Polgoon, Penlee and Penzance

One of the Cornish days was just spent around and about Penzance. With a day visit from Lynne (dovegreyreader) we all three enjoyed a lovely sunny visit to Penlee Gallery “The artistic heart of West Cornwall’s history”. There’s a nice cafe where we had lunch before wandering around the galleries.

Next up was a short taxi ride to Polgoon Vineyard just a couple of miles out of town. What a beautiful location! We learned about this venture set up in the early 2000s on a sunny slope looking out to sea and the microclimate which enables the owners to produce award-winning wines and ciders. The tour includes a walk through the vineyard to the grape vines (some nurtured outside and others in poly tunnels) and orchards. A description of the various traditional and modern processes (pressing and fermentation) involved and finally, a tasing of five different wines. I’d tasted the cider in Newquay where the waitress had recommended booking the vineyard tour.

Chandelier in the shop

Apple trees in blossom

We learn about growing grapes

What a view!

Penzance has three bookshops! All three are excellent and we visited them all. The Edge of the World is the main stockist of new books on the main drag – Market Jew Street; Barton Books on Causewayhead stocks art books (art in the broadest sense of the word) mostly new but a few secondhand and is a special delight; Newlyn Books in Captain Cutter’s House on our very own Chapel Street, just a stone’s throw from the Egyptian House, “offers an eclectic collection of excellent quality antiquarian and second hand books in its new premises in Penzance. A traditional second hand bookshop, where you are free to browse the selection of books with everything from art and design, books of Cornish interest and other travel titles to cookery, lifestyle and more. A wide range of fiction is also available.” In the antique mall opposite us I picked up a full set of the Famous British Authors cigarette cards for a bargain price! There was also a very decent selection of secondhand books which might be overlooked by browsers unaware of their existence on the first floor of the mall.

Zennor Head and Lower Tregerthen

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A couple of years ago I read the late Helen Dunmore’s fictional account of the time D.H.Lawrence and his wife Frieda spent in Cornwall during the First World War. “Zennor in Darkness“. Thus I was intrigued to visit this village : to walk to Zennor Head and back and take in the cottages at Lower Tregerthen both a mile or so out of the village in different directions. The bus service in winter runs roughly every three hours but I found arriving at 12.08 and leaving at 14.52 gave me sufficient time to do both walks there and back; to visit the pub The Tinners Arms for fresh crab sandwiches and local apple cider and to call in at the church to see the famous mermaid carving which I had also read about.

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Cornwall’s Tin Coast : Exploring Botallack

Right at the very end of Cornwall, just to the north of Lands End, lies The Tin Coast a seven mile stretch of coast with a rich mining history. It’s part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, inscribed in 2006, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Newquay Walks in Sunshine : Huer’s Hut

Whilst at Penzance, staying at The Second Floor Flat at The Egyptian House on Chapel Street, I chose to read from the Library Lucinda Lambton’s ‘An Album of Curious Houses’ . I wasn’t surprised to see The Egyptian House featured. It’s certainly a curiosity amongst the other buildings of Chapel Street. Continue reading