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Spend a Weekend in Cornwall, England
Cornwall is a county in the south-west corner of England, UK. It is know for its delightful beach towns and dramatic rugged landscape overlooking water as turquoise as the Caribbean. Sheep and wild ponies graze in fields full of more than a hundred species of wildflowers in the spring and summer, right on the edge of huge cliffs. Cornwall has long been a popular vacation spot for Brits, as far back as the time of King Arthur, according to legend. Bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, and to the south by the English Channel, the beaches are popular with surfers and sunbathers alike. From sweet coastal towns, to hiking, to ruins, to food-there is so much to explore in Cornwall. Keep reading to discover the itinerary for your next weekend trip!
The Ruins of Tintagel
History in Person
First up on the list of things to do over your weekend is a visit to the ruins of Tintagel, the alleged birthplace of King Arthur. Legend says that Uther Pendragon visited Igraine here, magically disguised as her husband, and slept with her. The result? The 'Once and Future King' of England.The actual town of Tintagel is full of fun arthurian themed souvenir shops, little pubs, and cornish ice cream hubs, all atop a cliff overlooking the castle and sea.
The ruins are a bit spread out, with rocky paths and stairs between them. The hike up to the castle ruins is very steep, but a complete thrill. Make sure that you bring appropriate footwear as the stones can get slippery on a cold day, but once you reach the top the trek is totally worth it. From the ruins and surrounding meadows you can see miles and miles of stunning Cornish coastline and cliffs. In the summer, when the flowers are in full bloom, it is quite a sight to behold. On your way down from the castle check out the waterfall, and climb down to the beach to explore Merlin's cave. This subterranean cavern, situated underneath the hill that the castle sits on, is the legendary home of the great wizard Merlin, friend and guardian of Arthur.
There are plenty of little outlooks among the ruins, so I would suggest packing a picnic if the weather is nice!
View from the Top
Tintagel, Cornwall, UK
Coverack, Cornwall, UK
A Taste of Cornwall
Cornish pasties are a specialty of the region. A type of hand pie, pasties are pockets of pastry filled with endless combinations, the most tradition being steak and vegetables, or mushroom and chicken. Very tasty and filling, pasties are thought to have been created originally for Cornish coal miners, who could eat them with their dirt hands by holding onto the thick crust and eating the rest, discarding the dirty crush at the end.
From Tintagel head to Coverack, a quintessential tiny Cornish town on a hill, with a lovely harbour and beach. If you fancy a swim then bring your suit and jump right in, the water is quite warm in the summer. If you are visiting in the spring or early fall you will have to be quite brave to take the plunge, or just an adrenaline junkie.
There is only one pub in Coverack, right on the edge of the sea. Head down there for a warm Cornish Pasty and some cider to fill you up after a long day of beaching and exploring.
Also, not far from Coverack is Roskilly's organic farm. Head over to check out their operation, which boasts all sort of animals including goats and cows. You can take a walk through their beautiful property and then have a quick bite at their restaurant. They serve an incredible meal, complete with local cider and ice cream, and even have live entertainment at night during the summer! Leashed dogs and children are more than welcome. Roskilly's also has several self-catering cottages available for rent in surrounding towns!
Dairy Cows at Roskillys
Roskillys: A Working Cornish Organic Farm
The Lizard, Cornwall, UK
3. The Lizard
The Lizard is an area at the tip of Cornwall, and therefore is the southernmost tip of England. It is known for it's dicy weather, dramatic views, and incredible coastal hiking. The moors along the Lizard's coast boast the most endangered plant species in the UK, which are mostly wildflowers. When you arrive there, make sure that you have enough clothes in case the wind gets gusty. Despite the mildly inconsistent weather, the Lizard is well worth the trip. The views truly are breath taking, and I cannot think of any place that I have been that at all resembles this incredible place. It is starkly rugged and beautiful, and would be a treat for any nature lover. In the summer, when everything is in full bloom, the Lizard can only be described as utterly sublime.
The Coast of the Lizard
St. Ives, Cornwall, UK
4. St. Ives
After taking on and conquering the Lizard, head to St. Ives, for a cup of tea and a stroll around town for some shopping. A much bigger town that Coverack, St. Ives also boasts a huge beach as well as a lively surfing community. There are tons of cool little shops and places to grab lunch, pick up some souvenirs, or have a cone topped with the famous Cornish ice cream. Pick up some yummy, flaky Cornish sea salt while you are there, to take home and season all of your favorite dishes.
St. Ives, Cornwall, UK
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Cornwall: Your Next Vacation
In short, Cornwall has so much to offer. In fact, I am sure one could take endless long weekend trips there, and longer stays, and never run out of things to do! If you have never been then follow this itinerary for your first time, and use it to mark places and things to do for the next time you visit! Cornwall is not only a lovely part of England, but it also has the potential to become your tried and true vacation spot. Give it a go and enjoy!
Want to take another trip to England? Check out my list of things to do in Bath!
- Things To Do In Bath, England
A list of some of Bath's top attractions as well as a few that are off the beaten path.