We had an unusually quiet Saturday changeover, the weather was beautiful and we decided to take advantage. Leaving Amber and the boys in charge we took Clio and her friend to Fowey. Located on the south coast of Cornwall, Fowey is a pretty harbour town just over half an hour’s drive from Coombe Mill. That said we haven’t visited in years, but the girls were it easily bribed with the prospect of shops! The town centre is so narrow you have to park at the top of the hill and walk in. I had forgotten just how beautiful it is, especially with the spring flowers out and blue skies.
Exploring the Estuary by Boat
The town itself is very small and leads down to the Harbour front. It was quiet despite being a beautiful spring day and we were pleasantly surprised to see the ferry running and the self drive boats on the water. We bagged ourselves a boat and in no time had life jackets fitted and a quick lesson in driving. Farmer Nick clearly remembered how things worked from years ago and instantly took the wheel.
It wasn’t long before Clio wanted a turn at steering. It was lovely to see her and her dad enjoying driving at the helm together.
Heading upstream we passed the clay works. This is where clay, mined locally, is pumped into purpose built cargo ships and sent all round the world. There was one ship from Russia waiting to load while we were there and Nick explained the “plimsoll line”. This is where ships can only load until they sink to the special line within a circle mark.
On the opposite bank we saw the tugboats, these are used to steer the large ships into the harbour. The cute little boat house caught my eye too.
Turning the boat around and heading downstream towards the sea there was plenty to watch and we now had the wind with us making it feel surprisingly warm. The girls sunbathed, giggled over selfies and asked questions of everything we passed.
I was quite taken with the canoes and kayaks moored up and have stored this as an idea for another day. We passed Dawn French’s summer house, sailboats and dodged the splash back from other motor boats.
I couldn’t believe how quickly an hour passed on the water, all too soon we were heading back to the quay. It took me a couple of goes wobbling around to successfully throw the rope to the boatman before and handing back our life jackets.
Back on firm ground we ate pasties from one of the many bakeries looking out to sea and admiring the view.
Seaside Shops You Can’t Resist
The girls indulged in their favourite past time of shopping amidst the quaint lanes, culminating in fudge and ice cream purchases all round.
Just as well there was a long hill to climb back to the car to wear off those calories, though cheeky Clio decided her legs were tired and she needed several pit stops on the way and a fireman’s lift from her dad by the end!
The boat trip was an unexpected bonus to a beautiful day out. We did think to book online first but drew a blank on the phone numbers and twitter given on the self drive boat hire website. Steve the owner admitted he has no mobile reception and doesn’t use his twitter. It’s just goes to show not everyone is online and sometimes it pays to just turn up and take a chance.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.