My Dad and his wife have recently fallen in love with a small corner of Cornwall, and try to visit at least twice a year. So when they invited us to spend his 60th birthday down there, we jumped at the chance to see what all the fuss is about – and I can tell you we weren’t disappointed.
Now, when I mentioned to my Dad that I was going to blog about our holiday, he was a little apprehensive. He’s worried that if I harp on about how amazing his chosen holiday destination is then he’s going to have to share it with the whole world and his wife. I therefore promised him I wouldn’t actually mention the name of the village that we stayed in, which I’m going to try to stick to, but you’ll get the general gist, and some of you can probably work it out… How very cryptic.
So here goes my recommendations for things to do in Cornwall:
Walk the South West coastal paths
I think I’m allowed to say that we stayed on the Lizard peninsula, so we were within easy access of the coastal paths, and we explored a few different sections of it.
Amongst other sections, we walked from the beautiful Poldhu beach to Church Cove, which is home to one of the Poldark filming locations. (I could probably write a whole post dedicated to a Poldark based holiday!)
But our favourite walk was from Cadgwith Cove to Lizard point. This is about a 6 mile round trip, and we were lucky enough to have glorious sunshine all day. You need to allow a long time for this walk, as every corner turned presents another absolutely stunning view to take in. The panoramic function on my camera has never been used so much.
The sea is turquoise and sparkling, there are beautiful coves dotted all along – with no-one on them – and there is plenty of wildlife. We saw seals bobbing up and down in the sea, and most excitingly adders, lying on the path soaking up the sun. My dad even saw a couple of basking sharks. So it’s well worth taking the time out to sit on one of the benches along the way, and just wait, you’re bound to spot something exciting.
Relax on the beautiful beaches
On a summer’s day when the sun is shining, you can keep your Caribbean beaches, Cornwall is the place to be.
The beaches are absolutely beautiful, unspoilt and at the time of year that we went, pretty much empty too. There are so many beaches and coves to explore around Lizard.
Amongst others we went to Coverack, Mullion Cove and Housel Bay, but our favourite without a doubt was Kynance Cove. Maintained by the National Trust, Kynance was recently voted one of the best beaches in the World and it’s easy to see why.
There’s a short, and stunning walk down the cliffs to the Cove and once there you can relax on the golden sand, shelter in the shade of one of the impressive rock faces, or at low tide explore the hidden caves.
The beach is completely covered at high tide so it’s definitely worth checking before you arrive, but if you do happen to arrive at high tide there’s a lovely cafe that you can sit in and watch the mesmerizing waves.
Visit a National Trust property
If you’re planning on visiting Cornwall, it is well worth investing in a National Trust membership before you go. Many of the car parks along the coast, and the beaches are owned by the National Trust and there are plenty of houses and gardens to explore.
We went to a number of places, but the highlights for us were Penrose and Glendurgen Gardens.
Penrose is a beautiful walk around a lake, with views across the sea. If you’re feeling energetic, they even have a Park Run there every Saturday morning.
Glendurgen Gardens were a bit of a drive (albeit a very scenic one!) round by the Helford river, but absolutely worth it. A lovely landscaped garden winding down to the sea with lots of different areas to look at and a maze to explore.
If that’s not enough we indulged in another absolute Cornwall must, and sampled the delicious Cornish cream tea in the National Trust cafe.
With plenty of lovely places to explore when you get home too, National Trust membership is definite value for money.
Sample the local delicacies
I think one of my biggest Yeses of this holiday has to be saying Yes to sampling the local delicacies.
This obviously includes cream teas, and Cornish pasties, but also being brave and saying Yes to freshly caught fish. Those of you who know me will know this is a massive thing, what with being scared of fish. Yep, it’s a thing, it’s even got a name: Ichthyophobia.
I feel quite proud to have sampled so many different fish dishes, and if you do head down that way it’s a must.
I can whole heartedley recommend the Saturday night fish tapas as the Cadgwith Cove Inn – a perfect way to sample lots of different fish.
Nearby Porthleven also has a Rick Stein restaurant, which we didn’t get the chance to visit, but has very good reviews. We did however visit Porthleven for it’s Food Festival.
There are plenty of these that go on around Cornwall during the summer and they are well worth a visit.