SW Coastal Road Trip Day 4 – St Ives, Lands End & Newquay

We woke up refreshed andready to go for another day of exploring the South West coast!

Waking up In the Hobbit Homes was really cool and very refreshing. You stepped straight outside into the fresh air so it was nice to have a cuppa and enjoy the fresh morning weather! Once we had walked down to the washrooms, had a shower and freshened up check out was at 10 so we got sorted and headed out to explore St Ives! The washrooms were also really clean and fresh. Although it would have been nice to see someone cleaning it straight after we had used it for other guests we also understand in todays climate that might not be possible!

So we jumped in the car and drive the 10 minute drive into the centre of St Ives. The first mistake we made was driving. Parking is really very limited so if possible park at the top of the hill on your way into St Ives. The walk back up might be painful but not as painful as trying to find parking in the centre because it isn’t really plausible on a busy summers day.

St Ives from the off was so beautiful, the blue water and the beautiful beaches and harbour. It was low tide so all the boats were resting on the sand in the harbour as we waded through the masses of people who had finally escaped after the coronavirus lockdown. Admittedly this was the only location out of the many that we visited where I didn’t feel Covid safe walking through the streets. Usually when we were outdoors I’d keep my mask off but when we were walking through I felt incredibly uncomfortable especially being basically shoulder to shoulder and popped my mask on until we had reached the other side of the harbour. All the restaurants were open and it was Ice creams galore! I love all the stone buildings and the cobbled streets. I imagine in winter its the cosiest town of them all.

We wandered across to Smeaton Pier and followed the coastal pathway along the seafront around to the piece of land known as ‘The Island’. To get there we walked past Bamaluz beach and also Porthgwidden beach to finally make our way up to St Ives head, situated on The Island, and also to take a nosey at St Nicholas Chapel too! It was a really lovely walk with beautiful views of St Ives beaches and the harbour. We then finished off with a picture overlooking Porthmeor Beach and a walk back through the cobbled streets of St Ives (trying not to buy even MORE fudge from some of the delicious shops) and up the dreaded hill to the car!

Next up on the agenda was to drive across from St Ives to Lands End! I was really excited for this as I’m from Lowestoft (although no longer residing there now) and Lowestoft holds the landmark on our coast for the Most Easterly Point of the UK! So Complete opposite sides of the country which is pretty fun. So I was very excited when we arrived.

We paid the £7 parking fee which is basically your entry fee and then headed down to the entrance! When you arrive there are so many facilities I really didn’t expect. I was expecting to arrive to the lands end landmark post, the flag and that was really about it. I was shocked to find children’s amusements and also multiple food stalls and places for drinks! There is even a hotel and place for you to stay if you wanted too! It was good as I was hungry so had a portion of nachos for the price of a small London Flat. It was massively overpriced but I guess its the tourist attractions that do that to you!

We wandered past the stalls after some food and headed down to look at the actual Lands End landmark, unfortunately again you had to pay for a picture in front of it. But we didn’t do that and just took a pretty good picture from the other side of the line and our own pictures as we walked down the slope towards the first and last house! It was cool to see the first and last post box and the first and last house, the first and last flagpole and the Lands End viewpoint. I never imaged I’d be that far South West in my entire life. Now all I want to do is go to the most Northern and Southern point! It would have made sense really to go to the most Southern point whilst at Lands End as it was just an hours drive away! Highlight of Lands end was definitely the proposal we saw by the Lands End sign, so nice that even the bad weather didn’t bring the mood down for such a special occasion!

Next location on the adventure for the next two days, the longest we will have spent anywhere on the trip, was Newquay! Now I was so excited to go to Newquay so I could teach Brad how to surf! The drive from Lands End to Newquay was only an hour or so and was really easy.

We arrived at our Airbnb and it was absolutely beautifully decorated and so cosy. We had everything we needed from a coffee machine, bathroom with a shower next door to the room with towels, a TV, a place to put our sandy things from the beach, the COMFIEST double, wardrobe space, Wi-Fi and a TV to relax and watch when we weren’t out exploring. It was like an upside down house, Kylie the host lived upstairs and the room ad bathroom was downstairs. During these Covid times she kept the bathroom sparkling clean also which was amazing. The best part about this Airbnb though? I went to the toilet at 6am and was greeted in an open kitchen door to A HOUSE RABBIT. I must have missed this part on the listing as it definitely states she’s in there but I was so pleasantly surprised, what a great way to wake up! She was super cute!

As we arrived quite late in the evening we decided to walk into Newquay and find some food. Unfortunately at this point the Help out to Eat out scheme had just started and we didn’t even think to book, everywhere was SO busy. We manged to find a table on the main high street at a place called Lost Brewing Co. On a complete whim and reluctantly we went inside and I am so glad we did, it was so good we went back the following day for drinks before our meal elsewhere. Not only do they brew their own beers and sell them here but the food was amazing. I had Halloumi fries, Battered prawns, Chicken strips and some fries as well for finger food as I was just so hungry and couldn’t make my mind up but they are actually super popular for their burgers as well!

All in all another successful day, we headed back to the Airbnb shortly after so we could get some good nights sleep ready for a day full of surfing the next day!

