How Cornwall Can Make You Feel Like You’re Not In The UK

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Fun fact: I am actually half Cornish. Not exactly earth shattering information, but my family love that area of the country and are always talking about the other-world-like ‘life back West’, so it’s as ingrained into me as much as a more exotic heritage would be.

Despite this, I hadn’t actually been to Cornwall for about 15 years until a couple of weeks ago; my dad moving abroad when I was a teenager and me leaving home when he came back to England meant that family excursions down to the homeland stopped when I was under 10.

So when I was invited (ahem *invited myself because I can’t stand it when anyone goes on trips without me) down to Cornwall to spend the week with my dad, grandma and great aunt, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought, as my gran still lives in Devon, beaches might be be similar to the ones there. Would the towns bear a resemblance to the Somerset villages that I work in? What would the scenery be like?

I left Bath at 5:30am on a clear day. The further west I drove, the foggier the air became. But when I got to Piran Meadows Resort and Spa, the caravan park which we were staying at, the sky cleared and the sun made a majestic appearance.

Apart from an incredible gale force wind on the clifftops on day two and a bit of a gloomy afternoon on day three, the weather more or less remained that way for my whole three day mini break. This was great, as I feel that I really experienced the best of what Cornwall has to offer because of the gorgeous weather. When the sun comes out, Cornwall really comes alive.

In fact, I spent most of my time in Cornwall in disbelief that I was still in the United Kingdom. These can’t be British beaches! I thought on more than one occasion. It turns out, there’s so many Cornish destinations that will have you thinking you’re hundreds of miles South. Here’s the top five ways to pretend you’re abroad in Cornwall.

1) Visit Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps (or should I say the South coast of Cyprus?)

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My first glimpse of the Cornish sea was pretty spectacular. As we drove around the corner on the top of a cliff, I took in the crystal waters and golden sands below me, and asked my dad if we could stop to take a picture. “Pah” he said “we’ll get a much better view than this”.

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He wasn’t lying. Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps are stacked rocks along a spectacular coastline. You can walk along the cliffs and catch a fantastic view of the rocks, and even descend down the (treacherous, I may add) steps to the beach below. The rocks reminded me of Aphrodite’s Rock in South Cyprus; although, if I may say, even better!

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2) Wander down to the beach at Trevose Head (or was it the shore of Barbados?)

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As soon as I got out of the car at Trevose Head, I was blown away. The beauty of the beaches isn’t immediately evident, but the wind was ridiculously strong!

While still really beautiful and interesting, the clifftops still looked rather British, but as soon as we traversed the headland and wandered down to the beach, I felt as if I’d been transported to the other side of the Atlantic to a Caribbean shoreline. The rolling blue waves reminisced a tropical sea that I normally see a lot further South, and the golden beach was unspoiled. All I needed was a piña colada!

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3) Chill in Newquay (or maybe it’s East Australia)

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Newquay is often known as the most popular surfing spot in the UK, and the town certainly makes the most of this claim to fame. With huge waves, surf schools littering the coastal road and colourful, quirky shops boasting trinkets and souvenirs, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in Byron Bay or somewhere else in Surfers’ Paradise. And when the sun’s out, the coastline is a paradise of sorts!

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4) Spend a day at The Eden Project (while feeling like you’re in the midst of a tropical rainforest)

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The Eden Project is a Cornish attraction which consists of two biomes full of plants from diverse environments. The larger biome is full of plants from a rainforest environment and the second plants from a Mediterranean climate. The Eden Project use their impressive collection of flora as a source of environmental education, explaining which plants are used for different medicinal purposes. An eco-friendly project, the attraction uses Green Tariff Electricity from Cornwall’s wind turbines and the water used to heat the biomes is sanitized rain water from the bottom of the nearest quarry.

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One thing is for sure, when you’re in the larger biome, marvelling at the tropical plants , you’ll be thinking that you’re somewhere in the Amazon rather than in the South West corner of the UK!

5) Just go to Cornwall! (It’s a different country, I swear)

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As previously mentioned, my family are very proud to be Cornish. They, amongst many others firmly believe that Cornwall is a separate country to England; just as Scotland and Wales are.

There’s a fair amount of feasible support for this idea; the county does have its own language and its own flag. Cornwall celebrates St Piran’s day, just as England celebrates St George’s day and Wales St David’s. The Cornish accent is unmistakable, and it even has a fantastic array of ‘national’ food.

The Cornish have a Celtic identity, which differs to the rest of England; they infact have more in common with Scotland, Wales, Ireland and The Isle of Man.

Cornwall’s got the most fiercely strong identity of any area in the UK (bar Scotland and Wales) and this is what is so great about it. Because by just being in Cornwall, only a three hour drive from Bath and just over the border from Devon, I felt like I was in a far away land.

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Don’t just take my word for it – here’s a telegraph article  stating just that ‘Cornwall is far more than just a county‘. The article deems the area of the UK to have “people, customs and language very different to those further north” and be deserving of as much independence as Wales and Scotland are given.

It discusses how Cornish people will identify as British, but not English; which is something that my family would wholeheartedly agree with!

So, as you cross over the Cornwall-Devon border, you are actually going abroad… which might account for some of the tropical-esque beaches!

Is Cornwall abroad?

