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Land of my Birth - Devon and Cornwall

OK - my birth place is Plymouth which is in Devon - but it's only just across the river Tamar to Cornwall. In fact, however, it's only SE Cornwall that I visited much as a boy. Most Cornish entries are from more recent visits whereas Devon is based on long time memories. It is arranged so that Devon comes first, the River Tamar that belongs to both being the dividing point.

Updated December 6, 2012
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  1. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Plymouth, England, UK
    The title can be taken in two senses; for me personally to a boyhood past when Heaven knows how many times I went to this house - I loved it. However to most it will be more meaningful as a flashback to the 16th century. The name of its street, New S…
  2. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Plymouth, England, UK
    Stand on Plymouth Hoe on a fine day. Forget about Sir Francis Drake playing bowls and waiting for the Spanish Armada. Look out to sea and way out beyond the breakwater, you will see a pencil sticking up - or what looks like one. If it is a very fine …
  3. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Plymouth, England, UK
    For me the Barbican does recall boyhood but it was amazingly different. I found it hard to grasp how much it had changed when we went to prepare ny father's house for sale in 1973. It has gone on changing since. At that time it was a very poor are…
  4. Expensive "Sights & Attractions" in Plympton, England, UK
    The estuary of the River Plym is tidal and is now too silted for shipping. it is picturesque at high tide and good for bird watchers on the mud flats when the tide is out. The road beside it used to be wide and peaceful - great for early driving less…
  5. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Plymouth, England, UK
    This is a bus ride out from Plymouth onto Dartmoor but if I assigned it to Buckland Monachorum, Crapstone or even Yelverton, who would be likely to come across the review? Anyway Plymouth City Museums are associated with the National Trust in running…
  6. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Dartmoor, England, UK
    As a boy living in Plymouth I have two principal memories of days out inland; of course many were to the seaside. Sheepstor is one of the two. I will let the term include Burrator as far as this goes because we never reached Sheepstor without passing…
  7. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Dartmoor, England, UK
    It is to be expected that the river giving its name to Dartmoor would have a bit going for it and the dart is certainly a beautiful river in each of its three stages. The moorland stage is the first and here there are two rivers, the East Dart and…
  8. Free! "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Widecombe in the Moor, England, UK
    Widecombe is widely known for the song, Widecombe Fair, sometimes described as the national anthem of Devon. Believe it or not, when I was about seven, I had a book of the song with pictures and I was scared stif of Tom Pearce's old mare and her ratt…
  9. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Buckland in the Moor, England, UK
    Yes; if you go onto Buckland Beacon, just over half a mile from the church of Buckland-in-the-Moor, you can see it as well, although I must admit the lettering is nowhere near as distinct now as the website might suggest. There on two adjacent slabs …
  10. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Totnes, England, UK
    The stannary (tin) town of Ashburton and the market town of Buckfastleigh needed a conection to the railway system. It opened in 1872 and used the very brad gauge favoured by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In 1876 it was taken over by a company that hel…
  11. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Lynton, England, UK
    If you are very close to the sea, you might think that any valley you saw was carrying a river towards the sea, only a short distance away. It might or it might not have a tidal estuary. Think again. Think of a valley very high up, parallel to the…
  12. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Yelverton, England, UK
    It would have been 3 if Dartmeet were not already covered under River Dart. If I were forced to put them in order, Dartmeet would come third anyway - not from any scenic infriority but because it is one of the most visited spots on Dartmoor. When …
  13. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Devon, England, UK
    Thr River Yealm can hardly be described as one of Britain's great rivers, the biggest of which does not compare with the longest European rivers, never mind rivers like the Nile, the Yangtse and the Mississippi. The Yealm's total length is only about…
  14. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Lydford, England, UK
    The village of Lydford is on the far west side of Dartmoor National Park roughly half way between Tavistock and Okehampton. It was set up by Alfred the Great in Saxon times for defence against the Vikings. The castle, however, was used as a prison fo…
  15. Very cheap "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Combe Martin, England, UK
    In saying that the drinks are good, Iam not saying anything against their food or hospitlaity - I have experienced neither. Combe Martin is an attractive small North Devon resort. Apparently in the second part of the seventeenth century, one Geor…
  16. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Yelverton, England, UK
    Who'd have thought what? you may well ask. In my youth - a few days ago - I used to think it referred to the surprise of such a steep hill leading to such a beautiful pub in such a remote place. Only recently I have discovered that it is thought to r…
  17. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Tavistock, England, UK
    The website given concludes with funds for Morwellham Quay Museum being withdrawn in 2009. However other websites, including its own, show it still open and active. I lived in Plymouth as a boy, the place where vast quantities of ore and metal wer…
