There are endless sights to see in Cornwall but with only a few days to explore the coastline, Dad and I decided to stick to the shores of the South West. As a child I would regularly have a Cornish adventure with my Dad, camping in the countryside and playing by the sea. Throughout our trip it was lovely to reminisce about my forgotten memories of these little getaways.
We first stopped off at Minack Theatre, a place we’d once visited about 20 years ago. Perched along the cliff side, high above the ocean, this world famous open theatre has a fascinating history that is continued to be celebrated year round.
Back in the early 1930s, Rowena Cade and her gardener had a vision to create a space for local drama lovers to practice and perform the works of Shakespeare. Over the last 80 years, what was once a grassy cliff transformed into a professionally-equipped theatre welcoming guests from around the world.
For a small fee of a fiver (adult price), visitors can climb around the steep steps and explore the carved seats and ocean views. Be sure to check the opening times per the season and if you want to experience the theatre in all its glory, performances are scheduled between May-September. Fear not if you visit in the Winter season, with actors and guides setting the scene during the day.
The theatre itself is beautifully impressive and I would definitely put it on a Cornwall must-see list. Rows of individually sculpted seats are lined with pruned plants and panoramas of the coastline. There is also a cafe with outdoor seating and a fantastic exhibition about Rowena and the life of the theatre.
Our next stop on our journey was Land’s End, the most western point of Cornwall and England. We arrived to the main car park (£5 for a car) and wondered into the main area that instantly surprised me. I’d expected to see nothing but cliffs yet ahead was a whole mini attraction with shops, interactive experiences (including a bloody Shaun the Sheep cinema) and even a hotel!
I wasn’t hugely impressed as I tend to get annoyed by over touristy locations so we headed straight for the ocean. Ahead lay the Longship’s Lighthouse with a very faint view of the Isles of Scilly. The scenery was lovely and definitely made up for the tacky tourism complex behind it.
The famous Land’s End signpost came next. I’m sure you can imagine my reaction when I saw that to even get close to it you had to pay an astonishing fee for a picture! Dad and I happily decided against it, remembering that somewhere in the boxes of memories is a photo of the two of us with the post, back when England was true to its culture.
The history of Land’s End is worth a read, online of course as there isn’t much information at the point. Since the times of Ancient Greece, the point has fascinated and inspired, with legends of lost lands and stories of countless shipwrecks.
We stopped off for lunch, picking up a hot Cornish pasty and tea to be enjoyed to the ocean view.
The surrounding areas are filled with lovely farms and dog friendly walks, worth making the most of!
After driving through the nearby town of Sennen, a popular surfer’s spot, Dad and I carried on our road trip to St Ives. This favourite beach destination is famous for seaside shopping, galleries attracting many famous artists and a working harbour.
Walking through the town we stopped every few metres to oogle in shop windows at locally made crafts and tempting treats. I couldn’t resist picking out some Cornish fudge, with every flavour from blueberry cheesecake to classic clotted cream.
After resisting buying half the town (but not without noting some artists’ names for stalking later) we walked on over to the harbour where Poppy got her much loved time chasing her ball into the sea! (Beaches are dog friendly from September – May).
The atmosphere was vibrant, even on a cold October afternoon, and people laughed and sang along to a band by the beach from surrounding pubs and cafes.
With sandy shoes and a wet happy dog, we sought comfort in a coffee shop, perching outside with a hot cup of tea looking out over the harbour as the sun cast dramatic shadows across the town below.
If you’re looking for a beautiful seaside town with plenty of cute boutique streets, lovely spots to eat and a place to sit by the sands, St Ives is a town not to miss.
There is plenty more to see in South West Cornwall but if you have limited time to explore, I would definitely recommend a day of visiting the above sights. Have you ever been to Cornwall? What places would you recommend?