If you think that there are no incredible beaches in England, you should definitely visit Cornwall. Located in the south west of the country, it is known for having the most beautiful coastline in the whole United Kingdom. The county was bucket list material for a while, so my boyfriend and I decided to spend our Easter holidays there. We took a flight from London to Newquay early in the morning and landed at around 11am.
The first thing we did when arriving was getting the car we rented online, on Avis. We could then start our exciting road trip! We decided not to spend time in Newquay because my boyfriend is not fussed about it. He said that there are better places to see in Cornwall, so I let him make our whole itinerary. Our first stop was St Ives, which is about 40 minutes away from Newquay. We were lucky as it was such a beautiful sunny day! We parked the car and walked around the charming centre for a while. I then had my first Cornish pasty. For those who never heard about it, it’s a delicious baked pastry filled with beef, onion, potato and swede, seasoned with salt and pepper. When in Cornwall, you should definitely try it!
For dessert, we headed to Moomaid Of Zennor, known as one of the best ice cream shops in Cornwall. It is possible to find their products all over the county, but they only have 2 ice cream parlours in St Ives and Porthtowan. Do not miss it! I tried two different flavours, pistachio and shipwreck (dulce de leche, honeycomb and sea salt), and they were both delicious. Here you can check all the ice cream flavours they have.
After having ice cream, we went for a walk around Porthminster Beach and then sat there for a while to enjoy the sun. I wish it was hot so I could tan and swim a little bit, but it was actually really cold. Well, now I guess I have an excuse to go back in summertime haha!
Before going to Carbis Bay, where our accommodation was, we stopped in a café to have a cream tea, which consists of tea and scones with clotted cream and jam. A proper British experience!
Then, it was finally time to check in the amazing Airbnb we rented. I must say the place really surprised me! It was a super cosy annexe that was part of a local family’s house. We had our own separate entrance! On the bottom floor, there was a dining table, a wardrobe, a bathroom and, of course, the staircase taking to the bedroom, which was on the first floor. The decoration was really nice, as well as the windows on the ceiling. I wish I had a beach house like that! As we were really tired from the trip, we decided to take an afternoon nap before going for dinner. We ended our first day on a local pub, having delicious food and a couple of shandies.
On day 2, early in the morning, we drove to Marazion, where we had breakfast. We got a table at the beachside inn Godolphin Arms, with an incredible view of the island fortress of St Michael’s Mount. Not bad, huh?
After having food, we walked to St Michael’s Mount. It was super windy on that day, but it was cool anyway! As it is a tidal island, you can only walk the cobbled causeway when the tide is low. If it is high, the only way to reach the place is by boat. However, all visits depend on weather and sea conditions, so make sure you plan yours. Here you can check the prices and the opening hours of St Michael’s Mount and its castle. It is closed on Saturdays!
Our next stop was the Minack Theatre. my favourite attraction. It is one of the most famous open-air theatres in the world, perched on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean. It was created by Rowena Cade, who wanted to build a place for local drama enthusiasts to perform Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Since 1932, there are musicals, drama and other performances going on there, usually from May to September. In the exhibition centre, you can learn more about the history of the theatre.
What makes the theatre even more incredible is the fact that it’s located at Porthcurno Beach, the most beautiful beach I saw in Cornwall. The white sand is washed by a turquoise sea that is simply stunning! Once again, I wished it was summer so I could enjoy the beach and swim on those waters.
After visiting the Minack Theatre, we drove to Trebah Garden in Falmouth. It is rated among the 80 finest gardens in the world and it is great for kids. The day we went, they were organising an egg hunt for the small ones, as it was an Easter holiday. The 25 acre sub-tropical garden descends to its own beach, which makes it even nicer.
After such a busy day, it was time to drive to our hotel, check in and leave our luggage. We booked The Lerryn Hotel, in Falmouth, for a night and it was absolutely great! We then went for a walk around the town centre. As all shops were closed because of the holiday, we stopped for a coffee somewhere. We tried to book a nice restaurant for dinner, but everything was booked up. I think we tried a table at least 5 restaurants, until we ended up in a pub. I didn’t expect Falmouth to be so packed and that’s why I didn’t think about booking any restaurant. Oh, well…
On the next day, we packed our stuff to move to another town: Padstow. But before, we enjoyed the delicious breakfast that was included in our hotel rate. So yummy! Unfortunately, the day was so rainy that we couldn’t really do much, as we basically needed to stay inside the whole time. The only thing we could actually do in Padstow was walking along the River Camel before it started raining. Then, as the weather got worse, we decided to just sit in a café and wait until lunch time.
Padstow is famous for being the hometown of the English Chef Rick Stein, who has cooked for famous people like The Queen and Prince Philip, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher. He owes many restaurants around Cornwall and we decided to make lunch reservations at St Petroc’s Bistro. Even though Rick’s specialty is seafood, the restaurant also offers meat dishes, for example. I had mussels and fish, but my boyfriends hates shellfish, so we ordered the steak. For dessert, we shared my favourite: sticky toffee pudding.
After lunch, it was raining so much that we just drove around Rock, a coastal fishing village that is opposite to Padstow. It is like the Saint-Tropez of Cornwall, as it attracts rich and famous people during summertime. Not much to see there, though…
The weather was awful, so we just drove to Port Isaac, where our accommodation was. We stayed at the Terrace Tea Rooms, a nice bed & breakfast that we booked on Airbnb. It offers a traditional tea room downstairs and 3 ensuite rooms upstairs. Bev, the host, was super welcoming!
On our last day, before driving back to London, we stopped at Tintagel Castle, on the North Cornwall coast. It is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur and it also features in the tale of Tristan and Isolde. The medieval castle offers dramatic views of the Celtic Sea. Amazing!
Cornwall is incredible! I really hope to go back soon!