Cornish Winter Break 14: The Shipwreck Museum at Charlestown

An account of my visit to the shipwreck museum at Charlestown, mainly told by way of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in series about my winter holiday in Cornwall. Following on from my last post about Charlestown, our focus today is the Shipwreck Museum there.

SHIPWRECKS ACROSS THE MILLENNIA

This museum features salvage from wrecks that span over 18 centuries. It is an interesting museum and I enjoyed my visit. The story of my visit is best told in…

PICTURES

Cornish Winter Break 13: Charlestown

An overview of the visit to Charlestown during my Cornish winter break, and a warning – this place is overhyped.

INTRODUCTION

For one reason or another it has been eleven days since I last found time to put up a blog post, but now it is time to continue with my series about my Cornish Winter Break. In my previous post I brought the curtain down on a remarkable day in which we visited Tintagel and then the Jamaica Inn. This post, the first of two about Charlestown, is somewhat different in nature.

A JOURNEY UNDER FALSE PRETENSES

The trip to Charlestown, a preserved Georgian port, was planned with high expectations due to a claim on its behalf that it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Actually it is under consideration for that status, and based on my visit has little chance of being awarded it. It has an attractive harbour, and a few other points of interest, notably a shipwreck museum that will form the subject of my next post, but it did not come close to living up the hype. Do not put Charlestown down as an absolute must visit – if you are staying very close then it may be worth your while, but it is not somewhere to attempt to make a day of.

PHOTOGRAPHS

As usual I finish with some pictures…

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Tin Ingots with coins set into them being sold as souvenirs.

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I bought this one for myself.

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These last pictures come from three different establishments we looked at while trying to find somewhere to have a coffee (yes it took three attempts to find somewhere suitable).

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Cornish Winter Break 12: Jamaica Inn

Continuing my account of my Cornish holiday with a mention of the Jamaica Inn.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series about my Cornish winter break. Just before I get to the main meat of the post there is…

MY NORFOLK HOSPICE STORY

I have been working with the Norfolk Hospice on an account of my story that they can use for publicity purposes. It is now online and can be read by clicking here.

JAMAICA INN

This features in the novels of Daphne Du Maurier and Rosamunde Pilcher (the latter is apparently a bigger draw these days). The Inn, a former coaching inn and smuggling hotspot, serves a good range of drinks at prices that are not sufficiently much over the odds to cause real annoyance. I opted as usual for their locally brewed real ale (they also had a few less local options, notably a couple of beers that clearly came from Dartmoor). The decorations are quite impressive, and there is an ever changing display of foreign banknotes pinned up by customers – my nephew added some Indonesian money while we were there. It was a fine adjunct to the Tintagel trip.

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Cornish Winter Break 11: Tintagel 3 Conclusion

Concluding my account of my visit to Tintagel during my winter break in Cornwall.

INTRODUCTION

I continue my account of my Cornish holiday with my third post about the visit to Tintagel.

FINISHING THE EXPLORATION

There is a lot to see up on the heights, where I left us last time, and I enjoyed every moment of it. Once we got back to the bridge (see the first post in this ‘series within a series‘) it was time for a decision. The others wanted to go down to the beach to finish, whereas I had by that stage reached a limit, and opted to get the Land Rover back up from the landward side of the bridge (there is a pick up point a very short walk from the bridge). We agreed to meet at the pub near the top of the Land Rover’s run. The Wootons as it is called is very unflashy pub, unlike a couple of others in the area, and I was pleased to find a pint that I had not previously sampled. Although this brings the visit to Tintagel to a close, the next post will actually conclude my account of the outing.

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Another aspect of this site.

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My chosen refreshment – a pint of Sea Fury, brewed by the same people who make Doom Bar (at £3.80 it was a little expensive, but given the location hardly extorotionate).

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Cornish Winter Break 10: Tintagel 2 Exploring the Ruins

Continuing the sub-series about my visit to Tintagel within the series about my Cornish holiday. Also taking the opportunity to pitch for votes for NAS West Norfolk for Lynn News Charity of the Year.

INTRODUCTION

I continue my account of my Cornish holiday with the second of what will be three posts about Tintagel. In my previous post I ended with the new bridge that one uses to enter the grounds of the castle. Before getting into the body of this post I have small piece of business to attend to…

NAS WEST NORFOLK ON SHORTLIST FOR LYNN NEWS CHARITY OF THE YEAR

NAS West Norfolk, of which I am branch secretary, is now the only organization in West Norfolk to whom autistic people can turn for help. We are run by volunteers, all our money comes from donations, and is all used to run activities that help autistic people. For more details about The Lynn News Charity of the Year and to vote please click here. Please also help to publicise this any way you can.

THE CASTLE GROUNDS – THE ASCENT

Excavations are ongoing, but already a huge amount has been revealed – this place was massive back in the day. Within the castle grounds the official walking routes are well kept, and the ascents and descents are all fairly manageable.  When the weather is good, and we were lucky to get an exceptionally benevolent day, there are some stunning views in addition to the ruins. Time now for some photos…

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The first of a number of interesting info/ story boards around the castle.

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The sun prevented me from getting a really good picture of this view, but I wanted to share it anyway.

Cornish Winter Break 9: Tintagel 1 – A Bridge to the Distant Past

Beginning my account of Tintagel, the next stage of my account of my Cornish Holiday.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest installment in my account of my Cornish winter break, which is the beginning of a ‘series within a series’ – a number of linked posts about Tintagel, mythical birthplace of King Arthur and an English Heritage site.

THE JOURNEY

To get from southeast Cornwall to Tintagel involves a journey across Bodmin Moor. My sister who was driving took what Satnav considered to be a short cut, which in brute distance terms it was, but that fails to take into account the relative quality of the roads involved. We found a space in the car park in the village (like many other places in Cornwall a former rotten borough), walked to the visitor centre only to find ti closed, and then headed for the castle.

HEADING TO THE CASTLE

The path down to the bridge which takes one into the castle grounds (of which more later) is very steep, and offers nothing to grip on to for support, so I opted for the Land Rover service instead (costs £1.50) as did my mother. The Land Rover drop off point is right at the bridgehead.

A NEW LANDMARK THAT COMBINES ACCESSIBILITY AND FUTURE PROOFING

I consider the new bridge that enables one to enter the castle grounds without descending right the valley floor and then climbing back up the other side to be a landmark in its own right, and as the driver of the Land Rover I travelled in explained, it is vital for another reason – before it was built the site was one major landslide away from being turned into an island, whereas now it will remain accessible for future generations. This is a place that definitely dates back to the 4th century, and maybe earlier (the Arthur connection is that whoever lived here then was rich and influential enough to still be importing stuff from the Mediterranean, Rome’s declining influence notwithstanding), and for it to have been cut off what have been a tragedy.

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The bridge.

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The surface of the bridge.

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Cornish Winter Break 8: Fowey

An account of my visit to Fowey.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest post in my series about winter holiday in Cornwall.

NARROW STREETS AND HEAVY FOOTFALL DO NOT MIX WELL

The town of Fowey (pronounced ‘Foy’ to rhyme with joy) sits on one side of a drowned estuary, with the old fishing village of Polruan, which I have previously visited and enjoyed, on the opposite side (for readers of Bernard Knight’s books this is the Polruan from which Crowner John’s sidekick Gwyn hails). We were there at a quiet time of year, and it was noticeably crowded even so, so I dread to think what it would have been like being there in the summer. I enjoyed it reasonably, but on the whole I cannot recommend it – there are better ways to spend a day in Cornwall than visiting what is for my money an overrated as well as overcrowded town.

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