Category: Blog Posts

Boscastle with a broken toe

Boscastle with a broken toe

Finally a break from work, a decent amount of time off, and we have plans. Plans that include a trip to Boscastle in North Cornwall to explore areas we haven’t seen before. Packing all done, just need to add one more thing to the case, and that’s when it happens. As I rush to add my last item before getting some sleep, I kick the case, hard! The pain is immediate, and the damage is clear.  All I can hope is that it feels better in the morning.

It didn’t. But I wasn’t going to let this ruin our holiday.

After our stay in Bude, which you can read about here, we drove to Boscastle.

Our first view of Boscastle was coming down towards Penally Hill. The view was so amazing we pulled into the Boscastle Farm Shop for more. At the bottom of the garden is a gate leading directly onto the South West Coast Path walking route. The views from here were fantastic, and we couldn’t wait to see more of the town.

The town is beautiful. It is a quintessential English seaside town. Like Bude it is full of independent retailers, including a witchcraft museum! This seems slightly out of place just doors away from the National Trust, but it must be generating business as it has been open here since 1960.

We arrived in town at the same time as a tour bus, not ideal, but we soon found out there is enough to do in this small village to cater for everybody.

The shops extend to the start of residential alleys, with numerous options for lunch or a coffee. The houses mix in with retail and extend to the mouth of the harbour. Looking at Boscastle in a map, you would be forgiven for thinking this would be a quick stop.

We looked around the town, and after a bite to eat headed to the harbour to explore some more. Now, bearing in mind the broken toe I suffered only 1 day previously, this may not have been the best idea. The tide was out, so we first headed right, balancing precariously on the concrete ledge heading to the sea. We clambered down the algae covered rocks into the emptied harbour to get some photos.  At this point we noticed the tide was starting to come back in.

It was now a race against time to finish our photo session. Back to the bridge and down the other side of the harbour to get some shots of the stranded boats. This is where the fun really began. On top of my broken toe, I had also worn completely inappropriate shoes for climbing, but they were new, I had to wear them! Steep up and down hill sections, uneven surfaces, stairs and large boulders, my foot was completely unsupported and willing me to stop.

We made it though, over the last few rocks and we were greeted with the ocean. Vast, open views of the sea crashing against the rocks.

I’m sure you would agree, it was worth it.

 

Would I recommend Boscastle? Yes

Would I recommend it with a broken toe? No way.

We will go back to see more, and enjoy more of the walking tracks in the area, but this time I will take more care when packing!

Bude…iful

Bude…iful

A few weeks ago, sitting around on a Friday night, we spontaneously decided to head to the Cornish Coast the next morning. This is a 4 hour drive from us, so would be an early wake up call.

After doing some quick Google searches, we decided on Bude. The weather everywhere was meant to be hot, really hot, so we headed down in our summer gear, no backup.

Within 5 minutes of arriving, we were buying new jackets!

But this did not put us off what a beautiful town Bude is. It may have been a quick stop, but it made us want more. So when we got home, we booked a weekend away.

Fast forward 4 weeks and we are ready to head back to Bude once again.

Driving down early Sunday morning, the traffic was easy and we got there in good time. Bude is a small beach town on the Cornish Coast, it reminds me of Whangamata back in the day. A main street full of boutique one-off stores. Although there is a Boots, there are very few other large chains here, at least in the town center. I love towns like this, it is a refreshing change to seeing the same old high street over and over again.

We meandered down the main street and around the block, browsing in surf shops, second hand stores, and boutique handcraft and accessory stores, before heading down to Summerleaze Beach. We approached from the head of the town, over the grass plain to get views of the ocean, surfers and cliffs opposite. The tide was out which made for great images of ‘stranded’ boats beached on the sand, and the wet sand glistening in the sun.

Surfers were out in force, yet there were no waves, so it was a sea of boards bobbing in the light swell.

There are rows of colourful beach huts available for hire, in a perfect location for the Sea Pool situated slightly below. The Sea Pool was formed in the 1930’s to provide a safe swimming space, while still swimming ‘in the sea’. It is open year round at no charge for locals and visitors alike.

