Thursday, 10 September 2015

6 Cornish Towns in 15 Hours

Travelling is quite a massive part of my life, I work hard but I try and make sure that I make time to enjoy life aswell. I've been wanting to do Cornwall for a while now, I've heard lots of people rave about how beautiful it is and the weather is often far better than what we get up north. A couple of days sounds a bit mental considering that it's a 6 hour drive on a good day but when you're so desperate to get away it matters less.

Setting off at 12.30am on Tuesday morning to get a good run down to St. Austell (which was the base for the couple of days) it took 6 hours 5 minutes to arrive at the Premier Inn. I quickly grabbed some breakfast and had an hours snooze in the car before I set off on my travels at 9.30am. This is where it became a bit of a whirlwind.

First stop was Newquay and the beautiful Fistral Beach




It's true what they say, Cornish beaches really are stunningly beautiful. Fistral Beach is a surfers haven with up to 4ft waves perfect for riding (not so much on the day we visited, it was pretty calm). I couldn't believe how clear the water was, it was honestly like being somewhere in the Mediterranean. I can totally understand why this gets so busy on a hot summers day. Thankfully it was quiet when we visited probably because it was still fairly early in the day and most of the kids had gone back to school. I expected Newquay to be very commercialised but I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely want to spend more time here.

Next we moved onto one of the places on my travel bucket list; Land's End







If you ignore the massive commercialisation of Land's End, (and it is very commercialised, presumably because it's actually privately owned) the views out to see are quite breath taking and to think that directly across sea the next bit of land you'd hit would probably be America is quite fascinating. There is a way to escape the commercial aspect of Land's End; you could do a coastal walk but I just took the obligatory photo of the sign and pressed on.

I did consider going to the Minack Theatre but when I saw the massive walk up there I decided to give it a miss as the only real reason I would be there would be to take a photo and move on.

Next stop: a rather cloudy St Michael's Mount


When the tide is low you can actually walk over to the island but as you can see the tide was pretty high so I looked and took a photo from afar. I did grab a quick overpriced drink from the little shop there but moved swiftly on to my next destination which was St. Ives.







You could easily spend at least half a day in this lovely little picturesque town. With it's narrow streets it's not advisable to take cars down there so I parked at the leisure centre and took advantage of the £1 shuttle bus there and back; after seeing how steep it was I realised it was the best couple of quid I'd spend in a long time!

The harbour is beautiful and the streets are full of quirky little shops, restaurants and obviously pasty bakeries. I may have partaken in a Cornish pasty or two, be rude not to wouldn't it?! When the sea is right you can hire your own boat and take a little trip around the harbour or you could hire a deckchair and soak up the sun on the bit of beach.

St. Ives marked the last place I would visit on my first day and I finally checked into the hotel at around 5.30pm, had some tea and got some much needed sleep.

I woke up the next morning and decided to take it a little bit easier; Port Isaac was my first calling place, the home of Doc Martin.






Port Isaac was a beautifully quaint little place, again with very steep, narrow roads which you had to walk down. You can jump on a bus to take you around the Doc Martin sights or you can grab a freshly dressed crabs from one of the popular little seafood shops. I found Port Issac really beautiful and you can take another short coast walk where there's some stunning views out to see.



My final call of the day and indeed the break was Padstow. Slapped quite hard by the hand of Rick Stein, it's another commercialised little town which is very popular with tourists desperate to get a taste of what they think is Rick Stein's handy work either from his Fish & Chip restaurant/takeaway, posh seafood restaurant or little patisserie. I gave all three a miss, settled for a quick coastal photo and a short walk around the Lobster Hatchery and headed back to the hotel for some food and a well earned rest.

After realising that I wouldn't get in anywhere for tea I decided that another nights stay in St. Austell wouldn't be very productive so I set off homeward bound at 8.45pm to try and ensure another clear run home; I was home in my own bed for 2.30am which was absolutely heavenly.

I really, really enjoyed the few days away and I've found some places that we'll definitely visit again (Newquay, St. Ives and Port Isaac) and some that I'll probably never see again but I can safely say that even though I crammed a lot in in a short space of time I loved every minute and it was just what I needed.

Where are your favourite places in Cornwall?

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