Road Trip in England: In Search of Cornwall
Some say that until you’ve seen Cornwall, you haven’t seen England and I can’t agree more. Having spent 3 years living in London pretty much all I associated England with were the large cities, i.e. London, Manchester, Liverpool etc… Until one day we decided to venture out of the big city and go on a road trip.
We set off from London at about 6am and the goal was to reach St Ives which is one of the most Western places in England, about 300 miles away from London. Yes, we knew it was gonna take hours and hours of driving 😀 but we were ambitious! To make it worthwhile we had to pack up the 2 days with a lot of interesting places to see. Also I think our designated driver would have gone crazy if we didn’t give him proper breaks 😀
Stop 1: Stonehenge
Our first stop was Stonehenge. We thought it’s a shame to live in England and not see what’s believed to be the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. And we weren’t the only ones who seemed to think that way. It was incredible to see the loooong conjunction leading up to Stonehenge. We could see the monument at the far distance but it took us nearly an hour to reach the place whilst waiting for the traffic to clear. And in the end, it wasn’t even that much worth it 😀 Not for me anyway. There’re people who admire the ”miracle” of the standing stones and the history behind the monument really is extraordinary but to me, the place didn’t feel special. It was exactly like on the pictures. You know how sometimes the pictures just don’t give a place justice so you need to go visit. Well, to me, Stonehenge had no hidden surprises that aren’t well captured on a good photo. Of course we didn’t pay the price of £16.50 to get super close to the monument. We saw it from about 10 metres distance and to be honest that was good enough.
Stop 2: Durdle Door
Having taken a few pictures with Stonehenge on the background, it was time to hit the road again and head south towards Durdle Door. This place blew my mind. Having seen very little of the pretty picturesque side of England, I did not expect to find such an amazing beach, landscape and beautiful limestone arch, all literally begging us to take tons of pictures with them 😀 And so we did! A stop at the Durdle Door is ideal if you want to take a rest whilst enjoying the see views, the cliffs, the peacefulness and quiet. But you might want to leave the flip flops at home for this one and put some comfy trainers on. There isn’t much hiking to do but it could get slippery. Also you might wanna bring a blanket and have a picnic. It’s the perfect spot, on a nice day!
Stop 3: Torquay
Aaah Torquay. If there was a place called the English Riviera, this would have been it! It’s a small seaside town in Denver which brought me back to my trip to Nice, France back in 2012. It had this very unique Meditteranean vibe which made me think ”why isn’t this place more popular??”. With its sandy beaches, beautiful port, palm trees and wide pedastrian street alongside the beach, this place has the charm to compete with the most stunning places on the Meditteranean. Taken out of context, I would have never guessed I was still in England. We spent a few hours here simply walking around, taking pictures and admiring the place. It was also time for lunch so we stopped at a place called Pier Point. Definitely try their mussles if you’re ever there. The best I’ve had so far, Yummy!!! The place is right on the frontline and it’s simply the best spot if you want to wait for the sunset.
As it was getting late and we still had quite a lot of driving, sadly we had to head off. The plan was to drive to our Airbnb which we purposefully picked to be outside of St Ives in the middle of nowhere, quite litterally 😀 (I’m laughing now but I didn’t laugh when we were trying to find the place among the woods in the middle of the night 😀 ).
Stop 4: St Ives
In the morning, we had a cup of coffee and ventured out of the woods to go to St Ives and explore. St Ives is the dazzling jewel of Cornwall. The place is everything you wouldn’t normally associate England with, i.e. sandy beaches, narrow cobbled streets, very few people, cute little houses, independent shops and fisherman’s cottages. This, unlike Stonehenge, is a place worth visiting because a picture simply doesn’t give it justice. Luckily, we got some nice sunshine to enjoy the clystal clear waters and a peaceful walk along the beach. In a place like St Ives you realise how little you need to have an amazing time. We spent about 5 hours in St Ives which were enough to see the whole town and it was time to head south again.
Stop 5: Porthcurno
After another couple of hours we got to Porthcurno. This is a place you don’t want to miss when in Cornwall. It’s a small village with a stunning valley, gorgeous beach and of course the famous open-air Minack Theatre. The place is absolutely incredible. The Minack is such a unique place, perched right on the cliffs high above the sea. I doubt you can ever enjoy more breathtaking views whilst watching your favourite theatre performance. We were so lucky and so so grateful that we arrived right before the start of the show of the day and being able to take a seat at the amphitheatre, just underneath the botanic gardens, watching the show with the sea on the background, was an experience worth way more than the £5 we paid to get in. It’s almost impossible to put it into words so I’ll leave my photos to speak for themselves.
Stop 6: St Michael’s Mount
The final stop on the way back to London was St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall’s small tidal island. To get there we drove to a town called Marazion which is just a few minutes away from the island. This place is incredible to visit especially if you get some good weather with low tide. Funny enough at low tide you can walk from Marazion to St Michael’s Mount in just a few minutes but when the tide is high, the only way to reach the island is by boat. Thankfully we were able to just walk across and see the castle and have a wander round the island. If you visit, definitely walk around the island garden. But keep it mind that the St Michael’s Mount is closed between November and March so you might want to plan the trip in the summer.
We did 800 miles in 2 days and we absolutely loved it. It opened up my eyes to the prettier and quieter side of England which I didn’t know existed. This still is the best trip I’ve ever done in England so I can only highly recommend doing it too. It’s worth every single mile. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your travel friends 🙂
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