Lying as far West as you can go in England is the stunning county of Cornwall. This rugged, breathtakingly beautiful long coastline forms a peninsula which encompasses many sandy beaches, wild moors and mystic castles all ending at Land’s End, the furthest point in England.
Cornwall is proud of its heritage and has a uniqueness about the place that you don’t get in other parts of England. It’s diverse Celtic heritage runs deep and touches everything, with the Cornish language still being spoken today and although English is the first language, Cornish is a recognised language internationally.
It’s not just the language that sets Cornwall apart, they even have their own patron Saint, Saint Piren whose black flag with a white cross you will see flying from public and private buildings and whose feast day is celebrated on 5th March.
Cornwall is a county filled with towns and small hamlets. There is only one city, Truro in the whole county. Its past history was one of tin mining, fishing and farming and these industries have all but gone now, instead a new life has been born in Cornwall, one that has given the county a new endeavour, that of creativity. Cornwall is now seen as an artists paradise,with many galleries dotted around, there is even a Tate Gallery in St Ives as well as many celebrity restaurants and new age projects such as The Eden Project.
Cornwall is also a place to go for those who love the outdoor life with fantastic surfing and stunning beaches to amazing walks and hiking, it’s all here in Cornwall and throw in some Ancient legends, mystic castles and tales of giants and you have everything you need for the holiday of a lifetime.
Where to Go in Cornwall.
Where to stay in Cornwall depends on what kind of holiday you want. Whether it is purely an activity based holiday, historical trip or abeach stay there are some beautiful places to stay that will guarantee that you get just what you came for.
Just over the border from Devon in the North of Cornwall lies Bude, a small seaside resort. This laid back, friendly place is ideal if you are looking for an activity packed holiday, as the good Atlantic swell means that it offers great surfing. Along with this there are excellent spotlessly clean beaches such as Summerleaze and Widemouth Bay to relax on and swim in the sea. It is a mellow and relaxed place to stay, offering good facilities and a great cultural hub. Bude is a great place to stay if you want to explore more of Cornwall and Devon.
A day trip can be taken over to Lundy Island if you are looking for an unspoilt oasis away from the modern world. With no cars on the Island, it’s like taking a trip back in time. The Island has a small village and an inn and a church dating back to Victorian times. As well as this there is Marisco Castle which dates back to the 13th Century. While on the Island you will see an amazing array of wildlife, from rare birds to dolphins, seals and deer and the best thing is at night with no streets lights the darkness offers a spectacular view of the night sky. This is a magical place to visit to get back to nature and to have a taste of life away from the 21st Century.
Adjacent to the village of Tintagel lies the peninsula of Tintagel Island and it is here that you will find Tintagel Castle. This medieval fortification has long associations with the legends of King Arthur and is said to be his birthplace as well as being the seat of the Kings of Cornwall. The present castle was built by Earl Richard of Cornwall in 1233. It’s history stretches as far back as the Romans, having been a Roman settlement and military outpost. During the 5th and 6th Centuries it was a Celtic trading outpost of the Kings of Cornwall.
The ties with Arthur go back before the medieval castle was built and some believe the castle was built by Richard to reinforce the legends. What remains of the castle are breathtaking and fascinating. Although a ruin it is the atmosphere and the drama that make this such a magical place to visit. Use your imagination and you can conjure up images of times gone by of what life was like before the Castle fell into ruins and even now archeological digs are unearthing more of the places history with signs of a Dark Ages settlement and Roman finds.
Castle Cove is the beach at the foot of the Castle Island and if you time your visit right and go at low tide then you can go and discover Merlin’s Cave which is to be found on the beach. Inside Merlin’s cave is a smuggler’s hideaway which further add to the history and mystery of the place.
St Michael’s Mount.
St Michael’s Mount is another place to go if you want to dive into the past and discover tales of legends and myth that span a history of 1000 years. Walk across the granite causeway, where legend has is a giant walked and then follow in the footsteps of history,where pilgrims came and the Benedictine Monks once lived.
The original site was a Benedictine chapel and in the 14th Century the castle on the rocks was constructed. You can now go and view the Castle and garden’s that are cared for by The National Trust. Seen as Cornwall’s most famous landmark, the Mount will give you stunning panoramic views across some of the most famous places in Cornwall, from The Lizard to Lands End.
Access to the Mount is by foot at low tide or by ferry when the tide is high. On the north shore of the Island lies a harbour and there are houses and shops and restaurants here. The Mount was the residence of the St Aubyn family since 1650 but the earliest buildings on the Mount date back to 1044 when Edward the Confessor founded a chapel here. The Mounts history stretches through many
periods in time, it was seized and used as a fortress during the Crusades in the 12th Century and although they returned to their monastic use, the buildings were used during The War of the Roses as a fortress. Their final use during time of conflict was during the English Civil War in 1646.
Since then the Mount has known many years of peace and has been a family residence and now is a major tourist attraction with the old legends and history that surround this magical place enchanting and delighting its visitors.
Once a bustling fishing harbour, St Ives became the arts hub of Cornwall during the 1920s and 1930s, which it has remained even to today. There are many galleries and craft shops lining the cobbled streets of this impossibly picturesque town and in 1993 as recognition of its importance in the art world, the Tate St Ives was opened, one of only four in the world. The town has long been a magnet for some of the greatest names in the art world, from JMW Turner to Henry Moore, artists have flocked here to paint the staggering beauty of the place.
St Ives is known for more than its artistic heritage though, it has four fabulous beaches and a mild climate in which to enjoy them. A trip to Porthminster beach offers surfers some amazing rides and whilst there you can also view Godrevy Lighthouse, which was the inspiration for the classic Virginia Woolfe novel To the Lighthouse.
For those interested in more leisurely pursuits there are numerous pavement cafes as well as many award-winning restaurants to tempt you to sitting and whiling away a few hours enjoying good food in wonderful settings. After a good meal why not take a trip to ‘Downlong’, the heart of old St Ives as it is known by the local people. Here you can walk along the cobbled streets, see the 14th Century Sloop Inn and view the old fisherman’s cottages. A trip to the museum will tell you of days gone by and how life used to be in St Ives, including its fishing heritage and boat building.
Known as the surf capital of the UK, Newquay is the place to go to for anyone who loves the sea. Lying on the North Atlantic coast of Cornwall, the conditions are perfect here for surfing and water sports. Seen as the favourite holiday destination in Cornwall, here you will find some of the finest beaches in the country. It’s not just a place for holiday makers as Newquay hosts some of the best water
sports competitions in the world with the Boardmasters festival held here each year.
Its not all about surfing though in Newquay, as this lovely harbour town is also home to some fabulous restaurants, spas and luxury retreats.
Newquay is an ideal place for a wide mix of people from surfers and couples to families, there is plenty of entertainment in the town to keep everybody happy.
Easy to get to, Newquay even has its own out-of-town airport that caters for international flights as well as national ones. A fabulous place to stay all year round, Newquay is one of the highlights of Cornwall and will stay in your memory long after you have left.
Cornwall Where To Go- Final Words.
If you are looking for a holiday that is going to give you a varied selection of experiences and leave you wanting more then Cornwall is the place to go. From rugged cliff top walks to sitting watching the sun set on Newquay beach, Cornwall offers you some of the best memories that you will ever have from a holiday.
This spectacular piece of the English coastline is the place to go to find peace and quiet and also adrenalin filled sports. Wander through history or just laze on the beach, the choice is yours in this most magical of places.