Fern begins her Cornish odyssey somewhere that has a very special place in her heart: Halton Quay, on the banks of the River Tamar.
This beauty spot was Fern’s hideaway when she worked as a newsreader in the 1980s, and she shares a special moment when she believed she saw a family of Cornish piskies, mischievous creatures that belong to the ageold folklore of Cornwall.
Fern journeys through the charming ‘hundreds’ — ancient regions — of West Wivelshire, Lesnewth and Pydar, hotspots of enduring folklore. Fern enjoys the brooding wilderness of Bodmin Moor and hears one man’s story of the Beast of Bodmin, a phantom wildcat allegedly stalking the moor and the surrounding areas.
Next, Fern explores ancient stone circles and the peculiar Cornish sport of hurling, before heading to the lush landscape of St Nectan’s Kieve. Tintagel Castle — one of the most spectacular historic sites in Britain — provides stunning landscapes and historical interest in abundance as well as one hair-raising moment for Fern.
The ‘Obby ‘Oss celebration is one of the oldest surviving festivals in the UK, famous for both its age and its strangeness, so it’s imperative that this slice of life is captured on Fern’s journey.
In Cornwall, a region surrounded by water on three sides, stories of the sea are numerous and date back hundreds of years. In a place where anything is possible, Fern stops by to meet a selfproclaimed mermaid whisperer in Padstow.
My Cornwall with Fern Britton returns Wednesday 4th January on Channel 5.