If you are planning a summer holiday in the UK, why not consider Cornwall? Cornwall is outside the radar for most international travellers. Compared to the likes of London, Bath, Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh and Lake District, Cornwall provides a different experience with its splendour cliffs, turquoise waters and picturesque towns and villages. There are few better places in the world to spend a summer’s day than Cornwall. Already popular with local tourists from all over the UK, there are many restaurant and bar options at affordable prices.
Cornwall is accessible by train from London. The Great Western Railway provides night sleeper service which is often fully booked during the summer. The direct train takes 8 hours to get to Penzance. The small seaport town is a good base to get around Cornwall. To travel around Cornwall, bus service is reasonably reliable and different ticket options are available.
Most of the activities in Cornwall are outdoor and checking the weather forecast is a must!
A day trip to Logan Rock, Porthcurno Beach, The Minack Theatre and Telegraph Museum
Logan Rock, Portcurno Beach and The Minack Theatre are connected by a coastal path. The walking trail is next to the rocky cliff and offers magnificent view of the sea. On sunny days, the waters turn turquoise and the rhythmic sound of waves offer a therapeutic indulgence.
If you drive, there is a large carpark bay near to Logan Rock Inn. The bus can also stops at Logan Rock Inn. Get on the foot and follow the sign to get to the coastal path.
Logan Rock is a rocking rock, finely balanced due to the actions of weathering. History has it that a small force is enough to move the 80 tonnes granite rock but unfortunately it was dislodged by a group of British seamen in 1824. The local residents were angry as the Logan Rock had become a tourist attraction and source of income. The seamen were forced to restore it at their expense. Today the Rock still rocks but with much less ease than it did in the past.
Just 30 mins walk away is the Porthcurno Beach. The large sandy beach is accessible via a winding trail from the coastal path. During low tide around noon, the gorgeous beach reveals fine soft sands washed in by the sea. The beach is a paradise for families and expect a large crowd on a hot summer day.
And another short walk away, you will find the world famous Minack Theatre. The open-air theatre is carved into the granite cliff and set in glorious gardens overlooking the spectacular panorama of Portcurno Bay. The theatre also tells an incredible story of a lady, Rowena Wade who built the theatre with her faithful gardener about 80 years ago. The theatre operates from May to September presenting drama, musicals and opera and tickets are often sold out way in advance.
If time permits, the fascinating Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is a short walk from the Minack Theatre. It tells the story of Cornwall’s role in the pioneering days of global communications is located next to the main car park and bus stop.
A day trip in and around St Ives
St Ives is accessible by bus or train from Penzance. The travel time is approximately 30 mins. The town centre has limited parking space and driving into the town is not encouraged.
St Ives is a picturesque town which is used to be an important fishing port. As fishing activities decline, the town has transformed into a popular tourist hotspot. This is the place to go if you like to indulge in good food and drinks. The main street offers a wide range of restaurants and bars and set in with a beautiful view of the harbour and the dreamy Lighthouse. Behind the main street is the old St Ives, characterised by a maze of narrow cobbled streets and old fishermen’s cottages.
The town is blessed with beautiful golden beaches and lush green vegetation – an oasis for families. The beaches draw enthusiastic surfers and kayakers on a sunny breezy day.
The walking trail that starts from the Beach Road at the west end of the town offers an amazing walking experience – one of the best I ever had. The trail starts with a well paved path and turns rugged as you get further away from the town. Imagine this, walking with a view of blue green waters, rustling sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean on a bright sunny day – this is a heavenly experience! Make the turn back any time you are satisfied.
A day in Penzance and St Michael Mount
After days of walking on the cliffs and relaxing at the beaches, perhaps it is a good idea to start the day slowly walking in Penzance. Most parts of the town is under conservation to preserve the historical buildings that are built hundreds of years ago. The Market Jew street has a wide range of shops and cafés, a perfect place to get some souvenirs for friends and family.
St Michael Mount is 20 mins bus ride away from Penzance bus station. A stunning castle was built on the tidal island. It has a long history that dated back to era of Norman conquest in 1066 when it came into procession of the monks of its sister isle, Mont St Michel in Normandy.
The island was occupied by St Aubyn family for four centuries and the family has given St Michael’s Mount to the National Trust, under an unique arrangement whereby the family have a 999 year lease to live in the castle and a licence to operate the visitor business.
One of the highlights of the visit to St Michael Mount is the walk on the cobbled path connecting St Michael Mount and the beach. The path disappears under the water during high tide in the afternoon. When the water is at knee level, it is still possible to cross over to the other side but any deeper, it will be dangerous and a boat service is available.