Cornish Winter Break 2: Looe

Continuing the coverage of my Cornish Winter Break with Looe and a brief mention of Rame Head.

INTRODUCTION

In my previous post I set the scene for what will be a series of posts about my festive season in Cornwall. In this one I will deal with the visit my parents and I made to Looe. I also take this opportunity to draw your attention to the fact that Phoebe is once again offering us all a chance to promote our blogs on her site – follow this link.

THE JOURNEY

We made this trip by car. There is also a rail route involving a change at Liskeard, which I may avail myself of on a future occasion. We parked just in East Looe (East and West Looe are linked by a bridge, which we walked across) and set out to explore. Here are some preliminary pictures…

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The first six pictures here were taken while in transit.

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This fort is of the same vintage as Fort Picklecombe where my parents have thier apartment.
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This was once a fine hotel – the sort of establishment in which an Agatha Christie story could be set – or one from either of Carola Dunn’s two series (it is probably more a DS Pencarrow setting, not least given its location, than a Daisy Dalrymple one, but neither would be absolutely out of place).
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The first picture from Looe itself.

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EXPLORING LOOE

There were many interesting things to see in both East and West Looe, including a few bits about the area’s history, a lifeboat station (although not being afflicted by the kind of extreme tides that northwest Norfolk gets they have only a boat, not a hovercraft as well) and a new boutique distillery (only gin, apparently not very good stuff, at present, but they will ultimately be producing whiskey which may be of better quality in due time). During the summer months, when much more is open, the place must get very crowded indeed, so I was glad to see it at a time when one could actually see the place and not just a vast mass of bodies. This was a very satisfying first outing of my Cornish holiday.

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I always like this sort of thing.

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This was where we had our lunch – and it is a TARDIS like place – you would never believe looking at this frontage how much there is inside it.

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There is a tea shop on Norfolk Street, King’s Lynn that has a display a little like this one, but this is only the second of its kind that I have seen.

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The Tower House…
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…first of order of business for a new owner would be to get the roof replaced.

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I enjoyed this little monument (two pics)

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This distillery.

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THE RETURN JOURNEY

On the way back we visited Rame Head, where there is an old church and a coast watch station. This was a splendid way to end the day.

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Some pics from the return journey.

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An old church

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Cornwall for Christmas

An account of journey from King’s Lynn to Cornwall for the festive period.

INTRODUCTION

After a very quiet day yesterday, following a day of travelling the day before I am settled at my parents place in Cornwall, where I shall be spending Christmas and the New Year. This post details the journey down, before ending with some photographs.

KINGS LYNN TO CORNWALL

On Friday night it was the sensory friendly Panto performance at the Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn, which was excellent fun. On Saturday morning, with my packing accomplished I got the 9:20AM bus from just opposite my bungalow to the town centre (my baggage was heavy, so walking would have been very tough), arriving in good time to board the 10:13 train to London. Almost precisely two hours later I arrived at King’s Cross, with 45 minutes to get from there to my pre-booked seat from Paddington to Plymouth. The Hammersmith & City line (the district/circle line station is Paddington in name only) played ball for once, and I was at Paddington in good time. There was a warning that all was not necessarily well on the GWR when the platform information for my train did not come up on the departures screen until 10 minutes before it was due to leave. Ensconced in my seat I poured a cup of coffee from my cheapo travelling flask (it proved up the job) and waited for departure…and waited some more, until an announcement came through that our driver had been delayed on an inbound service and that we would be at least 20 minutes late getting underway. At this point I phoned my mother because even with no further delays that was likely to prove enough to prevent me making my connection at Plymouth for an onward journey to St Germans. I therefore arranged to be collected from Plymouth instead. In the event, it was fully 40 minutes after our scheduled departure time that the train finally got moving. We lost no further time on the journey, although the last section between Totnes and Plymouth felt like it was taking a long time. It would have been about eight and a half hours after I had left my bungalow in North Lynn that I finally got to my parents place.

CORNWALL

A combination of tiredness from the previous day’s travelling and some fierce Cornish weather ruled out doing anything much yesterday. However today we will be going to Looe. In the bad old days of rotten boroughs the two villages of East Looe and West Looe were both recognized as parliamentary constituencies, and each returned two MPs. These days it is well known as a seaside resort.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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A present from Karan – a London Undeground themed storage box.

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Now Assembled (three pictures)

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Pictures from the James & Sons christmas lunch – which took place at a Thai restaurant near HQ in Fakenham.

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Christmas lights in King’s Lynn

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Waiting for the panto to start (three pics)

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A display at Paddington.
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Shots from the living room at Fort Picklecombe, showing some fairly dramatic weather.

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Waves crashing around the lighthouse.

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Sailing in these conditions is either very brave or very foolish.

