Travel Tuesday – Cornwall

Although it seems to be all rain and grey instead of bright and sunny days in the UK, a staycation is always a good alternative to an expensive holiday to all corners of the world. It’s amazing how little of our own country many Brits have seen, so take a trip to Cornwall and explore some hidden gems – just pray for a little sun while you’re there!

St. Ives
St. Ives

The Eden Project is dubbed by some as the Eight Wonder of the World, and the visitor attraction in St. Blazey is certainly something to behold. Completed in 2000, Eden is made up of domes which each have a different climate to emulate the conditions in which plants from all over the world would grow. The Rainforest biome (meaning the habitat of the plants) is the world’s largest rainforest in captivity and houses plants that thrive in tropical conditions, such as banana plants, rubber and giant bamboo, and also features a waterfall and Canopy Walkway, so you can explore the tree tops. There is also a Mediterranean biome, featuring aloe vera, blooming flowers and citrus fruits, and more than 20-acre Outdoor Garden growing over 3,000 varieties of plant. The Eden Project is a great day out for people of all ages, and you’ll learn something while exploring the deep rainforest (in Cornwall).

Eden Project

The Eden Project

Eden Project

Before the Eden Project, the creator Tim Smit was involved in a different project in Cornwall: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The Gardens completely surround Heligan House and its private gardens, which is near the fishing village of Mevagissey, and is over 200 acres with plants from all over the world, as well as sculptures, wildlife and water features. This summer from the 14th of July until the 28th of August, The Lost Gardens are open until 7:30pm from Tuesdays til Saturdays, so why not go for a stroll in the evening sun.

Lost Gardens
Natural mud sculpture by Cornish artist Sue Hill

Lost Gardens

On the other side of Cornwall lies St. Ives, a seaside town that has a very different view of the county. Not only is there sand, sea and occasional sun, St. Ives is home to both its own branch of the Tate Gallery, as well as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens on the site of the artist’s studio. While Tate St. Ives is closed until Spring 2017, the Barbara Hepworth Museum is still open, and the 20th century sculptor’s studio and garden much as they were when she lived and worked there. For a break from museums and attractions, St. Ives’s beaches are some of the best in Cornwall, and as recently as Saturday a pod of dolphins were spotted off the coast of Porthmeor Beach, swimming with the surfers!

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden
Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

There’s no shortage of ancient landmarks in Cornwall, such as Tintagel Castle, which has been inhabited since the late Roman period, and gained literary prominences in the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth stated that the castle was where King Arthur was conceived, and the legends have survived to this day. Now, the castles is in ruins but remains a popular tourist attraction, with a museum exploring the history of the site. Yet another legendary destination in Cornwall is Land’s End, that has been inspiring people since it was known as Belerion, meaning ‘the shining land’, by the ancient Greeks. Land’s End is a headland characterised by its wild waves which have produced off shore rock islands, rugged cliffs and provide magnificent views, as well as causing over 130 recorded shipwrecks in the area.

Tintagel Castle Land's End

What do you think is the best thing to see in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments…