As a non-native UK resident having only spent four years or so in the country thus far, what I have learned during my time here, is that the countryside and the coastlines will compete with absolutely anywhere in the world in terms of natural beauty.
To some of you, that may be a bit of a controversial subject, but it’s fun to stir the pot now and again, and put the cat amongst the pigeons, as it were, and I truly believe this to be the case.
I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy clear turquoise seas, golden sandy beaches, rolling hills, dense forests, and dramatic moorland, all in one day in the space of a few hours during my time in Cornwall before, which is what I want to talk to you about today.
Staycations are officially the new vacations, and the gorgeous county of Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday destinations for UK natives and overseas tourists alike.
If you’re thinking of booking a break to Cornwall, here’s a look at se7en things that will help you have the ultimate Cornish holiday.
Find accommodation in the right spot
Personally, I’ve absolutely nothing against hotel stays, in fact, when I’ve been in a lazy mood and have deliberately wanted a break where I did absolutely nothing, hotels proved to be a real lifesaver.
Cornwall is home to some gorgeous hotels, yet for me personally, to really have the ultimate Cornish experience, you need to go self-catering.
No matter where you are in Cornwall, you’re never far from the sea, and the countryside, towns, and cities in the county are a real joy to behold and can really help set the ambience.
When looking for accommodation, it’s important to consider your surroundings just as much as you consider the accommodation you have your eye on.
There’s nothing better than a gorgeous little cottage set in the countryside, walking distance from the beach, so be sure to do your research to find out what the surrounding area is like when you book your cottage, yurt, caravan, lodge, tent, or wherever else you may be looking at staying.
Learn about the traditions and legends
Many people in the UK enjoy holidays in Cornwall because the county itself is like its very own little country.
The Cornish folk are some of the friendliest, quirkiest, most traditional people you could ever wish to meet, and the county is home to a number of celebrations, traditions, and legends which will help enhance your experience dramatically.
Doom Bar Ale, for example, brewed by Sharp’s on the North Cornish coast, is named after the Padstow legend of the Doom Bar.
The legend goes that, one day, a mermaid just off the shore in Padstow, fell in love with a local fisherman whom she tried to lure beneath the waves to be with. He allegedly escaped and shot her with a harpoon gun.
in her dying moments, the magical mermaid cursed the harbour of Padstow with the ‘Bar of Doom’.
Shortly after the curse was uttered, a terrible gale blew, forming an enormous sand bar in the shallow waters, which would claim many a ship and life over the years.
The Doom Bar is visible from the shores of Padstow, and while I can’t confirm nor deny that it was indeed created by a mermaid, it’s definitely interesting to hear about and see in person.
That is just one of the many Cornish legends and folktales, but my advice here is to purchase a book and read up on the others, perhaps even while you relax on the beach or the patio of your holiday cottage?
Take a tour around Healey’s Cyder Farm
There are apples, and then there are Cornish apples, and wow, do they taste different compared with everywhere else in the UK.
In Cornwall, cider is a hugely popular beverage and you’ll find more varieties of cider down there than you know what to do with. While there are plenty of orchards down there and plenty of breweries, Healey’s Cyder Farm is arguably the most popular of all.
Healey’s is a name synonymous with Cornwall, and they’re responsible for such beverages as Cornish Gold cider, Cornish Scrumpy, Strawberry Wine, and of course, Rattler Cider.
Rattler is a personal favourite of mine, and you will find it on the pump in virtually every pub and restaurant in Cornwall, and for good reason. Made from Cornish Rattler apples, it is not dry, yet not sweet, it’s crisp, fruity, and refreshing.
Healey’s Cyder Farm is a great day out because here, you can not only take a tractor tour around the orchards and see the apples growing and maybe being harvested depending on the month, but you can also see the animals, and take a tour of the brewery to see how the cider is made.
At the end of the tour, you will also receive a complimentary drink, and of course, plenty of samples as well.
