This year I had planned a two-week adventure to New York and Baltimore but unfortunately that never happened due to the impact of Covid-19. There's been loads of uncertainty around travel, so with that in mind I planned a week to Cornwall instead. I've never had a holiday in England before and I didn't really know what to expect. It's not that I was close-minded towards the idea; I just never really thought about it before since there are so many other beautiful places in the world. I thought I'd do a post today all about what I got up to, where I visited, restaurants, bars, etc. Hopefully it might be useful if you're thinking about having a UK holiday.
Adam and I arrived Saturday 19th following a nearly 9-hour car ride. A long journey but one that was definitely worth it! We stayed in Newquay – as far as I know Newquay, St Ives, and Hayle are the three best places to stay in Cornwall. We were in close proximity to plenty of shops, restaurants, supermarkets, and bars which was really convenient. Plus, there was a lot within walking distance, including the beaches, Newquay Zoo, and Blue Reef Aquarium. I walked 67,000+ steps in just 5 days!
Sunday 20th September
We got the best of the Cornish weather at the start of our trip… unfortunately it went a bit downhill from there! Our first full day we took a drive to St Ives, which is around an hour from Newquay. It was beautiful here; I loved the white-washed buildings, pretty harbour, and general feel of the place.
The moment we arrived we could smell that Great British fish ‘n’ chip smell, so we ordered some to take away and got comfy on the beach with a few beers too. It was lovely to just sit and watch the world go by and it actually felt as though I was abroad the temperature was that hot!
Later, we’d booked a boat trip to visit Seal Island. This was the absolute best thing we did all week. There were plenty of adorable seals to see, the sun was shining, and ocean air was just so refreshing. Our boat driver took us on some twists and turns afterwards as well which just made the experience even more fun.
Monday 21st September
It was absolutely boiling on this day which meant there was only one thing for it… beach day! We had a tasty breakfast then headed to Towan Beach for aroud 10.30am. Very early and the sun definitely wasn’t out by this point but it meant we could set up our beach tent and find a good spot.
I spent the day doing what everyone does on a beach day… reading, sunbathing (kind of, I’m not really a sun worshipper), listening to music, drinking beer, and oh – we ordered a Dominos pizza to the beach because why the hell not?!
There’s a lovely little bar on the beach called The Slope serving delicious cold beers. It’s a bit pricey but that’s to be expected when it’s everyone’s go-to for a drink.
Tuesday 22nd September
Newquay Zoo was on the itinerary today (yep, I actually did an itinerary for our trip) and unfortunately this was probably the most disappointing thing we did in Cornwall. We must have only spent around 45-50 minutes there because there was just barely anything to see! No tigers, elephants, rhinos, giraffe, gorillas… it was just extremely poor and not worth the money in my opinion.
The best animal we saw there was probably the lions but the enclosure for three of them was really small I felt. It seemed a bit cruel. I wouldn’t recommend you visit if you’re planning a trip to Cornwall.
Afterwards, we took a walk to the Bluereef Aquarium. Considering the size of this place, it was actually really fascinating. We got to see a lot more than we did at the zoo for sure, including a sea turtle, catfish, shark, piranhas, starfish, sea horse, jelly fish, and loads more.
Wednesday 23rd September
Eden Project was highly recommended to us. I wasn’t sure it was going to be either of our sort of thing but nevertheless we decided to pay a visit.
It was actually really beautiful. I couldn’t appreciate it as much as probably other people would who love gardening and nature more than I do but it definitely was fascinating. To think how much hard work has gone into the design of this place is incredible and every last detail had been thought through with such care.
My favourite part was probably the waterfall. I just love the rushing sound of water and this was a lovely, calming feature.
A lovely little find I just have to recommend in Newquay is 12 Beach Road. The place has a lovely rustic look and overlooks the beach, so it really has that holiday feel to it. I’d highly suggest ordering the chicken shawarma flatbread if you enjoy spicy food. Company that with a rhubarb cosmopolitan and that’s a fab beachside meal.
Thursday 24th September
Minack Theatre was probably my favourite place we visited in Cornwall. I wasn’t sure it would be all that interesting as it seemed only a stone theatre and obviously with Covid-19 restrictions we were unable to watch any performances. On arrival it was windy and cold (this is when the weather was starting to go downhill) and there were a lot of stairs leading down to the theatre. The views were truly incredible… something I found nearly everywhere in Cornwall.
There was a man who stood at the bottom, which was the stage, and talked us through the history of the theatre in true theatrical style. He was fantastic and the story he told of the place was really interesting… I came away knowing the place I’d visited had such a unique history.
Lands End was only a fifteen-minute drive away so we made that our next call. At this point the weather was atrocious! It was lashing it down and I felt as though my contact lenses were going to fly out of my eyeballs the wind was that vicious. We paid £10.75 for a professional photo in front of the famous Lands End sign but I was practically swallowing my hair the whole time, so I’m excited to see how that turns out. Oh well, gotta laugh!
I tried my very first Cornish pasty on this day too. We sat under a shelter on a bench in the rain and I paired it with a delicous mocha. Holiday in England they said, it’ll be fun they said. The pasty was nice though.
Friday 25th September
I’d planned a visit to Tintagel Castle for this day, however our tickets were cancelled and the castle was shut due to high winds. This meant we had to come up with a Plan B. After a quick Google search I found the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek.
What a lovely little place this is. It was great to see all the help and effort put into seal rescue in Cornwall… it’s something you’d never really think about but it’s suprisingly really common that seals do need emergency care for all sorts of reasons.
We got to see a variety of seals here and even some poorly ones in the seal hospital 🙁 There were also other animals around, including penguins, otters, ponies, and goats. It was just a nice place to enjoy a stroll through the woods, see some beautiful animals, and take in the Cornish countryside.
To round this post off I’d just like to give a mention to another place we ate at on the last night – The Harbour Fish & Grill. This had been recommended to us by several people but because the menu looked pretty expensive we decided to save this one for the last night.
I ordered the chilli and crab linguine for main and the passionfruit cheesecake for dessert – absolutely delish! My only gripe would be that the dessert was ridiculously miniscule… I could’ve eaten at least three more for the price of £8!
However, if you’d like dinner with the best view of Cornwall then this is the place you need to be.