The Wild Rambler

A blog celebrating nature, outdoor adventures, folk tales and crafts

Category: History

A Poldark Tour of Cornwall

Porthgwarra Cove, used to film the pilchard catch scene in Poldark

As anyone who knows me (or follows my Instagram) could tell you, I love a bit of Poldark. Admittedly it’s a recent obsession: before last year I’d never read the books, but when the new BBC adaptation started my Sunday evenings soon became dominated by watching Ross Poldark gallop around on clifftops.

When I was little most of my family holidays were spent in Cornwall, so seeing the beautiful coastline, beaches and moorland on the screen gave me a real craving to go back. (Ok I admit it, Aidan Turner’s torso helped too). So a couple of weeks ago I headed south to the land of fudge and pasties, where I spent most of my time wandering round the county in search of Poldark locations.

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May Day folklore

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So spring is apparently here, although in the past week I’ve been rained on, snowed on, and so cold that I’ve considered going back to my winter jacket. Still, as this is a Bank Holiday weekend I was determined to make the most of it, so between the showers and storm clouds I spent my May Day morning out hunting for signs of the season.

Unfortunately the heavens opened at lunchtime and I got soaked to the skin, so elected to come home and dig out one of my old folklore books instead. I figured that reading about May Day celebrations might be almost as good as actually being outdoors to enjoy it, and marginally less likely to give me pneumonia.

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Winter warmer wassail recipe: Mulled Cider/Perry

According to most people I know, January is the worst month of the year. The Christmas holidays are long gone, it’s dark, it’s cold and summer still seems like a long way off.

Fortunately my birthday at the end of January usually cheers me up, but even if you don’t have presents to look forward to there’s still a way to cure the winter blues (clue: it involves booze).

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Horseback Archery

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you want me to wake up pre-8am, the best tactic is to bribe me with ponies. If you then add another quirky sport into the mix I might even be enthusiastic about it – which explains why I was up at the ungodly hour of 5am a few weeks ago so that my lovely co-adventurer Siân and I could drive over to Hertfordshire for a day of Horseback Archery. (Yes it is a thing. Yes it is awesome.)

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The Misty Isle

Loch Coruisk

The beautiful Loch Coruisk, segueing into the River Scavaig

The Norse apparently referred to it as Skuy, which translates as ‘Misty Isle’, and I am told that the reason for this is usually pretty obvious. Certainly when I arrived on the Isle of Skye the sun that I had basked in on the mainland suddenly disappeared, replaced by a sheet of thunderous grey that rolled overhead. I resigned myself to being soaked to the skin for the entire visit (not easy when I’d just spent a week in the Lake District and would have appreciated a bit of meteorological variety), but to my surprise – and everyone else’s – the next 6 days were mostly bright and warm. There were even a few occasions when I had to shed my jumper!

There are plenty of ways to pass the time on Skye, but these were my personal highlights:

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