Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Kynance Cove

I've heard so many good things about Kynance Cove, and as my parents live relatively close to it, I requested that we visit on Easter Monday.
The drive from Penzance to Kynance Cove is pretty spectacular, as it's all country lanes lined with pretty hedgerows, blooming at this time of year with yellow, white, pink and blue flowers. Nearing Lizard Point the road becomes littered with signposts signalling secluded coves, and I'd love to visit for a week in Summer with a tent and a car or bike, as this part of the country is unspoilt.
We reached the sign for Kynance Cove, parked the car and walked down the road to avoid the carparking charges. The walk down was a nature trail of adders and millipedes, and smelt beautifully of fresh air and wild flowers. We reached the car park and followed the track across the cliffs and down to the cove.
The view approaching the cove is stunning, and typically Cornish with the rough blue sea, rocks and dramatic cliffs. I'd been told that this would be a good beach for swimming, but the tide was high and the sea choppy, so stayed on shore with my nephews, digging holes and stroking millipedes.
After a few hours the collective decision was made to visit the cafe behind us, and I believe that this cafe must possess one of the most spectacular views there could be. Nothing between us and the Atlantic, just a grassy lawn.
Kynance Cove is a special place, and I hope I return soon, on a bike, on a calm day. I can't wait to swim here.


Easter Sunday was glorious, and where better to spend it than Sennen Beach? This beach, the closest to Lands End, has been a family favourite for the past 30 years, and on a sunny day I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be.
It took two cars to transport the family, and I was lucky enough to be in the roof down one with Dad, Lucy and a sing-along CD! We waited for Mum, Pippa, Zac and Vinny to arrive, then picked a spot and settled down.
It was not quite warm enough for a dip in the sea, but it was fine for paddling, sandcastle building, picnic eating, reading, jogging and sunburning. As I looked up at the sky, unmarked by clouds, I felt a long way from the stresses of city life. Happy happy Easter!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

A clucking good day!

Immi's hen day is here! Who would have thought? A great chance to catch up with school friends and chill out, and the perfect weekend for it.
I met Marie and Jessie in Rosudgeon and we drove to Falmouth via a champagne stop in Asda, to meet the other hens at St Michael's Spa. It was fab... a day of sunshine and laughter. We started by drinking champagne in the bar, followed by swimming, sunbathing and sandwiches. Before we knew it, the time had come to head back to Penzance to pick up our Thai takeaway, then laden with food we reassembled at the in-laws to eat, drink and be very merry!
We had a great time dressing Immi up, playing silly games, dancing, and reminiscing about the good days when we were always skinny and mostly drunk... We caught up on all the jobs and boys gossip, drank endless glasses of champagne, and just had a good old giggle with girls we've known for ages.
The day couldn't have been any better!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bristol by foot

After work on Friday we were enticed by the sun and Cambodian visitors towards the Avon Gorge hotel, where we sipped cider overlooking the Clifton Suspension bridge. We then decided to eat at the Thali cafe in Clifton, and walked home via The Bell on Jamaica Street, leaving the car behind. Sunday was another fine day, giving us the opportunity to trek across North Bristol again to fetch the car.
We started in Montpelier, near the Star and Garter pub, passed the graffiti on Ashley Road and back onto Jamaica Street. This part of Bristol has recently begun to refer to itself as 'The Cultural Quarter', which is a name not entirely undeserved. Stokes Croft is an area full of old run down buildings which have found new life as brothels, squats and studios; large warehouse style nightclubs providing the finest of Bristol's underground music scene; independent shops, eateries, bars and galleries; and some of the best off licenses you could hope to come across, serving way into the night. Stokes Croft even has a Post Office which has a cash point, sells beer, and is open past 10pm on a weekend. Graffiti plays a large part in the culture of Stokes Croft, as the huge Banksy mural and designated graffiti wall (or 'outdoor gallery'), encourage many to make their mark, and the urban landscape is constantly changing. Sadly, this week saw an incongruous addition to it, with the opening of a Tesco on Stokes Croft, much to the dismay of locals who voted against its presence.
Emerging at the other end of Jamaica Street we hit the edge of Broadmead shopping centre, the BRI hospital and continued on to Park Row. Ahead of us was the imposing and quite magnificent Wills Memorial building, home to Bristol University's law students and many of my memories from student days. Next to the building we discovered that the museum was still open, showing the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. We wandered in to take a look.
Back out onto the Clifton Triangle, and up another memory lane, as I used to live on Park Place, between the Quinton House pub, the old dilapidated cathedral and the barbers. From here we passed various student halls, finally reaching Clifton Village.
Just walking distance from Stokes Croft we felt in a completely different space, as Clifton is a beautiful array of Georgian terraces, cafes and rich people. Not much in the way of graffiti here.
It's amazing how diverse Bristol is, with a different outlook on each corner. The best way to take it in is on foot, especially as covering this distance by public transport would probably take all day!