Yes, Cornwall is indeed a county in the UK, but if you’ve ever been there before, you’ll understand why many people consider it to almost be its own unique little country.
Cornwall is home to amazing beaches, gorgeous countryside, lush green farmland, the absolute best-clotted cream teas you could ever wish for (more on those later), and some of the friendliest, quirkiest, most unique people on the face of the earth.
As friendly as the Cornish natives are, they can, at times, become quite fed up with people, clearly from elsewhere in the country, or indeed the world, acting in certain ways and saying certain things which are simply not true.
I myself get annoyed when people say things incorrectly such as ‘for all intensive purposes’ as opposed to ‘for all intents and purposes’ but that’s nothing compared to how a Cornish native will get if you say the wrong things to them.
To ensure you stay on the right side of the Cornish folk, here are se7en things you should never say to a Cornish native.
‘Can I order a pint of Strongbow please’?
Now, without criticising one of the UK’s most popular generic ciders, it’s safe to say that Strongbow in Cornwall is about as welcome as a butcher at a vegan convention.
The Cornish have dubbed Strongbow ‘Wrongbow’ and while there’s nothing wrong it in my opinion, virtually all Cornish natives will agree that it pales in comparison to a proper Cornish cider.
The apples and growing conditions in Cornwall make for some truly spectacular ciders, including proper Scrumpy cider, Cornish Gold, Cornish Orchard, and my personal favourite, Rattler.
You can of course order whatever cider you like, but personally, you can’t beat a cold refreshing pint of Rattler in the sunshine.
‘Do you know John from Newquay’?
Ask anybody who isn’t from Cornwall to name one place in the county and 9 times out of 10, they’ll answer with ‘Newquay’.
Newquay is a great part of the county, but it’s certainly not the only place in Cornwall, far from it, in fact.
Despite this, tourists seem to think that everybody in Cornwall knows everybody from Newquay when in reality, they don’t.
No, the local shopkeeper in Truro doesn’t know your friend John from Newquay, and he’ll likely be fed up of people asking him similar questions every time they pop in for a loaf of bread and some milk.
‘I’ve got a holiday home in Cornwall, but I never get the chance to visit’
Okay, so far the suggestions on my list today have been light-hearted and a bit of fun, but this one really is quite serious, and if it does apply to you, my advice is to keep your mouth closed.
Seriously, just don’t say it, it’s not worth the hassle.
The housing market in Cornwall is very volatile, and unfortunately, many locals struggle to afford properties in Cornwall, due to the fact that rich people from other parts of the country are snapping up all of the nice properties in the county and using them as second homes or holiday lets.
Housing prices in Cornwall over the last 12 years have nearly quadrupled, yet incomes and earnings haven’t, so it’s no wonder why so many natives in Cornwall are struggling to get on the property ladder.
If you are lucky enough to own a holiday home in Cornwall, for goodness’ sake visit it, take care of it, enjoy it, and be respectful.
Right, now, let’s get a little sillier again, shall we?
‘I prefer Ginsters pasties to yours’
The humble pasty is a staple of Cornish cuisine, and this national dish of the county has legally been provided with protected status, so that alone shows just how serious the Cornish take their pasties.
Ginsters may indeed make mass-produced pasties which taste acceptable, perhaps even nice to some people, but they simply do not compare to a real, authentic Cornish pasty, and if you think differently, you’re lying to yourself.
If a Cornish native offers you a proper pasty, or if you purchase one from a local shop, if you really do think for some bizarre reason, that Ginsters pasties taste nicer, my advice to you is to keep your lips firmly sealed shut.
‘Cream goes before jam’
Some things in life truly baffle me. In the North of the UK, if you want to start a riot, just start with the whole ‘breadcake’ bread cob’ or bap’ debate and watch sparks fly.
In the West Country, however, if you want to start a small riot, just go ahead and order a Cornish cream tea, and insist firmly that cream goes on before the jam.
Incidentally, a Cornish cream tea is a buttery scone, served with a fresh pot of tea, a pot of Cornish clotted cream, and a generous serving of raspberry or strawberry jam.
In Devon, home of Cornwall’s bitter rivals, the cream joes onto the scone before the jam, whereas in Cornwall it is ALWAYS jam first.
The Cornish really do get quite defensive over their cream teas, although personally, I don’t see how it matters, as it tastes equally as amazing whatever order you apply it in.
‘Why are the road signs in Welsh’?
When driving along with the beautiful, yet narrow, country lanes of Cornwall you’d be forgiven for thinking that some of the road signs are also written in Welsh, as well as English.
The truth of the matter is that it isn’t Welsh at all, but rather ‘Kernewek’ which is the official language of Cornwall and does, of course, sounds much nicer than Welsh, though don’t say that to a Welshman.
Incidentally, on the subject of roads in Cornwall, hopefully, you don’t mind a few minor hedge scratches on the paintwork of your car, as many of the country lanes aren’t wide enough for one vehicle, let alone two.
‘I preferred my holiday in Devon last year’
The UK has some very fierce rivalries: Yorkshire vs Lancashire, Cumberland sausages vs Lincolnshire sausages, and Devonshire vs Cornwall.
To a lot of people, Devon is indeed similar to Cornwall, in that they’re both by the sea, very rural, and very beautiful. To a Cornish native, however, Devonshire is the worst place in the country, and yes, that makes it even worse than London!
If you really did have a better holiday in Devon last year, if you value your teeth, do not say that to a Cornishman, especially in the local village pub after a few too many pints of Doom Bar.
Now that you definitely know what not to say to a Cornish native, you are ready for a wonderful staycation, having fun on golden sandy beaches or the lush green farmland.
Until next time stay safe, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!