Cornwall City Breaks
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Cornwall is an English county, located on the south-western tip of Britain. It is a largely rural area with Truro being the only city. With the sea on three sides and the river Tamar on its eastern border, Cornwall developed as practically a separate nation and the Cornish people are proud of their history and cultural identity. Cornwall is a popular tourist destination due to its beaches, historic buildings and stunning scenery.
Based in an old china clay pit, three miles from St Austell, is the world-famous Eden Project. It has a number of plastic domes, which act like massive greenhouses for many exotic plants, including the world's largest indoor rainforest. An educational centre and an exhibit on sustainable living are popular with visitors.
England's most westerly point, Land's End is also the start/finish of the walk from one side of the country to the other. The Legendary Land's End theme park offers a number of attractions, including the Greeb Farm petting zoo.
One of the most photographed sites in Cornwall, St Michael's Mount is an island joined to the mainland by a tidal causeway. The 11th-century chapel, castle and its gardens are looked after by the National Trust and are well worth a visit.
One of the four Tates in the country, this art gallery in St Ives displays the works of artists with links to the local area. There are many activities here for children. Parking is free.
History and myth combine in the legendary Tintagel Castle, on the northern coast of Cornwall. Reportedly the birthplace of King Arthur, the castle was definitely built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, in the 13th century. The brave can cross from the headland to the mainland over the open Tintagel Bridge.
Five miles south of the city Truro, The Valley is a gated hamlet, which offers its guests the privacy of their own cottage, with the facilities expected in a hotel.
In the town of Falmouth, St Michael's provides its visitors with a spa, a sauna (with massage stations and a hydrotherapy pool) and a choice of two restaurants. There is also a health club, which has a gym, a tennis court and a swimming pool.
Overlooking the Fowey estuary, Fowey Hall is an excellent hotel for families, with a free creche, a family-friendly spa and places for kids to play.
Exclusively for adults, Fistral Beach Hotel is located right on the beach in the town of Newquay. The hotel has a spa, a pool and a restaurant for its guests. Ideal for visitors who like to surf.
This friendly Bed and Breakfast is a restored Victorian country house located in the village of Washaway, a few minutes drive from the town of Wadebridge. Rooms come with an en-suite bathroom.
Cornwall is a wonderful place to visit all year round, but it is busiest during the summer months of July and August. The best time to visit is September when there are fewer people, the prices are lower, but the average temperature is still around 15 degrees Celsius.
Most tourists travel to Cornwall by car and visitors can drive from London to Cornwall via the M4 in less than five hours, providing they avoid rush hour. Trains run regularly from London Paddington to Penzance and from Bristol and Bath along the branch line. Those travelling from further afield can fly into Cornwall Airport Newquay.
All visitors should try a Cornish pasty, purchased from a local bakery, such Gingsters of Cornwall. There is a huge variety of restaurants in Cornwall and arguably the best establishments are in the city in Truro. Penrose Kitchen prides itself in using local produce and visitors can enjoy a Cornish cream tea or finish their meal with a 'junket', a dessert made with curdled mild. For fish and shellfish, head to the Rick Stein Porthleven restaurant. Mannings Bar and Restaurant in the centre of Truro has a large range of choices at affordable prices. They specialise in cocktails.
Berties Nightclub in Newquay is one of Cornwall's most popular nightclubs. It's very popular in the summer, so visitors might have to queue to get in. Couples may prefer the Tom Thumb Cocktail Bar, with its local customers and its local gins. Whiskers Bar is also in Newquay and is the place to go for live music.
Visitors in the summer can expect temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius. Although its drier than in the winter, rain should be prepared for. Winters are mild, but wet, with temperatures in single digits. Snow is a rare occurrence.
The cost of accommodation is higher in the summer, but fortunately Voyage Prive offers up to 70% off on city breaks. The beaches and scenery are impressive in Cornwall and are free. Tourists on a tight budget can eat cheaply from the many takeaway restaurants in every town.
There's an old saying in Cornwall "he who loses his language, loses his land." The Cornish language has gone through a renaissance in recent years, so if a visitor wants to impress a local in the village pub, they should buy a local language guide. This will tell them that 'croust' is their name for elevenses, where they might eat an 'oggie' (a pasty) or a 'hoggan' (a heavy cake). Hopefully, there will not be a 'smeech' (bad smell) from the kitchen!