There is something very evocative about the idea of "old England" for me. I have always loved watching period movies about Manor Homes and reading Jane Austen dramas, showing life as it was lived in such opulence and luxury within a constructed hierarchical society.
One of the most interesting places that we visited during our time in England was this manor home, called Lanhydrock, in Cornwall. It was a private home, which continually amazed me while we toured it, people actually lived here! Crazy.
It was owned by generations of the same family from the 1600's through the mid twentieth century, when there were no more heirs to carry on the legacy and the property was donated to the National Trust of England, an organization which cares for treasures like this mansion.
One of the surreal things about touring the house now is that the last family to occupy the house left almost all of their belongings there, and these are now part of the tour. Every room is set up down to the smallest personal details, as if the person living there has just stepped out for a cup of tea. This gave it an eerie feeling, but it was a very satisfying look into the daily lives of people in Victorian England, including children's rooms and school rooms, servant quarters, bathrooms, all of it!
The last family to live there had nine children, and there were pictures scattered around the house of the family, so as I wandered around taking it all in I imagined the house full of the life that nine children must have brought to it. What a grand, lively time they looked like they were having!
That same day we finished off on the north coast of Cornwall, at a spot that reminded us so much of Big Sur...
the Bedruthan steps.
Where we hiked down to the beach through steps chiseled into the rock, but were chased back up by the incoming tide.
Then spent a good hour playing pirates at the top of the cliffs, along part of the coastal path that runs around most of England.