Cornwall is one of the places I am really looking forward to visit in 2013. I’ve been planning to visit this beautiful part of the world for years. So it’s v.exciting to have this awesome guest post about South West Cornwall by native Lauren Williams on behalf of CrossCountry Trains. Lauren is a 23 year journo graduate from sunny Cornwall. She’s climbing Kilimanjaro for Cornwall Air Ambulance, a great cause. more details here http://www.laurensclimbingkili.com/
Cornwall is the UK at its most picturesque – from rolling hills to crashing coastlines, heather-dotted moorlands to cobbled streets and looming churches. It’s a proud county of food and nature, outdoorsy types and cider-drinking types. It’s also got a reputation of being an expensive getaway, saved only for the summer holidays when prices rocket and villages are boiling over with temper tantrums, screeching hen dos and seagulls fighting over pasty crumbs.
But heading into the deep south west needn’t break the bank (nor test your patience).If you pick your timing wisely and stay away from the masses of socks, sandals and sunburnt emmits, you can enjoy this legend-steeped county at its best. To enhance your Cornish road-less-travelled experience, avoid the stress of crawling traffic into the county and take the Cross Country Train to the end of the line instead. Hire a car once you get there to explore the little villages off the public transport radar.
1. Head away from the crowds
Cornwall, as with every tourist destination, has its hot-spots. Newquay, St Ives, Land’s End and the locally dubbed Padstein (Padstow) are just a few of Cornwall’s most visited and expensive locations. But if you head slightly off the beaten track you’ll be rewarded with boutique restaurants, legendary tales of giants hurling rocks as well as unrivalled hospitality.
If the pull of Land’s End does drag you to the battered end of the country, be sure to take the more scenic drive along the B3306 rather than the bicycle and tractor-clogged A30. The roads bob and weave around Cornish mines, rural farms and glimpses of the tide before opening out to an endless horizon of crashing waves. Make a stop at the small village of Zennor where the coastal walks are to die for and neighbourhood tales of mermaids are carved into the wood of the church.
2. Go to the beach
This is an obvious one, but one that is so often overlooked as a free day out by many. Being spoilt for choice is an understatement when visiting Cornwall – with no town being more than 30 minutes away from a sandy getaway, it’s a wonder why so many people flock to Newquay’s Watergate Bay rather than one of the many secluded beaches dotting the coast.
Although not exactly an insider secret, the beach of Porthtowan on the north coast near Redruth is a favourite for beach-bums, surfers and foodies alike. When the tide is out, the beach opens out to reveal plenty of secluded spots, caves hiding treasures and miles of walking in the gentle surf. When you get peckish for some local seafood, or thirsty for some local cider, grab a perch outside the Blue Bar, soak up the atmosphere and kick back.
Cornwall is famous for its coastal walks, but how about heading inland to stomp across the weather-beaten moorlands down in the old mining country of Carnyorth, near St Just. A hike along these parts and you’ll find yourself staring in awe up at unexplained stone stacks, peering at stone tombs in the middle of nowhere and pondering over stone circles. The old ruins of Chun Castle sit on top of a hill, where you’ll be able to see the whole of Penwith in one 360 degree swoop.
4. Tuck in
It wouldn’t be a trip to Cornwall if you didn’t eat your way into some sort of cream-filled pasty oblivion, so stuff the diets and dive into all of the calorific treats awaiting you. For good pub-grub, take your pick of one of the 48 drinking houses that dot the streets of Penzance. The Dolphin Tavern just opposite the harbour has one of the best reputations in town amongst the locals and serves up a mix of locally sourced fish dishes, twists on Mexican classics and the ever popular sizzling chicken.
When in this part of the county, ask a local where you can find the best pasty and you’ll get one answer – Philps. Hop on the train in Penzance and get off two stops later at Hayle where you can buy, and demolish, one of the tastiest traditions Cornwall has to offer.
Disclaimer: This awesome guest post was possible thanks to the support of CrossCountry Trains. As long as the content is as awesome as this and adds value to my blog, I am happy to accept. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed the article.