A couple of days in Padstow

Way back in September, we managed to grab a couple of days free time to go down to stay in one of Rick Stein’s places in Padstow. It was the second time we’d visited and we stayed in the same place – St Edmunds House, and in the same room even – we’d liked it so much the first time.

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This time was to be a bit of a mixture of ups and downs. We enjoyed our meals, especially the fish and chips, and the Italian meal we had at Rojano’s in the Square. We were a bit disappointed by our meal in the Seafood Restaurant, and the ceiling and wall of our room was in serious need of remedial work to the plaster. A shame … but that need not have been any reason to spoil the break. What did spoil it was watching a Range Rover reverse into our car in the hotel car park! On the plus side, I was able to get the drivers details and everything’s now been fixed. On the minus side it completely spoilt our first day when we drove down to Newquay and then made our way back up the coast by way of Bedruthan Steps – a stretch of coast owned and managed by the National Trust which I’d never seen before.

It was here that I got out my new camera – the Sony A7r and started learning how to use it. Fortunately it’s not that much different from the A700 and NEX-6, so I was soon snapping away. Here are a couple of images of the beach and the wonderful dry-stone walling of the area.

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Back in Padstow, we took the ferry across to Rock and walked through the village before stopping at The Rock Inn for a drink before returning to Padstow.

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The previous night we’d had a great meal at Rick Stein’s Fish and Chip Shop where I had the most delicious piece of Hake – fast becoming my favourite fish in batter. Tonight we were due to have a meal at the Seafood Restaurant which was not as great a success as the previous time we’d been – Jenny’s dish in particular suffered from from a far too generous helping of pepper which drowned out all the other tastes. Our next day’s outing was to walk up the Camel Trail to Wadebridge.

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It wasn’t a great day (weatherwise), but we saw lots of birds including a colony of egrets perching in trees beside an inlet – very strange! We went to Rojano’s on the Square for supper that evening and I can honestly say I had the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. Splendid meal, lovely wine too, and we dined al fresco on the rooftop gallery. Lovely!

The next morning I was up very early to take pictures (if possible of the sunrise). I was in luck. Apart from the image of Padstow Harbour at the top of this post, the image below is my favourite …

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… or perhaps this one …

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… well you can see all the ones that I’ve already shared on Google+ here

Our departure for Cardiff was by way of Wadebridge to pick up a mirror, that now is on the wall at our front door, and then by way of St Teath – which has the most interesting graveyard and a lovely church with loads of history – to Camelford for lunch at The Masons Arms – quite an enjoyable experience! After lunch we headed for Tintagel – it was many years ago that I last visited – and another chance to use our CADW (English Heritage) membership. It was a bit of a rushed trip because we suddenly realised (when we were down the bottom of the hill) that we hadn’t put enough in the car parking meter machine. So Jenny went back almost immediately and left me to take a few pictures. Some of which are below.

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Apart from the nuisance of the damage to the car, it was a good break and worthwhile in determining to both of us that we ought to make more effort to get down to Cornwall – out of season. Roll on April and our trip to the Isles of Scilly.

Capital Walk – Pentyrch and The Garth

A week on from our last walk on the Capital Walk around the “city limits” of Cardiff, we spotted the dryest day of the week and set off on the 122 bus back to the bridge over the M4 on Llantrisant Road where we’d finished the previous stage. Alec thought I ought to have taken some pictures of the mud the previous week, so I made a point of capturing some mud right at the beginning, just in case it was going to be a drier walk this week.

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Of course I had no need to worry about that – given the amount of rain we’d had – neither did we need to worry about these young rams who were really curious as to why we wanted to walk through their field.

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The walk led us through a number of fields – I managed to miss one signpost as we left Tre-wern Farm – and then, a short while later, we decided to divert off the path to walk into Pentyrch along the ridge, which allowed us to see this wonderful view.

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Passing on through Pentyrch village we took a road to the right which led us down to the church, only stopping for a while to admire the work of a stonemason working on facing a new house at the top of the hill. The church is in a striking position, nestled at the foot of a valley.

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Straight across the road at the church and we climbed out of Pentyrch and towards Cefn Colstyn Farm. Near the top of the fields I was able to take this shot, a lovely tree standing on the edge of a spinney with Garth Hill in the background.

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We then meandered around the east of the village before climbing up some more muddy fields, again migrating a little away from the described route.

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Then it was up the road and on to Garth Hill. We paused for a long chat with a fellow walker but hit the top and were able to get great views, north and south, from the top of the hill.

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Striding away from the trig point, we should have taken a left turn almost immediately, we didn’t, which meant that we had to beat back through the bracken to get to a gate which allowed us to get off the common land. Down a couple of fields and then we entered a lane, and somewhere here we missed another path to the right which would have taken us by a more direct route to Lan Farm.

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We navigated our way back to the farm and then started a pathed descent through rough woodland to Gwaelod-y-Garth where we had lunch. The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn is a favourite of both of us, so it was a wrench to leave.

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Descending down the zig zag path to Taff Well, I was persuaded to stop at Fagins. This of course was completely “off piste” and four pints later perhaps I got the spelling of that word wrong. We missed a bus as well, which meant we had to return to the shelter of the pub – what a disaster! The pictures Alec took of me at the bar could be described in the same way – can’t imagine why he couldn’t hold the camera steady …..

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A slideshow of the Capital Walk can be seen on Google+ Photos (Picasaweb) here. The OS Map of our 8 mile walk where you can see our various diversions and meanderings off the “proper” path, can be seen below.