Cate's away to Loch Insh for the week, so we have the week to ourselves if I get the time off. Then we get a call from a timeshare company. Would we like to stay in a hotel in Cornwall for 4 nights for £78? We just have to attend a sales presentation one morning and they'll even give us a free breakfast for that day. It's a hugely long drive, we don't really know what we're going to, we might end up signing away our savings and we need to get back by 4pm on the Friday to meet Cate's bus back from her trip. Is it worth the risk? Yes, let's give it a go!
So we dropped Cate off on the Monday morning, and started driving. With several stops, and dinner in Plymouth, we made it to the place at 8.30, thanks to Google Maps on the phone, as it's down a bit of a narrow, windy road. The place is called Trenython Manor, a big mansion place with lodges out the back. They gave us a room on the second floor and we settled down after our long travel day.
The manor was taken over by CLC, and they seem to have made a fairly good job of bringing it up to scratch. We were on the second floor, with decent rooms, though the windows were a bit rattly in the wind. The CLC rep told us that members who book the hotel get more impressive rooms, but we didn't get shown them so can only imagine the luxury. There's a swimming pool attached to the building, which was really nice and well kept, helping us work off a few of the big meals we had.
Tuesday morning we were up bright and early. Breakfast didn't start until 8, and it was pretty quiet. Maybe most of the guests are late risers. After a quick wander around the grounds we decided to go as far west as possible, so we could at least say we'd been to Land's End. It was still a fair drive but we got there at last, following a bus full of Germans.
There must be some rules about development of the area, as all the shops and attractions were crammed into one small area, leaving the rest of the place natural. We had a good walk up the coastline until we reached a small town called Sennen, with a nice beach and some student surfers learning how not to fall off.
Back to the Land's End car park (a fiver for the day) and we stopped off at Penzance on the way back to visit some shops. The manor does a curry night on Tuesdays so that did us for tea.
Wednesday morning was the time for our timeshare appointment, which had been set at 9.45. It included a free breakfast but that meant a long wait from when we got up. But our friendly rep, Del, knocked on the door on time and took us down for breakfast, before taking us into the sales room to explain the timeshare dream to us (though it's now called Fractional Property Ownership, probably for some legal reasons). After about four hours of Jenny Bond videos and arithmetic involving yearly maintenance fees, we got to the big sell. Would we sign up for 19 years for a big joining fee and £700 a year. Well, no, we wouldn't. So they had a backup plan: £4000 for a three year trial membership with 6 weeks holiday and no maintenance fees. It was more tempting, but still amounted to nearly £100 a night for accommodation only, so we politely declined and escaped to enjoy our afternoon.
We visited a nearby town called Charlestown, which claims to be where lots of films have been shot. They had some nice tall ships in the harbour and there was a good walk along the coast to nearby Carlyon beach, which was lovely. After a rubbish dinner in a local inn (burnt ribs) we tried the town closest to our hotel: Fowey. It was a steep walk down (and then back up) from the car park and there wasn't much to it, but it was picturesque enough.
We couldn't be bothered with the Eden Project. Maybe it's better than we imagined but it does sound like a great big greenhouse. Instead on Thursday morning we drove to the north coast of Cornwall, to Perranporth and a really long beach with interesting caves. From one end of the beach to the other and back again we did about 10km, and well deserved our Cornish cream teas at Chrissy's Tearoom.
It was either a very early morning rise on Friday, or drive through the night on Thursday night. We decided on the latter and tried to get a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon. A decent pulled pork bap and chips set us up to depart at 7, and we swapped round regularly for the drive home, getting back with the sun rising at 4.30am.
Cornwall was lovely, the manor was nice, but it was awfully far away.
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