Inspiration & Learning Visit to Cornwall
Updated: Jun 25
Blog by Becky Livsey. Here's a little background of how the trip came about.
I messaged Chelsey out of the blue to ask if she made candles and if so would she like the unused candle wax that I'd saved up over the course of 2-3 years, plus I had saved some of the glass jars that the candles had come in originally. She was really chuffed with what I handed over and kindly offered to make one for me. I also had a huge carrier bag full of empty tealights (just the aluminium left) as I had been following The Recycled Candle Company on Facebook for a few years and was intending to post them off when I had some spare pennies.
Once we found out that there was funding still available for the Inspiration & Learning Trips we decided to see if we could make a trip happen and invited any other ladies in the network who might be interested in coming with us. As The Recycled Candle Company is in Exeter City Centre and was a long way to go we started to think about other places of interest to visit to get as much out of the trip as possible.
I personally am very keen to visit other seaside towns in the UK to compare and contrast what Morecambe has to offer visitors in comparison with other places. As Exeter is the Gateway to Devon & Cornwall we finally decided to visit Newquay in Cornwall and Torquay in Devon. We had originally thought about stopping off in Bristol en route but decided it would be better to stick with seaside towns as that is what Morecambe has in common.
Transport & accomodation were our main concerns, my car is off the road and Chelsey was looking to buy one. We finally managed to get a good deal on car hire, can you believe it was cheaper to hire it for a full week as opposed to four-five days!? The mind boggles.....For the past 10-12 years I have been staying in Youth Hostels whenever possible if I travel because they're a charity & I like what they're about. Importantly, generally very good value for money and it's a fun way to travel. Cheap & Cheerful with fab staff and a clean, comfy bed. What more do you need?
We knew we were flying by the seat of our pants and had loads to squeeze in so I did a supermarket sweep before we left Morecambe so that we had all the supplies/food we needed. We drove down to Treyarnon Bay in Cornwall on the Sunday hoping that the traffic would be kind to us, we got our wish granted and arrived before dark. We checked in, emptied the car, dumped our bags in our room and put our food stash in the kitchen then Chelsey organised supper for us (frozen pizzas from Morrisons & Aldi if anyone cares ). I think after we washed up we went straight up to our room for an early night.
Day 2 and Chelsey was up bright as a daisy, I however take a while to get going because of my arthritic knees and addiction to coffee. We had a chat about our plan of attack for the trip and decided it was best to use most of day 2 for me to rest after the drive down but we did pop into Newquay for the most amazing chippy tea watching the sunset at Fistral Beach. Newquay like Morecambe has seen better days, there are some incredibly slick apartments popping up but the old housing stock in the town centre are very similar terraces to Morecambe. Fistral Beach car park has an abundance of bins in comparison to the car park at The Battery and like Morecambe attracts sunset watchers.
Photos of Day 2
P..S. The Market was a happy surprise across the road from the chippy. It appeared to have a decent amount of parking nearby.
Day 3 As our Youth Hostel room was booked up we had decided to check out after breakfast, so we packed up our belongings and supplies from the kitchen then took advantage of the WiFi at the hostel before driving to the Eden Project. As my knees were stiff and sore from driving and I was on go slow we decided it would be best for Chelsey (I've nicknamed her Annika Rice because she runs everywhere ) to have a nosey around. I went a few years ago so wasn't too fussed about going in again.
I had a good nosey around the shop to see exactly what products they think it's worthwhile stocking to give us a better idea of what they might be looking to stock when they come to Morecambe. If I'd had the spare pennies I'd have probably been tempted to spend £20-£30. Interestingly Eden Project closed before 5pm and only had part of the site open because it was out of season. Something for us to consider when they come here.......how can people visit if they're closed?
