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It’s a strange coincidence that I was going to write a post today about my very un-Newquay holiday near Newquay last week when into my inbox landed an email about a new video promoting a more positive image of the much-maligned seaside town. Fair enough – but ‘the British California’!? Come on, let’s not get carried away. Well, perhaps, but only through lack of other contenders.

Think of Newquay and we all think: surf, first, then projectile vomiting, stag dos and vile clubs. At night, it’s a war zone.

But the thing about NQY that no one can take away is that it Read the rest of this entry »

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outdoor gym cornwall

As someone who guiltily neglects to use my gym contract enough (apart from the sauna!) because I always find myself wanting to be outside instead, I was quite enthused by this new National Trust outdoor gym, which blends perfectly into Read the rest of this entry »

antony house cornwall cupcakeantony house cornwall

Unless you’ve been hiding under a large granite rock on Bodmin Moor for the past year (a small one wouldn’t do it), most Cornish dwellers will know that the new, Tim Burton-directed Alice in Wonderland was filmed in Cornwall. More specifically in Antony House and grounds, a vast 18th-century pile in east Cornwall on the beautiful Rame Peninsula, overlooking the River Lynher.

But even if you have managed to escape the news, you wouldn’t get far into a visit here before the penny dropped. There’s an Alice-themed shop, Queen of Hearts cupcakes (see above – obviously I fell for them hook, line and sinker) and an automated Mad Hatter in a clocktower on the lawn exclaiming repeatedly ‘I shall be late!’. (Not to mention a timed ticket system to even out the flocking crowds.)

And who could blame them for hamming it up a bit? It’s not every day in the life of an old Cornish country mansion manned by silver-haired volunteers that you get a Disney film crew in your midst.

I went to Antony House last Saturday and Read the rest of this entry »

hawkershut cornwall

hawker's hut, morwenstow

This fantastic drawing of the Hawker’s Hut near Morwenstow is the work of Jerwood Drawing Prize-shortlisted artist James Hobbs.

I don’t know about you but with all the (justified) fuss about the colour and light in Cornwall, I found it refreshing to chance upon this brilliantly unruly black and white drawing, which conjures up the eccentricities of the famous opium-smoking Reverend Hawker against the backdrop of the north Cornish coast.

In his blog post, James says, “Hawker’s Hut is set into the 400-foot cliffs of remote north Cornwall, originally built out of driftwood by the Victorian priest Rev Robert Stephen Hawker as a place to write poetry, smoke opium and watch for passing ships coming to grief on this notoriously dangerous stretch of Atlantic coast. It’s remote and wild, and one of my favourite places.’ Read the rest of the post here.

Mmm, I need to think of a job that lets me write poetry, smoke opium and watch for passing ships…

I also love this sketch by James of London’s planeless skies the other week.

Check out http://james-hobbs.blogspot.com/ for more of his work. Thanks to James for letting me use this image.

Trencrom Hill Fort is one of the highest hills in the westernmost Cornish district of Penwith – and I was looking forward to finally conquering this great peak. Ten minutes after parking the car, I had.

The ascent was a little tamer than expected but it was none the less epic at the summit. The views from these granite stacks are incredible – from sand-trimmed St Ives Bay to the north to Mount’s Bay in the south, and the ancient field patterns stretching west across the moors towards Land’s End.

In my Trencrom expedition team were some visiting friends, one of whom enquired about the age of this historic site. I usefully stated it was ‘really bloody old’. Read the rest of this entry »

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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