North-east Cornwall holiday snapshots (part 2)

From a sea-life safari and massive water slide to a historic house and gardens, here follows more snap shots from our week’s holiday in north-east Cornwall (for the first post, of beautiful coastal walks, click here!).

Boat Trip with Padstow Sealife Safaris

Early in our stay the forecast across the country was for extremely high temperatures, ranging from 30 to 40 degrees celsius – thankfully Cornwall was on lower end of the scale, but nevertheless it was hot! We opted to go out on a morning boat trip, returning in time for lunch and a siesta. We drove to the historic fishing port of Padstow and set out on a two hour excursion with Padstow Sealife Safaris.

A number of boats set off at the same time, which gave the group an opportunity to cover a larger area of coastline in the hope of spotting dolphins (sometimes whales!) – which we were very fortunate to do! The boat that spotted them quickly contacted the other boats, letting them know their position. It was magic to watch the dolphins happily playing the bow wave of one of the other boats.

We covered around 25 miles of stunning coastline on our excursion and as well as dolphins we saw a number of seals around the islands, as well as various seabirds. I only had my phone for photos, so couldn’t zoom in on the seals, but it was lovely to see their little heads popping up to take a look at us!

The sea breeze felt so good as we picked up speed, after leaving the Camel Estuary and entering the Atlantic Ocean.

After a lovely couple of hours, we left the coastline of bays and caves, to renter the estuary and moor up for a pub lunch. We all felt quite frazzled from the sea air and sunshine!

Visit to Lanhydrock House and Gardens

Magnificent Lanhydrock House was built in the 1600s, but the extensive grounds are much older. Until 1530, it was religious land belonging to the Priory of St Petroc. After Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries, church property was taken away and given to important landowners instead.

Lanhydrock House
Approaching the front gates of Lanhydrock House

The National Trust now run the property and if we’d had more time we would have felt inclined to hire bicycles to explore the woodland areas, or enjoyed a walk in the 900 acres of historic countryside. We had enjoyed quite a few walks already during our visit to north-east Cornwall, so our visit to Lanhydrock, on this occasion, was to see the splendid Victorian house and meander through the surrounding gardens.

One of the most fascinating parts of the house was the 35m long Gallery which survived a devastating fire in 1881. This spacious room with its ornamental plasterwork ceiling contains the National Trust’s most important library comprising of the scholarly working collection of the 1st Earl of Radnor (1606-85) (Lanydrock’s early history). The incredible barrel-vaulted ceiling contains 24 main panels depicting incidents from the Old Testament, dating back to the 17th Century.

My Dad and I had a leisurely stroll through the house admiring the many paintings along the winding corridors. Alice talked her Aunty into a game of chess in ‘the nursery’. The house had a wonderful ‘nursery’ with different rooms and activities for all ages to enjoy.

It was a beautiful house to visit and we enjoyed the gardens very much.

Giant slip ‘n slide!

One afternoon we stopped by a giant slip ‘n slide set up in a field, where Alice and her Aunty had a blast sliding down on boogie boards, giant rings and solo. I sat with my Dad and we watching with great amusement, guessing how far they’d make it down the slide each time. My sister made it all the way to the end a couple of times, where there was a pool of water.

Our time in north-east Cornwall was filled with sunshine, beaches, walks, history and of course Cornish cream-teas and a few other refreshing drinks. The closest pub to where we stayed was ‘The Old Inn’ in the moorland village of St Breward. We took a stroll up through country footpaths one evening, climbing over stiles and rocks, to find the pub, where we felt we definitely earned our drink, before heading back down to the valley where we were staying at Coombe Mill. The breathtaking views over the countryside made the climb worth it and the pub had an incredible artwork on the side of it.

Our final night in Cornwall was spent at Trebarwith Strand, with my sister’s school friend and her family. We enjoyed a lovely time on the beach before having dinner at the Port William Inn, watching the sunset over the bay, a perfect way to end our holiday.

Farewell Cornwall!