A summer break in Cornwall, UK
It has finally been time for a holiday! When I was planning out this years travel plans, the majority of them all centre around our big trip to South Africa in September with my family. But I still really wanted to pop in a shorter break for just Paul and I.
We umm’d and ahh’d about where to go for ages, but with both of us being pretty busy with work, we decided to keep it easy – staying in the UK and doing a bit of exploring!
With that decision made, I booked an AirBnb for 4 nights in Saltash, Cornwall and then promptly forgot about it until the week before we departed.
We headed out on the open road after work on a Tuesday (the joy of annual leave limits!) and had a very pleasant drive down to Cornwall. It’s so easy to forget just how close some of these beautiful spots are. We stopped off for a bite to eat at Meat59 in Exeter on the way, ticking off a town I’ve heard a lot about – managing to fit in a good stroll around the cathedral to walk off our epic burgers.
Our AirBnb was a lovely one – pitched as the Brunel Boathouse, it was a little annex right by the bridge crossing from Plymouth, Devon into Saltash, Cornwall. A perfect base for us with a place to sit and relax and a cozy bedroom in the eves. You could even hear the odd train chugging across the bridge in the morning – something I found rather calming!
Exploring Fowey and Polperro
We ended up being pretty lucky with the weather – what was originally forecast as rain for the whole time we were there, actually ended up being glorious sunshine! For our first day we decided to head out to a couple of the small fishing villages to get a taste of Cornwall.
Our first spot was Fowey (pronounced Foy as I was to learn!) – a beautiful little village on both sides of a inlet by the coast. Fowey is everything you imagine when you think of a seaside village – full of trinket shops, colourful houses, fish and chip restaurants and lots of bracing sea air.
We had a good wander along the coast, taking in the view of the ocean (always so nice to be by the seaside!) and ended up at a secret little inlet beach. I never really rate UK beaches but I have to say we saw some gems on this trip! Of course we had to stop off for some Cornish cream tea which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Polperro is another town which we passed on the way home. A picturesque spot where you can park slightly out of town and then meander down to the car free village. I love that all the little towns are full of bunting and flowers – they set such a lovely feeling to the place.
The port itself is gorgeous and we clambered over the rocks to get a good view. Despite Paul warning me on the way there, the tide most definitely came in whilst I was taking in the view and we got rather soaked on our way back across! Definitely worth it though for that stunning vista.
That night we indulged in a dreamy dinner in Plymouth at The Fig Tree at 36 I lived my best life full of seafood and wine – everything you need when having a good break.
Popping into St Ives
Although we were staying on the Cornwall – Plymouth border, I really want to venture down into ‘proper’ Cornwall. And after hearing so many things about St Ives, we decided to jump in the car for 90 minutes and head down.
St Ives is a much bigger Cornish Town and it was busy! Obviously it was July but even on a weekday before the majority of schools broke up, it was still packed.
However, luckily if you want to get away from the crowds then that is easy – head along the South Coast path! I didn’t know much about the South Coast path but it literally runs around the entire South Coast. We picked up the trail from St Ives out and down towards Penzance and it is stunning! With the ocean, beaches and rolling hills it was one of the most beautiful spots on our trip.
Drinking gin in Plymouth
Despite a couple of beautiful days, the rain most definitely came in eventually! Luckily, it coincided with a distillery tasting tour I’d booked at Plymouth gin! Obviously I’d heard about Plymouth gin for a long time (it was a protected term until very recently) and they have been distilling gin in the same still since then late 1700s!
It was a great distillery to visit – the site is steeped in history and even if you don’t do a tour, just popping into the bar is so worth it. As they only have one main type of gin, the tasting was unusual in that it was a blind tasting of Plymouth vs 4 of their main competitors. I actually managed to guess 4 out of 5 of them correctly – something I’m not sure if I’m proud of or not!
We did try to have a wander around Plymouth but the weather was not our friend and we mainly ended up sitting in the fish and chip shop and then the pub. But hey, can’t complain about that on holiday!
All in all, we really enjoyed our trip. I’ve managed to do a good amount of UK travel this year and I really think it is a great option and one which inherently keeps the trip a bit more relaxed.
Have you been to Cornwall? Where was your favourite bit?