There must be something masochistic in us, surely, to brave the English coastal weather in December? After all, we could be sunning ourselves in the Canaries for the same cost and much less effort. But Cornwall was what spouse had set his heart on and Cornwall was where we ended up.
I didn’t complain at all (well hardly…) but on our first evening there it looked as though all my misgivings were well founded. We had planned to eat in the pub just down the road on our first night. It’s always wise, I think, not to go too far afield until you get your bearings in a new place and The Rising Sun in Portmellon was but five minutes’ walk away. So, off we toddled, well wrapped up as we’d been warned there was a storm brewing. There certainly was! Fifty yards from the pub high tides and gales had combined to produce fifteen feet high waves crashing the road. We could go no further, bedraggled and soaked through, and we returned to the cottage, cursing at the tantalizing sight of the pub just feet away but definitely out of our reach.
Our mood changed quickly though, thanks to the comfort of our splendid cottage, high above the spray, and to the ministries of the Maharaaj restaurant in Mevagissey who delivered a hot and tasty takeaway. In fact, although we did eventually make it into Mevagissey for a couple of evening meals, we were more than happy to stay in our lovely cottage. It was like a hilltop Tardis with outdoor decking (not overused on this particular holiday) leading to a spacious, bright, well equipped kitchen which, in turn, opened onto a living room with log burner, a beautiful bathroom and oh so comfortable double bedroom. Spouse tended the log burner lovingly every day; so much more exciting than our gas fire at home. It was wonderful to sit and read, snug and warm, in the kitchen with its panoramic views of the channel and coast, especially when the gales were howling outside.
We did, however, venture outside occasionally and had two full days of real temperate, dry weather, ideal for coastal walking. The cottage was perfectly located for day trips to St. Mawes, The Lost Gardens of Heligan (just ten minutes drive away) and to the Kings Wood Nature reserve. We could also walk from our front door, joining the Southwest Coastal Path within minutes. Mevagissey, Goren Haven and Heligan were all within easy walking distance. Just a short drive away is Portloe with a wonderful walk over the fields to Veryan, uphill to the other-worldly Melinsey Mill and through woodland and hedgerows to Pendower Beach.
The only disadvantage of Cornwall in December was that the short days meant that we sometimes returned when the light was fading. Note to self; coastal walks are always longer than you think. Those wiggly lines on the map are there for a reason!
We stayed at The Gallery, Portmellon, booked through English Country Cottages http://www.english-country-cottages.co.uk/cottages/the-gallery-tot