South-west England; 48 hours in costal Cornwall

Tate St Ives focuses on work by modern British artists linked to the area

CORNWALL, ENGLAND: The south-west tip of England, is a peninsula-shaped county that’s framed to the north and south by a rugged coastline. Cornwall’s coastline boasts renowned visitor attractions such as historical castle ruins with links to Arthurian legend, artists’ colonies that have influenced modern British art, and the world’s largest indoor rainforest – all culminating at Land’s End, the most westerly point of mainland England. Cornwall also has a rich culinary heritage. Famous chefs Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein have restaurants on Cornwall’s coast, and visitors can enjoy everything from Michelin-starred cuisine to traditional fare like Cornish pasties and Cornish cream teas.

CHECK IN. A luxury sea view eco-hotel, Luxury Scarlet Hotel is an adults-only escape on Cornwall’s north coast. Its 37 rooms have private garden terraces or balconies, plus there’s an outdoor cliff-top hot tub, indoor pool, and a spa with tented treatment rooms and chill-out cocoons.
Winner of countless ‘best new British B&B’ accolades, Chapel House occupies a grand Georgian townhouse that has redesigned its six stylish bedrooms with view to Penzance harbour.

DAY ONE:
Modern British art. Artists have been drawn to Cornwall for centuries, lured by the dramatic landscape and quality of light, and it’s now said to have Britain’s largest concentration of artists outside London. Tate St Ives focuses on work by modern British artists with links to the area, including major names such as Barbara Hepworth. Following an 18-month reconstruction project, this landmark building has reopened with a roof garden and a spacious new gallery, allowing twice as much art to be displayed.

Lunch, sun and swim. A 20-minute drive takes you to Jubilee Pool, Britain’s largest surviving seawater lido, originally built in 1935. Located on the seafront promenade of Penzance, this stunning Art Deco lido has a triangular-shaped main pool, plus a small bathing pool that’s ideal for younger children.

Take a stroll. A small tidal island with a castle at its summit, nearby St Michael´s Mouth is a landmark on Cornwall’s southern coast. It’s accessible by foot at low tide via a man-made cobble causeway – boatmen ferry people across at all other times. Alternatively, wander through the island’s lovely Victorian terrace gardens where, thanks to its unique microclimate, a surprising variety of exotic plants grow.

Dramatic open-air theatre. Perched on cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean is the world-renowned Minack Theatre. Local resident Rowena Cade created this open-air theatre on the land below her house in 1932 to enable a local drama group to stage Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  The Minack retains its unique ambience: ticket-holders arrive early to picnic on its grass terraces, and each performance is enhanced by the natural drama of sea views, sunsets, and the crash of breaking waves.

DAY TWO:
Explore a castle ruin. The iconic ruin of Tintagel Castle is a place inextricably linked to the legend of King Arthur. Strategically positioned on a headland on Cornwall’s rugged north coast, visitors today can explore the site and discover its links to King Arthur that date back to the 12th century.

Or… 

With exotic flora and fauna housed in huge bubble-like biomes, theEden Project is home to the largest indoor rainforest in the world. There are adventure activities here as well – including England’s longest and fastest zip wire ride.

Michelin-starred food. While on Cornwall’s north coast, enjoy a gourmet lunch atNathan Outlaw a renowned seafood restaurant in Port Isaac with two Michelin stars, or try Fifteen, Jamie Oliver’s restaurant and social enterprise on beautiful Watergate Bay where all profits go to charity.

Maritime and tattooing history. Located in Falmouth harbour, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall tells the story of the sea and explores Cornwall’s fascinating maritime heritage, from the lives of Cornish fisherman to the men and women who’ve made history by sailing solo around the world. Running throughout 2017 is a major new temporary exhibition that celebrates the history and artistry of British tattooing.

Cornish Cream Tea. The Waymarker near Falmouth has won awards for its Sunday Roast and its traditional Cornish Cream Tea. The latter is 100% Cornish and includes homemade scones presented on a tiered cake-stand made of Cornish slate, local clotted cream and strawberry jam, plus local Tregothnan Tea which is the only producer actually growing tea in Britain.

A beauty spot. A sub-tropical beauty spot, Trebah Gardens near Falmouth is rated one of the world’s finest gardens. Highlights include a valley full of 100-year-old rhododendrons, flourishing exotic species such as Australasian tree ferns and Brazilian giant rhubarb, and a cascading water garden fed by a natural spring. Or simply relax on Trebah’s lovely secluded beach.

Make it Happen. Cornwall is in south-west England, five hours from London by car or train. Great Western Railway’s Night Riviera sleeper service runs between London Paddington station and Penzance – one of only two sleeper train services in Britain. Cornwall Airport in Newquay is served by flights from cities throughout Britain as well as Ireland, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

About the Author:

Alfred L. Nortvedt
Alfred is a highly regarded Video Maker specialized in documentaries and works for the biggest daily and media house in Oslo, Norway. From time to time he delivers engaging travel stories for King Goya.

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