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Cornwall Road Trip - Laura Jones
Cornwall Road Trip - Laura Jones
Posted at: 10:00am , 13 Aug 2020 By James Eacott

Cornwall Road Trip - Laura Jones

A Road Trip Around Cornwall, by Laura Jones

We had a weeks leave in September 2019 and decided to see a little more of England. I am very much a planner, however my fiance decided that we would go for a more 'spontaneous' road trip around Cornwall's coast. We packed the car up including a tent and set off from Bristol. We did break the journey up with a night spent with family in Exeter. The following morning we set off, driving through Dartmoor national Park, stopping for sheep and we were lucky enough to have to stop for a huge highland cow to cross the winding road as well as watching the wild horses. We stopped at Looe a small coastal town and fishing port to stretch our legs. If you spent more time here, there are various attractions such a monkey Sanctuary, Looe Island a lovely walk from Looe to Polperro and plenty of beautiful beaches.  From here we drove approximately an hour and a half to Falmouth for a night.

We really enjoyed Falmouth, a large bustling coastal town with plenty of shops, restaurants, beaches, gardens and a large harbour. In fact this is the third largest natural harbour in the world and the deepest in Europe. We climbed Jacob's ladder, a set of over 100 granite steps from the main square up to the top where you have views over Falmouth and visited Pendennis Castle. Pendennis castle was built by Henry VIII to defend the harbour and is paired with St Mawes castle which sits on the opposite headland (a 20 minute ferry ride away). I would recommend visiting Pendennis Castle early morning as it is quiet at this time. The national Maritime Museum is well reviewed so this would be worthy of a visit, if of interest. We both said, if we had more time, we would have liked to have spent more than one night here. 

From Falmouth we drove 50 minutes to Lizard, a peninsula in Southern Cornwall which lies within Cornwall's area of outstanding natural beauty. We parked for free in Lizard village and took the footpath (15 minutes walk) to Lizard point with a Cornish pasty in hand. There was a car park at the point, managed by the National Trust, however the road appeared narrow and busy, so i'd recommend the walk. Lizard Point is the most Southerly tip of mainland  Britain and offers views and coastal walks. There is a cafe near the point with a great outdoor seating area. I recommend a visit to Kynance Cove, a tidal beach with beautiful white sand and rock stacks. If you really squinted and the sun was really hot, there was a slight resemblance to Thailand. Take good shoes to walk here and keep an eye on the tides! We drove to Kynance Cove, however if you are up for the walk, you can take the South West coastal path from Lizard point.

Mousehole

An hours drive later and we were in Mousehole, a picturesque small fishing village, which feels as if you have stepped back in time. The village is small with narrow streets so parking can be a little tricky. We did manage to pay for parking right on the harbour, although i have read since that you can park on the outskirts and walk in. We walked around the charming village and sat watching the locals at the harbour. We had arrived a little late, by which time the shops had mostly closed. I think a couple of hours or a day is sufficient. Being 'spontaneous' we couldn't find any where to stay for the night in Mousehole itself, so we spent a night at a bed and breakfast on a working farm in the countryside, before travelling to Porthcurno the next morning.

We parked in Porthcurno, located in West Cornwall and walked the cliff walk to the Minack Theatre. The walk alone is worth it for the panoramic views over Porthcurno bay and beautiful beach. We got chatting to a another walker who commented on how nice the beach is. Scenes from Poldark have also been filmed there, unfortunately I did not see Aidan Turner. The Minack Theatre is a must see, an open-air theatre constructed in the cliff side, jutting over the Atlantic. You can visit the Rowena Cade visitor centre to learn about the story of how a young girl built the theatre herself, relax in the cafe overlooking the theatre as well as walk through the sub tropical gardens which are well maintained. We enjoyed the setting so much, that we enquired about the live performance that evening, and were lucky enough to buy tickets. That evening we drove back to watch Stones in his Pockets. We wrapped up warm, took a blanket to sit on (as you are sat on grassed/walls and a picnic and watched the performance, with the lighting and the waves crashing over the rocks in the background. This had to be my overall highlight. 

Porthcurno Beach

That afternoon we visited Sennen Cove where we had booked a campsite North of here, we decided to walk roughly 45 minutes to Sennen Cove from the campsite along countryside lanes and coastal paths. Sennen Beach has a wide stretch of golden sands (when the tide is out) with surfers and a nice atmosphere along the sea front with places to eat and drink, as well as the lifeboat station. The beach car park is often very busy so its best to park at the top and walk down. We continued to walk around 20 minutes from Sennen Cove to Lands End a beautiful moderate walk along the cliff tops and had a well deserved cream tea here and the obligatory photo at the lands end landmark. 

Our campsite over looked Gwynver Beach, a beach which is only accessible by foot and therefore really quiet. We had woken early and walked here with croissants and deck chairs for breakfast and we were the only people on the beach, until a couple of brave locals came for a morning swim. This was our last day, after packing up the tent, we drove to St Ives, this stretch of road (the B3306) is known to be one of the most scenic drives in Cornwall, with views across the Cornish Coast. I certainly enjoyed this more than some of the other narrow country lanes we had travelled on so far.

Minack Theatre

St Ives is a bustling seaside town and fishing harbour, well known for surfing and its art scene. There are many independant shops, galleries, cobbled streets, colourful cottages and you will be spoilt for choice for places to eat with an ubundance of cafes restaurants and bars. There are four main beaches within walking distance from the town, Porthmeor beach being a favourite. St Ives would definitely be worthy of staying for a couple of nights if you have the time. As we only had a few hours, we mooched around the shops, had a bite to eat and an ice cream - watch out for the sea gulls!  

To end our trip and satisfy driving 'around' Cornwall, we drove 1 and a half hours to Port Isaac, a small fishing village in North Cornwall. Port Isaac is known for being the home of the tv series Doc Martin and you can see several filming points such as Docs house. You park on the edge of the village and walk down to the village and harbourside itself which is quaint and picturesque. There is not lots to do here, but worth a stop-off and photo opportunity. When the tide is out, a sandy area is revealed, however this wouldn't be the place to stay if you are looking for a beach holiday. 

We hope you enjoyed that account of Laura's travels around Cornwall. If you would like us to arrange a similar itinerary - whether multi-stop or single-destination, we know the region very well. So don't hesitate to contact us.

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