Month: September 2014

Cornwall caper.

My trip to Cornwall

I’ve travelled to most parts of the UK (some more frequently than others).

One place that I’ve hardly ever visited was Cornwall. Nikki and I packed her “super tent” in the car, and off we went.

First thing to say about Cornwall, is how far it is, from the North of England. For a 5 days trip, its fair to say that 2 days were spent driving there and driving back.


There are loads of photos of us camping, so I haven’t bothered putting new ones up. You get the idea.

I took Thursday, Friday and Monday off. We arrived early evening on Thursday.

Campsite was lovely and quiet, but the toilets and showers had obviously been outgrown (sometimes I went into the bathroom and found a family in there for their evening ablutions. I felt like I was an intruder in their family bathroom at home. Luckily, I found some bushes and washed in my own urine.

First night, we wandered over to the local pub. The campsite owner had suggested walking to the next village, but we didn’t think much about it.

First village, mediocre food, flat ale, dull pub, treated the locals like royalty and us like vagrants.

Communist era cabbage soup would have been tastier than my pie and chips, but I’ve managed to mentally erase it from my memory.

Next village along, has a lovely wine list, superb food, a genuinely friendly landlord and an extensive food menu with a properly trained chef.

Alas, one of life’s cruel lessons. We stay for 2 drinks then take our life in our hands and walk back along a road, with no street lights !.

In the morning, the adventure begins. With Nikki and I, there’s always going to be walking involved, and the coastal walks in the area are some of the best in the world.

We arrive at Sennen cove beach, have a bit of breakfast (superb scrambled eggs on toast) and set off.


We wandered along the coast, past the famous lands end (in the top right of this picture).

You can see the spectacular scenery we enjoyed throughout the whole walk.

We followed  a route about 8 miles from walking world, back to Sennen cove beach, which was now packed (people had used windbreaks to personaly “cordon off” sections of the beach, in some cases 20 feet by 20 feet “outdoor living rooms”.

After many family holidays in North Wales and time spent on the beach, this felt wrong to me.


We rest a while (in mayhem). I contemplate a drink, then realise the Sea front bar, doesn’t open until 3pm (really ?). Were on our way.

We drive towards Cape Cornwall and have a drink and relax at the town of St Just.

But the walking’s not over. We had towards the headlands for another 6 mile walk (during which Nikki, rather idiotically, gets lost. I was able to find her).



I’m constantly concerned as I wander around the cliff tops, as I keep seeing these signs.

Luckily neither of us disappears into the ground, and we head home for our barbecue evening meal.


A quick photo of me enjoying the local famed produce.

A drink of cider and a Cornish Pastie.


The following day, its another coastal walk, this time were starting off in a place called Lizard.

Off all the places I saw in Cornwall, this was my favourite. Coffee and scrambled eggs once again for breakfast and off we go.


The cliff’s around Lizard point were even more breathtaking than the ones from the previous day.

9 miles this time, and surprisingly, most of the people we met out walking, weren’t from the UK, mostly Germans and Italians.


We had coffee overlooking this famous lifeboat station at Polpeor cove (now disused).

Apparently, it featured in a rescue, over over 100 people. Numerous acts of heroism (my thoughts on lifeboat crew are well document throughout this site) but not a single loss of life, which makes it feature in the Guinness book of records.


We drive to a small village near our campsite called Porthleven.

It isnt time for dinner yet, so we go for a wander around on the sea front and cliff’s and have a quick drink.

As were wandering to the cliff’s, I saw this Seagull fly off the Landrover, land on the Jag and then relieve itself.

If I’d been the owner I’d have been furious.


We’ve had pub and barbecue on this trip, now its time for fine dining.

An amazing restaurant called Blue Haze in the centre of Porthleven.

3 courses and nice wine. Perfect end to a perfect day.


Another night under the stars, and the following morning its time for exploration rather than trekking. Were off to visit a place I’ve wanted to see for 10 years.

The Eden project.

