Lots of scenery and a few small sneeky bits.
Trip Start Feb 08, 2009
132Trip End Jul 04, 2010
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The day after Dartmoor National Park, I had planned to go to Restormel Castle, as it is a very old (1300's) ruin and looked very very interesting on the tourism website. But it was closed for winter. So I went for a drive to see how close I could get to the Castle. I parked at the bottom of a hill, with a gate saying 'CLOSED' on it. Then I noticed the styl which seemed to be inviting people to walk up the hill on foot. So I did. And I met some lovely sheep on the way up.
Then I got to the top, and saw the gate across the entrance to the castle ground, marked 'CLOSED'. So I went for a walk around the fence... and found a spot which was rather run down, and at an easy level to step over.
But, of course, the castle was closed for the winter, so it would have been utterly wrong of me to trespass on the castle grounds, seeing as they had such careful measures to keep people out, and it was guarded so carefully by the fierce sheep
I haven't a clue where the attached photos came from. I can't have taken them inside the castle, as it was *ahem* closed for the winter.
Anyway, next I went to the Eden project. This is a site which is both marvelous and baffling. It is built in an old mine pit, so some bright spark decided to turn what was effectively an abandoned dump into a nature park. It aims to educate people all about renewable energy and the plants which people use to live, and materials like hemp, which makes better clothes than synthetics and better paper than wood. But, at the same time as being an environmental beacon, it maintains two enormous domes of exotic plants at around 15 degrees in winter (sub-zero temperatures outside) and pumps massive amounts of hot, humid air around with big air-blowers to keep the plants alive. So, we have a tourist park designed to educate people about the effects of wasting energy, and it sets an example by using huge amounts of energy to create a 'climate dome'
The next day I went to The Lost Gardens of Heligan. This was indeed marvelous. The gardens were once a stately home of someone or other important, but then were abandoned and forgotten until sometime in the 1970's, when a bunch of people rediscovered them and have been slowly and painstakingly restoring them ever since. They had a marvelous vegetable garden, a little sparce in winter, but still growing fun things like cabbage and brussel sprouts, a flower garden which was really not exciting in winter, and a 'jungle' which houses tropical plants from around the world. It is situated in a little sheltered valley which is always 3 or 4 degrees warmer than the surrounding open land, which allows the plants to survive the winter rather well, and is ironically much more ecologically friendly than the jungle at the Eden project. I do love irony...
There were also walks through country fields and a hide where one could sit and watch the birds, so all in all a marvelous day was had!