Browsing the Devon Wildlife Trust website and following their instagram has long been a way for me to find out new nature reserves, trails and places to explore. Recently while being determined to spend more time in the beautiful and on my doorstep Tamar Valley AONB, I discovered that one such nature reserve and trail was just outside of Tamerton Foliot. Warleigh Point Nature Reserve. Armed with the promise of stunning views over the rivers Tamar and Tavy, it gave Emily and I a chance to go out with my parents and blow the working week away without having to do much forward planning. Perfect as we have been house viewing nonstop recently!
I think getting outside and walking is one of life’s simple pleasures. It is pretty much free, and it gives you the opportunity to see and do things that you would have missed out on by staying indoors. As with all simple pleasures, sharing these walks with friends and family is even better than venturing out solo. That is why, after being tipped off that the Tamar Valley trains were running for free, I jumped at the opportunity to head out to Gunnislake with the family in tow. Suspension of cash payments due to Covid19 is a slim silver lining I had to take!
Day 2 of the road trip! Check out Day 1 here. Leaving our farm homestay in the morning, Emily and I headed out to our final new state of the trip – Rhode Island. Smallest state by area, this East Coast state is THE state by the sea. No East Coast road trip would be complete without an early morning stop at Dunkin Donuts. So, once we were fuelled with coffee and sugary goodness we headed straight for our destination of the day: Newport.
Dad came with Emily and me for our recent coastal hike. A while ago he mentioned to us that he wanted to do the Polperro to Looe stretch as customers he takes on that bus route frequently tell him how beautiful it is. So, getting up early on Sunday morning, we drove to Looe and grabbed a breakfast before jumping on the Number 73 bus to Polperro. Nice for him to not be working for a change! Walking through the village it is easy to see why it is a favourite tourist destination in Cornwall. It’s a proper seaside town.
Is there a better way to spend Father’s Day than at the pub, sharing a few drinks with your old man? If you can think of something, let me know! Because I’ll be hard pressed to trump this year – the St. Austell Brewery Tour. Getting a train from Plymouth to St. Austell dad, mum, Emily and I walked down into the town to explore before heading to the brewery. After some vintage shopping, a few warm up beers and a pasty (an absolute must in Cornwall) we walked back up the hill to the Brewery Visitor Centre in time for the tour to start.
The legendary Tribute – St. Austell Brewery’s most successful beer
Antony house is quite unusual for a National Trust property in that it is still lived in by the Carew Pole family. Because of this the 18th century house is closed at weekends, meaning that to explore this amazing location Emily and I needed to book time off work. The date was set in stone many weeks back, meaning that rain or shine we were going to visit before we left Plymouth for good. So we settled on June 18th… And it turned out to be raining. Of course. Not that this would stop us – even Emily is a seasoned veteran to the fickle British weather by now. Raincoats on, and after the number 70 bus journey across to Torpoint, we walked to Antony in light drizzle. Arriving at the property we were allowed to borrow an umbrella from the reception staff, before seeking refuge in the house – proof that National Trust always delivers, rain or shine!
On Saturday Emily and I made another 7.6 miles of progress on the coastal path. Travelling again via public transport we caught the train at 9:21 from Plymouth station, changed at Liskeard and arrived at Looe by 10:30. The weather was perfect (sunny and slightly breezy) and after a brief wander in the little seaside town to grab a pasty and some other provisions we headed off westwards. Destination: Portwrinkle. Our aim was to finish where we ended our last hike (here) and make our total distance this season stretch from Jennycliff to Looe – 29.5 miles.
With beaches like this, who wouldn’t want to spend a sunny morning in Looe?
Another weekend, another hike and coastal path adventure. Emily and I have decided to try and hike the whole coastal path in the coming years, stage by stage. At 630 miles long we know this is a challenge for several years to come, but this weekend we chipped off another 7 miles. Previously walking Rame Head to Plymouth and Plymouth to Jennycliff we decided to go back to Rame and go west further into Cornwall.
Making the most of the sunshine this bank holiday, Emily and I took the train to Calstock. Our plan was an adventure filled day hiking through the lower Tamar Valley and making use of our National Trust memberships at Cotehele House, Quay and Mill. What a day! Amazing weather and the scenic route into Cornwall set the tone. Walking past the impressive Calstock viaduct we started our hike down into the valley and then back up the hill to Cotehele House.
I don’t think there will ever be a point in my life where sustainability, and in particular sustainable tourism, will not be something that I aim for. How lucky am I then to live in a city with one of the UK’s premier sustainable attractions – the National Marine Aquarium. Green Tourism Gold certification, conservation and education at the core of everything they do and entrance now valid for a year, it is fair to say there has never been a better time to visit.