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Six weeks until our trip - Edinburgh and Cornwall!

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Apr 2nd, 2016, 10:26 AM
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Six weeks until our trip - Edinburgh and Cornwall!

Hello Fodorites - Warning: long post!!

I am busting at the gills with excitement for our upcoming trip and want to thank all who have helped in the planning process. With advice on this forum starting over a year ago, I made plans, changed them, changed them again, and finally settled on the perfect plan for myself and my mother. This will quite possibly be our last trip to the UK together, and we're visiting the two places highest on our wish list - Scotland (Edinburgh) and Cornwall. I was very skeptical at first about combining these two geographically disparate destinations, but with a bit of encouragement and thought, put together the following plan.

I do have a couple of questions on Cornwall and York after this rather long itinerary - just thought I'd post the full itinerary if anyone was interested.

13 May - Arrive in Edinburgh from the States; Have rented a one bedroom apartment on the Royal Mile for 7 nights. Thought we'd visit St. Giles Cathedral and have a bite in the café on arrival since it's mere meters from our apartment, then find some groceries and settle in.

14 & 15 May - Edinburgh sightseeing: Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Yacht Britannia and the Botanic Gardens

16 May - Rabbie's West Highlands Lochs & Castles day tour

17 May - Rabbie's St. Andrew's & Fishing Villages day tour

18 May - "Free" day to do whatever we want in Edinburgh

19 May - Rabbie's Rosslyn Chapel & the Borders

20 May - Train to York, hoping to arrive by 10:30. Our B&B is minutes from Bootham Bar, so we plan to walk straight into the heart of the city and meander around enjoying the sights, perhaps take some tea at Betty's or elsewhere, spend a good long time touring the Minster and stay for evensong. Short visit to York, but we plan to make the most of it by taking it slow to absorb the atmosphere.

21 May - Long train ride - York to Exeter, change in Exeter, arrive Penzance about 17:00. Since we're arriving too late to pick up a car, we plan to get a taxi to our cottage in Marazion, where we'll spend one week.

22 May - Leisurely car-free day in Marazion; visit St. Michael's Mount, stroll around the village, etc.

23 May - Pick up car in Penzance (actually, it's Enterprise, so they'll pick us up), spend the day in/around Penzance. We'd like to visit Trengwainton Garden this day and possibly Mousehole.

24-27 May - Do whatever we feel like doing each day! We'll definitely do the drive around the Penwith Peninsula and visit St. Ives (would park at St. Erth and take the scenic train into town); the rest is kind of loose. We've received excellent tips from Annhig and others, but I have a couple of specific questions below.

28 May - Turn in car and train to Newbury, where we will stay two nights at the Carnarvon Arms. This is the start of the May Bank Holiday, so hopefully we'll get away from Cornwall just as the crowds descend (our cottage rate seems to reflect that, anyway).

29 May - Visit Highclere Castle, including afternoon tea at the Coach House.

30 May - Private driver to Heathrow, from which we depart around noon.

Questions:
- Cornwall: Mom really wants to see Port Isaac, and we'd both like to visit Lanhydrock. I realize each involves a drive of at least 1-1 1/2 hours each way from Marazion. Also, I realize Port Isaac isn't the most accessible destination, but I've discovered that a shuttle runs from the car park into the heart of the village and back, which would eliminate the uphill walk for my mom. Since this is probably our only opportunity to visit Cornwall, is there any reason not to bother with one or the other of them? If we do go to Port Isaac, could we make a scenic drive out of it at least one way, with stops along the coast?

- York: Should we try to fit the York Castle Museum in on this day? We both think it looks very interesting, but I'm concerned it's just too much since we don't arrive until mid-morning, and really only have the rest of that day. Our top priority is to tour the Minster, attend evensong, and just get a taste of the city (will include the Shambles).
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 11:20 AM
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I think you can easily do both Port Isaac and Lanhydrock on the same day the full round trip drive Marazion > Port Isaac > Lanhydrock and back would take about 3.5 hours maybe a little more. It will be a long day but basically the morning through lunch time in Port Isaac and the mid-late afternoon at Lanhydrock. It is only about a 40 minute drive from Port Isaac to Lanhydrock.

re York -- I would do anything I could to fit in the museum -- it is almost my favorite thing in the whole city - after the Minster of course. There is a huge amount of building work going on at the Minster so you won't be able to see too awful much inside -- the Great East window for instance is totally blocked off from view.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 11:40 AM
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Your trip sounds fantastic. You will be visiting my two favorite places, Scotland and Cornwall. Throw in York and it's perfect.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 11:41 AM
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I second Janis's rec. of the museum in York! I enjoyed it thoroughly and would enjoy going back again one day!
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 11:54 AM
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Oh - Excellent idea, Janis! For some reason I hadn't considered doing both Port Isaac and Lanhydrock in one day, but mapping it out on the AA route planner, it certainly looks doable, and would free up a whole day (as opposed to doing it in two trips) to do whatever we feel like in West Cornwall.

Re: York Minster - It appears (on the website) that most of the restoration work is complete and most of the scaffolding should be down. If I'm understanding correctly, at least half of the Great East window is back on display - any locals know exactly what's going on?

It sounds like we really need to fit in York Castle Museum! We should be able to get to York by 10:30 at the latest, and our B&B hosts have already told us we can leave luggage there if we're too early to check in. If we take a taxi from the B&B to the museum, spent 2-3 hours there, walk back to the Minster via the Shambles, we should have a couple of hours for the Minster before evensong - sound right?

