We’ve been having great weather thus far and even before we departed from NYC, I checked the extended forecast for each day of each destination that we will be. The forecast looked very promising!
When we departed Winchester, it was overcast and rained lightly. I wouldn’t even call it rain. There were occasional raindrops. On our way west to Devon in the West Country, we noticed many road signs for farm fresh English strawberries. We pulled over and picked up a small basket of strawberries. They were small and oh so fragrant of sweetness and red with ripeness.
We continued to our way west when I recognized the tall grey stones standing in a circle in the distance that we were not expecting to see so soon let alone along a major roadway. It was Stonehenge! It began to drizzle lightly. We pulled into the parking lot immediately.
I pulled out my umbrella from my luggage and hurried with excitement to be in the presence of Stonehenge. It wasn’t the best weather to experience Stonehenge but the opportunity presented itself and we took it. I’m glad that we did.
Getting to Devon was no problem. We were going to a specific part of Devon, Dartmoor National Park. We recognized we were in Dartmoor just from the amazing landscapes of rolling hills, lush valleys, and the thatched roof houses! Dartmoor is one of the national parks in the Devon area and we were staying in the northeast corner of the National Park at Bovey Castle, which I will go into more detail in a separate post.
The next day, we headed out to St. Ives in Cornwall, not for a day at the beach. Instead, we went to three museums; Tate St. Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Leach Studio. These were wonderful museums to visit especially if you appreciate modern art. I enjoyed walking through Tate St. Ives but it would have been nice to see more works by local and international artists whose work reflect the area instead of the overflow of Tate’s collection.
Visiting Barbara Hepworth was the highlight of the visit especially when I didn’t get a chance to at least walk along the sandy coastlines of St. Ives. The museum was the actual home and studio of Ms. Hepworth. It was a very modest home with a beautiful garden! Her sculptures are thoughtfully placed throughout the garden, which allowed each piece to be found. Some pieces were viewed from a specific vantage point while other pieces could be viewed from multiple locations. Ms. Hepworth died tragically in her sleep due to smoke inhalation from a fire inside her home.
We ended our day in St. Ives at a famed potter’s studio, Bernard Leach, which continues to be an active studio for contemporary potters. It’s definitely worth a visit but I would recommend driving there before you park in town. The studio offered viewers a historical look of Mr. Leach’s development and contribution to the art of pottery. His work was influenced by his studies, visits, and contemporaries in Japan. We walked through the studio where Mr. Leach once worked but saw only a limited collection of the pottery he produced. What we were able to see were works that reflected a Japanese aesthetic where the pieces had thickness, minimal and simple in design but eloquently shaped, with even textured glazes.
For more information about Dartmoor National Park, click here.
For more information about St. Ives, click here.
For more information about Tate St. Ives, click here.
For more information about Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, click here.
For more information about Barbara Hepworth, click here.
For more information about Leach Pottery, click here.
For more information about Bernard Leach, click here.