Photos from Day 3
Day 3 -Part Two So after our trip to The Eden Project we ate our packed lunch/tea in the car and worked out the best way to get to Torquay, Chelsey had thankfully found us a cheap & cheerful guest house for us to rest our head for the night. We had a pleasant drive with no issues so we called at Paignton first then on to find our base. We decided to have a drive around before it got too dark to get our bearings. The number one aim was finding the cove/beach where Agatha Christie used to swim. After spotting some twinkling lights we decided to park up and go for a wander. We had found the harbour so went exploring! If you haven't ever seen The Pavilion you are missing out, sadly it's empty & boarded up but it's easy to imagine how amazing it would have been in its heyday. Even though we were blessed with fabulous weather earlier in the day the town was incredibly quiet, it sadly seems to have similar problems to Morecambe with, drugs, alcohol & homelessness. Before turning in for the night we popped into a bar for a quick drink but ended up staying far longer because it was the most fabulous venue! Pictures and videos to follow.....
Day 4 This was Chelseys day, she had heard some great things about a place called Totnes so the priority was to get there. We had already decided to have another night in Torquay because it worked out better for going to Exeter and the drive home plus I'd managed to touch base with an artist that I follow on Facebook called Becky Bettesworth, I just love her work, it's mainly based on coastal scenes. So off we set to Totnes, on arrival we found a Morrisons with free parking for two hours, I decided to stay put, have some brunch and use the WiFi at Morrisons Cafe while Chelsey did her best Annika Rice impression to explore Totnes. After our two hours parking was up I drove around trying to find a free parking spot, I found it impossible and it was only a Wednesday afternoon! Thank goodness that we have plenty of free parking in Morecambe, we are very lucky by comparison! I ended up finding a pub by the river with just one parking space left! Of course I did and about turn and enjoyed a refreshing drink in the sunshine with the locals! It was tea time when I picked Chelsey up, she trotted down the street with a huge smile laden with treats she had found on her travels and more importantly scones for our tea! We stopped off for petrol and I found some clotted cream in the shop so we were sorted for the night once we got to our hotel. A different one from the night before that Chelsey had worked wonders to find. Torquay is a big town, much bigger than I was expecting with different areas of tourism. This area felt really nice, beautiful houses, green spaces and just a short walk to the seafront. We were both too tired to explore much but made a plan to have breakfast in the sunshine somewhere before leaving for Agatha Christie's beach. Once settled in our room Chelsey the catering queen made something out of nothing but it was delicious and welcome. We had our delicious scones with jam & cream too! I can't remember much about that night but I know I was shattered and was snoring in the night ..... apologies to Chelsey! Pics to follow, I would say Chelsey has more though!
Day 5 - Part Two We had a pit stop in Exeter on our way home and how I wish we had allowed more time to visit. From what I could see it's a very beautiful city with lots of interesting things to see. We only had an hour's parking, so off we trotted to find The Recycled Candle Company. Honestly parts of the city were like something out of Harry Potter which I commented on to the lady in the shop as we handed over the tealights. Harry Potter fans may already know that J.K. Rowling went to Exeter university so it all became clear! At the RCC they have a workshop in the back so you can actually see what they are working on, everything is made by hand and it was fascinating to see a slick operation in action. They get most of their candles from churches & restaurants I believe. Chelsey had a good natter with them as she makes her own candles. I hope she picked their brains while she got chance! I personally would have loved to have had more time there but we had to get back on the road for our trip home. I will definitely be going back to Exeter, an overnight trip next time. So to round off...... Torquay & Newquay have the same social issues that Morecambe has, like Morecambe some areas are very run down and need investment ASAP. Torquays beaches have nothing on ours, but they do have some nice green spaces. Newquay has nice beaches and benefits from a lovely selection of beachside food/drink & surfwear establishments at Fistral Beach. It would be fab to have something similar at the Battery for the kite surfers and somewhere to sit, eat & drink while admiring the sunset would be perfect.....Maybe one day. Morecambe has so much to offer & so much potential it just needs the people to make it happen.