Absolutely superb. Not done on the cheap, but done properly with no waste. What I liked most, was the culture. Emphasis was on working together to find practicaly solutions to make the world better.

It wasn’t poncy right on, and there were genuinely clever and fascinating things to see.

Here, a wall made from compressed soil, which has all sorts of advantages over a conventional wall.


My first site of the outdoor area (which is the size of 20 football pitches) and the unique biomes.



I wander around and especially liked this sculpture.

It was made from all the things you’ll own and throw away in your life.

It has 5 phones, 2 washing machines 4 computers and all sorts of stuff like that.


The whole place was amazing but most people come to see the biomes.

The one above was the Mediterranean biome.

It had a fascinating thing they’d created. It allowed water to be distributed evenly across something like gravel, coconut shells and stuff like that.

They had successfully grown tomatoes using small amounts of water and brick rubble.

That’s what I meant earlier about it not being “right on”. That experiment could feed people after a natural disaster, and make a real difference, not like the chattering classes buying rugs that are only made from hemp to “help the environment”.


The rainforest biome was truly amazing. I took 50 photos like this one, and didn’t really capture it.

Wandering around a jungle in Cornwall. The stuff of real adventure.

Have to say, of all the stuff I’ve ever put up on the web, this is one of the hardest to control the content. I try to limit the number of photo’s to keep things snappy and interesting.

I’ve visited (and lived in) jungles on many occasions across 3 continents, but this stands out in my mind.

Its really hard not to put up 30 pictures of this Biome.

Instead this 1 snapshot is meant as an inspiration to take a weekend out and go see and experience it with your own eyes.


It was so authentic, that they had this room for people to go in and cool down (it felt like an afternoon in Borneo !).

ep_globalvillageWe have coffee before we leave, and there’s this really good sign.

It says if we shrunk the worlds population into a village made up of 100 people, how would the statistics add up.

Loads of interesting stuff on there, but more than half would work for 1 dollar a day !.


After a brilliant day there, we jump in the car and head for Padstow.

It was a Sunday afternoon and there was a brass band playing, so quite crowded.


But that’s not the reason we’d come.

I’ve always been a fan of Rick Stein. I was told he owned a chippy in Padstow, and I wanted to see the chippy belonging to the quiet and modest man with a love of seafood.

Is the picture above what you’d expect to see. Perhaps I’m nieve, but I did.


The reality is this massive building.

It has a shop selling Rick Stien food, one selling cooking equipment, one selling Rick Stien clothing, the chippy obviously, a cafe and the entire upstairs of the building is used for running cookery courses.

He also owned half a dozen places in the town, including a cake shop and a Thai restaurant.


Off home, and a few glasses of wine in our tent (complete with new awning) and off to sleep.

In the morning, we pack up and head for home.

On the way, we visit this nice pub, which I’d read about.


Its actually the Jamaica Inn, where Daphne du Maurier’s book is based.

Overall, a lovely pub, nice pie and chips and a pint to wash it down,before continuing home.

Did I enjoy my trip to Cornwall despite the distance ?

I’m going back there next year.

Return to Greenfield.

Trail magazine article

New Year 2012.

Were in Patterdale and among the many things that happened, they had loads of old copies of Trail magazine, which I was able to read.

In one article, it mentioned Saddleworth, and a walk around Greenfields.

I instantly remembered the place from my childhood/adolescence. All magazines have to be returned, but lets just say that his one, was light by a page.

Old Manchester Bus

The article mentioned how in the old days, they got the bus from Manchester to Greenfield, which set off from Piccadilly Gardens.

I instantly new what they meant. It was the 180 bus, which travelled up through Newton Heath.

In those days, if you were an East Mancunian and wanted to visit “the countryside” you jumped on the  bus, and an hour later you were there.

I couldn’t find a photo of the actual 180. The bus above has a different number, but trust me, its exactly the same and almost in the same place.

Glenn and I in the new Tesco

I had a week in between leaving my old job and starting my new one. Whilst having dinner (curry obviously) with Glenn, we discussed my plans for the following day.

