Just a note to say.. In these unprecedented times it is important to follow the advice that it has been provided to us. I will continue to be writing blog posts to offer a form of escape and entertainment throughout this time but it is also important to be aware of the rapidly changing situation and to take things day by day. My most recent posts are about our wonderful trip to Devon and Cornwall of times when things were happier and healthier! It is important not to be tempted to visit at this time but please take the time to reflect and make exciting plans to visit this wonderful part in the future when things start to return to normal. This lovely part of the world will need your visits more than ever and there are so many fantastic places to travel to in order to help their local economy. In the meantime, I hope you are keeping safe, mentally and physically healthy.
Last summer, we chose to have a stay-cation and explore some of beautiful scenery in Devon and Cornwall, located in the south west of England. We have visited Cornwall a few times now and absolutely love it for a holiday here in the UK. We started our travels by visiting the picturesque area of Kingsbridge and Salcombe in Devon, which included a trip to our first ever Airbnb! Read about our experience here.
Our first stop of the trip was Tintagel. As soon as you step foot in the village there is an air of magic and legends which made the stop one of the most unique on our holiday. Tintagel, and specifically that of Tintagel Castle, is known for the legends of King Arthur.
Make sure you take the walk down to Tintagel Castle and view Merlin’s Cave. When we were visiting they were also building a new footbridge which opened in mid August 2019. It will link the mainland to the further ruins of Tintagel Castle. It is ideal for a family day out for exploring and there are lots of activities and interactive features to introduce the children to the history and legends of King Arthur. The coastal view from here is absolutely spectacular so if you are looking for a wow factor on your way in or out of Cornwall this is definitely an ideal stopping point!
For fans of Poldark, a visit to Charlestown is a must. The most beautiful tall ships can be found docked here, in this Georgian working port.
We parked in the town car park and then took a short stroll down to the dock. There was a ship docked there which was breath-taking to look at. We did a short circular route of Charlestown, walking down by the sea along the harbour wall before walking back past some pretty bunting to a few little huts selling teas, coffees and scones, along with lots of Poldark merchandise! If you are interested in learning a bit more about Charlestown’s maritime history, it is worth stopping by Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre where you can explore the history of this fascinating port!
Fowey, is a lovely little place located on the water. We parked on top of a hill in a large car park before strolling down to the town. Walking past Trafalgar Square (this one does not contain the same amount of pigeons that you may find in London!) you will find a pretty little aquarium. We didn’t visit on this occasion but taking a look on TripAdvisor it seems to be an ideal place to take children if you are on a family holiday. There were a number of boat tours taking place around the estuary at Fowey – if you are there for the day this would be well worth taking advantage of as there is some stunning scenery in the area.
Be warned that the car park is a bit of a trek up the hill but there is a shuttle bus available for those who require it.
Cornwall is well known for being host to a range of film and TV locations, and our next stop was no exception. If you’re a fan of Doc Martin then this is the place for you as much of the TV series was based here in Port Isaac. Parking is on top of a hill and then you take an approximate 10 minute stroll down the hill and into the harbour. There are lots of little alleyways and roads to explore and a few small gift shops.
There was a delightful little beach in Port Isaac and dogs were running in and out of the water to cool off. It was amazing to see all the houses and shops that were featured in the TV show and we even popped into the “pharmacy” which is actually a traditional fudge shop/gift shop called Buttermilk Shop!
Tourist haven, Padstow, is one of my favourite destinations in Cornwall. You might be mistaken for Rick Stein owning pretty much everything here. There are cafes and restaurants galore! It’s a wonderful place, with a number of shops and places to watch the world go by. I will always remember this from one of our first trips to Cornwall.
The harbour is relaxing to take a stroll around and explore. This was also where I had the taste of my very first Cornish pasty – it was delicious!
The Lizard is a peninsula and is known for being the most southernly point in the UK. The area is owned by the National Trust so if you are a member parking is free – ideal! Otherwise it is £3 for a couple of hours so the norm amongst Cornwall parking charges.
We advise taking a wander down to The Lizard Lighthouse, a beautiful white lighthouse overlooking the water and surrounding fields.
Make sure to stop by Britain’s Most Southerly Café – beautiful views, wonderful service, no WiFi and delicious food, enabling you to soak up the atmosphere whilst trying to spot the Atlantic grey seals! I especially loved the list of all the animals and birds they had spotted that day.
Lands End is a headland and is the most Western point in Cornwall. On a clear day you can just make out the Isles of Scilly in the distance, approximately 28 miles away. We were pleased to grab a coffee at the First and Last House in the UK!
We were not really sure what to expect from going to Lands End and were surprised to find a busy holiday complex there, not too dissimilar from Main Street in Disneyland! We were delighted to be able to welcome in some cyclists who had cycled from John o’ Groats in Scotland. There is an announcement to encourage visitors to welcome them in and it was quite an emotional sight to see!
I was very surprised by Porthleven as this ended up being one of my favourite places to visit in Cornwall. This had quite a sheltered harbour with an area for visitors and residents to relax overlooking the water. We took our time strolling down to the sea and spotted a few people jumping and doing summersaults into the water! It was amazing to watch but it was certainly quite a drop!
Porthleven, like many of the other Cornish destinations, is perfect for trying out for Roly’s Fudge Pantry, any Cornish pasties(!) and visiting the beautiful beaches with incredible views.
Mousehole was my favourite place that we visited on this trip, purely for the emotional factor. One of my favourite stories as a little girl was The Mousehole Cat and I had always dreamed of visiting the place that it is based on. It is a pretty little harbour just down the road from Penzance. It was exactly how I imagined with little fishing boats and quaint cottages surrounding the harbour. It was so lovely to see all the families enjoying the warm weather, jumping into the water from the harbours edge or paddling off the small beach.
Mousehole is close to the town of Penzance which is a final stop on train travel from London. There is a frequent bus service for those who wish to take a day trip.
St Ives is a name synonymous with Cornwall as a destination. It is somewhere that we had visited before and it is what seems to be one of the busiest tourist destinations in Cornwall. St Ives always reminds me of Padstow as one of the busier tourist destinations in Cornwall.
St Ives is well known for its artists and has a range of fantastic galleries to visit including Tate St Ives. There are also boat trips to Seal Island where you are able to view a seal colony.
We really love Perranporth and aim to visit every time we are in Cornwall. It has a beautiful beach which seems to last for miles and miles, for as far as the eye can see! The sand is so silky and smooth. We usually take a walk over to our favourite bar on the beach which we have been to a few times now with the rest of the family. It seems to be open whatever the weather = rain or shine!
We took a walk around the little town which has a range of shops available. Perranporth has a number of campsites close by and so is usually quite busy in the Summer.
Looe was our most recent destination and one of our favourites. We actually stayed about a five minute drive from Looe in Wringworthy Cottages, a selection of beautiful holiday cottages ideal for families.
Looe had a excellent range of shops, found down the little hidden roads that intertwined through Looe. The beaches stretched on for miles. Looe certainly seemed like the ideal base for a holiday in Cornwall and we would certainly return in the future.
Do you have any places on your Cornwall wishlist? Or are there any places you would highly recommend that are not listed above? Let me know in the comments below!
Becky at Pretty & Petit