UK Destination of the Month: Cornwall
Where to eat...
Food is a huge draw in Cornwall thanks to the area’s rich culinary heritage and you could easily spend your entire holiday sampling plate upon plate of delicious food. First on your list should be the traditional pasty; pastry filled with steak, swede, potatoes and onions which kept the region’s tin miners on their feet. Debate rages over the best place to buy your pasties from but it’s safe to say I’ve never tasted one which didn’t pass muster and I’ve sampled many! Pick up a pasty, some Cornish Yarg (a distinctive cow’s milk cheese) and some local apple juice for the perfect picnic lunch.
The Cornish are also fiercely proud of their clotted cream which has been made in the region for well over 100 years. It’s delicious spread onto a just baked scone with strawberry jam for an afternoon treat which you’ll find at tearooms across the county. There’s plenty of friendly banter with neighbouring Devon about ownership of clotted cream and the precise way to enjoy a cream tea; either way it’s delicious!
Foodies will also be keen to try out some of Cornwall’s more unusual regional dishes like Stargazey Pie, a fish pie originally baked to celebrate the village of Mousehole being saved from starvation. Another local favourite are saffron buns, a spiced and fruited bread, which were first made long before the Romans reached British shores and remain popular today.
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a special meal, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Cornwall as the area is now home to several famous chefs. Nathan Outlaw’s twice Michelin-starred restaurant in Rock marries wonderful food with a picturesque setting while Jamie Oliver’s 15 in Watergate Bay is great for fresh tasting food with a cool vibe. If you’re holidaying in Padstow you won’t be able to miss the unmistakeable influence of Rick Stein who has both a fish and chip shop and restaurant in this seaside town dubbed ‘Padstein’ by locals. Unsurprisingly, seafood is a particular hit with River Fowey mussels, local shellfish and mackerel boat to plate in a matter of hours.
Where to stay...
When it comes to finding holiday accommodation in Cornwall, there is a wealth of possibilities catering to all tastes and budgets. A self-catering holiday cottage is probably your best bet as it gives you freedom and flexibility to explore the region and sample delicious food.
Sykes Cottages have a wonderful selection of cottages in Cornwall from traditional cosy cottages ideal for a romantic escape to large converted barns set in rolling countryside with views of the sea. Some of cottages even have a swimming pool or games room to make your holiday in Cornwall even more special. Many of our cottages also welcome pets so the whole family can look forward to a break in Cornwall; walkies on the beach will no longer feel like a chore! Visit the Sykes Holiday Cottages website Cornwall page to view the great range of holiday cottages in Cornwall and start planning your next holiday. Get a feel for the cottage before you arrive with photographs of all our Cornwall cottages and reviews from previous guests on the website.
What to do...
Cornwall is world famous for watersports and those new to surfing or looking for a challenge should head to Newquay. Fistral beach with its year-round mild temperatures and great Atlantic swell is prime territory for water babies. If you’d rather stay on dry land, Cornwall has plenty of beaches for sunbathing and sandcastle building; try the beaches at Looe or Sennen Cove.
Nature lovers will also have plenty to do during a holiday in Cornwall. Visit the ever-popular Eden Project and wander through the tropical and Mediterranean biomes home to the largest rainforest in captivity. A walk along the coastal path is the best opportunity to see native whales, dolphins and seals as well as offering panoramic views along the coast. Watch the seasons change on The Lizard when native birds begin migrating south replaced with those seeking refuge from chilly arctic winters.
There is also plenty of history to discover in Cornwall from the region’s rich mining heritage around Redruth where you can take part in an underground mine tour to myth and legend on Bodmin Moor. Track the famous Bodmin Beast, visit Dozmary Pool where legend has it King Arthur’s Excalibur rose from the water or learn about witchcraft at Jamaica Inn. The iconic St Michael’s Mount which lies in Mount’s Bay just off Maraizon with its 12th century buildings is a great day out as is the grand country house at Lanhydrock.
Unusual things to do...
For a real taste of life in Victorian Cornwall, make your way to the Courtroom Experience in the old County Courts in Bodmin. The experience recreates the trial of Matthew Weeks, a local man arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Charlotte Dymond, whose body was found on Bodmin Moor. Take your place as a member of the jury and decide whether he is innocent or guilty once you’ve seen all the evidence and then set foot in the spooky holding cells. Take a walk across Bodmin Moor to see the memorial in her honour not far from Roughtor ford.
Chapel Porth beach near St Agnes is the venue for the World Bellyboarding Championships which take place every September. All you’ll need to take part is a wooden surfboard and a swimming costume and there’s not a single wetsuit in sight. Bellyboarders from across the world come to Chapel Porth to compete with judges marking competitors on style, enjoyment and length of ride. Watching from the beach is just as much fun as watching more than 200 hardy souls as old as 90 trying to catch a wave or two.