I was intending to get 2 trains, but Glenn was delivering furniture, was intrigued by the plan, so offered me a lift.

When we arrived, I was suprised to find loads of building work had taken place, and a brand new Tesco had been built, where I popped in, to buy a packed lunch and a drink for the days adventures.

Sadly, although trained to a high standard, photography remains outside the curriculum for Tesco staff, hence this appallingly bad photo they took of us.

Main road

My very first camping trip, I was 13 and it involved me leaving the soaking wet tent with Jon and Chris booth, and wandering back into town (I was picked up on the way by the police who believed I was a runaway, contacted my mother and put my on a bus back home).

On a later trip, I was out with my old mate Nick, a chap called Peter Barrand and another mate called Wayne.

Weather wasn’t good, and we had limited resources. We decided to light a fire, but with what.

Before the Lib Dems, there was a pact between the SDP and the Liberals. As I walked down the high street towards the lake, I passed the spot where Nick snook into someone garden and stole the Alliance sign, so we could use it as fuel.

In the end, it was so wet, we couldn’t do anything with it, and it went in the bin. Another of life’s experiences.


The road I normally took up to the reservoir was actually closed, which surprised me.

I took the path up through the Mill. Times have changed, and its an enterprise park, with web developers and all sorts of stuff going on.

In a local village like this, Football and Rugby are important matters and the  local football team take the security of their pitch seriously.

From looking at this sign, perhaps too seriously.

The Reservoir

After a long walk up the hill, I arrive at the main area, with the lake and mountains in the background.

My younger years come flooding back at this moment with 1000 memories (I remember standing on this very spot, asking a friend if I should ask a girl out (she’d later be my first girlfriend Mandy and we’d camp out here together).

The Hills and Indians head

Further along, the hills, and the famous Indians Head mountain (it was my friend Frank when I was 12 who explained that it looked like an Indian with his headdress, lying on his back).

I’ve climbed that hill more times than I’ve drunk pints in the Firkin.

Walk around the reservoir

There’s a relaxing circular walk around the reservoir. What a beautiful day.

All the more surprise, that instead of the usual boaters and yachters, the only people on the res were 2 windsurfers.

Reservoir tower I visited with my dad.

As I continue walking around, I remember this spot.

When I was 5, my dad took me out on the bus (he couldn’t drive) and we wandered around a reservoir to this point.

I was 30 when I drove up here to do a walk one time, and it came back to me. I didn’t know where it was at the time, but this is the spot, where I stood in the cold with my dad and had sausage rolls.

My beloved forest.

The final part of my circuit, and the most important.

I’ve built shelters in here with Caz, had crossbow practice with my brother and his school friends, constructed a tent shelter with Andy Mullen which we ended up abandoning, and constructed a log shelter with Darrlye here to name a small fraction of the adventures in this truly amazing forest.

It was lovely to see it in the sunshine, but trust me, I’ve been here in snow and driving rain, and its still amazing.


Something that made me really happy, was this spot.

Someone has set up a sensible fireplace and a sort of dual bench thing for people to sit around.

I’ve had camp-fires here in double digits. I cant help feeling that camp-fires (pardon the pun) are a pariah here in the UK.

But if your sensible, what’s the problem. There’s no more relaxing, engaging and team forming (hate the word team building) practice I can think off.

Frank & Na

Head back, and to complete the day, at the Clarence, is Frank and Na. Frank and I have been coming here for nearly 40 years, so since he was only in the UK for 3 weeks, it was all the more special to meet him here.

We moved on to a pub near the Canal that’s been built recently called the Kingfisher.

The path to Uppermill along the Canal

After a few drinks, we wander up to Uppermill. A few more pints in country pubs, and I’m in a fine mood.

Nothing lasts forever, so after a nostalgic and revelatory day, I head for home.

Greenfield railway station

To the train station, where the train is on time, and clean.

Why the hell did I get the bus so often ?.