Guide To Holidaying In Cornwall
A guide by Julia Buckley
Cornwall is a wild county, with a beautiful rugged coastline that has inspired both writers and artists. But wherever you stay in Cornwall, it has a great deal to offer the holidaymaker. Book a holiday cottage in Cornwall and make the most your time doing whatever you love best: surfing, swimming, walking or visiting the art galleries & museums.
If you're in search of inspiration, you won't find a better spot than Cornwall. With a coastline stretching nearly three hundred miles and unspoiled villages nestling between moorland and the sea, Cornwall has been a muse to artistic temperaments since time immemorial. From the inventors of Arthurian legends on the rock faces of Tintagel to, well, Martin Clunes negotiating the textbook pretty alleys of Port Isaac in his ITV series Doc Martin - Cornwall provokes creative feelings in the best and worst of us.
The Cornish, of course, wouldn't dream of rating their county as the best in England - but don't mistake that for any kind of modesty. Rather, they're a fiercely independent race who have spent most of their existence trying to sever their celtic selves from the rest of the country. Cornish history is littered with independence marches on London, proud displays of their St Piran's flag and scathing references to the rest of Britain as "past the Tamar Bridge".
In the last few decades, though, the death of the traditional local trades of fishing and mining has forced the Cornish to embrace tourism as their main industry; and they've done an incredible job.
Whatever your taste, you'll find it catered for. If you're a beach person, not only does Cornwall offer the longest coastline in Britain, but there's an entire menu of seaside style to choose from. Drama-lovers should head for the north coast where flower-strewn cliffs beckon and private coves beg to be discovered. Polzeath, beloved of the royals, is a good all-rounder as beaches go.
Further south is the Cornish Riviera, where the palm tree-lined microclimate of Falmouth and Mevagissey puts the Med to shame. Home to the Tate Gallery, St Ives has long been an artistic honeypot on account of its baby blue skies and crystal-clear waters; make sure you hang around for its spectacular sunsets.
If you want to experience the life aquatic, gig rowing and sailing are on offer in most places; and the world-renowned surfing waters at Newquay's Fistral Beach are the perfect foil for dedicated adrenalin junkies.
But Cornwall doesn't just do beaches. Rugged northern Bodmin Moor boasts chocolate box cute villages like Altarnun and Polyphant and two mountains; as well as the notorious Beast of Bodmin, England's answer to the Loch Ness Monster.
And there are stately homes galore. Some, like Pencarrow, near Wadebridge, are run by the owners of old, who open up their collection of porcelain dolls and their sweeping strawberry fields to outsiders; others, like Trelissick have been handed over to the National Trust, and stage regular events in the grounds.
For dedicated fashionistas, Truro's the place to go for its boutique shops; while conspiracy theorists should head straight for the land of King Arthur in the north. If you've got a spare day down south, you can't miss a daytrip to the Scilly Isles. With a helicopter as the preferred form of transport, it's a journey you'll never forget.
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