Friday dawn cloudy and a little drizzly but it was still pleasant to be able to step out of the tent without feeling the need to put any clothes on. Breakfast was taken on the tent porch and consisted of cup of coffee for me and tea for her.
Raiding the cool box we lit up the portable gas cooker and had crispy bacon sandwiches with plenty of pepper then it was a case of what to do for the day as it had turned a little bit chilly. After the normal “well what do you want to do” word exchange we decided to my great delight that we would visit a garden that unroll 25 years ago was very much hidden by decades of decay and neglect.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan (Cornish: Lowarth Helygen, meaning “willow tree garden”), near Mevagissey in Cornwall, are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The gardens are typical of the 19th century Gardenesque style with areas of different character and in different design styles.
The gardens were created by members of the Cornish Tremayne family from the mid-18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, and still form part of the family’s Heligan Estate The gardens were neglected after the First World War restored only in the 1990s, a restoration that was the subject of several popular television programmes and books.
The gardens include aged and colossal rhododendrons and camellias, a series of lakes fed by a ram pump over 100 years old, highly productive flower and vegetable gardens, an Italian garden, and a wild area filled with subtropical tree ferns called “The Jungle”. The gardens also have Europe’s only remaining pineapple pit, warmed by rotting manure, and two figures made from rocks and plants known as the Mud Maid and the Giant’s Head.I took my camera and got some great shots and luckily the rain stayed away long enough to enjoy our visit in relatively dry conditions.
We left Heligon and set off towards Polperro a quaint fishing village on the south coast.Polperro, through which runs the River Pol, is 7 miles (11 km) east of Foweyand 4 miles (6 km) west of the neighbouring town of Looe. It is a noted tourist destination, particularly in the summer months, for its idyllic appearance with tightly-packed ancient fishermen’s houses which survive almost untouched, its quaint harbour and attractive coastline.
We went onto the beach for a while before heading off to find somewhere to have dinner after two aborted stops in the poring rain we found a place alongside the A38 called The Hayloft,where we enjoyed a lovely meal. After desert we headed back to the campsite to enjoy the liberating freedom of being clothes free once again.