Cornwall, with Caroline Quentin (2012) s01e06 Episode Script

Episode 6

Welcome to Cornwall, where rugged landscapes are an artist's paradise, and quaint, coastal villages are picture perfect.
I'm Caroline Quentin and I'm spending this summer meeting the people Great to meet you.
What a fantastic spot.
It's so beautiful here.
and discovering the places Oh, what a view.
Oh, Pete.
It's absolutely lovely.
that capture the true spirit of this treasured county.
So join me as I weave my way through the fabulous Cornish countryside on a trip you won't want to miss.
From the crashing waves of the north Therapeutic qualities of living with the water and being by the sea is just amazing.
to the scenic south It's a magical place, it really is.
I look at it every day and I tell myself, 'Do not ever take this for granted'.
It's beautiful.
and out to the far, wild west.
Enjoy the views.
I know I will.
Unsurprisingly, Cornwall's coastal villages are some of the most desirable places to live in the country.
These fisherman's cottages would have been considered modest at the time but, nowadays, they sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Of course, when they were built 200 years ago, they were just ordinary, little houses.
I wonder what those fishermen would make of that now.
Well, there's one man who knows Cornwall's property market inside-out.
Coming up, we'll meet David Marshall, who's got a bit of a gem coming onto the books.
You can see to St Michael's Mount, so anything on this side of the village tends to sell very well.
And I get to fulfil a childhood dream.
Welcome to St Michael's Mount.
I'm so pleased to be here.
I've looked at postcards of this all my life.
You're most welcome.
Come and meet the real thing.
Earlier in the series, I went to meet Debs, who runs this campsite on the Roseland Peninsula.
- Hello.
- Hello.
Welcome to Treloan.
She's fully booked this summer and will be welcoming over 2,000 guests but, somehow, she still finds time to get into the spirit of community life.
The local regatta is nearly upon her and she's planning to enter the race.
I've got serious doubts about the poor excuse for a boat that's supposed to pilot her to victory.
Let's hope her team mate Mac has worked some magic.
Well, I'd like to take all the glory, but I've been working this morning, and Mac has been down in the field for three days.
It may have looked a little worse for wear when you last saw it.
We've had to do a lot of re-rigging of the rigging, or de-rigging of the rigging, so we could re-rig.
De-rigging and re-rigging, we call it, in the campsite industry, in Cornwall.
We don't know if it's waterproof yet, so it may sink, but we'll see how we go.
We probably started from the wrong idea and we followed it through to its logical conclusion, which was making a wrong idea into a big mistake.
Let's do it.
Unlike most regatta races, Debs is entering one that's all about how creative your boat is, rather than how fast, but that doesn't stop her getting competitive, though.
It needs testing first, but that's if they can ever get it into the water.
It's going! It's going! - Right, let's start again.
- I daren't even look.
- OK, that's it.
- Quickly, tie it on.
- Has someone got it? - Yeah.
At last, boat and crew make it to the sea There it is.
There it is.
Wooh! but it's just the beginning.
Hold it, hold it, slow, slow.
Go slow.
We're just going down, to see how it sits in the water.
Whoa! This team are treating their boat like a fragile, old lady.
- Swing it round if we can and get the - Oh, look, my sleeve's wet.
How's it looking? Will I be able to get in? Yeah, if we just hold it steady.
Oh! Sorry, I've got my spot now.
Can you sit in there? I like the design.
Captain Mac gets his own sidecar.
Go on, get in there.
You know you want to.
But as he positions himself Oh, look, he's sinking! disaster strikes.
- There's a hole! Oh, no! There's a big hole! Yeah, I don't like to say, but I told you so.
Apart from that, it's all right.
Look! We've got a couple of holes in the boat, which we didn't realise, which isn't a problem.
We know what we're doing and, then, Saturday, watch this space.
Oh, we will, Debs, don't you worry.
It's the sense of community that the region's regattas create that draws people to this friendly county.
With its array of fisherman's cottages, the village of Mousehole is prime territory for newcomers.
Good morning, Sylvia.
It's Rosie at Marshall's.
How are you? It makes the job of the team at Marshall's estate agents that little bit easier, knowing that their location sells itself.
Hi there.
But, sometimes, it's doing business with old acquaintances that is top of owner David Marshall's agenda.
I've been in this area now for 27 years, so we get a lot of repeat business.
You generally find if you've got a good working relationship with people, you will get called in to give them some feedback on how the market's moved over the years they've been there.
There's been a few we've sold two, three, four times over that period of time.
Today, he's revisiting an old treasure.
It's a 1930s four-bedroomed house.
Unlike the fisherman's cottages in the village that were built to be tucked away from the seas, this house stands proud in an enviable position.
This house and Mousehole itself, anything within the village with a good sea view, there's a good demand for.
You can see across to the village, St Michael's Mount, the Lizard and Goonhilly, so anything on this side of the village tends to sell very well.
It's owned by journalist and writer Alex Wade, who's spent years getting to know his county from all angles, and writing features for Cornwall's lifestyle magazines.
As a kid, I grew up swimming, rowing, wind surfing.
