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 – Swanbridge to Wenvoe

Having completed the first stage of our Wales Coastal Path walk, Alec and I had to decide what to do for the next few weeks. We calculated that it would be possible to do The Gower legs using public transport from Cardiff as day trips, but were persuaded that a more realistic option would be a local stay for three nights, and four days walking – this would also be good preparation for the Pembrokeshire and mid and North Wales stages, as well as Alec’s proposed attempt at the Offa’s Dyke long-distance walk. But not just now …

So this is what we came up with. The Capital Walk is a walk around the boundaries of Cardiff – a collection of Cardiff Ramblers walks connected together to make a semi-circular walk of c.38 miles. How many legs/stages we do it in rather depends on our respective fitness. Currently Alec is suffering issues with his foot; whilst my ankle is much better at the moment. Such is life! This walk allows multiple bailing-out places so is well suited to our respective difficulties.

So after meeting-up at the Central Bus Station it was the 08:59 Bus 94 that took us through Penarth and Cosmeston to drop us at Swanbridge X-roads. A short walk down to the coast saw us arrive at high tide – I’d never seen the causeway completely covered, and of course it was a very high tide indeed.

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Turning our back on the Captains Wife (we’d had unfortunate memories of stopping there before on our WCP walk, we headed off for St Mary’s Well Bay and Cosmeston Park.

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The weather was to stay fine throughout the walk and we quickly walked past the Medieval Village, the Lakes and on to the long track that leads up to Old Cogan Hall Farm. It was then a short walk through Murch to get to Dinas Powys where we headed for Mill Lane and the track past the castle and Woodland Trust plantation which took us to a newly harvested field of maize (surprising how many cobs are missed by the equipment) and on towards Michaelstone-le-Pit.

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We now walked up past the fish ponds which are locally known as the Salmon Leaps and into the woods which climbed slowly towards Wrinstone Farm.


Capital Walk - 1 (5 of 6).jpgIt was during this stretch that Alec’s foot (and ankle) was beginning to seriously trouble him, and all thoughts of trying to get to St Fagans, or further, were put on hold. The target destination was Wenvoe, the distance walked – about 8 miles.

Capital Walk - 1 (5 of 5).jpgThis we achieved and so we sat down in the Wenvoe Arms for a few beers to recover and while the time away – after all we didn’t need to be back for a little while :-). A very happy and pleasant afternoon was had putting the world to rights and chatting with the new landlord who’d only taken up the tenancy at the beginning of the week. It would be interesting to go back in 6 months and see what changes might have happened. There’s a very regular bus service back to Cardiff from Wenvoe, so we didn’t have long to wait for a bus home.

So on to next week and again a short walk from Wenvoe heading towards Llanilltern and the A4119 I suspect will be our destination, possibly Pentyrch – we’ll see. It would be nice to think we could get up and over The Garth and get to the Gwaelod, but I suspect that’s not on.

The Google Map of the walk is shown below – just use the sliders to navigate and zoom in on parts of the walk.