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Favourite Places – The Rame Peninsula

Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula, with its stately homes, & coastal walks, is a perfect example of place to visit that is quiet even on the busiest of weekends.
I’m always amused by the fact that many visitors to zip right past the Rame Peninsula en route to Torpoint or Saltash, but they don’t know what they are missing! The River Lynher, which flows down from through St Germans, and the better known River Tamar which come together in the Tamar Estuary, both border this beautiful area. To the south of the Rame Peninsula is the long sandy Whitsand Bay and to the east is Plymouth Sound.

The heart of the Rame Peninsula

Locals and visitors staying in holiday cottages in the delightful coastal villages of are in the heart of the area. It is easy to reach from the A374, which connects Trerulefoot roundabout with Torpoint. Alternatively, you can arrive in style on the small passenger ferry that runs from Stonehouse in to the tiny landing point at Cremyll. It runs every half hour and the crossing takes 8 minutes. My grandkids love it.

The main attraction to the area is the 865-acre estate of which is always where we head for on a sunny day as there is plenty of space for running off energy, and a small a small shingle beach for paddling. Mount Edgcombe itself is a red sandstone castle-like historic home which was built in the 1500s for the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe who moved here from .

Now jointly owned and managed by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council, the country park is free to enjoy – another plus! The park is open all year round from 8am to dusk and includes the Grade I Cornish Gardens which contain the National Collection of Camellias so I always try to visit in spring.

A small admission charge is made to tour the house, which has 18th century furnishings, artworks and tapestries, and what is known as the Earl’s Garden. They are open seasonally from late March to late September, Sundays to Thursdays. I then seek out the lovely refreshments in the Orangery Tea Room and the Stables Restaurant.

A perefect picnic spot

On sunny days the lawns that slope gently down from the house to the pebbly beach and waterfront are covered with picnicking families and sunbathers. I can relax and let the children splash and play in the water as sailboats, fishing boats and naval frigates sail in and out of Plymouth Sound. If you’re a walker, you can join the which skirts the Amphitheatre Wood, the Deer Park and fields of grazing animals with gorgeous scenery along the water’s edge.

Once when I was walking along the path, I was surprised by a naval submarine that suddenly emerged from the depths! If I walk as far as Kingsand, which is three miles distance along the coastal path, I head into the white-washed for a pint of orange and lemonade (ask for a St Clements!) before returning along the lanes via Maker.

Further along the coast, on the summit of Rame Head, is a small derelict chapel building, still with its roof intact. This local landmark overlooking Plymouth Sound is well worth the walk. It dates back probably to the 11th century and is dedicated to . I like to imagine what that building has witnessed over the centuries: the approach of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the generations of Earls who worshipped here from “the big house”, and the defences put into place on this strategic headland in both World Wars.

Visit Cornwall’s smuggling past

Other attractions in this delightful area are the shingle cove in the smuggler’s village of Cawsand and the nearby National Trust property of , once the home of the Carew family.

Have you visited Mount Edgcombe Park recently? Did you take children with you? What did you particularly enjoy about the trip and what would you say to anyone wondering whether to visit?

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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