Last night we spent a great evening in a wonderful hotel in Torquay. The Marquis Hotel was a great place with lots of history in the hotel itself. It was close to all we wanted to be near and was a comfortable place to be.
And the internet worked well!
It has to rate as one of the better places we have stayed.
We ended the day in the best, best place we have stumbled across. In the intervening hours what we have seen and explored has made this a highlight day on all counts.
All this regardless of having to drop one of our selected tourist stops in order to fit one more in.
Lands End is easier to get to so it is much more touristy. It even has a pay and display carpark but we actually found the £5 to park good value for the time we spent wandering over the coastal tracks. The tourist shops were not a high point but they were totally within expectation.
Being at the very tip was like another milestone. We felt like we had earned membership of the John O’Groats to Lands End club. We did not have all the stamps to prove our trip. We had not made it a fund raiser or some other Glory Road but we did make it by car, train and 7 miles of foot tramping along the Yorkshire coast. So I think we deserve a certificate to say we did it.
The weather was perfect again, almost just like it was up at the top all those days ago.
From Lands End we drove the 10 miles to Penzance. It was not on our real agenda either but we were so close and it just made sense.
Our parents loved opera. We were brought up on the heavy side of opera from Wagner to the lighter works of Verdi (Joe Green to his mates). A special favourite around our early lives was G&S, Gilbert and Sullivan. I knew Trial By Jury before I knew The Beatles. It dawned on us that in this trek we have managed 4 G&S classics. Today of course was Pirates of Penzance. We visited the Houses of Parliament for Iolanthe. The Portsmouth ship museum is of course HMS Pinafore and the time around the courts building in London remembers Trial By Jury.
Fairly tenuous links perhaps but that has been the whole trip, discovering odd links that suddenly just make sense. Hence, walking about Penzance was a perfect G&S remembrance.
Penzance is unusual across all the seaside towns we have visited in that it seems so normal. There is no huge tourism thing. We even found free parking on the sea front and that, in a country that charges for parking anywhere and everywhere, is spectacular.
Finally, with a great impression of Cornwall in out heads, we set off for our hotel on Dartmoor. We had a wonderful drive across the moor and stumbled on the prettiest camping spot. Families were building fires next to a river as they set up camp. It was an amazing scene that few international tourists would ever see. This was more of a local family holiday spot but just so delightful.
It was owned for a while by Henry VIII. It was host to Sir Francis Drake to celebrate his victories over the Spanish. Queen Elizabeth stayed here. Elizabeth the first that is, in 1587. It has had a wonderful history over its 1059 years.
Now I am sleeping here.
It is spectacular in all areas. The food is also outstanding. This has been a good, good day and Boringdon Hall has just topped it off. Nor was it stupidly expensive. I think it would be a great spot to base yourself for a weeks exploration of the West Country.
I am so pleased to have discovered this place and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Only 2 more nights of our historical exploration of roots and reasonings and today was a good, good day.