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A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 8: Ascending St Michael’s Mount

Continuing my account of my visit to Cornwall, with the ascent of St Michael’s Mount.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my stay in Cornwall. This post takes us up St Michael’s Mount and covers some of the stuff at the top. There will be at least two and possibly three more posts about the day.

BASE CAMP (!)

Among the places at ground level, before the ascent begins are the restaurant where we would be having lunch and a visitor’s centre which provides a comprehensive introduction. After these one passes through a field that contains a dairy cottage before the ascent begins.

Ships in the distanceSea ViewFind Your WayMapLooking back at the mainlandMuralIllyriaFootprintsMural PlaqueModel of the mountPlan the dayWelcome to St Michael's MountPicture of the mountTL1

TL2
No sops for creationists here! The straight truth about the formation of the granite of which the mount consists – it was formed longer before the dinosaurs roamed the earth than we are after the last dinosaurs disappeared.

TL3The castleThe GardensTL4Boat 1Boat 2Boat info boardThe DrakeAmphibious vehiclesDUKWBoat on the islandThe St MichaelOur venue for lunchMarazion from the IslandThe abbey from belowCreelsOutdoor artworkHutConservation notice

THE ASCENT BEGINS

The climb up to the buildings on top of the mount begins by way of The Pilgrims Steps, continues past the Giant’s Well and the Giant’s Heart and a cannon emplacement. Then comes the first indoor section and a roof terrace where we pause until the next post in this series…

The pilgrims stepsView across the sea

Giants Well
The Giant’s Well – from an old folk tale

Giants Well sign

The vicinity of the Giants Heart
And about 50 yards further along The Giant’s Heart.

The giants heart sign

The Giants Heart
The actual heart!

FrontageArcher's alcoveSea view from aboveSea view from above IISea view from above IIICannonsCannonMarking on cannonView from the cannon emplacementSea View from above IVThe main buildingDistant view of PenzanceYachts and a headlandPenzance from St Michael's Mounttwo yachtsThree yachts

Wall mounted militaria I
The first weapons display – in the next post you will see another one.

Swordsthree swordsGunsGunCrossbowJewellery displayCannon and ammogiant crestCrossed swords ICrossed swords IIDrummers kitPortrait 1Portrait 2Trio IMantelpiece and trioClockCentral UnitGrandfather clockCentral Unit IIBoyPortrait IVCorner unitChest IChest IITrio IILadyArtists representation of the mountMiniaturesquartetLady IIQuartet IIMiniatures IIMiniatures close-upFancy CabinetLiving spaceLibrary and game zoneChess boardChess board IIHeraldry display wallRoof patterning and friezechapelShieldsshields and ornamentsLong tablefrieze workstained glass Istained glass IIstained glass IIIsingle panelShields anf friezeshields and friezeRoof beamsAlcovewooden bas-reliefShieldSilverwareSilverware IISilverware IIIStained glass VStained glass VIShip panelstained glass womanTriple panelstained glass heraldic lionStained glass jester panelCircular stained glass panelsSilverware IVdecorated chestQuintetOval picturePicture of a Cornish gentFireplaceTrio IVbay window

Garden from above I
Us hoi polloi can only view these gardens from above – we never actually get into them.

A study in blueGarden from above IIGarden from above IIIGarden from above IV

Sundial
A very elaborate sundial.

Detail from sundial

Roof terrace
This where our next post will start from.

A Fish and Chip Lunch and a Walk

An account of my Friday in Cornwall.

INTRODUCTION

I am a bit behind with blogging about my stay in Cornwall because of the time it takes to edit the photos and the fact that I had a long day out yesterday – an excursion to Penzance about which there will be much more later. 

THE LUNCH

Ahoy Fish and Chips, a mobile fish and chip shop, call at Fort Picklecombe for Friday lunch time. We bought lunch from them – cod for my parents and a beefburger for me, all with chips. The chips were of excellent quality, and the pricing was very reasonable. 

Chips Ahoy

Warning sign
How to mee your health & safety obligations without actually doing anything.

THE WALK

Having walked to Kingsand and Cawsand the previous day I walked the other way this time, climbing up quite high above the sea. Here, barring a few preserved for the next and final section of this post are the pictures I took while out on this walk…

FOCUS ON THE LIGHTHOUSE

The lighthouse which is visible from my parents new home features in a number of pictures that I have taken. I open this section with a mini challenge that I titled “Framed” – do you have a picture where there is a natural framework for the centrepiece of the photo? If you create a post containing the picture, and provide details in the comments, and I am impressed I will reblog you. Here is my starter…

framed lighthouse

Here are the rest of the lighthouse pictures…

Lighthousetree framed distant lighthouseLighthouse IILighthouse close upLighthouse and headlandLighthouse from on highLighthouse framed by branchesLighthouse and treesLighthouse and branches

 

 

Kernow!

