Trip Report - Cornwall Break and Meudon Hotel
We had a fantastic trip over the Easter bank holiday break, traveling to Cornwall, on the south west coast of England. We spent five days touring around, visiting Port Isaac, Harlyn, Newquay, St Ives, Lands End, Sennen Cove, Penzance, Marazion (for St Michaels Mount), Kynance Cove and Falmouth.
For the most part, this was not a photography trip and for the majority of the trip, despite the fact I had all my camera gear with me, I didn't really find a strong desire to unpack it. Instead, up until the last location, which I will cover later, I just enjoyed getting back to basics and using my iPhone. While the iPhone is no great camera, it has its advantages and I'm a big believer that a good photographer should be able to get good images with basic equipment. In my mind, the equipment is only one of four key elements which make up a good image, the others being light (in most cases the sun), composition (the elements and focus of the picture), and editing (how the image is processed to develop what was captured). The iPhone is great for it's portability and has enough performance to still get a clean image.
In taking in much of the southern part of Cornwall, several locations jumped out at me, the first was St Ives, which we arrived at in the late afternoon after spending the day at Harlyn Beach and driving through Newquay. The small winding streets down to the main harbour were beautifully lit by the setting sun. I almost got up early that day to get down to the harbour for the sunrise but in the end decided against it based on the weather forecast. I was still able to capture a few nice images as we wandered down to dinner.
The next afternoon, we travelled south to Marazion and spent the night there. Marazion overlooks St Michaels Mount and for the first time I was interested in breaking out the real camera. There is a well photographed path over the bay to St Michaels Mount, which is accessible at low tide. As the tide rises, the path disappears and there are some lovely images as it does. So everything seemed to be in alignment, checking the sun rise time of 6:22am, it looked to coincide nicely with a low tide peak of 5:30am, meaning by the time the sun rise was in full effect, the path would be beautifully outlined or even marginally submerged by the bay. So, I woke up at 6am, looked out of the window and was massively disappointed to find lots of cloud cover and hazy fog, I quickly closed the curtains and went back to bed! On to our next location!
The following day, we felt the trek down to Lands End was pretty much compulsory and to be honest, I was a little disappointed in the very touristy set up there, it's almost like an amusement park with ice cream, shops and a cinema! I did though get away from the hotel/attraction part and get down a little on the cliffs, capturing a few nice images before rushing back to the car to go and check out Sennen Cove, which we all found much more interesting.
We had lunch in Sennen Cove at the Ben Tunnicliffe restaurant, which I was really surprised subsequently to find had very mixed reviews afterwards on Google; our lunch was excellent and I loved the interior.
After a quick search of where to go and stay next, we decided we want to stay coastal and visit Kynance Cove, located right by Lizard Point on the most southerly point in the UK. The cove, which is owned by the National Trust, is great location, with two nice paths (one steep, one not) leading down to the small beach and well stocked cafe. The kids had a great time, before the sun went down at least, playing in the tide pools, they even had a lovely courgette cake with avocado icing! I wish I had brought my camera to this location, there were some nice images I could have shot but again the focus was on relaxation and spending time with the kids. I did however sneak in a couple of nice images on the iPhone.
Our last location was really a case of inadvertently saving the best until last. With our decision to visit Kynance Cove, I didn't really feel like a long drive home to Oxfordshire late in the day, so we opted for a hotel which, when booking seemed ok, but not anywhere as nice as it was when we got there. Upon arrival it was as if we had stepped into an oasis, with some amazing Cornish hospitality to boot. The Meudon Hotel is located outside of Falmouth and is known for its amazing gardens and private beach. We also greatly enjoyed the food and hospitality and what was supposed to be one night stay, quickly became two nights. With locations spanning from the amazing gardens to the private beach, it was impossible to resist the urge to break out the camera and get rolling! I've always struggled with forest and plant photography, so I had a good opportunity here to get in some practice. I also enjoyed having lots of time at the beach available, allowing me to break out the Lee Filters Big Stopper and get in some long exposure shots. Below is a series of images from Meudon, highlighting the amazing scenery, as well as some pictures of the hotel, and even some yoga shots of Skylar! We will come back to the Meudon hotel, I can't speak highly enough of it!
Click into each image to see full images and you can also click through easily to each image.