Day 21: Plymouth and Cornish Coast
This morning we took a cruise on the Tamar River, Plymouth Sound and River Plym from Saltash. We set out from underneath the twin bridges: Royal Albert and Tamar.
Royal Albert Bridge
The Royal Albert Bridge is a railway bridge which spans the River Tamar in England between Plymouth, Devon and Saltash, Cornwall. It carries the Cornish Main Line railway in and out of Cornwall. No cars use it and trains must only travel at 20mph. It was designed by the genius of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Construction began in 1854 with the first main span positioned in 1857. It was completed and bridge opened by Prince Albert on 2 May 1859. Brunel died later that year and his name was placed above the portals at either end of the bridge as a memorial.
It is adjacent to the Tamar Bridge which opened in 1962 to carry the A38 road traffic because the ferries were not coping with increased demand. It was extended in 2001 and the extension has been nicknamed the ‘Nippon clip on’. It was the world’s first suspension bridge to be widened using cantilevers, and the world’s first suspension bridge to be widened and strengthened while remaining open to traffic.
The are under the bridge was quite colourful.
Probably most well known as the place where the Pilgrim Fathers departed In 1620 for the New World and established Plymouth Colony – the second English settlement in what is now the United States of America.
Other notable voyages set out from here as well including two of the ships from the First Fleet, the Friendship and the Charlotte under the command of Captain Phillip. Captain Cook also set sail from here in 1768.
During the Industrial Revolution, Plymouth grew as a commercial shipping port, handling imports and passengers from the Americas, and exporting local minerals (tin, copper, lime, china clay and arsenic) while the neighbouring town of Devonport became a strategic Royal Naval shipbuilding and dockyard town.
Smeaton’s Tower (Lighthouse)
The lighthouse was originally built on the Eddystone reef in 1759 but was taken down in the early 1880s when it was discovered that the sea was undermining the rock it was standing on. Approximately two thirds of the structure was moved stone by stone to its current resting place on the Hoe.
Tinside Pool is a 1935 Art Deco lido beside Plymouth Sound and is overlooked by Plymouth Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower. The lido is open in the summer months between May and September.
Devonport Naval Base is located in Plymouth.
All United States military personnel were held here and went down the slip way to Normandy. Most did not return.
Last but not least,
Lovely village and fishing harbour on the south-east Cornwall coast that has a history of smuggling since the 12th century. It is a populartourist destination, especially in the summer months, for its idyllic appearance with tightly-packed ancient fishermen’s houses which survive almost untouched, its quaint harbour and attractive coastline. Visitors need to park their cars in a carp arm at the top of the town and either catch a milk van down or walk.
Another charming seaside village but much bigger than Polperro. It is a fishing village but it’s main trade is tourism. It’s early October which means the summer season is over but it also means that the beaches are open to dogs now. Everyone is on holidays with their dogs and it is so cute. Harry must have petted a least 20 dogs today of all ages and varieties.
Back at our hotel, Harry and I had a swim before heading to the final nights celebration dinner. Everyone got Frocked up. It was Jana’s birthday too. We had a lovely last meal, a champagne or two and a shot from Darren called a ‘Baby Guiness’ which was Kahlua with Baileys on top.
Farewell folk! We made happy memories and thank you for being so patient and loving towards Harry.
Harry got on with everyone and will miss the attention for sure. He has invites to Canada and Singapore so far! Not sure if we are part of the package 😂
Tomorrow we pack for the flight to Belfast and every suitcase is over 20kg so will be fun to organize in the morning!