For those of you who don’t know, Cornwall can be found at the south-west tip of England. I think because it’s the end of the country – there’s even a place called Land’s End – that it feels so different from the rest of England. Wherever you are you can almost feel the history, or perhaps because I had many childhood holidays there, it brings out the adventurous child in me, where stories come to life. The coast is rugged, with coves – accessible and not – at every turn. You can imagine smugglers climbing down the cliffs at nightfall to rescue contraband; and looking at the sea, you can see how hard it must have been to land a cargo safely.
I visited in Spring, which meant that the weather is variable, but fortunately the sun was out and the spring flowers were plentiful. I’d gone old school and borrowed a guidebook from the library to point me in the right direction, with a few hints and tips on things to do. It was still low season, so the roads were clear and there were no queues and no problems parking.
I was based in Falmouth which meant I focused on the area close by and down to the Lizard (most southerly point). Falmouth is a busy town with a growing university meaning that it’s lively even in the quiet season. Even though it was blowing a gale, it didn’t stop me having a yomp along the south west coast path. It’s well signposted with distance markers to the next “stop” and makes it easy to get away from the crowds and take in the scenery.
At the other end of the scale, I made a visit to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, which rescues sick or stranded seals and heals them with the aim of releasing them back to the wild. It’s a little disappointing as an adult, but I suspect it would be a whole lot more exciting if you had some children with you. Nonetheless I think they do a good job and the sanctuary provided some great views of the Helford Estuary.
The National trust has a stronghold all over Cornwall and provides a number of gardens and houses to visit. There are a good number of helpful volunteers, and if you’re into plants then I’d definitely advise dropping into a number of their gardens – my favourite on this trip was Glendurgan Gardens: a tropical feel that takes you down to a beautiful beach.
But on top of this, there’s no pressure to do anything at all. Enjoy meandering along the lanes taking in the local architecture and the wonderful views with the moors to one side and the coast to the other.