Travelling doesn’t have to mean paying extortionate amounts in plane tickets and struggling with exchange rates. The UK is bursting with beautiful towns, tranquil countryside and rugged coasts and can be just as exciting to explore as foreign shores. In the “Hometown” series some of the Wessex Scene travel writers show us the places they grew up in and tell us why they’re worth a visit!
Sun, sea and sand aren’t three things that come to mind when planning a UK getaway, but that is just what is in store in a Cornish Adventure.
The novelty of living within a stone’s throw of the beach is one that never quite wanes and it’s understandable why thousands of people flock to the Cornish coastline every summer to enjoy the laidback and sun-kissed existence that I am accustomed to.
My hometown of Bude is located in North-Cornwall and is as good a place as any to escape to in order to enjoy the flip-flop laden lifestyle attributed to seaside living. Whilst Bude was named the sunniest spot in the UK in 2013 and boasts scenery where the wild, rolling cliffside meets the iridescent ocean, it manages to avoid the crowds of many more well-known Cornish towns. A notable feature is the unique partially man-made sea pool which is nestled into the cliffs of Summerleaze Beach and is naturally filled daily by the tide.
Cornwall is dependent on the revenue provided through tourism and this is reflected in the abundance of activities on offer that will satiate the appetite of the most adventurous while providing a range of attractions for those seeking to enjoy the relaxed and cultural characteristics on offer.
For the thrill seekers…
With some of the best surf in the country it’s the water sports available in Cornwall that set it apart from other English coastlines. Surfing is undoubtedly the most popular activity for those who wish to embrace the Cornish lifestyle and while the water might not be quite the same temperature as the Caribbean, the clean, glassy waves it produces compensates for its refreshingly chilly nature. Surfing hotspots include Widemouth Bay, Gwenver Beach, Polzeath and Watergate Bay which stretch from north to west Cornwall with numerous other less crowded spots to be found, providing ideal uncongested surfing conditions.
For those seeking to enter the water in a particularly exhilarating way then coasteering is the experience for you. Combining traversing rugged rocks and cliff faces and swimming through otherwise inaccessible caves, a coasteering adventure is a thrilling opportunity to get your heart pumping. On the other hand, if you prefer to be on the water rather than in it, then head to Falmouth Harbour on the south coast of Cornwall for a premier sailing location. Nestled within the Carrick Rocks, the natural harbour provides sheltered waters in a stunning location that is ideal for beginners as well as the more experienced who may even fancy sailing to the Isles of Scilly.
The 476km of coastline can also be enjoyed on land. Come face to face with the imposing cliff faces by abseiling down them or if you are not adverse to a few (many) hills then a cycling trip is an enjoyable way to encounter the breath-taking scenery. If you’re still wanting to make the most of the great outdoors but not in quite a rigorous fashion then switching your bike for foot is a great way of discovering quintessentially Cornish towns by following any of a multitude of walking paths that can either take you inland or stick to the coastal paths.
For the cultural lovers…
If the natural wildlife in Cornwall isn’t quite enough for the green-fingered then the Eden Project will certainly leave you speechless. A hub where nature and one-of-a-kind architecture are combined, it is one of the best known attractions in Cornwall, and for good reason. The large biomes are filled with plants from all over the world, transforming you to the Mediterranean and the Rainforest. The luscious natural setting is not wasted either, with the Eden Sessions being held every June and July where artists such as Ben Howard will perform this summer in a spectacularly magical open air venue.
If a truly authentic theatre performance is what you desire then look no further than the open aired Minack Theatre. Perched above the beautiful Porthcurno Bay, the dramatic setting presents opera, musicals and drama all summer long. The enchanting venue is just as likely to leave you captivated by the coastal backdrop as the spellbinding performance that you encounter and is an utterly unique experience that is not to be missed.
When exploring unique boutique shops and splashing around in the sea become too much, there is one thing that is sure to charm the hearts of any visitor to Cornwall – the food! What would a visit to Cornwall be without munching down on a few pasties or cream teas? And with an abundance of fresh seafood caught every day it’s no surprise that you don’t have to look far to find a delicious meal. Buy local produce and barbeque it yourself or treat yourself to a beach-side banquet in one of Cornwall’s many award winning seafood restaurants. Either way, wash it down with an authentic Cornish cider to round off your West Country experience.
There truly is something for everyone in Cornwall. It remains idyllic and detached enough to leave you feeling as though you’ve entered another country, whilst retaining the essential English charm that makes it so welcoming.