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Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

Cary, North Carolina
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Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

Anyone care to hazard a guess about the necessity of booking ahead in Cornwall (and Devon) in the first half of October? I'll be driving around and the notion of tieing myself to a rigid itinerary isn't appealing.

Potters Bar, United...
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1. Re: Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

Hi Justcorbly

You should be fine for just arriving and finding somewhere, providing you aren't planning to stay anywhere too remote!!

Bear in mind that it's the school half term here from Saturday 26th October for one week should your dates change.

If you want to try out any itineries you may be thinking about with us all on here, please let us know :) Caz

Cary, North Carolina
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2. Re: Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

Thanks. Caz. I've got two weeks. Arriving Heathrow, leaving Gatwick. I'm playing with spending a few days in London (visited there several times; lived in Reading for a few years and was in London very, very often), and then going by train to Penzance or by air to Newquay, and picking up a rental.

Two questions then:

1. As far as driving along the coast goes, are the views going in one direction better than the views going the other? For example, is driving north from Penzance to be preferred to driving south to Penzance? Or, does it make no difference at all?

2. How many days is reasonable for a meandering drive around Cornwall and Devon? Seven? Ten? More? I won't be stopping a hours of hiking or beach walking. I'm more inclined to go walkabout in the towns. And, by meandering, I mean "Let's turn down this road and see where it goes."

I did this trip almost 20 years ago, in early November. Fine, chilly, weather. I was frequently the only guest at the inn. I relied on a couple of paperback Ordnance Survey guidebooks. They were for driving, not walking, but they focused on very small areas, allowing me to avoid A roads as much as possible. Very detailed maps and good commentary. Good for getting lost and getting back on track. The book format was much more convenient that a big folding roadmap. I don't know who published them but I assume the equivalent is still available. I'm hoping to buy them in London and duplicate that trip.

Devizes, United...
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3. Re: Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

Hi there

The road doesn't necessarily follow the coastline due to the ruggedness of the cliffs and the contours. One of the most scenic drives in Cornwall for my money is to take the B3306 from St Just (close to Cape Cornwall) along the north coast to St Ives - very rugged, remote in places, lots of granite cottages, old tin mines, stone stacks and gorse covered hillsides.

The main routes into Cornwall are the A30, A39 and A38. The A30 enters the Duchy at Launceston and continues west via Bodmin, Redruth, Camborne and Hayle, eventually leading right out to Lands End. This route for most of it's length is inland.

The A38 enters the Duchy via the Tamar Bridge at Saltash and heads west via Liskeard and Dobwalls. Quite scenic when crossing the bridge but otherwise mostly inland.

The A39 enters the Duchy to the north via Bude then swings southwest towards Truro, again, mostly inland

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

Would agree that you should be OK for accomodation unless you wanted a specific place or room on a weekend.

Personally direction has little impact on the south coast though I do prefer heading in a westerly direction when on the north coast. But that's just me.

Potters Bar, United...
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5. Re: Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

Hi again :)

The coast road doesn't always stay too close to the sea.....but if i had to choose a "better" side to follow i would have to say the North coast is more dramatic. As GB says i also feel that the road from St.Just to St.Ives is a definate must....especially at this time of year if wild will make amazing views!!

I would allow at least 7-10 days for touring Cornwall at least - and i'm sure you will be able to get those "close" maps again which will be great for just getting lost with !!!!

Any other questions please ask :) Caz

Penzance, United...
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6. Re: Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

I think it is better to drive from St. Ives to Lands End rather than the other way around

You definitely get a better view going in this direction. Regards Trisha

7. Re: Booking Ahead Necessary in October?

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