I’ve visited Cornwall ever since I was a little girl. We used to go there often for family holidays, staying in caravans and enjoying everything about this lovely part of the world. I still remember the campsite mascots – Sid and Lizzie (my idol!); the talent competitions where me, Matt and Natalie sang a song about vegetables (Cauliflowers fluffy, and cabbages green…); the time Matt and I dressed up as a coal miner and a Welsh girl; the copious amounts of Cornish pasties and cream teas; the big, slightly late, family Christmas dinners we would have with our aunts, uncles and cousins every Easter; and dancing late into the night while singing along to “Agadoo”. I have such fond memories of Cornwall!
It has been a while since I’ve visited the Cornish coast, so I jumped at the chance for a family mini-break for my brother’s birthday in April. We rented a beautiful, traditional stone cottage through Air BnB. If you haven’t tried Air BnB yet, I would thoroughly recommend it! We have stayed in some fantastic properties all over the UK, from Pembrokeshire to Snowdonia, and Surrey to the Cotswolds. They often have quirky features and home comforts, so they really are like a home from home!
Our little stone cottage, based in Tintagel on the North coast of Cornwall, was cosy and quaint, with a log burner and wonky walls. It was also dog-friendly, meaning that even Pepsi was able to join us and enjoy the sea air at the Cornish coast. It was the perfect base for exploring this part of Cornwall and we couldn’t wait to get out and discover more.
Our first walk was promising. We had been travelling for hours and needed to stretch our legs, so we stepped out of the door and wandered down the lane towards the coast, with Pepsi in tow. Little did we know that the route to the beach wasn’t as simple as we first thought and a nice, quick stroll to the beach was not going to happen, especially when the heavens opened. We ended up walking along the cliffs, with strong winds battering us and rain pelting into our faces, negotiating fields full of cows and clambering over slippery rocks. Looking back, we can laugh about it now, but at the time, it was a miserable, soggy trek. But at least it blew away the cobwebs and we had a warm and cosy cottage to return to!
The rest of our trip improved drastically. The weather remained windy, but when has wind ever stopped us?! We got out and did some coastal walks, admiring the beautiful, natural and rugged scenery of northern Cornwall.
We explored the unique and historic coastal villages of Tintagel and Boscastle, with their intriguing stories of witchcraft, King Arthur and magic. Tintagel has some curious wonky buildings that really don’t look like they should still be standing at all, and its castle is surrounded by legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, with Merlin’s Cave hidden in the cliffs below. We were spoilt for choice when it comes to good local food, so we ate far too many Cornish pasties and scones with jam and clotted cream while we were out and about!
Meanwhile, Boscastle is a pretty fishing village with a lovely harbour that hit the media back in 2004 when heavy rain caused catastrophic flooding. The buildings still have marks on the walls to illustrate the height of the water levels during the flood and the Visitors’ Centre shows photographs of cars being washed down to the harbour and out to sea by the torrent of water. Amongst all this, you can even delve into the history of witchcraft and magic in the World’s largest witchcraft collection.
We also spent some time visiting the fishing town of Padstow, exploring the winding streets and independent shops where Pepsi was treated to a new fashion accessory.
We couldn’t visit Padstow without pausing to enjoy Rick Stein’s famous fish and chips by the harbour. We were warned to beware of the seagulls and it was good advice… this one had his eye on my chips!
Finally, we took a trip to the seaside village of Port Isaac. We wandered along the coastal path before descending into the village and we were surprised to see a film crew based on the outskirts of the village. Little did we know that Port Isaac is in fact the location where Doc Martin is filmed! Apparently, it attracts many fans and visitors in the summer, but as we are not Doc Martin fans, it was nice to explore the picturesque village without the crowds of tourists getting in our way.
We packed a lot into our five days in Cornwall. It was such a lovely, relaxing family break and a brilliant chance to remind myself why I loved Cornwall so much as a child! The weather was up and down – sunny one minute but windy and wet the next. But that’s Great Britain for you… It didn’t stop us from having a wonderful time!