  18. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Plymouth, England, UK
    I see there are 70 Cornish TBers and I suppose you feel that I am nicking it, putting it under Plymouth but what do you expect from a man born as a Plymothian? The river Tamar is the border between Devon and Cornwall (some on the Cornwall side might…
  19. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Saltash, England, UK
    There are numerous bridge across the upper reaches of the River Tamar (review) but until 1859, when the Royal Albert Bridge was opened, the only way of crossing the lower reaches was by ferry. The Royal Albert was/is a rail bridge and when I was youn…
  20. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Plymouth, England, UK
    The term 'forgotten corner' is often used to describe the far south-east of Cornwall. It is certainly true that many of the tourists who pour into Cornwall never get to see this corner - but perhaps it is unknown rather than forgotten by them. it is …
  21. Expensive "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Sennen Cove, UK
    I think perhaps I grew up at a bad time for beach restaurants, cafes, snack bars or whatever. Anyway I tended to regard any establishment on a beach that prrported to supply food as somewhere that the proximity of the sea was meant to compensate for …
  22. Average priced "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Paul, UK
    Paul may not be the best known village in England - so just a bit of geography. It is in the far west of Cornwall, the most south-westerly county in England. It is adjacent to the interesting granite church of St Pol (or St Paul) of Brittany. Arou…
  23. Average priced "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Zennor, UK
    On trips to the beautiful village of Zennor in 1996 and 1998 we went into this pub. Indeed I find it hard to imagine anybody, even a teetotaller, staying out; it just seems such an integral part of the scene. It certainly has some age. Fine as it …
  24. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Zennor, UK
    I have said elsewhere that the granite churches of Penwith are built to a pretty standard pattern but that most have individual characteristics that make them worth seeing. I put this and St Levan jointly as my personal favourites. The church date…
  25. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Durgan, UK
    This is to supplement the information in my blog of Cornwall 2008. South of the road that leads roughly SSW (at first) from Mawnan Smith, there are two adjacent gardens open to the public; Trebah and Glendurgan. I have heard excellent reports of both…
  26. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Sancreed, UK
    We have been here twice, once with our friend, Judith in 1996 and once on our own in 1998. It isithe site of a settlement that is believed to have been used through the iron age and on to the Roman period. Its special feature is an elaborate fogou…
  27. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in St Buryan, UK
    4 rather than 5 because I don't expect everybody to share my interest in church architecture (although I am not religious). All the Church of England buildings in the far west of Cornwall have much in common. being built of granite and enjoying mu…
  28. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Penzance, UK
    Apart from Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, as far as I know this is the farthest south and west of any English garden. if you take the ring road round Penzance towards Land's End, you will find it signed to your right. It's surprising how much warm…
  29. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Madron, UK
    You are best getting a decent scale map or asking questions to find Men-an-Tol. Apparently this is Cornish for 'hole with a stone' but it sounds far more interesting. Actually there is one fallen straight stone that is believed, according to the w…
  30. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Saint Mawes, England, UK
    If you like castles at all, as I do, this one must please you. First comes its magnificent setting. West of Flamouth there is a huge inlet, the Carrick Roads, part of it being accounted for by the Fal estuary. St Mawes Castle, to the east of Carrick …
  31. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in St Just in Roseland, UK
    St Just in Roseland must not be confused with St Just in Penwith, which is further west. I think there is actually a third St Just in Cornwall but I have no idea where. The Roseland and Penwith ones could scarcely be more different, except that each …
  32. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Saint Just, Northern Ireland, UK
    I have put free because of course the specific places I mention are indeed free but I do recommend it as a place to stay in the far west of Cornwall - in which case it will cost a pound or three, This town must not be confused with the chocolate b…
  33. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Pendeen, Northern Ireland, UK
    Levant mine is owned by the National Trust, whilst the Trevithick Society has a substantial interest in the static steam engine. The mine is signed from the road to Zennor and St Ives from St Just in Penwith. The mine only enjoyed a life of 110 ye…
  34. Expensive "Sights & Attractions" in Mevagissey, England, UK
    How can a garden be lost? Sadly it's only too easy. During the 1914 - 18 war, the gardeners of the Heligan Estate were enlisted. Left without attention the great estate decayed and was swamped by unwanted vegetation. If you are interested in the h…
  35. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Cawsand, England, UK
    I suppose calling it 'free' may be a tad misleading as you would want at east to spend a bit on transport, since there is quite a lot of it. I used to think the idea of this being a forgotten Cornwall was just mine but if you Google it now, you wi…
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