3rd June, 2018
Cornwall is the favourite holiday destination of Brits and promises everything you could possibly want from an English beach vacation in addition to its history, stunning scenery and a lot more too, We’ve highlighted some of our favourite spots and lesser known gems from our recent research trip there - 2019 sees the arrival of our new E bike cycling holiday in Cornwall.
St. Ives is one of the most visited places in the county, and that’s hardly surprising considering its perfect picture-postcard and full of seaside charm. Its narrow streets are often packed, but that doesn’t detract from this Cornish gem. St. Ives is also home to the most southerly branch of the Tate Modern museum. Slightly tucked away, although close to Tate St. Ives, is Portmeor Beach. On the north side of the town and here, overlooking the sands and with stunning sunset views, is Porthmeor beach café. Even better are the outdoor ‘carriages’ – wind sheltered seating for 8/10 in your own private alcove around a table, fitted with heaters and blankets available, allowing you to look out over the beach and the sea in ultimate comfort. It comes no better than this, and the food is rather good too.
The most popular walking trail in the UK is the South West Coast Path which extends for over 600 miles and runs along the North and South Cornish coasts. Where to start? We think one of the most idyllic sections is on the south coast, either side of the Helford estuary known as the Helford Passage. Two stunning gardens at Durgan and Trebah bless the route with an ancient and magical ferry linking two classic Cornish pubs on the crossing over the Helford River. With romantic names such as Gweek Creek, how could you not fall in love with it?
Cornwall has the warmest and mildest weather in the UK and consequently, but few know it, there is quite a pedigree of wine production. Award winning Camel Valley Winery offer guided tours and tastings, whilst Knightor Winery offer tutored tastings. Polygoon Vineyard near Penzance is also a must visit location. All have online shops for ordering their excellent wines.
If you must visit Lands End, then do so by walking or cycling the Sustrans cycle route 3 from delightful Senneh Cove, thereby avoiding the ridiculous car park charges. In the handful of miles you will get a real sense of the magnificent landscape surrounding Britain’s most south-westerly point.
Cornwall has many tiny coves, some quite difficult to access. One of our favourites is the secret cove near Cadgwith where a rope is in place to lower yourself onto the deserted sands. If its peaceful paddling you seek, this is the place.
Rock and Padstow were always fun and busy, and are even more so now that Rick Stein’s foodie haunts have opened. For an oasis of calm, close to but not in Padstow, look out for the opening in 2019 of the latest Pig Hotel at Harlyn House.
St. Endellion has two rather special music festivals each year based in the local church. Musicians, organisers and cooks give their services free as the aim is to create the best festival possible on the smallest possible budget. The music is thrilling.
There are many small entrepreneurs and artisans now in the county – running cafes and restaurants, art and craft galleries, micro-breweries and artisan spirits, and the list goes on. Head for ‘The Cornish Store’ in Falmouth to find a great selection of local products.
The Camel Trail is one of Britain’s most popular cycling routes with the flat section running 11 miles on a disused railway line along the beautiful estuary from Bodmin to Padstow. The best option is to start your riding at the head of the trail on Bodmin moor, where far fewer venture, and free-wheel the six miles down the fledgling valley to reach Bodmin. Not only will you likely have it to yourself, but you will experience the moors, receive a geography lesson in the development of river valleys, and enjoy one of Britain’s best Norman churches at Blisland before pedalling along the flat section.
Being the most westerly county in the country, it takes awhile to get here. We suggest you let the train take the strain and travel overnight on the Night Riviera Sleeper from London. It’s not cheap but you are getting a night’s accommodation.
As well as the hand-crafted tours available on our website, we are also able to arrange holidays to order - just get in touch and we will help you design your dream break.