The sea was just everything to me, for as long as I can remember.
Seeing this coastline, which I love so much, from the air, is just magical.
To have sailed it, to have swum lots of it, to have surfed the beaches, now to have flown over it just fantastic.
It is, I think, the best part of the British Isles, it's absolutely stunning.
I'll stay here forever.
Alex is settled here now, which is why he's not moving, he's just thinking of downsizing, which is good news for David.
- Hello, David.
- How are you doing? Nice to see you again.
And into the living room, which is OK, as you can see, the living room again, very similar to the last time you were here.
David sold the property to Alex three years ago, so it's a familiar valuation.
Yeah, and the view's the same, as well, - which is pretty good.
- Yeah, spectacular view.
But even so, selling houses has its challenges.
- There might be a teenager asleep somewhere.
- We can soon wake them up.
- Harry? - All right.
There we go.
- I've just got to show David this room.
- That's good.
Thanks for that.
It's the views that are the star attraction for this property but, in this climate, the value is anyone's guess.
Well, it's good to see it again.
It's looking fairly much how I remember it.
There are a couple of people at the moment that I know of that are looking for something like this.
Value-wise, obviously, I know what you paid for it and I know how long you've been here, and it's a little bit different, but it's probably gonna be somewhere around the 575-ish mark.
- OK.
- So there we go.
- See you again.
- You certainly will.
It's a small village, David.
- It is a very small village.
- See you about.
Well, that's food for thought for Alex, but I'm sure that owning a fabulous house in such a beautiful area is just priceless.
I've been a supporter of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for years and I've seen these distinctive boats many times, zipping around off the Cornish shores.
They provide a vital service to the coastal communities, and the crews are made up entirely of volunteers.
The guys who work here mostly live in Padstow and, apparently, they can get from Padstow to a launch here in 11 minutes.
I can't get my mascara on in 11 minutes.
And they don't just launch for big boats, for tankers, for fishing boats, they'll launch for anybody: A dog that's fallen off the cliff, a sitcom actress in a kayak It could happen.
That is awesome! That's awesome.
Aren't they great? That's so sexy, isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I'd hate to be stranded at sea but, if I were, I wouldn't mind being rescued by this lot.
One village I'm hoping won't need the services of a lifeboat today is Portscatho, where regatta weekend is upon the community.
Regattas are a huge part of summer in Cornwall.
There are 47 taking place from May to September.
Going back as far as the 1870s, they're a celebration of maritime heritage, but each one has its own personality.
Here, the emphasis is on fun and camaraderie.
Entering into this year's raft race are some interesting works of art.
For campsite owner Debs, where there's a race and a prize, there's every reason to be involved.
It's a big day for Team Treloan, so where are they? As the teams line up on the water, Debs, Mac and their companions are nowhere to be seen.
With minutes to go, there's a speck on the horizon.
She floats.
You need a medal for just turning up, Debs.
You look worn out before you've even started.
- We've named the boat "Dreckly".
- Excuse me.
Excuse me.
As the boat says, we're here dreckly, just in time for the start of the race.
Yeah, I see what you've done there.
As long as they don't take urine samples, I think we're in with a chance.
Fingers crossed.
Well, I for one have a sinking feeling about this.
It's a stuttering start for Team Treloan.
- Come on! Come on! - Come on! Yay! Mind the boat.
- Come on! - Wooh! Come on! Come on, put your back into it.
Come on! I don't believe it.
Team Treloan have stormed ahead.
Well deserved.
Well done! Right, what's next? What's next? - Food, food, food.
- All right, yeah.
Back at the campsite, there's a chance to revel with the holidaymakers and, as the sun sets, Debs is still glowing with pride, after her sensational victory.
It's a magical place, it really is.
I look at it every day and I tell myself, 'Do not ever take this for granted.
' It's beautiful.
In west Cornwall, where the coast is more rugged, one of the county's most iconic sights rises majestically out of the sea.
St Michael's Mount was once known as 'the grey rock in the wood' and, when the tide is very low, remnants of tree stumps can be glimpsed.
The Mount is now cut off from civilisation at high tide, accessible only by boat.
It's a landmark that's crying out to be explored, with a rich and colourful history.
Once a monastery, a fortress and a port, now it's a family home, but it's open to the public and is the second most visited attraction in Cornwall.
But, aside from the family that occupy this imposing castle, a small community of just 30 people also live and work here.
I'm meeting Pete Hamilton, who's one of the lucky few who have that privilege.
- Hello.
Hello, Peter.
- Hello, Caroline.
Nice to meet you.
- Lovely to meet you.
- Welcome to St Michael's Mount.
Thank you.
I'm so pleased to be here.
I've looked at postcards of this all my life.
I've driven past, but I've never been here, so I'm thrilled.
Thank you.
- You're most welcome.
- Darling, what's that? That's the footstep of Queen Victoria, who visited with her husband Prince Albert.
- Same size as my hand.
She was a little dot.
- She was a short lady, yes.
12 generations of the St Aubyn family have welcomed royalty here over the years but, today, it's little old me getting the grand tour.
