Welcome to ‘Traveller Stories’, where we’ll be sharing a whole host of experiences from amazing locations you can visit through holidaylettings.co.uk. During the summer, Lucia Freyre and her boyfriend went on a road trip to Cornwall.
When August bank holiday came around this year, me, my boyfriend and plenty of other explorers, headed South West to visit the bountiful treasures of Cornwall.
Having never been to the county before, I wanted to make an effort to see both the popular and secluded parts to get a real feel for the area. In order to do so, however, we knew it was important to plan the 4-5 hour drive from Oxfordshire properly.
Firstly, we made sure to pass by Cheddar in Somerset. On the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, you can take the B road to drive through Cheddar Gorge, the largest gorge in the UK and home to a series of cave complexes. The rock faces are spectacularly tall and many rock climbers scaled the cliffs around us as we got to the nearby village, a decent pit-stop for your journey to Cornwall.
Two hours further on and the first stop in Cornwall was Truro. The only city in the county has a skyline dominated by its cathedral, an impressive gothic-revival building. We lunched here before moving on to our base for the long weekend, Falmouth.
Falmouth’s harbour is beautiful with the river estuary full of sailing and fishing boats, but beware of limited parking. You might find you have to park early and walk up hill to the port town centre. Boutique shops and independent eateries awaited us amidst the Georgian townhouses of Falmouth which made for a very pleasant stroll indeed.
The following day we set off past Lizard Point and along Mount’s Bay to our first port of call, St. Michael’s Mount. A small tidal island managed by the National Trust, it’s connected to the town of Marazion by a causeway so be sure to consult the tidal times if you want to follow in the footsteps of the many pilgrims before you! Don’t worry if you get caught out though – passenger boats operate to and from the island for a small fee.
Ticket prices apply to enter the hilltop castle on the island but it’s well worth a visit for its long military history and outstanding character which you can navigate at your own leisure.
Next along the bay was Penzance, a decent place to rest and eat with an interesting mix of historic and contemporary buildings. Though, we quickly got back on the road to the commercialised Land’s End. You’re greeted by a large tourist centre where you can nab a pasty and watch a rather interesting exhibition about the traversal of the whole length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John o’Groats in Scotland. Again, ticket prices apply but it’s alright because the cliff views and fresh air have got you covered.
From there we continued along the coast to St. Ives, a quaint seaside town that boasts some long stretches of beach, narrow streets and many steep, awkward car parks (not for the faint-hearted). Also, along the harbour, be careful of the gulls with any of your hot food!
On bank holiday Monday we aimed to drive back to Oxford while stopping off at some important sites along the way. We set off early and quickly visited Newquay to stroll along one of its beaches in a rocky cove, with a hot coffee and pastry. Then it was on to Tintagel.
We really wanted to visit Tintagel Castle and take in the dramatic coastal views in such legendary surroundings. You have to pay to get in, but we easily spent three hours immersing ourselves in the history, myths and stunning scenery.
It was a long haul back to Oxfordshire from that point, especially with the typical bank holiday traffic, but Cornwall’s coastal beauty and history is undeniable and worth the extra time and effort to reach it. Cornwall is UK travelling at its finest.