a trusty mission

National Trust Membership
Our new National Trust membership has just arrived in the post – courtesy of my Dad who buys it for me as a birthday present every year. We were a bit lazy last year and didn’t get the most out of the membership, so this year we’ve drawn up a bucket list, with a few key places to visit in 2015. And here it is – I’m mostly referring to gardens, most of which are, of course, dog friendly.

Higher Town Farm Campsite
I’ve had my eye on this spot for the past couple of years, it’s a small, quiet and basic campsite tucked into the south coast, just three quarters of a mile from a secluded beach. It’s situated in the hamlet of Lansallos, equal distance from Polperro and Polruan – just over the water from Fowey. Living on the north coast it’s easy to neglect the south coast and to be honest we really haven’t spent much time over in this area. The campsite offers a great location to strike out on the coast, with walks to the east and west, little known coves and boats over to Fowey for a spot of gastronomic gorging in pubs and restaurants.

St. Michaels Mount
Shamefully I have never been to St. Michaels Mount – I’ve admired its regal stature in the waters of Mounts Bay at different times of the year and in a variety of weather. But I’ve never actually made it up the causeway to the island itself. This year it’s my intention to do just that – although I’m not necessarily interested in going inside the house, but more in the gardens, which have limited access, and sadly – but understandably – are not dog friendly.

Penrose Estate
The Penrose Estate shelters on the south coast, tucked just back from Loe Bar Beach, which we visited last summer. This year however we want to head into the miles of woodland that snake back from the beach and around the freshwater lake – a total circuit of which amounts to 6 miles. The pool itself has a stake in a fair few legends, with some suggesting it’s the home of the Lady in the Lake and even King Arthur’s Excalibur. There’s a cafe on site and the trails are dog friendly.

Antony Estate
Every time I travel by train in and out of Cornwall and we pass over the Tamar I always promise myself that we’ll spend some time there soon. The countryside just shy of the Devon border, with views out over the Tamar River and its tributary rivers, is beautiful. The woodland rolls down to the water’s edge, creeks creep inland and it always looks so genteel.  The Antony Estate is right on the edge of Cornwall, not far from the Rame Peninsula with views up river towards Brunel’s famous bridge and east over to Devonport. The gardens here look beautiful, aristocratic formal areas, woodland that sweeps down to the water and modern sculpture dotted around and adding to the mix. We’re not sure if the gardens are dog friendly, it doesn’t say on the NT website, but we’ll be calling to find out.

Add these four to our ‘must do’ walks and we’re starting to fill up our calendar.
If you’ve got any other suggestions for National Trust places outside of Cornwall that we should visit – preferably in the South West, do let us know by leaving a comment below.

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