I enjoyed my exploration of the south of England in 2016 enormously, and I thought I’d list a few of my favourite spots, some of which I’d been wanting to check out for years.
Back in England last September, I dragged myself away from Cornwall’s lovely Port Isaac and headed down to Penzance, thinking it would be a good spot from which to explore various places on my list: St. Michael’s Mount, Poldark’s mines, the Minack Theatre and St. Ives.
After my slightly disappointing visit to Tintagel Castle, I hitched a ride up the hill on the mini bus they provide (thank heavens, one less Cornwall hill to negotiate) to the village. While waiting for a bus to take me back to Port Isaac (I was never quite sure, while in Cornwall, whether or not a bus was going to come), I wandered up the main street and came to a 14th century medieval hall house. It has the most gorgeous undulating roof and walls, and I absolutely had to go in for a look.
I thought, while I was in Port Isaac, I’d catch a bus out to Tintagel. There’s a castle there, or the ruins of one. It was built in the 13th century by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry 111, with an outer bailey on the cliff tops of the mainland and an inner ward with a great hall and chambers on an isolated and inhospitable rocky headland.
I had decided long ago, while watching the 70s version of Poldark, that I would one day walk along some Cornwall cliffs. On my first morning in Port Isaac, I had my chance.
Gazing up at the cliff, looming over the town, I took a deep breath and headed up Roscarrock Hill past the Doc’s surgery and onto the track.
Anyone who’s followed my blog or read my books will know I’m besotted with film locations.
I’ve been waiting for a chance to visit Cornwall ever since the seventies, when I watched the Poldark series, with its ragged cliffs, waves crashing into coves where smugglers plied their trade, windswept moors, tin and copper mines and, let’s face it, its leading man. This was my chance.