Well, what makes it proper you ask? Cornish pasty? Cream tea? Fish and chips? Beaches, pubs and tea rooms? Stunning coast? Landscape scarred by mining and quarries? Quaint fishing villages? Palm trees, sun and balmy temperatures?
Maybe all of the above, but for me it is as simple as a prolonged stay. Longer than a couple of nights that is, seeing more than one place. So far I’ve been for a weekend in St Ives with Rich and for one night in Fowey with him when motorbiking was the one thing we came down for and went up the next day. So I have travelled within Cornwall, but only to get to one place and then back. Not a proper trip to get to know the area I’d say, right?
Now with this in mind I couldn’t tick Cornwall off the list really. Instead we had booked a dog friendly cottage near St Austell for seven nights to go on day trips from there. Proper! And being right in the middle of Cornwall we had access to both coasts and plenty of choice for places to visit within no more than an hour’s drive. Proper!
Drove down from Bristol Saturday afternoon and with the M5 unusually quiet we made it in the three hours that we estimated plus a break at Exeter services. Good start. Found the cottage which occupies half of an old school building just out of St Stephen and were pleasantly surprised, it looked better than on the photos, that’s a first. Nice big secure garden for Merlin to run around in (and that he did indeed), large kitchen, comfy lounge, nice big bathroom and everything absolutely spotlessly clean. It only lacked a little bit of atmosphere, but it seemed the owners were working on it, as there were a few more pictures etc hung up than on the photos from the booking website.
I unpacked our numerous bags whilst Rich started cooking a lasagne from scratch. He has some dishes he really loves cooking so I didn’t feel too bad not helping at all, ha! With a drink we retired to the lounge after late dinner and off to bed it was not long after.
Sunday promised sunshine and warm temperatures and I was worried we wouldn’t get parked up anywhere, but that worry was unfounded. Arrived at Kiberick Cove car park 10:30am and there was plenty of space. The bumpy narrow single track road and lack of any facilities made this one for the keen walkers.
With little wind and the sun only occasionally hidden behind clouds we soon got a bit of a sweat on as we made our way up and down the coast path. Kiberick Cove was the first stunning view of the day, we didn’t go all the way down, but rather enjoyed the more impressive view from higher up.
Then onwards to Nare Head with stunning views in all directions. Merlin seemed content even though it was mostly on-lead time due to sheep nearby and steep cliffs. As much as I love the mountains, I just as much love a coastal walk and this one did deliver. Walked through a bit of woodland at the end before dropping out at the car park after 3.5k. A good little walk to start the holiday with.
Drove down to Pendover Beach for a tea and small snack at the Shallikabooky beach hut. What a name! Tea was okay, but the pastrami, pickle, cheese panini was divine! Little walk along the beach with Merlin being very disappointed that there was no ball and no frisbee, but he kept on checking… just in case.
Next up a 30 minute drive over to Portscatho. We really had no idea what was worth it and what wasn’t so we just picked places from the map. It was only half past 1 now so we settled just above the beach with a coffee and a view. For almost mid-October, 19C felt rather warm. what a day and great to be out to enjoy it! Found that the little coffee place actually had our favourite coffee beans and it was great to taste the coffee from a proper machine again. Yum. A bit of cake to go along with it and happy days.
Quick walk around the beach with the pooch and some running around with the dogs there, then back to the car to head over to Pentewan. Another half an hour drive sort of on the way back to check in to The Ship Inn, a possible for dinner during the week.
Really enjoyed the drive over on pretty quiet roads. Where Portscatho had been a pleasant surprise, Pentewan was less so, but to be honest we didn’t explore much beyond the large beer garden of the pub. Had a couple of cold drinks enjoying the afternoon sun. Nice pub, but food coming out looked mediocre so we’ll give this one a miss as a dinner option. Great spot for a drink when in the area though!
Back at the cottage for 17:30 after a fantastic first day. Proper Cornwall I’d say and many more days to come. It was a lot quieter everywhere than we had feared even with such brilliant weather on a Sunday. Guess tourist season is pretty much over. Great time of the year to go I’d say.
No fixed plans for the rest of the week, we’ll see where it takes us and what we fancy. Nice for a change to not have a long list of stuff to do and rather just chill and take it as it comes. Proper!