Whether you’re planning a break for during the Easter holidays, a week after you’ve finished your exams, or as a ‘reward’ to yourself for finishing the dissertation, being a student allows you to escape for a short holiday at many times during the year. And you don’t have to travel long distances or abroad to find wonderful places to visit; there are plenty of beautiful destinations right here in the UK. All you have to decide is where to go first!
Stunning Scotland, wonderful Wales – it is nothing new that the UK has lots of places worth a visit. But why not begin in Southampton’s ‘neighbourhood’? Cornwall is a gorgeous region, and not far from our university at all. It is therefore perfect for a short visit that can be undertaken in a few days, rather than two whole weeks.
Cornwall is the furthest South Western county in England. With approximately half a million of people living in Cornwall, it is not the biggest county, but its citizens must feel at times like they’re living in paradise. A paradise, surrounded by the sea: Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea (or, more generally, the Atlantic Ocean), to the south by the English Channel and to the east by the county of Devon. Its beautiful landscape and coastal areas are a famous goal for the five millions tourists who visit Cornwall every year.
Cornwall is known for its mild climate, which is why there are lots of popular gardens where you can find all kinds of exotic plants and flowers. Can you imagine banana trees growing in England? No? Then visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan (in St Austell), there you will find them.
As well as the exotic vegetation found in Cornwall, there are many beautiful villages. Originally populated by fishermen, most of them are built on steep hills leading to the water – an image that you probably know from postcards or paintings even if you haven’t seen them. St Ives is a wonderful place to visit, with lots of small shops run by artists who sell their paintings. If you’re lucky, you will find some extraordinary bargains!
From St Ives, it is not far to Lands End. Here, England’s land literally ends; it is the furthest western point of Great Britain. Standing at the cliffs of Lands End, you can see the sea – to your right, to your left, straight ahead, nothing else other than the sea. It is a stunning view, and not just for people who don’t get to see it often.
After just three days travelling through Cornwall I immediately knew: you have to love this piece of land that became so famous in Rosamunde Pilcher’s novels. I’m sure it is always worth a visit, no matter which of the various chances during your studies you may take. After you’ve been there once, you will want to visit Cornwall again – I guarantee it!
How to get there: You are most flexible with a hired car, but it is also possible to experience Cornwall by train and/or coach. Cornwall’s centre of administration, Truro, is a good starting point (by train via Reading and Bristol). If you want to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the best way will be by train via Salisbury and Exeter.