Back in 2010 when I was grounded in London to recuperate from a tropical disease I had contracted on a worktrip, Lil’sis and I had a most successful two night trip to Cornwall — my first visit (that I can remember) to the county, and although it did rain a little, we found much to love. We stayed at The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth, walked along the cliffs for the obligatory National Trust cream tea and regretted only that The Scarlet was at that point a dog-free zone.
We loved it so much, and had such an enthusiastic response from readers as far away as Japan, that when I received an email a few weeks back from the PR for Visit Cornwall asking me if I would like to return to check out the local produce, and various other things, we leapt at the suggestion.
Not least because lil’sis had such a wonderful time in Marrakech and was so much better physically when we were away: it’s clear to me that one of the best ways I can contribute to her welfare is to take every opportunity to remove her from her quotidian reality of feeling like crap, shuttling between doctors, hospitals and the sofa.
So, using their suggestions as a foundation, I have put together a tentative itinerary for five days at the end of March. And this time we are taking the dog. We will take the train to Newquay from Paddington, (I thought about driving but it’s five hours by car & I can work on the train), pick up a hire car (so cheap — £99 for the duration!) and stay at The Scarlet for a night — now accepting canine guests. I’m thinking I may go walking along the cliff tops in the morning with the rat, whilst lil’sis wallows in The Scarlet’s spa.
The we will remove down the road to a dog-friendly Beach Retreats self-catering apartment at Watergate Bay. This is the point where we go all food-obsessed. There is a spring Cornish farmers market on the 24th March, supported by Fifteen Cornwall, where we can meet local suppliers & buy the ingredients to cook supper, the possibility of taking a pasta-making workshop at Fifteen Cornwall, and maybe brunch there too on Sunday.
Then we will dive down to glorious– looking The Lugger hotel on the Cornish south coast, spend a day at the Eden Project, (I’m very impressed with their Accessiblity scheme — they even have wheelchairs on site, common in the US but practically non-existent in the UK), and maybe visit some more gardens. Then the train back from Truro to London Paddington. We are thinking about taking the First Great Western overnight sleeper — has anyone done it, and could recommend it?
Really, it couldn’t be more perfect — lovely hotels & local restaurants, sea views, dogwalks, gardens, wonderful Cornish produce and fresh air. Holidaying in Britain has never seemed more alluring.
And, if anyone has any suggestions of things to do that fit in our itinerary, we’d love to hear them…
Photo: The outdoor natural reedbed pool at The Scarlet