Well guess who came to visit at long last!
This summer, my parents came to see the UK. The whole UK! Originally we envisioned a simple visit with a trip up to the Lake District, but at some stage this developed into more of a whistle stop tour all the way from the lizard legged tip of Cornwall to the Firth of Forth (Edinburgh) with a few stops in between: Oxford, the Cotswolds, Stratford and the Lake District. They do not mind a drive (ask them now though).
Here they are in Burford on their full day in Oxfordshire, adjusting to jet lag and seeing our home.
Burford’s cute hill of homes.
Later in the day, we took a punt out on the Isis (post Pimms to get the balance right…). It was a bit of a trial getting up and going, but both mom and dad nailed it after a bit of wavering and bush-whacking.
And of course, we had to have our one night out in Oxford at Magdalen Arms. It’s not that common to find lamb on the menu in the US, and this shoulder is legendary (see: mom’s face), so we went for the richest, most delicious menu item available.
Mom’s view – I was stoked. Sorry, overexposed meat is not the nicest of views, but there you go! (PC: Mom)
And before hitting the road, a breakfast feast. Lemon poppyseed pancakes and piles of fruit.
For the first part of our two-week trip, we headed down to Cornwall, staying on a farm not too far from St. Ives (or Penzance), on a hill in the center of the peninsula, with sea views in both directions.
Coming down into St. Ives (from St. Ives itself, not the view from our farmstead!)
The actual view from our farmstead: cow fields!
On day 1, we went on a 6-mile circular walk starting in Sennen, going to Land’s End, then around the peninsula for a few more miles, and back again to Sennen through farmland. We downloaded this great app which proved to be indispensible on the way back, so I would highly recommend!
Surveying the route
It was unbelievably beautiful along this coastline. Easily the most beautiful landscape I’ve hiked through: heather, wildflowers, jagged cliffs, sea spray, diving choughs, the cutest dogs. The color of that water!
Team Deery enjoying the first of many ‘accidental’ same-color shirt days. Mom, I am seriously side-eyesing the possibility that you would coindentally both wear red, turquoise, purple, etc.
I was wild about the heather.
Me on Land’s End, with a distant helicopter landing on top of the lighthouse launch pad.
Dad and all that glitters.
Looking back towards Land’s End
Mom checking out the helicopter
Gah, that heather.
How does this landscape even exist right.
That’s what I’m talking about! In my search history is literally “the color of the sea near Cornwall”
These almost look like basalt columns. Or millions of cairns.
Nearing the turn in the hike (past the white farm house)
Looking back to the last bend
And sea horses
Coming over the hill to the beach in Sennen
Surfers and August bankholiday-makers all out, looking like little miniatures :)
So many wind screens!
We booked a spot at Porthminster Cafe for dinner – one of the nicest places in St. Ives and the only place right above Porthminster Beach.
Celebrating 74 years of Uncle Danny! (PC: Mom)
On day 2 in the Cornwall half of the trip, we drove up to Tintagel to visit the castle ruins, which are rumored to be what remains of Legendary King Arthur’s court.
Dad on the hunt for excalibur
Pretty sweet view for King Arthur there
Just so stunning!
On the drive back down, we made a detour to Padstow to try Rick Stein’s fish & chips (PC: Mom)
Then, a quiet night on the farmstead with games and homecooking. Jack and I crossed this cow field to climb a little knoll and when we came back, there was a bull in the field!
View from the top!
And the other direction – St. Michael’s Mount
On Day 3, we headed up the peninsula again to visit the stunning Eden Project. The Eden Project is a big sustainability, biodiversity project set in a huge crater that was once a mine. They’ve transformed it into a rich garden area in and outside with two biomes that house rainforest climate plants in one and Mediterranean biodiversity in the other.
Team Deery in the turquoise uniform of the day! So sweet.
In the rainforest! We waited to climb up to that tiny suspension platform at the end of our visit.
Mom and Jack admiring the biome
And from on high! To give you a better sense of how enormous and elaborate this project space is.
Even little huts made from what would be regional materials!
This summer’s exhibition was all about dinosaurs – did you know that recent fossil discoveries show Velociraptors had feathers (as opposed to the lizardlike rendition in Jurassic Park)?
On our last full day, we tried to do everything left on the list, starting with a walk out to St. Michael’s Mount at low tide. Here’s that intertidal zone for you now!
St. Michael’s Mount is a little island (well, sometimes, the peninsula is submerged most of the time) with a castle and estate historically owned by the St. Aubyn family, though they gave most of it to the National Trust in the 50s… while retaining a 999-year lease to continue living there.
An old timey mural of St. Michael’s Mount
The view of the immaculate gardens from on high!
Mom and dad in a turret
The tide creeping back in…
After a beach picnic in Marazion, we headed across the peninsula to see Barbara Hepworth’s House in St. Ives. Most of her sculptures, as well as her studio, have stayed protected on this old site.
Checking out this big ol sculpture
And at the end of the day, a visit to Lizard Point and coastal walk over to Kynance Cove! First Cornish ‘clotted cream’ ice cream. Nothing that’s actually bad for you should have the word ‘clotted’ in it.
Okay! So around the Lizard…
Nearing Kynance Cove, this time Team Deery in purple!
Would never tire of that view
Nearing Kynance Cove (see the little white building peeping out behind the cliffs?)
Maybe this cove is reasonably sheltered, because hardly any of the swimmers seemed to need a wet suit! I was so annoyed I hadn’t worn my bathingsuit.
One last survey
And onto part 2! Stratford and the Lake District, up soon. Stay tuned.