Setting the scene for my Cornish holiday.

INTRODUCTION

To explain the title of this post, Kernow is the Cornish name for Cornwall, and that is where I am at the moment, staying for a few days in my parents new home. Here is a map to start things off:

Kernow map

My parents new place is near Kingsand, towards the bottom centre of the map. 

In this post I will tell you about the stage I left the November auction in, describe my journey down from King’s Lynn and finish with a few pictures from the new house.

JAMES & SONS NOVEMBER CATALOGUE

I had booked Thursday and Friday as leave, and in order to be as up to date as possible before going on leave I agreed to work Monday as well as Tuesday. By the end of Tuesday the imaging was as complete as possible, and I had given my colleague Andrew a start towards the printed catalogue, with a front cover image selected and placed appropriately on the page and the back cover completed. I offer links to the files and also screenshots:

CatalogueCatalogue – coin book versionBC screenshotFC screenshotFC Screenshot 2

Why two versions of the front cover? Well my employer did not like my initial choice of front cover image, requesting the coin book in its place, and being me I kept both versions.

KING’S LYNN TO CORNWALL

The first part of my journey was on the 9:54 train from King’s Lynn to London, which mirabile dictu ran to time. As far as Cambridge I had the company of Jo Rust, Labour candidate at the last two general elections in my constituency. Ely Cathedral was, as often, a target for my photographic attentions:

Ely Cathedral 2Ely Cathedral

On arrival at King’s Cross I headed down to the Circle/ Hammersmith & City/ Metropolitan lines to get a train across to Paddington. The first train was heading for Uxbridge, therefore not one for me to take, but the second was bound for Hammersmith, and hence going by way of the right Paddington, the one that is structurally part of the mainline station, as opposed to the Circle/ District line station that should revert to it’s original name of Praed Street. 

Giant Roundel, Kings CrossVic, Met, H&C, CN&PAll KC linesLU mapWestbound, KCPlatform roundel, KCUxbridge departureDistrict lineMapsH&CPaddington

Paddington H&C
Looking across Paddington from the H&C platforms (these are platforms 15 and 16 of the main station).

Paddington all lines

Having a had a decent but not stellar connection at King’s Cross I arrived at Paddington with just under an hour to go before my train for the long-haul section of the journey was due to depart. Although careful to stay close to the information screens that I would not miss the platform number for my train when it came up I did get some photos while I waited for this information.

Paddington InfoSnack Van, PaddingtonPlansStation plan, paddingtonPaddington arched roof 1Paddington, Heathrow ExpressPaddington clockPaddington latticeworkHeathrow Expressironwork, PaddingtonDetail, Paddington

I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked during the train journey to Plymouth, as my camera’s battery ran out of charge just beyond Exeter (so no pics from Newton Abbot, Totnes or the approach to Plymouth). The train arrived in Plymouth exactly on schedule, making it a jackpot-like two train journeys in Britain on one day that had run to time!

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The first stop out of Paddington – from here there was a long fast run to Taunton, then Tiverton Parkway, Exeter St Davids, Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth.
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Some Cornish refreshment from the on-train bar, although at prices that would have made the proprietor of a plush central London pub blush (£4.50 for a half-litre bottle!)

Tiverton Parkway 2Exeter St Davids

Sea View from Train
A first glimpse of the sea on this journey.

Picklecombe Fort, wherein my parents have their new apartment is about 2.5 miles from Plymouth as the crow flies, but the road journey is so roundabout that this portion of the journey took almost the same amount of time as King’s Lynn – London had at the start of the day!

THE FIRST CORNISH PICTURES

This morning, with my camera battery fully charged I took some pictures here at Picklecombe Fort.

En suite
The guest bedroom has an ensuite bathroom cunningly disguised as a set of cupboards.
light fitting
Mean spiritedness from the previous owners.
Book display
My parents library.
View from bedroom window
Three views from my bedroom window…

View from bedroom window 2View from bedroom window 3

View from balcony
The rest of these pictures were taken from the balcony, and show the apartment’s #1 selling point – the sea views.

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Lighthouse special
The third picture I took featuring the lighthouse.

 

Scotland – Homeward Bound 1: Ferry Cottage to Lochluichart

Starting the account of my homeward journey. This post covers the first part of the Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness rail route.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my Scottish holiday. This post starts the account of the homeward journey. We are looking at Saturday June 3rd for the record.

WHY LOCHLUICHART?

Those who recall my post Getting There, will remember that on the outbound journey I had to travel on a replacement bus rather than the railway line for the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh leg of the journey. For the return journey I was on the train, and the railway route is far more scenic than the road route. Thus, this section of the journey warrants more than one post. As for the actual selection of a break off point, Lochluichart stuck in my mind both because of its name and because a large party of students (school or FE I think) who had clearly been on a field trip in the region boarded the train at that station. 

