Cornwall: Pirates, Pasties and Plum Mead

Cornwall Travel Blog

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The Gannel, Newquay

As ITV gets ready to air 'Cornwall with Caroline Quentin' tonight, I thought I would take the opportunity to share my own personal experiences of this beautiful county for those of you who are planning a trip in 2012 and the years beyond.

I have been lucky enough to grow up in Cornwall where golden soft sand beaches are never more than 20 minutes away from wherever you are in this county. The 400 miles of rugged coastline boast dramatic granite cliffs, secluded coves, long and wide sandy beaches and the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cornwall has become a bit of a trendy spot for celebrities over recent years and this Christmas the British comedian Russell Brand headed to Coverack near Helston to cheer on his buddy David Baddiel in a charity ocean swim.

Watergate Bay
The Royal Princes can often be seen relaxing in Rock on the north coast and ITV's 'Doc Martin' is filmed in the picturesque fishing town of Port Isaac.

Perhaps one thing Cornwall is most renowned for is its delicious food and the county is full of farm shops, local markets and delicatessens. Many celebrity chefs have opened restaurants on the Cornish shores including Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein, who originates from the county. The famous pasty has been on the menus of pubs, restaurants and cafes for many years and no visit is complete without trying the local delicacy. A pastry case is filled with succulent meats such as beef or chicken, and diced vegetables including potatoes, suede, carrots and onions.

Crantock Beach, nr Newquay
The edges are crimped to produce a thick crust. March 2012 will see the first World Pasty Championships take place at the Eden Project near St Austell.

If you like your adventure sports, you're in for a treat. Cornwall has something to offer all adrenalin seekers, whether you want to have a go at surfing, kite boarding, coasteering, abseiling, sailing, skydiving, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, zip lining, cycling, or hiking.

Cornwall is home to an array of stunning gardens and thanks to the region's milder coastal climate, there are plenty of plants and flowers to enjoy all year round. Some of the best places to visit include Trebah Gardens, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Lamorran Gardens, Trevarno Estate, Lanhydrock and perhaps one of the most famous greeenhouses in the world - the Eden Project.

The local tipple in Cornwall is cider and there are many varieties to sample during your visit. In my experience the best way to enjoy it is at one of  the working cider farms (Healey's or Cornish Orchards) or on the terrace of a beach bar or restaurant where you can watch the sunset over the ocean. I personally reccommend doing this at Lewinnick Lodge in Newquay, or the Bowgie in Crantock, near Newquay for some stunning views and fresh sea air.

Cornish Mead is a traditional drink made from fermented honey which can be used as an apertirif or a desert wine. It comes in many different fruity flavours such as apple, blackcurrant, cherry, strawberry and mypersonal favourite - plum. Go easy on it though, unless you want the hangover from hell!

Cornwall is famous for its fishing and mining industry and this is still evident throughout individual towns and villages. Penzance, in West Cornwall, is known for its historic tales about smuggling and pirates, and towns such as Falmouth, Looe and Fowey are the vital cogs in the wheels of the UK's fishing industry.

There is just too much to write about this beautiful county in one blog so I will write about individual towns and attractions in forthcoming articles to help you plan your trip. In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions!

miss_independent says:
Thank you so much for the quick response Anna. Newquay sounds like a very good option and yes I would be bringing my car.

This will definitely be a 'budget' looking for hotels or cottages on the cheaper end of the scale. I'm not sure how many are coming yet so I don't know whether a hotel or cottage may be more appropriate. But any recommendations you could make on either would be much appreciated.


Posted on: Feb 11, 2012
aeridley says:
Hey, thanks for comments!

You will love the beaches in Cornwall. The north coast beaches (Newquay) are stunning and the area is a little more vibrant - lots to see and do. Plus Newquay is only 20 minutes away from Truro (main city/town), Padstow (lovely fishing town). Eden project is great but I probably would not stay in the St Austell area - pretty limited with things to do.

Are you bringing a car? I would recommend it if you are or perhaps hiring one. June is a fab time to visit as it's not too touristy and usually lovely weather!

In my opinion, if you love sandy golden beaches, head to Newquay and either stay in the town itself (or near Fistral beach) or head to Watergate Bay, Crantock or Mawgan Porth.

What's your budget? There are hotels and cottages in Newquay (some luxury, mid-range and budget).

Let me know and I'll send some recommendations!


Posted on: Feb 08, 2012
miss_independent says:
Another question...sorry!... I have been looking at renting cottages or staying in a hotel. There are hotel options in St Austell, Hayle, and Newquay that i'm interested in. Would you recommend any one of these places over the others?

Thanks! Pauline.
Posted on: Feb 08, 2012
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The Gannel, Newquay
The Gannel, Newquay
Watergate Bay
Watergate Bay
Crantock Beach, nr Newquay
Crantock Beach, nr Newquay
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photo by: Charbelto