Escape to the Country
Here’s Why Cornwall Needs to Be Included On Your Next Trip to England!
It just got easier to travel across the pond, and we think your first stop should be Cornwall!
By: Catie Kovelman, Updated 01/12/2022
If you’ve been longing for an international getaway, you’ll be glad to hear that it just got easier to travel to England. The English authorities originally required all passengers to undergo testing for COVID-19 both before and after arriving in England regardless of vaccination status. In addition, all travelers would be required to self-isolate upon arriving in England until they received a negative COVID test a few days into their trip. But because the highly contagious omicron variant has made coronavirus infections so widespread, U.K. officials have decided that these measures don’t make enough of an impact to warrant continuing them. Therefore, travelers who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to do pre-departure COVID testing. Vaccinated travelers will also not be required to self-isolate when they arrive in England, although they will still need to take a COVID test upon arrival. With these restrictions lifted, vaccinated travelers have fewer hurdles to jump through to travel across the pond and can start sightseeing immediately upon arrival.
But when people travel to England, they often think of visiting London and exploring the bustling city life. But just four hours away from the city of London you’ll find the beautiful county of Cornwall tucked away in the Southwest corner of the United Kingdom. Cornwall is known for its stunning coastline, scenic views, and rich culture that is almost too spectacular to be real. On this episode of “Escape to the Country,” you’ll learn about the South West Coast Path, which is the longest footpath in Britain, and enjoy incredible views of Cornwall’s nearly 300 mile-long coastline. And when you get to England, we think Cornwall should be your first stop!
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This clip has us wishing we could hop on a plane to Cornwall right now! However, we do understand that planning a trip across the pond is an expensive and time consuming endeavor, and that international restrictions related to COVID-19 may be postponing your trip for the time being. But if you are in the midst of planning a trip to England or are daydreaming about your future U.K. holiday, here are 7 reasons to visit Cornwall.
The sea is a major theme for Cornwall. It’s world-renowned beaches have made it a leading vacation spot for both British residents and foreigners, and it’s access to the Atlantic Ocean makes it a desired surfing haven. But if surfing isn’t your thing, Cornwall offers a wide variety of watersports, including swimming, sailing, paddle boarding, coasteering, boating, and more.
Once you’re done in the water, enjoy taking in the gorgeous views that Cornwall has to offer. It’s stunning coastline is deeply indented, and features stunning granite cliffs, coves, and caves. You could even walk along the South West Coast Path featured in the above “Escape to the Country” clip!
The Culture And History
Cornwall has a rich history and culture that shows off it’s independent spirit, and even has its own unique language. In 2014, the Cornwall people were named as a minority, giving them recognition as a distinct ethnic group, similar to Scottish, Welsh, and Irish. You will also notice evidence of Cornwall’s Celtic heritage embedded in its culture.
The history that formed Cornwall’s culture can be seen throughout the county and lead to many enjoyable day trips. For example, you could spend a day exploring Cornwall’s most famous castles, such as St. Michaels Mount, Pendennis Castle, or Tintagel Castle. To learn more about the wilder side of Cornwall’s history, there are plenty of museums, abandoned engine houses, and stone circles that tell the stories of shipwrecks, smuggling, tin mining, and archeology.
In recent history, you may have watched Poldark, a television series produced by the BBC that was filmed in Cornwall. The series was based on Winston Graham’s classic historical novels by the same name, and the show aired for 5 seasons. If you are a die-hard fan of the books or the show, you can visit many of the filming locations in Cornwall, including Charlestown, Porthgwarra, St. Agnes, and Kynance Cove.
You will never go hungry during your stay in Cornwall. In fact, you might be disappointed that you are too full to try every dish this country has to offer! With a rich maritime heritage, Cornwall still has a booming fishing scene and serves some of the freshest seafood in the world. Based in the famous Falmouth Bay, local fishermen catch fresh oysters, crab, lobsters, pilchards and mussels and deliver them to restaurants around the county daily. Just down the road from Falmouth Bay sits a restaurant called “Harbour Lights” that is world-famous for its delicious fish and chips.
When it’s time for afternoon tea, you will have many scrumptious and authentic options to choose from. Cornwall is home to the only tea plantation in the United Kingdom, which is known as The Tregothnan Estate. It is located on the banks of the lovely Fal River, and you can visit by booking a garden tour online, signing up for a tea growing masterclass, or even book an overnight stay in a quaint cottage on the property.Of course, you must make sure your English high tea experience includes Cornish clotted cream. A Cornish cream tea ceremony takes place in the afternoon, and is served with scones. The key is to put jam on the scone before the cream!
In addition to a beautiful coastline, Cornwall also features several pristine villages. For example, Mousehole is considered to be Cornwall’s loveliest village and features some of the best waterside scenic views. Cafes, galleries, and local shops are scattered throughout the village. You could also visit St. Ives, which is a hidden-gem that only the locals really know about. It features excellent surf beaches, like Porthmeor, an exciting art scene, and the historic St. Senara’s Church that was built in the 12th century. Another village to visit is Portloe, a small fishing town located in the Roseland Peninsula. Portloe is so beautiful, it looks like a postcard in real life. It’s known for its stunning aquamarine cove and steep valleys. These are only 3 examples of many wonderful villages that Cornwall has to offer!
The Cornish people love an excuse to celebrate, and have festivals happening in almost every month of the year. Depending on when you schedule your trip, you may be able to join in on the fun! You can find festivals in Cornwall to celebrate just about anything, from music to ale and sea shanties, but here are just a few of the local favorites:
The St. Ives September Festival has happened annually since 1978, and features 2 weeks filled with music, film, good food, exhibitions, talks, poetry, classes, guided walks, open studios, theater, and comedy shows. Alongside ticketed venues, festival goers will also find a plethora of street vendors and free, impromptu performances in clubs and pubs. Another festival to look out for is the Obby Oss, which takes place every year on May 1st. The town is dressed in extravagant decorations, there are grand processions with a multitude of performers, and the historic maypole dance takes place. Lastly, you may want to plan a visit during the Newlyn Fish Festival, which is Cornwall’s annual celebration of the ocean. It takes place every August, and in addition to eating delicious seafood, guests are also invited to enjoy live music, arts and crafts, lugger racing, open boats, cooking demonstrations, and more!
Cornwall is home to more artists than anywhere else in the country, aside from maybe London. In order to see the amazing art created in this region, we highly recommend planning a trip to the Tate St. Ives Art Gallery, which exhibits work from modern British artists who are local to the area. We also suggest a stop at the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, where you will enjoy modern art installations and exotic plants that overlook panoramic views of a beautiful bay. Many villages in Cornwall also feature one-of-a-kind art in local shops, and there are several other galleries that are worth checking out.
Just in case we haven’t mentioned it enough, Cornwall is truly one of the most beautiful places you can visit. There is something gorgeous waiting for you around every corner, and even the most experienced traveller will still be surprised by finding new coves or views they hadn’t yet stumbled across. You must pay a visit to the exotic paradises of Trebah and Glendurgan, which each feature their own secluded beach.
In addition to stunning coastal views, Cornwall’s balmy client allows it to grow sub-tropical gardens that will truly take your breath away. It is also home to the world’s largest greenhouses at The Eden Project, which is a famous botanical garden. You can also spend a day getting lost under the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which is known for its ancient canopies and topiaries, and jungle like environment where you can walk on bridges through the vast greenery.
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