As I was going to St Ives…

As I was going to St Ives…


As I was going to St. Ives,

I met a man with seven wives,

Each wife had seven sacks,

Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,

How many were there going to St. Ives?

So says the Nursery Rhyme, but it’s too complicated for me and, in any event, I’ve no desire to engage in a mathematical riddle with someone as bigamous as a chap with seven wives.

We’re just back from a week in St Ives, though, a trip we’ve been trying to fit in for sometime.  As it was, we had to delay departure for a day as Alison’s father had been taken into hospital and we didn’t want to leave until he was safely home. So, it was Friday when we set off for Ilminster on the Somerset/Devon border, with a plan to break the journey by staying at a Caravan Club site overnight.

First, though we needed fuel and whilst filling up we bumped into a couple who live very close to us and have two VW Campervans – they were on their way to Dubs in’t Dales for the weekend and we wished them well.



For once the journey down was fine; no delays on the M6 and only a little heavy traffic on the M5 to add about 30 minutes to our journey time. We stopped at Gloucester Services for some late lunch and to stretch our legs – oh, and to walk Boris of course.

We arrived at the Ilminster site around 4.30 and soon had the pop up tent sorted and the kettle on. The site managers have two schnauzers so Boris was made very welcome, although our early evening walk was made more hazardous by a cow which had jumped over a hedge and was being chased by the farmer and his sons on a quad bike and in a landrover with a trailer attached. It wasn’t the cow that worried me, so much as the farmer towing the trailer who wasn’t giving way to anyone.

I’m not sure they get many VW Campervans staying at Caravan Club sites – we had more visitors in 4 hours that we’ve had in a week at some sites. There was quite a contrast too, as two massive motorhomes arrived after us and there was also a huge detachable one being towed by a VW Amarok.

We were up early on Saturday to get on our way to Cornwall; another uneventful journey, which saw us arrive at Polmanter Touring Site just after lunch. On the way we caught up with a beautiful Splitty and we exchanged waves and took photos of each other’s vans as we drove along.



We took our time putting the Glawning up (40 minutes and a pot of Yorkshire Gold) before walking from the site down into St Ives. The town was busy but had a great atmosphere and looked great in the early evening sunshine.





The walk back up the hill is slightly more strenuous and we were ready for sleep after a hectic week.

The rest of the week was spent exploring places we’d never been before, including Mousehole, Falmouth, Porthleven, Penzance and the beautiful Kynance Cove.


Mousehole harbour with St Michael’s Mount in the background


Splitty hiding away in Mousehole
Danbury in Porthleven



Kynance Cove





A cider, a beer and a bonio…


Cadgwith Cove



Bad news in Lizard…



Parking in Zennor



Secret Cove







Lunch at the Tinners Arms






Walking up to the Minack Theatre




Unfortunately, we were too late to get a seat.








Pendeen Watch lighthouse



Carn Gilver Tin Mine




The Gurnard’s Head
A photo taken by our neighbours at Polmanter

We’ve had a great week and wished would could have stayed a bit longer – we’ll definitely be back to this part of Cornwall.

Things we’ve learned:

Even when the sun’s shining in September, it can be cold when the wind’s whistling in off the Atlantic – there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing
There’s more to Cornwall than Newquay and Polperro
Boris gets louder as his cataracts get bigger
The Frontier Stove can make the Glawning too hot – “please, can we open the door a little?”
It’s true, the light in St Ives is “special”, even for someone, like me, who has aphantasia
Retirement proper is going to be an excuse for even more travels around the UK

There’s a full set of photos here: FLICKR


I'd love to hear your thoughts, so grab a pew and I'll make you a brew - Hobnob or Bourbon?

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