Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

The Glorious Glynn Valley with Brownies for Pudding

Whenever we head west out of Liskeard, we have the delight of driving down the Glynn Valley. Glynn is the Cornish word for a deep wooded valley, so the name is a bit of a tautology, but an attractive one. This eight mile stretch of the A38 links Liskeard to the A30 and runs along the edge of Bodmin Moor. It mostly follows a particularly attractive stretch of the River Fowey on its twisting and fast flowing way to meet the sea at Fowey. The interlocking hills either side are mostly covered in trees with intermittent glimpses of beautiful scenery. I always look forward to this part of the journey.

Nice car, but not the one we did out trip in

This particular day, we were celebrating CTs birthday and taking a trip down west to visit a garden we hadn’t seen before. As soon as I heard about MoneySupermarket’s Ā£50 Road Trip Challenge I knew immediately this would be the trip I would be writing about and the Glynn Valley would be the main feature. It was virtually impossible taking pictures from the car, so we stopped off in a couple of places to have a mooch about and take photographs. The grand views turned out to be too awkward to capture.

Not only is the Glynn Valley beautiful, it’s also remarkably interesting with much to see and do; you could spend a couple of days here doing your sightseeing dreckly (as we say down here). It starts with Carnglaze Caverns, which we passed by on this occasion. Famously used to store the Royal Navy’s supply of rum in the 2nd World War, it started life as a slate quarry. It is now a visitor attraction with cavern tours and a fairy dell. It is also a rather spectacular concert venue with excellent acoustics and a very steady temperature. We once had the pleasure of attending a Show of Hands concert there and can certainly attest to the sound quality.

Driving on a little further we came to the glittering spires of the pile-it-high-sell-it-cheap retail park which is Trago Mills. A visit here can only be described as an “experience”. To get a taste as to what’s in store, here’s one of the many statues that adorn the site.

Just up the road on the right is a lane leading to Pinsla Nursery. It’s run by the appropriately named Claire Woodbine (aka honeysuckle) and looks down over the valley. It sells some unusual plants and has an interesting and arty garden.

Travelling on further, we had fleeting glimpses through the trees of the rather magnificent Glynn House. Rebuilt in 1805 by Edward John Glynn, High Sherif of Cornwall, it became a biological research institute in 1962. Rather sadly I feel, it has now been converted into luxury homes.

The road curves, bends and weaves alongside the mainline railway on its way to Bodmin Parkway station. Then the railway parts company with the Glynn Valley and follows the River Fowey to Lostwithiel. Unusually, for a mainline station, Bodmin Parkway is set in rural isolation at the foot of the Lanhydrock Estate. Here you can depart the modern age , get cinders in your hair and take a ride on the Bodmin and Wenford steam train to Bodmin Central station. We pulled in to the car park to see whether there were any steam trains in the vicinity. There weren’t.

Once owned by the Glynn family, Lanyhydrock is a vast and magnificent estate which now belongs to the National Trust. We decided to take a stroll up the old carriage way to the bridge over the River Fowey. Nice to have a station built just for you so you can travel in comfort to the ancestral pile after an all night blinder in London. The carriageway sports a lovely selection of rather grand trees and makes for a very pleasant walk through the estate.

Another mile or so further along the road, is the turn off to Cardinham Woods, a large tract of forestry, ideal for walking and mountain biking. For those less energetic, it has a nice cafe which is worth a visit if you are passing. It has also served as a venue for the Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club. Nice as it is, we decided not to stop this time.

Almost at the head of the valley is Cornwall’s prettiest crematorium!

Finally, we passed under the Halgavor bridge, a small but impressive suspension bridge used by cyclists following the National Cycle Route.

At this point we left the Glynn Valley and drove down the A30 to our final destination, Penrose Water Gardens near Truro. We wandered amongst the several acres of lily ponds and were entertained by the antics of damsel flies, butterflies and ducklings. The cafe serves local food, mostly grown on site: a tour of the polytunnels left us in no doubt thats our attempts at productive home growing are somewhat amateurish. It has a good reputation and was certainly busy when we stopped by for lunch.

We finished our meal with a banoffee pie for CT and a warm brownie with clotted cream for me. After all no road trip is complete without chocolate.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Kate@whatkatebaked
    4th August 2013

    What a lovely day out! The Cornish Tourist Board will be chuffed with your great write up Choclette!! Meanwhile another reminder we haven’t been to Cornwall for agesssss and need to make amends so we too can enjoy this beautiful part of the country

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2013

      Thanks Kate. It is so beautiful down here, but possibly not today where you can hardly see anything through the rain. I’d better let the Cornish Tourist Board know šŸ˜‰

  2. Leave a Reply

    The Ordinary Cook
    4th August 2013

    Happy birthday CT! It looks like you had a lovely day out. I did think that was the car that you were tootling about in.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2013

      Thanks Kath, if the weather is good, you can always have a lovely day out here …. if! The car would have made tootling around so much more enjoyable.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Jean
    4th August 2013

    A great day out!
    I have wonderful memories of a weekend when we visited several National Trust properties, including Lanhydrock. It was a magical place and I still have the tea towel and coasters I bought in the gift shop.
    As you say, no day out is complete without chocolate!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2013

      Lanhydrock is wonderful, I feel very lucky to have it so close by. But I don’t have the tea towel and coasters.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    4th August 2013

    What a lovely birthday treat! Your descriptions are beautiful, I wish I could make a trip soon! Perhaps the next #smut meet up should be in lovely Cornwall. Of course no road trip is complete without chocolate šŸ™‚ (and banoffee pie – my favourite!)

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2013

      Thanks Ros. Would love the next #smutty meeting to be in Cornwall. I’ll let you into a secret, that banoffee pie was even better than the brownie šŸ˜‰

  5. Leave a Reply

    Galina Varese
    4th August 2013

    I don’t know those parts of Cornwall at all. Fascinating! The brownie looks perfect.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2013

      It’s very different to Penzance certainly, but lovely in it’s own right.

  6. Leave a Reply

    hungryhinny.com
    4th August 2013

    Trago is an ‘experience’ that no one ever need try – I just can’t understand how anyone can see it as a day out!

    The rest is all fab though, and you’ve reminded me that I haven’t visited the cafe at Cardinham in an age, must go back soon!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2013

      Amazingly, the car park is always full.

      Yes, we’ve been meaning to go to the cafe too but haven’t done so since CCC – shocking!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2013

      Thanks Charlotte. It’s a very different patch to the rest of Cornwall. Much quieter, but very pretty and I love it.

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