As I walked home from the train station tonight I found it hard to believe that just a week ago Mr C and I were down in Cornwall with amazingly warm weather – we were even able to wander round in a t-shirt and jeans at one point! Tonight that it felt bitterly cold – as if spring has gone totally.
On our first full day in Cornwall we decided to explore the nearby village of Tintagel and the surrounding cliffs. We started off at the Old Post Office that is now owned by the National Trust (another good excuse to get our membership cards out).
It is a delightful old property with an incredibly sweet traditional cottage garden out back. A couple of things that I particularly liked inside the property were the traditional rag rugs that they were getting local school children to help them make. I love the idea of today's children being taught crafts that children in the past would have found a quite normal way to pass the time.
The walls of the old post office also contained a reasonably large number of old samplers. The exact providence of some of them was unknown but it was thought that some were produced by children living in an orphanage in Bristol. The detailed work that had gone into these was really quite amazing – even more so when you consider that the work would have either had to be done in daylight hours, or by candlelight. I struggle with some fine bits of embroidery even when sat next to an electric light so I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to complete these works by candlelight. I also can't imaging children of the same age having the patience to do similar work today. Sad really.
After exploring the old post office Mr C and I headed off east along the coast. On this particular day the skies were incredibly clear, but there was still quite a strong breeze coming in off the sea. It was quite a steep walk in places, but well worth the extra effort to see the views from the top of some of the cliffs.
We headed back in land along the Rocky Valley – another National Trust piece of land. As you can see from the photograph, it seems that this particular bit of land was bought using funds donated in memory of Mary. I wonder who Mary was. Did she have a local connection? Was this the sort of terrain that she would have enjoyed? I haven't had time yet, but I'm hoping a period of time on the internet (and possibly an e-mail to the National Trust) may help me find out more.
The Rocky Valley itself was quite enchanting, as was the small former mill that we came across. There was even some carving on the stone just outside that mill that was thought to be from the Bronze Age (IIRC) and it really was quite amazing to look and this and think about just how old it was.
Once we had gone back in land and to meet one of the other rivers we looked to head back towards the coast and Tingatel, where we had parked the car. By this point in the day I have to admit that we were both feeling quite tired and I know my feet were certainly starting to hurt. Imagine my "mild" disappointment therefore when I suddenly realised that we were walking along the side of the river, but walking in the opposite direction to that in which the river was flowing!
It seems that my map reader (Mr C) may have made a small mistake a some point! Luckily it was only about a 20 minute detour and we were able to get back to the car park before my legs totally gave out. I did feel a strange small sense of achievement though that I had remembered one of those early geography lessons about rivers always flowing into the sea!