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This is why Cornwall is worth traveling to

SAS starts flying direct from Copenhagen to Newquay in Cornwall this summer. Known for having some of the most spectacular beaches in the UK, if not Europe, there are plenty of other reasons to visit this area too. Here are just a few.

The Minack. Photo: Shutterstock

Travelers come here for the culture

Backing onto the ocean, The Minack has justifiably been dubbed one of the world’s most spectacular theatres. The theatre was The brainchild of Rowena Cade, who moved to Cornwall after WWI and built a house on the grounds where it stands. A keen local amateur dramatist she came up with the idea of using the ocean as a backdrop and the first “official” production, The Tempest by Shakespeare was held in 1932. Nowadays theatre companies from all over the world put on performances her between Easter and September. Bring a picnic, a blanket and some warm clothes and prepare for an experience you’ll never forget. For gallery types, the Tate Gallery in London has become one of the city’s top tourist attractions, but perhaps less known is that it has a “little sister” in the picture-postcard Cornwall town of St Ives. Built between 1988 and 1993 on the site of an old gasworks, the Tate St Ives now receives around 210,000 visitors each year, exhibiting work by modern British artists with links to the St Ives area as well as temporary exhibitions.

The Minack

The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance, Great Britain

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English cream scone. Photo: Shuttstock

Fine dining for the foodies

Along with its beauty Cornwall has gained a huge reputation in recent years for the number of top restaurants it boats. Many of Britain’s most famous chefs run eateries all across the county, perhaps most notably TV personality and OBE, Rick Stein, who has restaurants in Padstow and Falmouth. Jamie Oliver also has a restaurant in a fine seaside location on Watergate Bay part of his “Fifteen” brand, while Paul Ainsworth, who was tutored by the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Gary Rhodes was awarded a Michelin Star in 2013 for his beautifully appointed Georgian house Paul Ainsworth at No.6. Naturally, Michelin-star eateries abound in Cornwall, but you should also take the time to try out traditional local favorites too, not least the Cornish pasty and a good old English cream tea. Don’t forget, in Cornwall you put the jam on before the cream – in Devon it’s the other way around.

The Fistral Beach in Newquay. Photo: Shutterstock

Explore the many beaches

Ask 50 locals which is the best beach in Cornwall and you may well get 50 different answers. Fistral Beach in Newquay is widely regarded by boarders to be the best surfing beach in the area, but there are plenty of others to choose from along the entire northern coast, including Gwithian, near Hayle, Perranporth and Polzeath. If you’re traveling with kids, Lusty Glaze at Newquay is not only beautiful (The Sunday Times named it Britain’s best beach in 2017), but a host of activities including surfing, abseiling and tightrope walking will keep the whole family busy. To escape the waves, head for the south coast for some stunning sandy-rocky places such as Kynance Cove, Perranporth and Porthcurno. The plethora of superb beaches is almost endless here though, but the general rule of thumb is that to avoid the crowds, go for those that are most difficult to reach. A complicated and often tiring climb up and down is normally well worth making the effort for! In this respect, Bedruthan Steps is a personal favorite.

Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach, Newquay TR7 1HY, Great Britain

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Sunset at Siblyback lake on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. Photo: Shutterstock

Take a hike

It’s tempting to think of Cornwall just as a coastal county, but keen walkers have long hailed the virtues of some of the more isolated countryside inland, not least up on the enchanting (and sometimes – in inclement weather – eerie) moorland around Bodmin, a vast expanse that reveals Cornwall at its wildest. For something more spiritual, you can try the coast to coast Celtic Way trail, will also appeal to anyone fond of history or mysticism. Following coastal paths, the hike actually links several exiting trails along its meandering 200km course that takes in stunning coastal views, cute ferry crossings and at times complete silence to help you enjoy the scenery around you.

Bodmin

Rooms with a view

Not surprisingly, with a coastline that covers the entire county, Cornwall isn’t short of hotels with magnificent sea views. For surfing fans, Fistral Beach Hotel (photo above) sits on the southern end of the beach in a wonderful elevated position overlooking the sands and sea that draw wave riders from far and wide. You can luxuriate in the bath while looking over the fantastic beach! Further up the coast towards Padstow, overlooking another wonderful beach, is the stylish Bedruthan that bills itself as “Scandinavia-meets-Cornish style” while if you really want to splurge, you could try the Carlyon Bay Hotel on the southern coast, or, for a touch of that “Downton Abbey” feeling, why not spend a night in a beachside castle? Cornwall has a few dotted along the North coast, most notably the Camelot Castle Hotel. Not only is the view splendid, but it’s also just a short walk to the legendary ruins of Tintagel Castle on a site dating back to the 4th century and inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur.

Fistral Beach Hotel

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Last edited: May 29, 2019

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