Although I am half joking when I describe myself as Captain Cornwall, there’s no denying the fact that I am fiercely patriotic about this magical county where I was born and where I have chosen to live again.
Even when I was living away in different places (London, Bristol, Bath and Somerset), I always had more than a soft spot for Kernow. I readily gloated about being Cornish, whether to colleagues or random people in bars (not so much something I would do these days) and took pride in sharing Cornish jokes, images and even songs via social media.
So what is it about Cornwall which captures my heart in a way no other place can?
- The beaches
This has to come right at the start of my list because it is the most obvious reason for wanting to live in Cornwall.
Wherever you live in Cornwall, you are no more than a two hour drive from the sea, usually no more than a one hour drive. The further west you are, the more options you have when it comes to beach days; the county is thin so most Cornish folk are lucky enough to be able to get to both coasts quickly and easily.
Growing up in Truro, I had the luxury of being able to get to surfing beaches on the north coast such as Porthtowan, Perranporth and Newquay within 20-30 minutes, whilst also being able to get to pretty beaches and coves on the south coast within the same time frame. My south coast faves back then were Falmouth, Portholland and, of course, the stunning Lizard Peninsula.
2. The food
I’m a pretty adventurous eater and some of my favourite cuisine includes Thai, Caribbean and Nepalese. I’ve tried cheese fondue in Switzerland and gnocchi in Italy but nothing compares to eating a pasty in Cornwall!
And it’s not just the pasties I want to rave about; let’s not forget about the massive variety of fish and seafood on offer (best eaten overlooking the ocean) as well as tasty treats like fudge, ice cream, cream teas and saffron buns! If you haven’t tried these deliciously decedent snacks, you need to book a holiday to Cornwall immediately!
3. The countryside
It’s not all about the rugged cliffs and coastline – the countryside of inland Cornwall is absolutely beautiful as well.
From the mystical moorlands to the far-reaching fields and farmland, Cornwall is bursting with scenic delights.
I recommend a hike on Bodmin moor, a stroll in one of the many peaceful woodlands (try Luxulyan and Cardinham) and a leisurely drive through the rolling countryside. Why not also check out some of Cornwall’s spectacular tourist attractions like the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan?
4. The chilled-out atmosphere
My sister is happily married with a beautiful 18 month old little boy and has lived in Bristol for nearly ten years. I can’t see her ever moving back to Cornwall but even she admits that returning to Cornwall gives her an instantly relaxed sensation.
In the past she has picked me up from uni and driven us both home for a long weekend and, as soon as we saw the ‘Welcome to Cornwall’ sign we would breath a sigh of relief: now it’s time to chill out and forget about life in the city.
This feeling must partly stem from a happy childhood and just the general attitude of the Cornish people. The ‘proper’ locals are always friendly and laid-back, and I like to think that that’s where I got my calm and positive nature from.
5. The ever improving night-life and music scene
When i was growing up, I spent a lot of time at bars and pubs in Truro as well as the one nightclub available (a sticky floored den called L2 which has since closed down). I also went to gigs by the sea, particularly at the Watering Hole in Perranporth, an awesome pub situated by the sand dunes.
At the age of 18, I thought the night-life was pretty rubbish, and couldn’t wait to escape to uni and beyond. However, in recent years Cornwall’s music scene has grown from strength to strength.
I think this probably has a lot to do with the success of Falmouth University and students staying to live and work in Cornwall. I was surprised to see big names in music coming to locations in Penzance and Falmouth, as well as the Watering Hole mentioned above. There’s also a multitude of festivals now taking place across the county – Looe Music Festival, Port Eliot and Electric Beach Festival, to name a few.
With many music venues in Plymouth currently being shut down, it’s lovely to see that Cornwall is still a popular choice for artists to perform.
So, as you can see, I am completely in love with Cornwall, perhaps even more so for having lived in different places for a number of years. Cornwall is my happy place and I look forward to visiting the many pretty places the county has to offer, eating its glorious food and meeting new people in this up-and-coming yet ever relaxed paradise.