For those embarking on a staycation in the UK this summer, arguably the brightest jewel in the whole union’s crown lies its south westernmost tip. Yep, Cornwall offers all the benefits of an overseas holiday without needing to step on a plane; it comes as no surprise it’s the most popular destination for islanders not wishing to leave it. Boasting mediterranean like weather in the summer, its own language (Kernowek) and no shortage of stunning sights, Cornwall offers holidaymakers the exoticism of a faraway land right on their own doorstep. So whether you’re slumming it in a tent, living it up in a stunning chalets, or renting a cute, quaint cottage, finding a self-catered holiday rental with a company such as Cherished Holiday Homes is the easy part. The hard one? With so much to see and do, it’s narrowing down your itinerary to a manageable size. Well, we’re here to help, with these; our 10 IDEAL gems to discover in Cornwall this summer.
The Eden Project is breathtaking to behold, and in an age of heightened ecological awareness and concern, it’s arguably one of the most important destinations in the country right now. It’s value in the current climate can’t be overstated; an educational charity project designed to strengthen visitors’ connection to the natural world and how we can all work together for a more enlightened and sustainable future is definitely something we need right now. Nestled in a huge crater and capped by huge biomes showcasing the world’s largest captive rainforest, it’s an incredible and eye opening day out for the whole family.
The Roseland peninsula (known locally as simply The Roseland) is one of the most naturally beautiful and picturesque locales in the whole county. Found close to Truro, the peninsula offers lush countryside and postcard-perfect white cliffs, ideal for gazing into the middle distance and pondering the insignificance of it all. However, there’s much more to The Roseland than just stunning views and meditative experiences.
Adventure-hungry visitors can go diving, windsurf, water ski, snorkel in the sea, fish in the crystalline rivers and watch the beautiful local bird species soar and swoop. Summer is the perfect time to visit The Roseland, too with fetes, regattas and carnivals taking place, as well as the Tregony Heavy Horse Show in August.
THE MINACK THEATRE
Theatre buffs won’t want to miss Cornwall’s stunning open air theatre called Minack Theatre in Porthcurno. In fact, even those with a passing interest in the stage should take a look, as the venue’s setting is simply stunning. The theatre’s location is easily as breathtaking as a weekend of back to back Harold Pinter plays, perched on rocky cliffs high above the foaming Atlantic. Still, the attractions aren’t to be outdone by the locale and the theatre hosts a diverse roster of drama, live music, opera, musical theatre and stand up comedy. We don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this may be the most incredible and memorable theatrical experience you ever have.
Fans of TV’s Poldark will no doubt know the distinctive silhouette of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the famed tin coast, Botallack mine offers visitors not just stunning views but a fascinating insight into the history of this famous site. Visitors can roam around the submarine mine’s remains while they enjoy the sounds and scents of the sea; an enjoyable juxtaposition of sea and land, that’s for sure.
A famous and popular Victorian holiday destination, Kynance Cove is situated on a peninsula known as “The Lizard”. While, unfortunately, there are no lizards to be found at Kynance Cove, there’s still a host of other wonderful wildlife including the newly returned Cornish chough and the rare Porter’s rustic moth. Maintained by the National Trust, Kynance Cove is a stunning nature reserve with glorious beaches and stunning coastal walks and perfect encapsulates the best of Cornish natural wonder.
A stunning expanse of granite moorland, the famous Bodmin Moor has a historical significance that goes back thousands of years. The natural tors were early ceremonial sites throughout the Neolithic era and the site is home to the megalithic enclosure known as King Arthur’s Hall. Speaking of Arthurian legend, nearby Dozmary Pool is believed by many to be the by the lake in which Sir Bedivere threw the fabled Excalibur to The Lady of the Lake. Today, however, the site is used less for the exchange of pre-medieval weapons and more for dog walking, horse riding, camel trailing (not what you think) and visits to the foreboding Azkaban-esque Bodmin Jail…just watch out for the Bodmin Beast!
ST MICHAELS MOUNT
This tiny island just off the coast near Marazion offers visitors a wealth of fun things to see and do. You can approach by boat, bus or even foot via the cobbled causeway and when you get there, things can very interesting indeed. Wander around the 12th century castle, lovingly maintained since the 1600s. Or, take a stroll through the verdant sub-tropical gardens and make your way down to the village and harbour where locals will regale you with the local myths and legends while you enjoy a drink in the island cafe. Best of all, leave time for both. Bliss.
TATE ST IVES
For lovers of art all over the country and indeed the world, the Tate name needs no introduction. The Tate St Ives offers a rich trove of artistic treasures bound to appeal to culture vultures from far and wide. St Ives’ remote location may seem like a curious site for a major gallery, but the relationship between London’s iconic gallery and St Ives goes all the way back to 1980 when it took over management of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Chin strokers rejoice, this one’s for you.
LOST GARDENS OF HELIGAN
Animal lovers will jump at the chance to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan in St Austell; so-called because up until just a couple of decades ago the gardens were lost under a tangle of weeds. Today, Heligan’s gardens are lost no more, with 200 acres of productive and pleasure gardens which not only source exotic glasshouse fruits (including the famous pineapples) but are also home to diverse wildlife including badgers, robins, rabbits, squirrels kingfishers and wildfowl.
THE CAMEL ESTUARY
The Camel Estuary may be, sadly, free of actual camels but is one of the most breathtaking areas of the county and a great entry to round off our list. One of only two inland sections of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the camel trail cycle path is hugely popular with all ages, and the scenic gentle bike ride between Padstow and Wadbridge is a succinct way to get some fresh air in your lungs, wind in your sails and of course, an opportunity to take in some views. Take a walk by the estuary at low tide and you’ll find the saltlands teeming with birds.