Intriguing. I read the plaque on the Old Malt House, situated at the start of our circular walk from Lostwithiel town centre. The inscription tells of Walter Kendal who founded the mansion house in 1658. Nothing unusual there, except the stone reveals that the lease is for three-thousand years starting in 1652. Although the property seems fairly modest for the eldest son of a wealthy and well-connected family, he must have been proud to have had the stones set on the corner at the time of building. However, it’s curious to gauge why he thought such a long leasehold was necessary.

After a short walk through the ancient stannary town, we tramped by a trickling stream and up a country lane edged with snowdrops, jonquils and other wildflowers. It seemed quite steep, and eventually, we reached the top where I was surprised to be looking down on Restormel Castle which I thought was extremely high last year when I gazed over its parapets. No wonder, my legs ached!

“Pity it’s closed – until the end of March,” I grumbled, as we skirted around the circular Norman fortress and onto fields passing by a five-hundred-year-old manor house. Built on the site of a Holy Trinity Chapel, the grand Restormel Manor’s pale grey façade glowed in the sunlight with the castle on the landscape behind it. It’s the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s official Cornish residence and set in parkland that sweeps gently down to the River Fowey with a railway track on the other side.

Once across the bridge, we took the wrong footpath, something we do often, so backtracked and found the correct route beside the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery. Also, part of the Duchy Estate, which Prince Charles was keen should inspire and educate. It’s certainly a place earmarked for a future visit.

With the river running beside Cott Road, we headed into Lostwithiel for lunch at the Earl of Chatham. Clearly signposted on the main road into Cornwall, it’s a traditional tavern I’ve been eager to explore for years and I wasn’t disappointed. The selection of good quality food served in comfortable surroundings of the 16th-century inn was tasty and hearty.

Fed, watered, and with weary legs rested, we wandered along the riverbanks before a mooch around the shops selling antiques, Scandinavian-inspired goods, and upcycled items, to name only a few types of merchandise on offer in the independent and individual outlets. A perfect way to end the day!

Until next time,
Sue. X