CORNWALL

Over 200 miles of Cornwall's boundary is lashed by ocean waves. Its ancient landscape is littered with the remnants of once prosperous tin and copper mining industries, equalled only in importance by fishing.

Tintagel is a place with dramatic cliffs and coastline and inspired the English composer Bax to compose his musical work bearing the same name. And then there's Tintagel Castle with connections to the legendary King Arthur. If you prefer not to be perched on a cliff top and looking down then don't forget St. Michael's Mount near Penzance . Marazion, the town opposite St. Michael's Mount is Cornwall's oldest and was granted a charter by Henry III.

At Trelissick Garden, near Truro , there's a collection of old Cornish apple varieties. Worth visiting just for its name is Halliggye Fogou (near Helston) which has an odd iron age tunnel [SW 714239]. There are also Iron Age earthworks on Dodman Point on Cornwall's south coast.

Launceston Castle is a medieval brickpile, and looms above the visitor like a cherry on a cake. Both Pendennis and St. Mawse Castles were built by Henry VIII in case the French raided - they never did, and we had to wait just ages for brie cheese and garlic snails. Pendennis is very well preserved and was fortified during World War II. From battles of an earlier age, The Tree Inn in Stratton was a Royalist HQ during the Civil War - the site of the Battle of Stamford Hill [1643] being a short distance away.

The ancient iron age village of Chysauster (nr. Gulval) [SW 473350] is reasonably well preserved and you can wander around the stone floors, walls and terraced gardens, and reflect on what life must have been like before fast food, cars and washing machines. For anyone interested in renewable energy resources there's a wind farm at Delabole which has a visitor centre.

Quaintly, some 19th houses in the village of Veryan were built 'in the round' so that the devil couldn't hide in the corners. There's a spectacular blowhole at Kynance Cove called The Devil's Bellows.

Take a visit to Bodmin Moor where Dozmary Pool lies tranquil (on a calm day) in the harsh granite upland. In the Camel Valley there's dense woodland and river meadows. The views across the local countryside from Restormel Castle (Norman in origin) are worth considering too. [SX 104614]

Rugged Prussia Cove (near Penzance) is a narrow inlet once used for smuggling, and to the North (near Padstow ) is Pentire Point with an ancient settlement. Staying with the nautical theme why not look out for Port Isaac and Portgaverne (once a thriving pilchard processing port). Mousehole (pronounced Mowzull) also shared a similar fate to Portgaverne and was described as the 'lovliest village in England' by the writer Dylan Thomas. If you're interested in deep-sea fishing then there are boats to be chartered at Mousehole, while Coverack is still a working fishing village. Dolphins are sometines seen of the shore off Bude .

At Minack (near Porthcurno) there's an amazing open-air theatre built on the edge of a cliff. It's the legacy to the world of an amazing local woman who built it - some of it with her own hands too. Still with the arts there's the St. Ives Tate (not quite as comprehensive as its namesake in London, but usually full of exciting stuff), and the Barbara Hepworth Museum, also in St. Ives .

Other places and activities that might interest you:
Wild Food School, Lostwithiel
Polmassick Vineyard (west of Mevagissey )
Tehidy Country Park (north of Camborne)
Mount Edgcumbe House Country Park
Camborne School of Mines Geological Museum
Cornwall Maritime Museum [in Falmouth ]
Geevor Tin Mine and Heritage Centre
Launceston Steam Railway
Wheal Martyn China Clay Heritage Centre


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