Picturesque cliffside views, turquoise coloured ocean that looks as though it’s been photoshopped, charming cottages, narrow dirt roads framed by willow trees that make it feel as though you are about to enter Narnia at any given moment in time, this is Cornwall.
My fascination for Cornwall first began when I started reading the Poldark series by Winston Graham, later adapted into a PBS Masterpiece series (yes, the show is literally a masterpiece).
Even if you are very unfamiliar with Cornwall, I would highly suggest a road trip to the Cornish countryside during your visit to the U.K. The drive in and of itself is worth your time (though, for Americans, do remember that the Brits drive on the opposite side of the road and as though that isn’t enough, the steering wheels in Europe are located in the place that we better know as “the passenger seat.”)
It makes for quite the adventure, but you are certain to have a story or two to tell your children one day, especially when the GPS dies and you have to get around Cornwall with nothing but an old-school map (true story).
We rented a car from London Heathrow and spent two nights in Cornwall, one night in Port Isaac(near Bodmin Moor) and the other night near St.Ives. The drive is only four hours to Bodmin from London, but do remember that once you are in Cornwall, the roads are so narrow(so much so to where a two-way car lane looks more like a two-way bike lane), so it does take time getting from town to town.
Since my travelling partner and I are fans of Poldark, there were quite a few film locations that we were hoping to see. We spent our first evening in Cornwall by visiting the Botallack Mine. Though no longer a functional mine, Botallack worked from 1815-1914 producing 22,465 tons Copper. It is an absolutely amazing place to see and learn about how tin and copper mining was the economic engine to the people of Cornwall.
To end the night with a true Cornish experience, we ate at a pub in Port Isaac called The Ship Inn. Built in the 1600s, and recommended by our Air BnB host, this truly made us feel as though we were characters in one of Winston Graham’s novels.
While walks along the cliffs are absolutely breathtaking, Cornwall is notorious for its extremity in weather patterns. There were quite a few times at different locations where one moment we were basking in the sun and the next we were trying to find shelter as a torrential rain and icy cold winds got a hold of the land. If anything, it gave us a greater appreciation for the film crew and cast of Poldark.
The next day, we visited the town of Bodmin and learned more about the history of Cornwall by visiting the Lanhydrock’s National Trust. A visit to this Victorian country estate was another highlight of our trip to England! Not to mention, tea and scones in the gardens, right before a light rain greeted the greenest countryside, was a delightful treat.
For dinner, we enjoyed Fish n’Chips in the quaint fishing town of St.Ives, another fun town with a lot of character and charm.
On our last day in Cornwall, we explored Porthgwarra Cove, another famous filming location in the Poldark series. For breakfast, we had Cornish pasties and tea from The Porthgwarra Cove Cafe. In several of his interviews, this lovely cafe has been mentioned by Aidan Turner(the actor who plays Ross Poldark). During the filming of the series, the staff at The Cove Cafe provided pasties and tea for the entire film crew, and echoing Turner’s sentiments, it did not disappoint!
For the end of our journey to Cornwall, we took a trip to Penzance (known as Nampara Cove in Poldark), and toured the Minack Theatre, an open-air theatre that overlooks Porthcurno Bay. It is the most unique theatre that I have ever visited and if I am ever back in Cornwall, I would love to stay for a theatrical production at dusk.
All in all, we were so happy to have made the road trip to Cornwall. Three days was a perfect time to see a lot of Cornwall, though one could definitely stay for much longer, for there are so many charming towns to get lost in. I hope you are inspired to visit what many say is the most beautiful region of England. Until next time friends, cheers!