If you can get a taxi or bus, it is worth doing rather than driving, as you do get a heck of a lot of samples at the end of the tour, and wow, are they delicious.
Head off the beaten track
The beaches in Cornwall are gorgeous, as are the popular towns and fishing ports such as St Ives, Newquay, and Port Isaac.
However, to really experience a proper Cornish holiday, it’s recommended that you head off exploring and wander off the beaten track.
From peaceful coves and hidden hamlets to windswept hikes across Bodmin Moor, and woodland trails through Tehidy Country Park, some of the most amazing parts of Cornwall are the ones which much of the general public have not yet discovered.
A great way to spend the day is simply exploring the gorgeous scenery and surroundings on offer here in Cornwall, as some of the sights you see will rival those of any post you see on Instagram.
Eat a Cornish pasty while looking out to sea
As I’ve grown older, I’ve found that some of life’s greatest pleasures are some of life’s simplest.
The simple fact of the matter is that you cannot visit Cornwall and NOT enjoy an authentic Cornish pasty.
The pasty is the national dish of Cornwall, and in actual fact, it has been awarded a protected food, which legally means that it cannot be called a Cornish pasty if made anywhere else in the UK, and the exact recipe cannot be imitated by non-Cornish manufacturers.
Cornish pasties are made by taking pastry, either puff, shortcrust, or rough puff, and filling it with diced or minced beef, diced potato, swede, onion, and seasonings, and then baking until golden and crispy.
Initially, these were baked for tin miners, with one side being full of meat and veg, and the other side containing sweet fruit for dessert. The pastry back then was simply to hold the ingredients together to stop the miners touching the filling with their dirty hands.
Since then, the pasty has evolved somewhat but is still a classic dish.
In Cornwall, you can get traditional Cornish pasties, or you can find pasties with virtually every filling imagine. Some of my favourites include Mint and lamb, chicken curry, spicy mixed vegetables, steak and ale pasty, pork and cider pasty, and the full English pasty.
Though you can enjoy your pasty anywhere, may I suggest that you find a bench with an awesome sea view, you sit down, get comfortable, and eat your warm pasty as you watch the sea and forget about all of your cares and worries.
Crabbing from Padstow harbour
Padstow is one of Cornwall’s most popular holiday destinations.
Located on the North Cornish coast, it is a fishing town complete with boat trips, shops, amazing fish and chips and restaurants, and some fantastic hot spots for crabbing.
Crabbing off of Padstow harbour, especially when the sun is shining is a great way to relax and have fun.
As a pro-tip, crabs love smoked bacon, so use some as bait and you’ll catch plenty, just be sure to carefully and safely return them to the water after. If you get lucky you may also catch shrimps, eels, jellyfish, or even a fish.
To round off your day, why not stop off at celebrity chef Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant, his fish and chip shop, or any of the other awesome fish and chip shops or restaurants in the area and enjoy some delicious fresh seafood?
Visit the 7 Bays
Finally, for the ultimate Cornish holiday experience, be sure to book your holiday in North Cornwall (though the south is equally as gorgeous) and visit the ‘7 Bays for 7 Days’.
From Mawgan Porth to Padstow, you will find the 7 Bays for 7 Days, named as such due to the fact that you could literally spend 7 days at a different beach each day.
The 7 bays in question are:
- Trevone Bay
- Harlyn Bay
- Constantine Bay
- Mother Ivey’s
- Booby’s Bay (stop sniggering, we’re all adults here)
From clear blue seas, rockpools, golden stretches of sand, and spectacular sunsets, any one of these beaches/bays are well worth a visit, though if you can visit them all, you definitely should, especially if you’re lucky enough to be in Cornwall for 2 weeks.
The ideal base for your holiday if you do wish to visit the bays is the gorgeous village of St Merryn, which is within walking distance of several of the bays listed above, actually, and is also home to Rick Stein’s pub The Cornish Arms.
The Cornwall county offers a great deal of entertainment through its beauty, history and nature! Would you go to visit?
Until next time stay safe, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!