DEPARTURE

I had set the alarm on my phone, but being me actually did not need it, waking up before it was due to go off. Transferring sandwiches and bottle of cooled tap water from the fridge to the bag I intended to keep with me at all times accomplished, my parents were ready to give me a lift down to the station at Kyle of Lochalsh, and we arrived there nice and early. I had been assigned an aisle seat, but the train not being over full (this was a  train leaving at 6:11 on a Saturday morning after all) I moved to a vacant window seat later in the journey. As far as Plockton we were of course in an area that I had seen a lot of over the previous week, but the view from the train gave a different perspective.

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PLOCKTON TO STROMEFERRY

As one of the photos in my post about Plockton shows, Stromeferry was the original western terminus of the line when it opened in 1870, the Kyle end of the line only opening in 1897. The segment of line between Plockton and Stromeferry is very scenic indeed:

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STROMEFERRY TO STRATHCARRON

From Stromeferry the line heads to Strathcarron, the largest settlement in the vicinity of Loch Carron.

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STRATHCARRON TO ACHNASHEEN

After Strathcarron, through which we passed on the road route to Applecross – see these posts:

the railway route diverges from anything previously covered as it head rounds to Achnasheen.

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Spot on for a floral display at a train station!

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ACHNASHEEN TO LOCHLUICHART

As we approached Lochluichart I was amazed to see the platform of this tiny station in the middle of nowhere looking crowded. It turned out that it was the student group referred to in the preamble to this post, and the rest of the journey to Inverness was rather less quiet than hitherto!

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A Beach Hut at Old Hunstanton

An account of the NAS West Norfolk day at the beach hut.

INTRODUCTION

I am taking a one-post break from my series about my holiday in Scotland to cover last Sunday’s NAS West Norfolk activities centred on the Mencap beach hut at Old Hunstanton which we had for the day.

GETTING THERE

Having checked on google maps to remind myself of the distance between Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton I decided to get the bus to Hunstanton and walk from there. Having a choice between Stagecoach and a local operator (Lynx) I naturally decided in favour of the local operator. This decision was rewarded with a fare that was less than I would have paid on Stagecoach:

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For a sunny Sunday in June the traffic was quite light, and the bus reached Hunstanton pretty much on schedule. I then set off on the walk to Old Hunstanton. I have stated before on this blog that the shortest route is not always the best on my reckoning, and this was another situation where my chief criterion was not shortness. For reasons that I will not insult the intelligence of my readers by elucidating my sole criterion for choosing my route was to stay as near the sea as possible.

blackbirdMap2Map1renewable energyFlying bird 2Flying bird 1renewable energy 2Lighthouse and ruined churchLighthouse and ruined church 2lighthouseP1020007ruined church 1Wolf sculptureSt Edmund and the WolfSt Edmunds doorwayAltarAltar stoneInfo Board - St Edmunds Hunstantonlighthouse2Lighthouse plaqueTowerTower plaqueCrowsnestSeaMap3Footpath marker

Old Hunstanton Beach
Old Hunstanton Beach. I initially failed to identify the correct beach hut, but after a few minutes scouting I was noticed by one of the others.

PRE-LUNCH – THE LIFEBOATS

Having got to know the beach hut some of us took the RNLI up on their kind offer of a tour as they explained about what they do, their boat and their hovercraft. This latter is one of only four in the whole country. The boat has to be towed into the water by tractor, and anyone familiar with north Norfolk beaches at low tide will therefore have little difficulty in understanding why the hovercraft which is an amphibious vehicle is sometimes necessary.

Propellers
I took these first few pictures before the initial tour – the building was open and no one attempted to stop people from looking.

PipingHovercraft frontsturdy ringsHovercraft jacketEnginesLifeboats LogoControls 2Controls 1RNLI Hovercraft1

beach friendly wheelchair
One of the bits of equipment the beach hut have – a wheelchair specially adapted for going to the beach (btw it did get used as we had someone who uses a wheelchair in our group).

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Net
Net at the beach hut

BH

The Beach Hut
The beach hut
Ancient Mariner1
Identifying a lunch spot.

lifeboats info2Lifeboats info 1Controls 3Controls 4Hovercraft2Boat ShedPretoursignsGuide and gear

Layer 1 - warmth
The first layer of a lifeboat person’s gear – this one is for warmth
Layer 2 - waterproofing
this wetsuit with built-in wellington boots goes on next to ensure that you don;t get absolutely soaked.

L2WHelmet modelling

The helmet and lifejacket complete the outfitting
The ensemble is completed with a helmet that has a ;protective visor and a lifejacket with a few extras.

Boat -sterntrailer frameBoatMotor