Cornwall Holiday Guide: An Introduction To Cornwall
Located at the tip of a peninsula in England’s most south-western corner, the ancient county of Cornwall enjoys a temperate, if changeable, climate all year round and sees more sunshine than almost anywhere else in Great Britain. Breathtakingly beautiful, Cornwall proudly boasts the longest coastline of any British county and the quaint Cornish charming fishing villages that contributed to this important local industry have lost none of their original charm. But the secluded bays and hidden inlets along Cornwall’s stunning shores have another exciting story to tell; that of Cornwall’s eighteenth-century smugglers and ship wreckers. Their exploits were the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s famous novel Jamaica Inn. A notorious haunt of smugglers, this historic – and reputedly haunted – coaching inn is still hugely popular with visitors to Cornwall today.
Now free from smugglers and shipwrecks, Cornwall’s sweeping beaches are a hotspot for surfers thanks to the rolls and swells of the Atlantic Ocean which provides some of the best surfing conditions in Europe. Non-surfers will find Cornwall’s pristine beaches equally enjoyable. The wilder, northern coast of Cornwall with its fine golden sands is overlooked by spectacular cliffs offering plentiful coastal paths to explore, each rich with a diversity of wild flora and fauna and offering stunning views of the Cornish coastline. Cornwall’s more sheltered southern beaches, which form an area popularly referred to as the ‘Cornish Riviera’, are mostly fine shingle. Here, wide river estuaries provide safe harbours for boats with the result that popular fishing and cargo ports such as Polperro and Falmouth have grown around them.
Away from the coast Cornwall enjoys rugged open countryside, dotted with historic market towns and picturesque villages. Many of these towns are legacies of Cornwall’s former industry of tin mining, and the county’s mining landscape is now a designated World Heritage Site, offering a host of fascinating activities and experiences which help to demonstrate how Cornwall’s tin mining activities changed the modern world.
Cornwall’s wild and romantic landscape can be enjoyed nowhere better than Bodmin Moor. This vast granite moorland, home to Cornwall’s two highest peaks, is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Perfect walking country, Bodmin Moor is steeped in Cornish legend; here, for example, you’ll find Dozmary Pool – the lake in which King Arthur’s sword Excalibur is said to reside. In fact, Bodmin Moore is rich in history with Bronze Age settlements, medieval bridges, churches and holy wells all awaiting your discovery.