- Great Britain
- Great Britain Tour: Jessica Parkin - Umfulana
Great Britain Tour: Jessica Parkin - Umfulana
The country has long since moved up in the ranks of worthwhile holiday destinations.
For many England is summed up in 3 well known clichés: bad weather, bad food and possibly not quite so bad tea. And while clichés always have a little bit of truth to them, the country has long since moved up in the ranks of worthwhile holiday destinations.
It would be silly to expect scorching summers on a northern European Island, but surely the weather is not the only reason to travel the world. And frankly one cannot expect lush green countryside with rolling hills, meadows filled with cows and sheep and gardens brimming with every shade of color under the sun, if it wasn’t for the occasional rainfall.
My last trip to Cornwall I purposely scheduled for spring: Seas of yellow daffodils, bottle feeding lambs, hiking in Dartmoor and Exmoor meeting the wild ponies, wandering the narrow alleyways of quaint fishing villages and indulging in Cornish Cream Teas. My perfect idea of an Easter Break.
Heading off from Oxfordshire our first stop was Bath. We stayed in a town called Box in the childhood home of Reverend Awdry, the creator of childrens' book character Thomas the Tank Engine. The bus to Bath leaves across the road and only takes 15 minutes. Just perfect considering the difficult parking situation in the town.
Next up was Cornwall and our B&B close to the Lost Gardens of Haligan. Janie’s attention to detail is amazing and considering that Mike does most of the building work himself we were literally blown away by all that space, color and interesting design. My favourite outing would have to be the small port town of Mevagissey. A working harbor, small streets, antique shops, cafes and a bank that only opens twice a week for a couple of hours.
After 4 days in beautiful Cornwall we made for the moors with Exmoor definitely being the more rugged one of the two. We went on a Safari with Neil who grew up in the area and now takes people like us to the more remote parts, telling stories and interesting facts. Our accommodation for the night was on a working sheep farm, especially interesting for families with small children as Jackie has a lot of surprises for them: bottle feeding the lambs, collecting their breakfast eggs from the chicken coup and lots of farmland to go exploring on.
For our last stop we headed to Dartmoor: If I was convinced that Cornwall has the best cream tea on offer, I have to say I have been converted. After every day out and about we would come back to a small tea room in beautiful Ashburton and have their lovely scones with the richest clotted cream ever. Even though they did have coffee on the menu (mind you – plunger is all you can ask for in a tea room I guess) I have to agree that really one needs to try at least one of the many teas on offer and they go much better with scones or fine egg and cucumber sandwiches.
As for the clichés: Yes, we did have a little rain, but considering it was April the weather was fantastic (and I love taking my Wellis out for a walk in the fields every now and then). The food was sometimes reasonable, sometimes good and sometimes very good. It’s just a matter of deciding what you are looking for on that day and always listen to your hosts as their suggestions are always worth it. And tea – well yes – this is absolutely true: England is a country of tea drinkers. And even if that kind of hot drink is “not your cup of tea”, there is plenty of choice: coffee, hot chocolate … homemade lemonade, ale, cider…you name it they probably have it.