Saturday, 27 May 2017

Cotehele - National Trust Estate

" The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and, I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all . . ."

so said Octavia Hill, National Trust founder in 1888.

I so agree with her and that is why I am a member of this organisation that looks after our national treasures, our heritage, nature and wildlife, land and landscape including our coastal paths.

One such place is Cotehele (pronounced  coat-eel) https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele
which is only a few miles from my home and a favourite place over the years for walking with dogs, children and grandchildren and I was there again yesterday with Benji.
The car park charge of £3 per car per visit is free to National Trust members, so at £5.40 per month for my membership fee, just 2 visits covers that cost. 
We took the woodland path . . . . 

 A very welcome seat to rest from the climb, listen to the birdsong all around and admire all the fresh greenery as well as a first few Foxgloves.

 "C'mon, then - let's carry on!"


 A small, very simple chapel . . 

















In his survey of Cornwall, Richard Carew notes the interesting reason why Sir Richard chose to build a chapel on this particular spot on Cotehele land.

‘Sir Richard Edgcumbe was driven to hide himself in those his thicke woods, which overlook the river, what time being suspected of favouring the Earl of Richmond’s party against King Richard the Third, hee was hotely pursued, and narrowly searched for; which extremity taught him a sudden policy, to put a stone in his cap, and tumble the same into the water, while these rangers were close at his heels, who, looking down after the noyse, and seeing his cap swimming thereon, gave over their farther hunting, and left him liberty to shift away, and ship over into Brittaine; for a grateful remembrance of which delivery, hee afterward builded in the place of his lurking, a chapell.’


 Benji and I climbed a little higher and came to a viewing point with views across the Tamar, far below, to the little village of Calstock and the Calstock viaduct, part of the Great Western Railway.

 How about that house for a beautiful spot to live, on the bend of the River Tamar, facing south and surrounded by beauty?
Of course, you would have to own a boat, too . . . 

 Maybe something a bit smaller, then?

 On the way back down to Cotehele Quay, we passed a huge stand of Gunnera.


















I was looking forward to reaching the Quay, partly to see again the Tamar sailing barge, "Shamrock", built in 1899 and now permanently kept here. But I confess I was looking forward even more to a very welcome cup of tea and hoping there would be a table free in the tiny secluded garden at the side of The Edgcumbe Tearooms. My luck was in - only one table was occupied/

 Here comes my pot of tea - and a slice of Apricot Sponge! Well, it looked so good it would have been rude to leave it, wouldn't it? (I had eaten half of it before I remembered to take a photograph - sorry!)

 It's such a pretty little garden with rambling roses almost hiding the entrance gate; I did wonder if many of the customers who were either inside or sitting on benches out the front were even aware of it.


 The perfect place to sit awhile after our walk, in the dappled shade of an overhanging tree.
Benji hasn't been to a beach yet - a surprising omission by me, so maybe our next jaunt will be to Seaton beach, Cornwall. 
"The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and, I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all..."
- Octavia Hill, National Trust founder, 1888
"The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and, I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all..."
- Octavia Hill, National Trust founder, 1888

Saturday, 20 May 2017

On Bodmin Moor; at Lanhydrock Estate and on the coastal path at Hannafore.

My two youngest grandchildren were full of energy as usual, so along with Benji we walked and explored on Bodmin Moor. The children enjoyed climbing and jumping on the grassy slopes and the rocks, while Benji was fascinated by all the small white, furry animals that were so like him! 


A long disused Engine house.



 An opening that had to be explored by children and dog alike.

 Of course, we had to make the usual hooting noises as we passed through this tunnel!

I do believe he's a little bit slimmer than he was a month ago. It must be all the walking he's doing.



Last Saturday, I met with a fellow blogger - Mary of 'Trundling Through Life'. 
She was down in Cornwall for a short time and we arranged to meet at the dog-friendly Visitors' cafe near the main car park at  Lanhydrock, as I would have Benji with me. 
Hmmmm . not quite as dog-friendly as we'd hoped. Mary left her trundle truck outside and using a walking stick she accompanied me into the cafe and sat at a table, but then we were told that dogs can't enter the cafe. So out we had to go, to the verandah.  Luckily the sun was shining but there was quite a cold breeze blowing around while we ate our Cream Tea and drank our coffee. I realised that I won't be able to go again as if I have Benji with me, I can't even buy a coffee.
However, we enjoyed all the beautiful colours of Lanhydrock Estate, especially the Rhododendrons and the Bluebells, masses of them. 






 Two days later, Benji and I were walking the coastal path at Hannafore, which overlooks Looe and St. George's Island, just off the coast.
Lots of photos, for which I make no apology - they are especially for one of my sons who works in Afghanistan and so misses his beloved Cornwall.  I'm sure he'll recognise all these areas and he can picture himself walking there again. 
He hasn't met Benji yet either, so enjoy, David! 






 A Benji tail just disappearing around the next bend; this exploring lark is exciting!


 So - where to next?  Watch this space!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Out and about with Benji

He is a changed dog!  After 2 weeks, he has conquered his fear of dogs, children, people in general and has met, for the first time, sheep, cattle and ponies.
Whereas he would stand rigid with fear whenever another dog approached him, he is now happy to accept them and even sniff back. 
Next Friday, I have arranged to have him weighed again at the groomers; it will be 2 weeks since he weighed in at a massive 17.15 kgs. and I am hoping that he will have lost some weight, what with the daily walks and healthier diet.  At least I will be able to tell whether I have his portions about right.

 I'm very happy that he is friendly around children; here he goes off with my two youngest grandchildren with just an occasional backward glance to check I'm still there. 


Guess who has fallen in love!  



 There was very nearly an argument between this Belted Galloway cow and one very small dog - Benji objected when the cow turned to look at him, so he 'wuff'ed at her. She lowered her head and stepped towards him, so we beat a hasty retreat. Just look at that expression; she looks quite annoyed, doesn't she?

 Benji also found out that when a ewe positions herself between her new lamb and an irritating dog and stamps her foot - she means business.  Once again, we retreated. Only part of Benji appears on the photo because I was trying to reel him in at the same time as focus my camera!


Anyone for garlic? The Cornish lanes are smothered this year and the scent of garlic is amazing.  I love it. 




 I found a bank of this white-flowering plant, which I thought might be Vinca - but the petals are the wrong shape. I'd be grateful for help with identifying it. 

 And above all, a wonderful deep blue sky - with sunshine.