Monday, June 29, 2015

Wellydog at Newlyn

We have some lovely friends coming to visit us for a few day, later on this morning, and in planning what to do while they are here, I am reminded of what wonderful place we live and what a privilege it is to be living the dream in Cornwall.

On our door step is the wonderful village we live in, Newlyn.  Many visitors drive through and never stop and see what an amazing place it is.  I am always totally stunned that its missed by so many, but also quite pleased as it means it doesn't get as crowded as some towns and villages around here.

We decided to live here on a whim..... well almost.  We have always loved Cornwall,  I spend many happy holidays in a caravan as a child here.  mostly in the Wadebridge area,  my parent used to belong to the caravan club and each year we would go on a Caravan rally at the Royal Cornwall show grounds. We would always visit Padstow and go out on the speed boats from the end of the pier.  I remember the local  beaches with fondness particularly one where we would all picnic at the top of the cliff and then walk down to the beach and body board with our Dad, while our Mum stayed at the top.  It was always packed with hundreds of people.  Unfortunately my memory is not good and I have no idea where that beach was, or what it was called, which is a shame as I would love to re-visit.

When we had children of our own  we sold our record  collection ( I should say Mr WD's) and many other items to afford a basic little Alpine sprite caravan.   We toured it everywhere and our favourite destination was, you guessed it.....Cornwall.

But as the children got older, they no longer fitted in the caravan bunks and didn't really want to come any more so we sold it and started holidaying abroad.  We were lucky to have some amazing holidays with and without the children. We traveled to the Greek Islands, Paris, Brittany, Germany, New York, Florida, Iceland, Mexico and the oh so beautiful Maldives.  But then a little chap came into our lives.  our mad Collie Fin.  We decided after only just adopting him it was unfair to leave him and  swan off again to somewhere warm, also my Dad was not well at the time, so we decided to stay in a cottage at the Lizard, in fact we stayed in the wonderful Lighthouse cottages at Lizard point.

It was amazing, as we drove down the M5 past Exeter, things started to feel very familiar, even after all those years away and as we saw the sea it felt like coming home. We had such an amazing time and felt truly relaxed for the first time in years.  It was very rainy and misty in the October we visited and the fog horn went off for almost 5 continuous days,  but that all seemed to add to the charm and lulled us to sleep.  It also meant we explored quite a lot.  So off we went for a day trip to Moushole.  I can't actually remember if we made it to Mousehole in the end as we stopped off at Newlyn as it had a dog friendly beach and Fin needed a break.  We strolled along the pebbly beach, and looked over at St Michaels mount, held hands and looked at each other and just knew we had come home..... and now of course it is our home.

As we walk out of our house at the top of Newlyn's Chywoone hill ( Pronounced Choon),  you can see the harbour below.  We walk though the back streets past the fabulous little granite and white cottages on cobbled streets to the harbour. These are the same cottages the now famous Newlyn Artists painted from around 1885. If you get a chance visit the wonderful Penlee House museum in Penzance to see some of this amazing work.

Newlyn Harbour is always busy there are fishing boats coming and going all the time as the tide allows.

 Each time a boat leaves the harbour you hear its horn go off and you can watch it sail out past the harbour wall. We then stroll along the harbour side towards the village, quite often there are piles of ice on the harbour side,  I assume these have been used for keeping the fish cold.

We can also see the famous and essential Penlee lifeboat , sitting in the floating harbour.  The original Penlee lifeboat was stationed up toward Moushole but was closed sometime after the Penlee lifeboat disaster, when 8 volunteer lifeboat men lost their lives, coming to the aid of the Solomon Browne.

It is nice to walk round the harbour when we don't have Fin with us, to see the fishing boats more closely. There is the fabulous old original quay to explore, with great views out of the harbour entrance with its lighthouse to guide the fishermen home, across Mount's Bay. The harbour is also the home to the UK tidal observatory, where all tidal heights around the coastline are measured from.

As we walk past the chandlers and fish shops down to the current Fish market, you pass the huge fish market warehouses , which smell of fish and disinfectant.  I am not a fish or seafood eater so I don't really like it . We did go into the market for last years blessing of the fleet , which was very emotional and the world famous Newlyn Fish festival,  which was incredible even for me, who is not a fish lover.

As you round the corner you can see the wonderfully imposing Seaman's Mission building at the end of the harbour.  Unfortunately this has just been sold,  but we have been lucky enough to go in and see the memorial room, part of the mission  I believe is going to still stay after the new owners have renovated it, which is fabulous as The Mission is an essential part of life for Fisherman all over Cornwall,  they help the fishermen in so many ways .  Check them out at their website here

We are then in the lovely village Centre,  there is a butcher,  very nice sausages, a pasty shop, absolutely essential, bakers, post office, newsagents, chemist, Drs surgery, Co-op, veg shop, florist, cheese shop, Italian Restaurant, Meadery ( lovely chicken and Mead fizz) the fabulous Jelberts, homemade cornish clotted cream, ice-cream, made fresh every day.  (There are always queues on a warm summers evening).  There also two new additions, Makerel sky, a little sea food restaurant,  remember I don't eat seafood,  so I can't comment,  but we are told it is wonderful. Also a  little gallery and pottery has literally only just opened so I haven't been in yet.  There are of course a few little pubs to. I nearly forgot also a Chinese take away ,  very very large portions and the amazing Lewis's chip shop.  I am sure I have forgotten other things  but the point don't need to go anywhere else, its all there on our door step.

Newlyn bridge is past the second hand shop,  and the river coming from the hills and runs into the sea, past the newly build seawall. After the enormous floods of 2013, much of Newlyn's seafront had to be rebuilt.  We arrived just after Newlyn and been breached by the sea and this stone mountain is now there to try and help calm the waves before they hit the village again.
Walking toward the sea front we  pass the Funeral directors , I told you everything was catered for and down toward the beach .  There is the Tolcarne pub and restaurant in the car park just at the back and this leads onto the village green which runs alongside of the beach.  There is a very touching memorial to those lost as sea, just at the end of the car park just as you pass to get onto he beach.  Usually you can see flowers around the memorial,  which always touches my heart.

As you walk onto the beach, you can immediately see the fabulous mounts bay and  St Michaels Mount. On a lovely clear day you can see the Lizard in the distance.   If you follow the beach you will pass though the tiny Wherrytown and then onto Penzance,  but thats for another day.

Newlyn is such an amazing village and the people are amazing to. They have welcomed us with open arms and have been helpful and supportive of our move to their wonderful piece of bliss.

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