Cornwall is a stoic county in the South West of England set snugly between the Devon border and the Celtic Sea. Here the salty Atlantic to the north merges with the English Channel to the south to create a beautiful coastline and otherworldly weather fit for tropical plants, fabulous surfing and a sophisticated local style.
Cornwall has always had a stellar reputation for art, beaches and myth. Stroll through any of the county’s harbour towns and you’ll find narrow cobblestone streets spotted with art boutiques and surf shops. Places like Newlyn and St Ives pin Cornwall firmly into the nation’s art scene and inspire newbie artists and writers with local tales of mermaids, giants and pixies and the scenes of crashing seas and walks along rugged coast paths.
The tip of the South West peninsula is diverse with its wild moorlands of Bodmin and beaches, both soft, sandy ones and those with grey pebble ridges. The moorlands are a place to feel the elements with the wind ruddying your cheeks as you traverse valleys and hills with aching legs, uncovering ancient relics like barrows, fougous and standing stones. Some of these relics are even located in what are called areas of Special Scientific Interest, and all of them hard back to a primitive time before Cornwall had its tin mining boom and before the birth of the epic Cornish pasty.
Speaking of the renowned Cornish pasty, before heading out to enjoy the county’s natural wonders, you will need to fill your belly and there is nothing better than this traditional Cornish food. In fact, as a Protected Product of Origin, Cornwall is the only place allowed to produce true Cornish pasties, which are hand-crimped into a ‘D’ shape. Almost every bakery in the county will have a secret recipe hailing from the days when the miners used to take them into the belly of the county for their lunch. The crimped handle was a genius solution to the problem of arsenic poisoning in the mines as miners could use the crust as a handle; handy and lifesaving.
They might not look it, but even one pasty is enough to stuff your belly, so walk it off through the legendary country along the South West Coast Path which connects the county town to town. The steep coast path snakes along the edges of the cliff faces for almost the entire length of the Cornish coast. The paths have been carved throughout time from the heavy footfall of walkers seeking panoramic views and solace. Although the majority is marked well, in a few places the hike can prove quite a challenge. The incredible Tintagel on the north coast, the reputed birthplace of King Arthur and the Bedruthan Steps, home to the giant Bedruthan at Mawgan Porth can be best viewed from the path. Best of all it is free and gives you a chance to gain artistic inspiration and build a hefty appetite for that tasty Cornish pasty.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Cornwall Farm & Cottage Holidays has a great selection of self-catering cottages all over Cornwall. There really is no better way to experience a traditional Cornish holiday than waking up in a cosy cottage and planning your day over a steaming hot cuppa.
Author Bio: My name is Kelly Quance, and I am South West through and through. I have lived here all my life and made it a point to discover the best the South West has to offer, from where to devour the best cream tea to finding out where the Cornish giants are hiding these days. I am lucky enough to write about the flavours, scenery and quirks of my favourite place in the world every day.