If you’re going to England and visiting a lot of gardens, homes, and castles, consider getting an Overseas Visitor Pass. You can see about 100 attractions for as little as £31 with it. An upgrade is available too that increases the number to about 400, including the castle in Launceston. We didn’t learn about this pass until we were in our final Cornwall destination, Launceston. Seeing the castle ruins would have been free if we had the upgrade.
I looked back over the available choices and realized that we would have gotten into exactly one place, Tintagel, with an OVP. However, the entry to it was less than £10 and I was not happy at Tintagel. There was almost nothing about King Arthur in the area and I got tired of tourist shops and hearing people enthuse about being in King Arthur’s home. Actually, the Tintagel Castle ruins date from the 13th century, and it was built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall. We saved several £s by not having an Overseas Visitor Pass on this trip. But if we go back….
We saw a lot in Cornwall. When we were on our way back to London, I looked over what we had missed, and there were 4 major attractions that we didn’t get to for a variety of reasons. I have learned, over time, to skip some major stuff wherever Ruth & I go and like so that we have reasons to return. But these 4 seemed exceptional, so if you’re going to Cornwall…..
Eden. Many people asked if we had visited The Eden Project. No. We thought about it but were never close enough to St. Austell to see the place that TripAdvisor calls “Paradise” and the BBC calls a garden of indulgent magnificence. Eden, 2 huge covered Biomes reportedly in a crater, is said to be the largest rainforest under a roof. It’s actually devoted to the scientific study of rainforest biodiversity. Its most recent venture is a Western Australian garden.
Port Isaac. After Ruth watched Poldark, she got into Doc Martin. Doc Martin supposedly practices medicine in this small, scenic Cornish port, which is seen regularly on this series. Although other travelers asked if we had been there, the closest we came was finding it on a map.
The Minack Theatre. Near Penzance, this unlikely outdoor theater built into a Cornish cliff is, according to Lonely Planet, “One of the world’s top 10 open air experiences”. Something is performed in Minack every day except Christmas and the day after it, and there are busses from Penzance to get you there. However, we had seen the show that was current, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Isles of Scilly. Pronounced “silly”, this cluster of small, subtropical islands surrounded by aquamarine water is 24 miles off the Cornwall coast. Five isles are inhabited, mostly by people seeking the peace that comes with a slower pace. Travelers like to day-trip, walk everywhere, and hop from island to island. I know this because we had breakfast 2 mornings with a lady named Pamela who was planning to do exactly that.