So the biggest part of our trip was to Cornwall, which my mother’s choice for her birthday trip, as she’s pretty much always wanted to visit there. We rented a cottage for a week. We ended up going with a place in Callington, which is near the border with Devon, and is pretty much on Bodmin Moor. Turns out we were on the side of Kit Hill, which is the tallest place in the area, and was once extensively mined. The owner mentioned that the property is dead on top of a mine shaft. (There was also an Iron Age hill for nearby, as well as a couple of mining artifacts like an arsenic chimney.)
The cottage itself dates back to the 15th century – the oldest portion is what is now the two bedrooms and the bathroom, and those rooms still have random, tiny windows in them. At one point, what is now the kitchen and living room were added on (you can tell they were just tacked onto the side of the house, as there are windows pointing into the kitchen.) Three families would have lived in the cottage at that point, with the kitchen/living room being the posh section, as it has two rooms. The fourth picture is between the kitchen and living room, and you can see how thick the walls are. (The current owners added that fireplace, as well as a dining room conservatory that links the living room to the bedrooms.)
Outside, the current owners have made a charming garden (which we didn’t get as much use of as we would have liked, as the weather wasn’t great the week we were there). The two front rooms of the cottage overlook the garden, and the views of the Tamar Valley. In the first and sixth picture above, you can see the garden wall. That dates back to the 13th century, and was the boundary of a royal game park. It’s much taller on the other side, to keep the deer in, but is short on this side so if they happen to get out, they could jump back over.
We really loved having the cottage. It was so nice to have an actual ‘home’ to return to each day. The owners were lovely. They had a cream tea waiting for us when we arrived, and had us over on Thursday night for traditional Cornish pasties and a pavlova. (Eileen is a fantastic cook. Her scones were the best we had in Cornwall and Devon.)
The first full day we were there, the weather was completely wretched, so we stayed inside. (We’d also done a ton of walking in London, so it was nice to have a break.) We’d stocked up at the local Tescos, and Bill had given us a ton of veggies from the garden, so we were well fed, and well rested from that first day.