Last week I was visited by my colleague Martin Vickers who is the MP for Cleethorpes, sits with me on the panel of chairs in Westminster and is the UK trade envoy for the Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The first visit was to Mount Edgcumbe Park. I know the park well growing up in the area and having been a past joint chairman of the committee which oversees the running of the park.
This publicly owned park is a fantastic asset for the area and is a great place to visit. As the weather was far from perfect we decided to visit the house. I would like to thank our guide Brad for showing us round the house and was impressed by his knowledge of the house.
The Edgcumbe’s involvement with the land dates back to 1493 when it was part of the dower lands brought by Joan Durnford in her marriage to Peter Edgcumbe of Cotehele. In 1515 King Henry VIII issued a license to make the lands a deer park.
The ancestors of those deer can still be seen in the park today. The Edgcumbe’s built a beautiful house on the site which lasted until it was destroyed in the second world war.
The house today is still beautiful and does include some of the original building but is on a smaller scale than the original.
Fortunately some of the artefacts inside were saved as some were removed because of its closeness to Plymouth and because some were saved before the house burned.
It is these historic pieces and the story of the Plymouth blitz which make this House a very worthwhile visit.
I was also able to tour some of the massive 865 acres of Mount Edgcumbe Park.
The views over Plymouth are spectacular from the park and a definite highlight of any visit. There always seems a lot going on at the park.
We popped into the model railway exhibition which seems to have more to see every time I go. In the past I have enjoyed the Segway ride and see they are now offering an Alpaca trekking activity. I always recommend people visit Mount Edgcumbe Park when they come to Cornwall.
Another visit was to Duloe business Cornish Orchards. We attended one of their cheese and cider tasting sessions which included a visit to the vineyard and a history of the farm.
It is incredible to see how this once small operation run by dairy farmer Andy Atkinson has grown into large employer with an excellent product people recognise right across the country.
The ciders were paired with cheese from another dairy farmer turned producer. The Cornish Cheese company based at Upton Cross now produces a range of cheeses. It started with Cornish blue which became a world gold medal winning cheese. I have visited the Cornish Cheese company on a number of occasions including taking Parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. The Stansfield’s have made a great success of this production as well. So it was fantastic to eat delicious cheese with the excellent Dry, Vintage, Heritage and fruit ciders.