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Jutting out from the bottom of the country, Cornwall is the UK’s most isolated county and boasts its furthest southern point. Twin this with exotic beaches, chilled surfing towns and Mediterranean rock structures and you could easily be in a different country. Here is the perfect option for a ‘staycation’; if budget or circumstances won’t allow you to travel abroad this summer!

So if you’re looking for an exotic escape, but you’re stuck in the UK, have no fear! Just across the Tamar is a glorious land, full of exotic cultures and beaches, waiting to welcome you. Visit Cornwall to experience the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Australia, the Amazon and a country within its own right all in one.

When you’re booking your Cornwall holiday, I’d really recommend checking out the fab eco-friendly caravan site, Piran Meadows Resort and Spa, that I stayed at.

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46 responses to “How Cornwall Can Make You Feel Like You’re Not In The UK”

  1. Brianna says:

    This title made me giggle, because for me- of course it’s abroad! 😛

    I would have never guessed those beaches were in England! Though I imagine the water isn’t quite warm enough for a swim?

  2. Anisa says:

    Now I really want to visit Cornwall – it looks stunning! And I love that the Cornish have so much pride in their county.

  3. Kelly Turpin says:

    Looks lovely! I will but it on my bucket list. Thanks

  4. Marry says:

    Oh the diversity of this place is really striking! Loved it a loot!

  5. kathryn says:

    Wow, I’d always thought beaches in the UK were horrible!

  6. Kylie says:

    I agree! Devon is like that too! I took a picture of a beach that could have easily looked like it could have been Thailand or somewhere! I’m from the UK and Cornwall is definitely one of my favourite places in the world!

  7. Michelle says:

    It looks beautiful! Sometimes I’m certain I have no idea what that part of the country actually looks like!

  8. Amanda says:

    Wow that’s the UK? It looks like my home of California. I’ll have to check out Cornwall the next time I’m in the UK.

  9. I’m from the UK and have been all over but i’m yet to get to Cornwall! It’s top of my list of places to visit! It’s so pretty! Perhaps next time I’m back home i’ll squeeze in a visit!

  10. Barry says:

    I stayed in Falmouth last summer and the weather was spot on. After living in Surfers Paradise and visiting Byron, I would say Cornwall is the UK’s closest shot.

  11. Natalia says:

    Great pictures and very intersting article! Cornwall is on our bucket list now!

  12. It is still a dream to visit this beautiful destination. One day I will make it

  13. RunawayBrit says:

    My parents moved to Cornwall 3 years ago, and I have loved getting to know the place. It is truly beautiful there and the colour of the water blows me away. Love your pictures.

  14. Angela says:

    You can easily mistake this area for somewhere else like Barbados or Greece like you mentioned above! That water is unbelievable! We went as far as Plymouth when we were in the area due to time constraints and am now kicking myself for not figuring out a way to make it happen. I guess it’ll have to be on the list for next time 🙂

  15. Joe says:

    Loved this post 🙂 I remember when I was in Cornwall – quite some time ago now, way back in the last century (1999 to be exact!) overhearing a couple of men talking about how they were Cornish, not English, and how they were a bit annoyed that the tourists were referring to the place as England!

    I’m from Wales, and also happen to live with a guy from Cornwall, so this is something I can empathise with. Completely agree that it is a very appealing place indeed, although of the places you specifically discuss I’ve only been to Newquay :\ Something to rectify! Eden Project is on the list and you’ve certainly sold me on ‘Cyprus’ hahaha! Thanks for a great post 🙂

    • Claire says:

      Thanks for your comment Joe 🙂 Haha, that could well have been my dad!

      Yeah Bedruthan is just down the road from Newquay so be sure to check it out! The Eden Project is awesome too!

  16. I really can’t believe this is in the UK! I’d LOVE to visit Cornwall. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂

  17. Aisha says:

    Well this is abroad for me lol. The Eden Project is fascinating.

  18. Caroline says:

    My mate used to live in Cornwall and always told me how amazing the surroundings are! Definitely looks like I need to pay it a visit. One day soon I hope…

  19. Jessica says:

    Tropical feeling and perfect for summer. Blue sky, beach and the shells look heavenly. 🙂

  20. Wow, who would have guessed those beautiful blue waters and sandy beaches? Certainly not me. I have heard of Cornwall and love that whole area (would love to road trip it) but you have given it much more clout with all your details and photos.

  21. Nilabh says:

    Cornwall – it looks stunning and great. The pictures are gorgeous.The detail write up is self-explanatory. thanks for the post

  22. Katharina says:

    I can’t stand when people go on holidays without me either. I would have done the same and invited myself along. My parents live in Devon. Not far away. So I know Cornwall and it’s gorgeous. We had a great time at the Eden Project last year. And the coastline is nothing but stunning.

  23. This article is so cool. We’ve never been there but now it’s on our list.

  24. Tom says:

    you could easily mistake some of these photos for Australia! Looks like I’ll have to visit Cornwall at some point in the future!

  25. I’m yet to make it to Cornwall but those beaches you show look lovely and make we want to travel.

  26. Voyager says:

    To say that Cornwall looks spectacular would be an understatement. Its much more than that. Would love to get there some day. I am also fascinated by the Eden project and will read up more on it. Thanks for a lovely post.

  27. Wow. I am so ashamed to admit I’ve never been to Cornwall. My boyfriend is obsessed and he’s always trying to get me down there to reminisce about family holidays. I think next summer I must visit.

    Your photos are incredible this post has really inspired me.

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