I swore when I became a parent that I wouldn’t take a holiday in the same resort every year, as I’d seen other parents do. I know why they do it – really, I understand – but I just wasn’t ready to let that spark of wanderlust be snuffed out. There are so many places I still want to see.
That said, we’ve holidayed in Cornwall every year since my daughter was born (three years and counting), and we’ll do it next year and the year after too, I have no doubt. I’m a hypocrite, I know, but sometimes a place just pulls you in and you can’t say no…
I’ve just come back from a fantastic trip viewing properties in Cornwall for Kid & Coe and the pictures here are of the quirky and eccentric things we found: a tall ship in the Georgian harbour of Charlestown, which looks like the setting for a pirate story; a four-acre garden dotted with gnomes that you have to wear a special gnome hat to walk round; a mermaid sign for a little boutique. I love this quirky area of the UK – and hope that if you decide to take a holiday this side of the pond, you’ll take a chance and come and see what the fuss is about.
Visitors to the UK tend to do the big hitters: London, Edinburgh, Stonehenge, Oxford, Cambridge; those of us who live here run away from all that culture and head straight for the sea. Cornwall is the area in the far southwest, a county bordered by sea on three sides that has its own language and a history bound up in legends of seafarers, smugglers and King Arthur.
I love spending time here – we take walks along coastal paths, buy fish fresh from the boat for an impromptu barbecue, make castles in the sand and watch surfers in the waves. Once upon a time I was out there with them, but for now, I’m content to watch.
There’s just something about the sea and the air that makes it a wonderful place to be. For one thing, it’s warmer and sunnier than the rest of the UK so we spend all day doing active things outside. That always makes a holiday go well. The light is warm and beautiful too, and as mobile phone and WiFi reception is a little patchy, it sometimes feels like you’re at the end of the earth – in a good way. If you stand on Land’s End, the point to the furthest south and west and look out, all you can see is the Atlantic Ocean for 3,147 miles – the next piece of land is New York.
Even when it’s raining I like being in Cornwall, sitting around a roaring fire in winter while the rain lashes the windows and storms chase across the sky. Cornwall’s pubs are so characterful – some with hidden tunnels to the beach for the 18th century French brandy smugglers who used them to beat alcohol taxation – that I feel as excited as a child in them myself. And a recent discovery has been the gardens. There are tropical gardens attached to country estates with fabulous histories all over the county. I met one gardener who regularly travels the world in search of exotic seeds to grow in his garden – it seems like an incredible occupation. These gardens hide sculptures, exotic flowers, lakes and rivers and formal Victorian walled gardens and are fun for kids as well as adults.
Every year there is a festival at Port Eliot, one of many grand country houses, where literary speakers talk about their books, and families frolic in the river, have picnics, drink Pimms and mingle with other eccentric people. I’m hoping to get a ticket next year – it seems like such a fun thing to do. Ah, Cornwall! Are there places that you want to explore, year after year, too?
Laura Hall is the Communications Manager of Kid & Coe, a new vacations rental website especially for style-conscious families. They have delightful properties to rent in New York, London, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen and, of course, Cornwall.
Images Source:// Main Image from Flickr// All Others Are Author’s Own