are looking forward to this trip, even though it is a quick one. We really appreciate your feedback.

Thank you!

A
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Feb 1st, 2013, 09:22 PM
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One more thing: any recommendations for car rental companies? Thanks again!
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Feb 1st, 2013, 11:22 PM
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Can't comment on March so I'm not sure how much of this applies. Hopefully resident expert annhig will join in to give you some pointers.

We visited last August. There's a link to my blog and photos in my TR if that helps.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...sh-holiday.cfm

We did some short walks (Penzance to Mousehole, Sennan Cove to Land's End) and visited Mt. Saint Micheal separately so do have a look.

It's just one opinion, but we were somewhat underwhelmed by Mousehole. Minnack Theatre is worth a look if it is open/accessible in the off season.

I'd be worried about the public transportation options at that time of year, but that's partly out of ignorance. You might consider getting the car a day or two earlier . . .
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Feb 2nd, 2013, 01:43 AM
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No expert, but:

- the Minnack Theatre is open year round to look at (and from, which probably matters more), though performances don't really restart till late April
- I was surprised this time last year at how much of the county's bus services were year round too. The only public transport I spotted not running were the buses to the Minnack Theatre. The trains into St Ives weren't just running fully, but astonishingly crowded.
- "it will still be very early Spring, but we are hardy Canadians. " And possibly too Canadian to realise that very early spring in Cornwall equates almost to a Canadian summer. It might be very wet and windy (as at any other time of year), but temps today in Cornwall are 7 centigrade and by early March they'll be well into double digits (again: centigrade) there'll be flowers all over the place and you ought to be seeing lambs in the fields.
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Feb 2nd, 2013, 09:12 AM
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Its been 20 year since I've stayed in/near St Ives so can't help too much w/ details - hopefully annhig will see your thread.

But one thing in your post caught my eye >>Monday we have to get our daughter back to school in Herstmonceux, East Sussex. It is about a 5.5 hour drive along the south coast<<

Thought to myself that sounds wrong so I checked the AA site and along the coast it is over 300 miles and 6.5 hours. In 'real life' one often needs to add 20% to more than 50% to those drive times. I'd count on a minimum of 7 full hours 'car time', and possibly as much as 8 hours.. Not much time for a nice stop unless you leave at 0 dark thirty.
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Feb 2nd, 2013, 01:34 PM
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Agree with janis, 5.5 hours is way too short. Could be much longer. annhig may have a more realistic idea.
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Feb 2nd, 2013, 03:19 PM
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Hi all and thank you for the suggestions.

Indy Dad, I enjoyed the photo essay and thank you for your suggestion of the Minnack Theatre. I have also noted that we should visit the Bakehouse in Penzance.

flanneruk and janisj, I have benefited from you good advice before, both directly and through your advice to others, so thank you once again!

flanneruk, I am SO looking forward to the flowers and lambs! There is nothing like that around here in March. That said, I do invite you to visit Canada (the inland parts of the country) in our brief but glorious summer when temperatures are from mid-twenties to thirty-ish. We are a land of weather extremes!

janisj and Carrie Ann, thank you for the heads up about the real travel time to Herstmonceux. In Canada, Mapquest directions can be considered quite conservative in terms of time estimates; so it is good to be made aware that this is not the case in the UK. We'll leave at 7 am!
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