Thanks Janis, Historytraveler and Irishface!
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 11:57 AM
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Your itinerary looks fabulous!
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 11:58 AM
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Why, thank you, GinnyJo!
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 12:18 PM
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I agree that you could do Port Isaac and Lanhydrock in one day and as you say it would free up another day to explore West Cornwall. According to Mappy.com it's about 1 hr 20 mins from Marazion to P. Isaac, another 40 mins to Lanhydrock and an hour from there to get home.

If you set off first thing, you could spend the morning exploring P. Isaac, have an early lunch there, then drive to Lanhydrock, tour the house and gardens, then have tea and go home. Or if that timing doesn't work for you, there is a golf club nearby with and excellent bar serving very good bar meals:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_...l_England.html

[I've taken clients there several times and never been disappointed].

So far as a tour of West Cornwall is concerned, I've posted this before, but this is what we did with my mum once day: [we started from Redruth whereas you have the advantage of starting from Marazion, so you've at least 30 mins start on us].

Drive west to Porthcurno - tour the Telecommunications museum and the Minack theatre. Then bypassing Land's end, head for Sennen, and visit Cape Cornwall. Then follow the coast road going north as far as possible, visiting St Just, [a quirky cornish village with some lovely little shops] Bottallack [coastal mining scenery as seen in Poldark, Gurnard's head [lovely views and a great gesture-pub] Zennor, and finally St Ives if you have time [you might have supper there - it will be a short drive home across the peninsular].

You could of course reverse this route but doing it this way you will have the sun behind you, and you will get to St Ives as everyone is going home which would be an advantage.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 12:25 PM
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Ah, Ann - nice to hear from you. Both days sound great - Port Isaac and Lanhydrock, and the drive around West Cornwall. If we did finish in St. Ives, where would you suggest we park? I've read such awful things about driving into St. Ives that I thought we should make a separate trip there by train from St. Erth, but I'm all ears (or eyes) for how we can fit it into our Penwith Peninsula day!
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 12:32 PM
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BBgt - if you get there relatively late, you could park up by the station, and walk down. Alternatively there is a big carpark up by the Tate from which they run shuttle buses I believe.

of course doing it as a separate day would avoid any worry about this - and I can't predict what the traffic will be like when you get there. Fortunately as you say you miss the school half-term holiday by a week [it starts on 30th May this year] so it shouldn't be too bad.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 01:02 PM
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I thought about combining St. Ives with a visit to Godrevy, as it seems there are great views of the lighthouse and an easy coastal walk there, so perhaps we'll keep St. Ives as a separate day. I'll keep those parking tips in mind, though.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 01:21 PM
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BBgt - Godrevy is one of our favourite beaches and there's a nice cafe there too which gets good reviews, though we've not been there yet.

it would make a nice pairing with St Ives.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 01:38 PM
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Well, that sounds like a perfect day out then! Thank you so much, everyone. This feedback has helped tremendously.
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 01:54 PM
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if you stop your drive round West Cornwall before St Ives, i suggest supper at the Gurnard's Head:

http://www.gurnardshead.co.uk/Supper.aspx

we have always enjoyed eating there.

[they also run the Old Coastguard in Mousehole but we have had mixed experiences there; sitting having lunch in their garden is very nice though]
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Apr 2nd, 2016, 02:04 PM
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That would be the perfect end to our day!
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Apr 4th, 2016, 01:28 AM
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Port Isaac is beautiful and it would be a huge shame not to see it if you might not be coming back.

However, lots of Cornwall is a bit like that. Mousehole and St Ives are both gorgeous and much closer to your Marazion base. I agree 100% with AnnHig's suggestion above to drive the coast road from St Ives to St Just, via Zennor.

If your heart is set on Port Isaac, it'd be a shame not to combine it with Tintagel?

That said, if you're set on Lanhydrock as well, it might be better to make a longer day of it. Start at Port Isaac (75 mins from Marazion), before heading down to Lanhydrock (35-40 mins), and finally making a brief stop at Fowey (25 mins) before heading back to Marazion via St Austell and Helston (90 mins).

It'll be a busy day, but you'd be able to squeeze a lot in.
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Apr 4th, 2016, 04:47 AM
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Love your plans! I would pop the museum to one side. Perhaps just see how you feel when you get there
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Apr 4th, 2016, 05:52 AM
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Your trip sounds great. As an Edinburgh local I thought I would comment on your "spare" day. As you are right in the heart of the city (literally! Have a look outside St Giles for the Heart of Midlothian) there is so much to do on your doorstep that you can afford to take the day as it comes.

I would recommend Mary King's Close over the Edinburgh Dungeons (allow a half day either way) and Gladstone's Land over the Museum of Childhood (although each are a reasonably quick visit). If the weather allows, a stroll up the steps to Calton Hill (during daylight hours), or a wander around Princes Street Gardens and the National Gallery will fill a couple of hours. I've never done a walking tour, but you can find spots on most of them at short notice.

York and Cornwall, I can't offer much personal advice as I tend to visit friends/family there, but I do tend to use this website (http://www.campsites.co.uk/guides/ul...-visitor-guide) for a quick overview when planning trips "down South", as we say up here! Enjoy your trip
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Apr 4th, 2016, 06:14 AM
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NewDriver - I saw that Cornwall guide mentioned on another site too. Beautiful isn't it!
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Apr 4th, 2016, 06:17 AM
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Thank you, JamieSS, Sharp16 and NewDriver - great ideas! I don't have much time at the moment, but will look more closely at these suggestions. I like the idea of "popping" things to one side and seeing how we feel on the day.
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