Mevagissey - Cornwall's Little Paradise

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Mevagissey - Cornwall's Little Paradise
If there really is such a place as Heaven on Earth, then I've just been there.

And what's more, I'll tell you where it is - Mevagissey. Or perhaps more accurately, The Penthouse Apartment, Nare Court in Mevagissey.

We arrived on a Friday night and when it came to go home on Monday morning, I really did NOT want to leave. It was a perfect weekend in a perfect apartment in an idyllic setting with the most spectacular panorama imaginable. Ok, so you get the picture. Yes....we had a great time!

Throw away for a moment, any preconceived ideas you may have, that Cornwall is inaccessible and distant. It only took us 2 and a quarter hours from Bristol and in spite of it being a Friday afternoon, the traffic didn't appear to be out-of-the ordinary.

It was dark when we got there, but Mevagissey, all narrow, winding roads and steep hills was twinkling and magical regardless. We pulled up at the apartment we were staying in and looked out over a setting from an Enid Blyton book. From the little lighthouse, to the fishing boats loading up ready to go out to sea, to the starry cloudless sky......... Could it get any better? Well apparently so.

We walked into the lounge of the bright, modern Penthouse Apartment to find floor-to-ceiling windows giving the impression of 'being on a cruise'. This impression was reinforced in the morning when we walked into the lounge to witness a sunrise over the sea only rivalled by a sunset on The Gulf Coast. It really did feel as if we were on the bow of a ship.

View from The Penthouse balcony
It was a glorious sunny day which belied the fact that it was January. We marvelled at the bright colours of the fishing boats and laughed at the cheeky seagulls as we walked down the winding hill to the chocolate-box town of Mavagissey. After the obligatory Cornish Pasty - traditional of course although we could have had chocolate and banana - we simply sat on a bench overloooking the sleepy harbour planning our premature retirement here. How wonderful it must be to live in such a serenely-isolated environment.

We drove over to Fowey in the afternoon - more shops here but still all ribboning, narrow roads and magnificent views. I stood in a car-park and watched a beautiful bride wearing a '50s dress and white wellies adorned with pink roses. She laughed as she stepped gingerly onto a gaily-painted fishing-boat festooned with bunting, to be whisked away across the water of Fowey Harbour to some fairytale destination with her new husband. We were reliably informed that this was 'the wedding boat'!

Fowey - clearly a popular place for weddings........ as no sooner had that bride disappeared, then up popped another bride.

Two out of three of our evenings in Cornwall were spent at The Ship Inn in Mevagissey. It's a tradtional, old-fashioned friendly pub with great beer and even entertainment. By the end of our weekend, it felt like 'our local'.

We had planned to do all manner of things in Cornwall and visit several of the many tourist attractions in the area.
Hayle Beach © Ingrid King
In the event, we only actually went to The Eden Project which obviously means that we'll just have to go back to see all the things we missed. A visit to The Lost Gardens of Heligan had been on the agenda too but we got carried away walking the Coastal Path in the sunshine.

Whatever it was, it had an effect on time. Where did the hours go? One of the things we found about our winter break in Cornwall was the fact that time seemed completely insignificant and any agenda can be broken so easily by the pleasures of the moment.

Did you know?....

Cornwall has some of the best gardens to visit anywhere on the British mainland due to Cornwall's mild climate. The Lost Gardens of Heligan is the largest garden restoration in Europe, and has become one of the fastest growing visitor attractions in the West. The gardens are close to Mevagissey, and there's an impressive range of plant breeds and features, including, an Italian garden, a crystal grotto, summerhouses and the Flora Green Lawn surrounded by giant rhododendrons. The gardens have now been remodelled in a Victorian tradition with special emphasis on the walled kitchen garden, which has now become the only working 19th Century garden in Britain, producing peaches, melons and even pineapples. A visit to Heligan could take 2 hours or more and there's an opportunity to buy some of the plants seen within the gardens.

The internationally renowned Eden Project in St Austell is basically a giant, multi-domed greenhouse, containing plants from around the globe. The site has already become a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors every day and it really is a unique experience. I read somewhere, that it was the largest greenhouse in the world - all I know is that I saw bananas growing in one of them! I believe I saw the bananas in the impressive Humid Tropics Biome which recreates the natural environment of a tropical rainforest. When you're in The Domes, you can't help but be aware of the change in humidity, incidentally, so it's useful to remember to wear layers and take bits off as and when!

The Eden Project is very extensive and involves a lot of walking, often up and down sloping terraces.
The Eden Project
I seriously recommend comfy shoes and taking occasional breaks in the various cafe areas. Be prepared to spend the best part of a day there, if you go, as there're so many hands-on opportunities for the children.

Having seen what Cornwall has to offer, I now can't wait to go back. I can see it becoming an annual jaunt whether for a weekend break, a Winter Half-Term or Easter holiday with the children or a main Summer Holiday. Children and adults of all ages will enjoy Cornwall for different reasons. Try it! I think you'll like it!

, 2008


Beach Info......

Thanks to its unique position on the south west peninsula, 80% of Cornwall is surrounded by water, which means it has the longest stretch of coastline in the UK at 697km. So wherever you are in Cornwall a stroll across the sand or a game of beach rounders is only a maximum of 16 miles away. And with over 300 beaches to choose from you never have to visit the same one twice!

Head to the north coast if you fancy a day stretched out on a large expense of golden sand watching Atlantic waves breaking on the shore with surfers following in their wake. Or for secluded coves and sheltered bays make your way to the south coast. But rest assured - whatever beach you choose it will be blessed with the clear waters and picturesque views that put Cornwall's beaches among the best in the world.


USEFUL LINKS
Visit Cornwall


BulletVisit Cornwall - the official site of the Cornwall Tourist Board.

Bullet PenthouseHolidays.com
The Lookout and The Penthouse are two magnificent luxury 5 star waterfront penthouses overlooking Mevagissey Harbour, with private balconies. They are available from £450.00. We stayed at The Penthouse.

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