Cornwall. The home of cream teas, surfing, Cornish pasties, seagulls the size of small dogs, and of course, Poldark.
We often pass over our beautiful coastline in favour of sunnier, more exotic climes. Having earlier in the summer spent a long weekend in Cornwall I think many of us could be missing a trick…
The weekend began with a 4am start after realising we had foolishly decided to head down the M5 on the first weekend of school holidays! After several hours of singing and dodgy joke-telling to keep us awake we arrived in Cambourne where we would be resting our heads for the next couple of nights. A reviving cup of tea and eggs on toast and we were ready to head out on our first Cornish adventure – a trip to Falmouth.
Being summer we decided to take advantage of the park and ride to discover Falmouth offers something pretty unique – float and ride! A ferry, rather than bus, that takes you around the bay, past row upon row of small white yachts, bobbing around on the glistening water. Sadly for us, the ferry doesn’t run on a weekend!
Falmouth is a gorgeous, coastal town bustling with activity – markets, buskers, watersports and festivals – there’s something for everyone. Even Rick Stein has expanded beyond Padstow to set up shop here. It was soon time for a break from wandering the streets so we stopped at Harbour View for a chilled glass of wine and to soak up the British sun. This small cafe has an inviting terrace with views across the harbour – the white masts of boats crystal clear against the lush green hills across the bay.
The next day we took the train to St Ives – possibly the most picturesque train journey I’ve ever been on and I’m not the only one to think so! Shortly after boarding the train it became clear that something was going on. After craning our necks to see we realised we were sharing the carriage with Michael Portillo who was filming Great British Railway Journeys. Perhaps not the most glamorous of programmes but a small claim to fame nonetheless!
St Ives can be summed up quite simply as absolutely beautiful. If you only go to one place in Cornwall make it here. Tiny winding streets, quaint little cottages once inhabited by fishermen, pristine beaches with crystal clear waters…there’s a real romantic charm about this bustling tourist trap.
It’s here that the seagulls have become infamous for their bolshy confidence, thinking nothing of stealing the delicious Cornish pasty from your hand! But it’s not just the gulls to watch out for – the little ones are just as cheeky with one tiny bird tucking into my left over cake outside one cafe on the harbour front.
As holidays often do, this one revolved around food. The absolute gem of a find was in St Ives. Tucked away above the hustle and bustle, is the Vintage Store and Coffee Shop, with a beautiful view of the harbour. Inside has a retro, yet effortlessly cool vibe, with shelving on one wall displaying vintage games and kitchenware that evokes warm feelings of nostalgia. Miniature milk bottles from school days past, pick up sticks, enamel mugs and dominoes to name a few. If that wasn’t enough each table has one of these games such as noughts and crosses, to entertain you while waiting for your crisp and ham sandwich (even better than you remember!) or perfect Cornish cream tea. Definitely my kind of place!
So next time you’re considering a summer break don’t forget what’s right on your doorstep!