- This is the family's entrance into the castle.
- Oh, so this is special.
- This isn't the normal visitor route.
- Very nice.
Thank you very much.
Pete has lived in this area all his life, and has worked on the Mount for the past five years, regaling tourists with a potted history of the place.
He's quite the storyteller.
We call this the Giant's Well.
There's a good old story that goes with this.
There used to be a giant living on the island, whose name was Cormoran.
He was a bit of a nuisance, stealing sheep and children and what have you from the mainland.
As with every good, giant story, there was a boy called Jack, an islander, and he'd had enough, so he dug this big hole here and blew his horn.
As the giant came down, he got the sun in his eyes and fell through this bit and that's where he met his demise.
- Is he down there now? - He is.
Jack was a wily fellow.
He cut out the giant's heart and, as you know, giants' hearts are small and made of stone.
- I didn't know that.
It makes sense, yeah.
- He put that in the path a little further up.
So will I be able to see the giant's heart? Will it be obvious to me? We'll see.
Some people spot it straight away.
For others, a little longer.
Er Is that it? - No, it's definitely more heart-shaped than that.
- I'll put you out your misery.
- Aah! You put that there, didn't you? - Yeah, just for you.
- That's very adorable.
- If you put your right foot on the heart - Yeah? right hand on your left chest, you can feel the giant's heart beating in your shoulder, and you absolutely can.
Funnily enough, only on the way up.
- Not on the way down.
- Yeah.
At the height of the summer season, over 125,000 people make the journey up this cobbled path, but it's well worth the trek to the top.
Oh, what a view.
Oh, Pete! Oh, it's lovely.
It's absolutely lovely.
And the flag of St Piran flying there.
The white cross on the black symbolises the tin in the granite, from the mining times.
That's really beautiful.
I've never known that.
I don't think there's a county in England which is quite so patriotic as the Cornish.
No, indeed.
It's probably because we've only got the one natural border with the strange folk up north.
- Yeah, sorry about that.
- We sort of feel a bit solitary out here.
We think that we should have our own passport and our own national anthem.
My relatives - even though I'm Cornish on my mother's side - they used to call me a foreigner.
- Yeah, it breaks your heart, doesn't it? - 'What are you bringing the foreigner back for? ' For all that, joking about that, actually, people are very welcoming here.
Yeah, well, it's got to be part of our nature, I suppose.
We rely heavily on tourism.
I think you're welcome to come, just look after the place, be nice and you are welcome.
- Yes.
And then go home.
- That's right, clear off again, back up north.
You don't need to be a member of the St Aubyn family to feel affected by this place and to have a sense of belonging.
We'll catch up with Pete later in the series as he shows us what an eventful little place this island can be.
Earlier, we met journalist and features writer Alex Wade, who called on the services of David Marshall to sell his house.
Today, he's sniffing out a new story.
It's taken him to the secluded beach of Chapel Porth, for the Annual World Bellyboarding Championship.
I came here last year and I watched in the pouring rain.
I was quite astonished by the collective of hardy, British eccentrics doing this cult event.
So, this year, I thought I'd come and enter it.
The event is organised by the National Trust, and welcomes over 300 competitors from around the world, celebrating the original method of surfing, using these four-foot ply boards.
Its appeal is broad.
We have an 87-year-old and we have a young lad who's about eight or nine years old.
That's a pretty impressive age range, you know.
It's not indicative of most surf competitions and I think we might even hold the world record for the largest age range, there.
These championships not only feature the old school-style of surfing, they also attract some of the sport's original fans, such as 88-year-old Charmain and 87-year-old Cyril.
See you soon.
Days like this sum up the Cornish summertime and I sense it's not about the winning here, it's about being part of the festivities.
Go on, Cyril.
Woo-hoo-hoo! Crikey.
You wouldn't catch me doing that.
It started off as a kind of simple, local thing and has now got extended.
I think it's fun, it's fun to participate.
It's just so exhilarating.
And when you're swooshing along, it's wonderful.
The waves are tremendous.
Cyril and Charmain head off to their house on the hill for a well-deserved rest, just in the nick of time, as the heavens open.
Not so lucky is the youngest competitor of the championships.
Eight-year-old Ollie Turrell, who's still awaiting his heat with his mum.
If you've come to do it, you may as well stay and get on with it, whatever the weather.
Typically British, I suppose.
Very, very cold.
And I haven't even been in the sea yet.
But you're gonna go in and enjoy it though, aren't you? - I'll try.
- Yes.
It's no wonder Ollie's cold.
As a nod to old surfing traditions, one of the rules of the day is that no wetsuits are allowed.
That's awesome! Really awesome.
Nice work, Ollie.
Awesome indeed, dude.
As the crowds gather for the final formalities, so do Cyril and Charmain, keen to soak up the atmosphere.
I just went in for the sake of going in and for the sake of being part of it, because now, everybody expects me to go in every year till I drop.
An inspiring day.
As the sun sets in Chapel Porth, Cornwall has done the world of bellyboarding proud, and long may it continue.
March 2017