 

After exploring every inch of the town and beach, we retreated to the hotel to check in and get ready for dinner. I had booked us into An Mor (Cornish for The Sea), one of 3 sister hotels in the area, the other 2 being Tommy Jacks & Hebasca. As it was Sunday, it was not so busy, and we were upgraded to a larger room with a view. The hotel is an eclectic mix of design. Large portraits line the walls, and in the foyer is a motorbike inside a glass cabinet and a glass floor with a view into the cellar below. The lighting is dimmed and the colour scheme bold. The room itself had all the amenities you would expect from a hotel, with the addition of a giant beanbag, which came in very handy for some late night blogging! The stand out feature for me was the bed. I am very fussy when it comes to booking hotels, and I base almost everything on the bed with the bathroom a close second. I like a large bed, and that is exactly what An Mor had. All rooms have a king size bed. It had a pillow top mattress and good pillows which added to the excellent night sleep I had. I have done a separate review incorporating the whole stay, which you can read here.

I had not booked for dinner, almost a huge mistake. I had seen photos and reviews for The Deck prior to coming down, and had already decided this is where we would eat. It was the highlight of our trip, absolutely fantastic, from phoning for a table to paying the bill, so good we even went twice! The Deck is in a fantastic location with views out to the ocean. We were seated in the conservatory area, so there was a nice breeze coming through to cool down the hot day. Their signature dish is hanging skewers, these are available in 4 different flavours, including a vegetarian option. As an added bonus, there is even a hanging skewer dessert…I will leave you to discover what that is in the review I wrote here!

Summerleaze Beach Bude

After dinner we enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the cliffs overlooking the ocean. By this time it was high tide which gave us an entirely different scene from earlier in the day. It was as if we had been transported out to sea. The boats were bobbing in the rolling water, you could still see the outline of the sea pool, but there would be no sun lounger action until the tide retreated again.

Bude is an inviting, unique and friendly coastal town, just waiting to host you on your next daytrip, weekend getaway or longer staycation.

After our relaxing short break, we checked out of An Mor and got back on the road, Boscastle was waiting…

What’s In A Name?

What’s In A Name?

For any non Kiwi’s reading this, the Pukeko is a beautiful blue bird with red beak, long legs and giant feet.

My whole life I always thought it was native to NZ, turns out I was wrong.

Pukeko sounds so elegant, and is befitting of the bird, so imagine my surprise when I found out it is a species of Swamphen.

NZ is the only place in the world to have a different name. Now, swamphens worldwide do vary from the Pukeko based on their sub-species, so I think for now I will remain of the opinion that the Pukeko is native to NZ.

When I moved to the UK, my Grandma started sending me Pukeko themed gifts to remind me of home.

So in honour of home and my Grandma, I chose to have Pukeko in my blog name.

Sian, The Wandering Pukeko x

And so it begins

And so it begins

I finally got around to starting the blog I have been thinking about for years. As it turns out, I even signed up and registered my domain in 2015!

I grew up in New Zealand. I visited my Dad in the USA a couple of times as a kid, but otherwise all my holidays were in NZ. In fact, they were all to Taupo & Rotorua.

Then everything changed. My family moved to the UK…without me. When they were set up, I visited them, and returning home felt dismal.

Don’t get me wrong, NZ is a fantastic place to grow up, safe, awesome scenery, great people. But it is small, distant and I wanted to see more. I felt trapped, my wanderlust had set in.

I love to see new places, have different experiences and make the most of everyday I have.

It took a few years of convincing, and a couple of trips to Australia, to convince my other half to take the plunge, give up everything, and move to the UK.

Although we miss friends and family back in NZ, this was the best move we have ever made.

This blog will reflect on how we got here, the trips we have made, our adventures in the UK and all the trips still to come. Thrown in along the way will be some travel tips and recommendations we stand by.

Enjoy, and remember to make the most of every day.

Sian, The Wandering Pukeko x