Holidays in Cornwall, the Cornish Way
When you visit a new part of the world you’re always a little way out of your comfort zone. New sites, unfamiliar surroundings, it’s all part of the fun, but you can also get the nagging feeling that you might be missing out on something good, simply through lack of local knowledge. This is why we’ve put together this guide to secrets and places that the locals like to keep to themselves, so when you’re on your holidays in Cornwall you can do as the Cornish do.
Think Cornwall and you think surfing, in particular Newquay. And while Newquay is an excellent place to take your holidays in Cornwall, it’s somewhere that everybody knows and therefore it can get crowded at times. A few miles west along the coast lies Perranporth, a smaller place, but the choice of locals in the know. The waves are excellent for surfing, and there are several surf schools in the vicinity, offering lessons to boarders of all abilities. Once you’ve finished in the water you can enjoy a relaxing meal and drink in one of the great cafes and restaurants nearby.
A very different type of beach is Godrevy at the far end of St Ives Bay. A National Trust site, it’s good for watersports but the main draw is the wonderful wildlife that can be found here. Flocks of seabirds make their home on ledges in the cliff face and in the coastal grasslands and heath that surround the area. If you cast your gaze out to sea then you may be lucky enough to spot an inquisitive seal or two, heads bobbing above the waves.
Thanks to a burgeoning food industry in the area it’s been a while since holidays in Cornwall solely meant cider and cream teas, but that doesn’t mean that these Cornish staples should be missed. Healey’s Cider Farm near Truro is a great place to visit, you’re free to wander through their ancient courtyards, pet the friendly animals on the farm, and explore this traditional cider producer. They offer guided tours that take you through orchards and behind closed doors to see how the magic happens. And of course you’re welcome to sample and buy their wonderful products.
Trencrom Hill in the west of Cornwall is another site owned by the National Trust. This ancient hill fort is a must see for anyone interested in history as it dates back to the Iron Age, and there is evidence of a Neolithic tor enclosure as well as cairns or hut circles. The views from the top of the 550 foot high hill are breathtaking, from your vantage point you overlook the Hayle Estuary, Mount's Bay and St. Michael’s Mount, making this a worthwhile climb even if you’re not a history fan.
Tintagel is famous for its castle, a place forever associated with legends such as King Arthur and Tristan and Isolde, but less well known is the nearby St Nectans Kieve. Also known as Merlin’s Well, this majestic plunge pool is fed by a spectacular 60 foot waterfall that cascades down the mossy cliff face, through a rocky arch to crash into the natural basin below. This beautiful site is now believed by some to be a sacred site, and you can see ribbons, crystals, photographs and other devotions adorning the foliage near the pool.