I initially planned the trip so I could visit an elderly relation I speak to regularly on the phone, discussing his family tree (my paternal grandmother's family's too), but of course I also wanted to do some exploring.
The plan was originally to go by train but it was actually much cheaper to fly from Edinburgh to Exeter and pick up a hire car for 5 days. I booked accommodation at Hayle, simply because it seemed to be the nearest B&B to my cousins Ken and Dot, and wow, wasn't it the best B&B I have ever stayed in.
Just on the edge of Hayle, Boo and husband Matt have the most wonderful house and garden and were themselves a delightfully outgoing and friendly pair, who really enjoy looking after their guests..
If ever you are in the vicinity of St Ives and are looking for somewhere quiet and more secluded then I recommend "Bostrase" to you wholeheartedly! My room was so comfortable, and breakfast was amazing! One day it was so warm at breakfast time that we all had breakfast in the garden - there's a larger table there now than the one below.
It was great too that Ken and Dot were only a mile back along the road to Hayle, and it turned out that Boo recognised Ken from shopping in the Co-op!.
Cornwall is part of the Celtic fringe that reaches from the Western Isles of Scotland through the Isle of Man, the west of Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, even Brittany in France and a pocket of northern Spain, and there is a lot of history to discover. I took almost 600 photos in 5 days, and now I can't find them on the computer. I was taking photos off my old laptop to put on memory sticks but I was sure the Cornish photos were still on the laptop. Blow me if I can find them! I will have to take the laptop to a computer expert to see if they can be retrieved. I've deleted them from the camera SD card too. I could scream!!!, So photos may be few and far between, as I am having to look for pics on the internet. Wherever possible I will name the source.
The Cornish, like the rest of the Celtic nations, have an old language of their own, which is still in use having undergone a revival recently! I heard the News in Cornish on the radio one evening, so I guess it must be understood by a reasonable amount of people. Of course I was interested in the possible similarities of the Celtic languages.
At the Lizard Point, the most southerly point of the British mainland, an information board gave the probable meaning as High Court, from the Cornish Lys Ardh. In Scottish Gaelic it would be Lios Ard, meaning High Garden. Court(yard)/ Garden? Same idea! I later discovered other words that are similar to Gaelic - Ty, a house; pol, a pool; carrek, a stone; carn, a pile of stones..... I also found out that Cornish is actually one of the Brythonic languages while Gaelic is Goidelic, another branch of the Celtic languages. Brythonic was also the language spoken in the south of Scotland centuries ago so there are also words in placenames here in the Borders that tie in with the Cornish, e.g. Tre/tra, place or house; pen, hill. It was interesting seeing place names that were anglicised Cornish - lots of Zs, lots of St's - I didn't know if that's Cornish or just the word Saint. If it's Saint, then Cornwall must have had a lot of holy people as there are dozens of place names with St in them. St Ives is probably the best known of them, apparently named for an Irish saint by the name of Ia, but who was St Ruan? Well, by the wonders of the internet I found that he was also Rumon or Ronan, who was accused by his wife of being a werewolf. It was proved that he wasn't though. Apparently he was just a hirsute man. He is also credited with chasing all the wolves out of Cornwall.
I went to St Ives, only a few miles from Hayle, but didn't stop long!
It was the same at the popular Lands End. The huge carpark was pretty full, so I didn't stayLands End
where one arm can be set up with your home town name and the miles to it.
I took lots of coastal scenes too - long golden beaches, blue-green surf, rocky outcrops and headlands, dunes that were covered in clumps of pink seathrift. In the smaller villages I stopped at I took pictures of old and quirky buildings, palm trees... and in the gardens, shrubs trees, flowers..... So much to see. Oh I could cry!
I'll concentrate on one or two attractions next time but in the meantime, I hope this whets your appetite for some more photos!
Talk again soon.