" 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.