Exploring Paris, A walking tour of our own – Day 1

So my wonderful man brought me to Paris on the Eurostar for my birthday!

What a hero. This was just before everything got shut down due to Covid-19. So we were lucky we managed to get our trip in when we did. We stayed in London the night before at Kings Cross before getting out early Eurostar train at 7:55am on Friday morning! Once we arrived we were on track and en route arriving at Gard Du Nord in France, Paris!

So we headed to our Ibis in the commercial sector, La Defense and we walked, EVERYWHERE. We walked to the tube station from the Eurostar and got an all day ticket for €7 which was really handy as it got us everywhere all day and considering we were there for 3 days (Should’ve been 4 but we will get to that!) it was actually cheaper to buy these day tickets than it was to buy a travel pass. We managed half the journey with our bags and decided to get off and get an Uber the rest of the way so we could plan our journeys in the hotel! The hotel was nice and the room was perfect for the two of us with a view of the River Seine out of the window and we could just see the top of the Eiffel Tower! So we dumped out bags and off we went exploring with City Mapper, our trusty travel app, in tow.

La Defense was the commercial sector so there were HUGE sky scrapers and buildings everywhere. We were walking on pathway raised above the read and it was very modernised and windy. It was Impressive to say the least and every day we were graced with beautiful weather and before the tube station to get to the centre a huge pond/body of water which was lovely and out of place due to the location! A really nice touch. The tubes were easy to maintain, just like London, and so we didn’t have many issues!

Although we did run into one issue. We arrived at the tube station Concorde and suddenly the doors opened and security piled in shouting what I can only image was “end of the line, get off the train”. Confused we asked on the platform what was going on as we had 3 more stops and there had been an accident up ahead. Hopefully it wasn’t serious, but this abrupt stop did lead us to leave the tube station earlier than anticipated. And boy were we glad we did! We found ourselves at Place De La Concorde.

A huge roundabout, cobbled roads, beautiful statues and fountains in the middle and the Palace itself at the end! The pair of us would have had absolutely no idea about this stop had we not gotten off! And it also warranted walk through the Jardin Des Tuileries which lead to the Musee Du Louvre. The Jardin Des Tuileries is in the centre of Paris and free to enter with 2 fountains and endless sculptures and statues throughout the park. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful walk through the gardens! We sat down by one of the fountains and relaxed for a little before moving on to the Musee Du Louvre!

Musee Du Lourve was as beautiful as all the pictures I had seen before, we walked through the archway from the park and over towards the museum itself. Due to Covid-19 the Museum was only open to ticket holders and unfortunately we didn’t have €60 each to spare, but it was another thing off the list just to see the beautiful architecture that is the Louvre itself and the beautiful building surrounding it. Brad was incredibly impressed and naturally pictures of us trying to pinch the top of the Louvre were a given. As we walked through the building surrounding the Louvre we headed out of one of the exits and over a Bridge which I can only assume used to be the Love Lock bridge! Much to our dismay of course the locks had all be removed as the bridge was way to heavy, but it was lovely to experience none the less. A few locks still remained on lamps.

Once over the bridge and walking beside the Seine we found the Statue Equestre Du Marechal Foch standing proudly in the middle of a bridge over the Seine, a militant memorial of the 19th century. After heading through some more beautifully aesthetically pleasing areas, we made it to the Latin Quarter.

The Latin Quarter is beside Notre-dame Cathedral and this was definitely an interesting sight as of course it was on fire not all that long ago. Works are well and truly underway and you cannot enter the area, only look by from the main road which is exactly what we did! I hope to go back once the Cathedral is repaired so I can get a proper good look at one of the most beautiful Cathedrals known.

Over the bridge at in the Latin Quarter we found a live band raising money for charity by the Fontaine Saint-Michel, A monumental fountain in Paris showing St Michel slaying a dragon! It was beautiful and very impressive. And in the perfect spot to have a beer! So we stopped in this area and sat down at Le Depart for a beer and some pretzels (a nice touch!). Although it cost a bomb, and we later realised that we had eaten into a tourist trap. Literally down the road to our left were pubs of the same caliber but selling beers for cheaper. But we didn’t mind, we knew for next time and enjoyed our beverage stop.

At the very top of the Latin Quarter was the beautiful building this is the Pantheon. It was a big old hill to climb to get to this beautiful building but totally worth it, the sun was setting and there was even a daffodil area going on in the square area outside the building so people could buy fresh daffodils and daffodil bulbs! It was getting late and on our way up to the Pantheon (which we wish we could’ve gone inside but Covid-19 had closed its doors which is wise!) we passed 2 pubs and tried to get in but they were SO Busy as they were buy a college, so we headed back down the hill for dinner!

Dinner was at Jardin Notre-Dame and the food was absolutely glorious. Our server was absolutely mental but she made the experience. I had Duck Confit whilst Brad has Shnitzel and we shared some wine whilst we looked out the window at Notre-dame all lit up! It was a cute little dinner spot and once we were done we headed literally over the road to Polly Maggoo for drinks, a rough and ready place for pints. We sat outside under the heaters and taked for hours.

I am so grateful for my man and this trip, we headed back to the hotel happily sloshed, I was baffled about how some of the trains were double deckers, and we were ready for day 2!