Monday 18th June
Monday morning was overcast, but at least the wind and drizzle had gone, so I was able to get out for another walk along the Hoe. Mark had been quite chilled during our cannon tour, and was feeling rather poorly as a result, so took the extra hour to sleep.
We set off from Plymouth by 9.30 am and the plan was to visit Restormel Castle and Charlestown on route: The Castle, because we had our English Heritage pass for access, and Charlestown, because this was the site of ‘Truro’, the town featured in Poldark.
It took an hour to get to Restormel Castle and we’re glad it was ‘essentially’ free entry; we were well up on the initial purchase price of our heritage Pass. The remains of this 11th Century Castle are impressive but it takes just a few minutes to cover with no available audio guide and very few information sign boards. There were two small late-primary aged school groups there though so they provided some interest as they excitedly moved from feature to feature. The Castle was of a motte and bailey design we’d seen before and had a long history since being built around 1100. It had once been an impressive home for the Duke of Cornwall and it saw action only once, during the English Civil war, and was abandoned soon after. The Castle has been a tourist attraction under the management of English Heritage since the 1980s.
Our visit lasted about 30 minutes, that’s all you need, and we then set off to find Poldark in Truro (aka: Charlestown). Whilst we didn’t find Poldark we did find plenty of other people looking for him as well! It was just a quick stop with not too much to see but the old tall ship in the harbour certainly set the Poldark scene.
So, on to Falmouth, which was a one hour drive further south and deeper into Cornwall. Falmouth is so named as it sits on the coast near the mouth of the river Fal and the town of Falmouth evolved from 1613 following King Henry VIII’s commission of a Castle to be built in this area. Pendenis Castle was built in 1540 to defend against the Spanish Armada but more on the Castle at a later date after we take our Heritage Pass tour! Falmouth has a long maritime history but tourism now plays a significant role in the economy of the region and I had chosen this AirBnB due to the spectacular balcony views it afforded over the harbour.
The apartment did not disappoint when we arrived, although access was a little complicated as we had to drop our bags at the end of a narrow, single lane road and roll them a short distance along to the front door. And you wouldn’t believe it! There is a cute little Pub right across the street! How convenient!
The ‘apartment’, as it turns out, is actually a quite generous three-story light-filled ‘cottage’ looking over Falmouth harbour. There is a a kitchen, lounge and balcony on the entry level, a bedroom, bathroom, dining room and balcony on the top floor and a bedroom, bathroom and balcony on the lower floor. We decided to take the bedroom on the lower level as this had the larger bed and spent the next half hour settling in and unpacking.
It was close to 3 pm before we set out to explore Falmouth town and we found the access stairs, down to the water front, easily enough as they’re just a stones throw from the apartment. The sad thing was, however, the huge number of stairs and them all going down. You know what that means? To get home we’ll be coming up 🙂 Anyway, we set out and strolled along narrow cobbled High Street taking in all the up-market shops, cafes and restaurants. We even shared a cornish pasty as a bit of a late lunch and Mark had a drink at a nice pub, The Chain Locker. The place was quite busy with lots of tourists and locals and had a nice vibe; making a pleasant change from some of the deserted places we’ve been recently. There were a lot more younger folk here too making for a better balance to the demographic we’ve struggled with lately.
It was a relief to be in nice lodging and in a nice area for our last port of call before heading back home. Mark still wasn’t feeling that well so we stopped of to buy some dinner supplies on the way home for a night of dining in. Although Mark is threatening to go to the little pub across the road to watch some World Cup soccer later ; if he feels up to it.
Link to apartment: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/2431423