Close to the Devon and Cornwall border, high on a hill, sit a copse of beech trees that have become iconic to those travelling past.
These trees go by many names, such as: the ‘nearly there trees’, ‘nearly home trees’, 'Cornwall beyond', 'grandma's trees', 'the unicorn's wood' and 'fairy wood'. The actual place name where they can be found is Cookworthy Knapp, which is near Lifton in Devon.
These trees are symbolic because they can be seen for miles around and mark the point in a journey where travellers are just about to cross the border from Devon into Cornwall. They are a sign that drivers are ‘nearly there’, whether ‘there’ is the start of a holiday or a return to home.
Facebook groups such as ‘Love Cornwall & Devon’ are full of pictures of the trees from people passing, marking the start of their holidays. Such is the popularity of these trees that they now figure on tee shirts and mugs as well as, of course, inspiring painters and photographers.
Where did these trees come from?The trees were planned in about 1900. There are about 140 beech trees in the shape of a circle, or some say the shape of a heart. There are many different local stories as to why they were planted. Some say that they were simply put there to offer shelter to farm animals, while another story goes that they were a gesture by a local farmer to help remember his late wife.
It doesn’t really matter which of these stories is true. The trees are now firmly rooted as a symbol in Cornish seaside holiday culture as symbols marking the border between holiday and home.
Where are the nearly home trees?
On a hill just South of the A30, near Lifton in Devon,
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