Boats bobbing in Looe harbour

Cornwall: Keep calm and carry on

In Travel Inspiration, UK by Kirsti1 Comment

Spring has most definitely sprung, and a county that is very close to my heart is truly blooming: iconic Cornwall. Stunning at any time of the year, each season gives a different but nonetheless wondrous perspective on this spectacular county. Spring comes like a breath of fresh air, giving a new lease of life to everything. Cornwall, like Devon and Somerset, weathered spectacular storms at the beginning of the year – but with true community spirit, hard work and an inspired enthusiasm, Cornwall is open, ready and excited to welcome visitors this Easter.

The storm has passed and calm has been restored, and last weekend saw warm temperatures and beautiful blue skies across Cornwall. The weather forecasts are now settled and more seasonal with the summer looking to be one of the warmest on record. A visit to Cornwall is a must for me, although once is never enough – I need at least an Easter and a summer escape to recharge and feel the peace that Cornwall gives me. And I expect, for those of you who are virgin visitors to Cornwall, your love affair will just be starting.

I have recently been speaking with Visit Cornwall, local businesses, and Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnerships to be able to share with you what’s on this Easter – as well as what to look forward to over the coming months.

Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall, sums up perfectly the positivity and enthusiasm that has been shown by one and all across the county:

“Easter marks a new beginning for Cornwall; the train line is re-opening (on 4 April) and weather-damaged businesses are back to their former glory. Easter events and activities are taking place all over Cornwall and we are ready to offer visitors a huge welcome.”

Transport links to the South West have never been better, so why not let the train take the strain? My children love a train journey; in fact they look forward to it more than a plane journey. I guess being able to move around, go and find refreshments and not being so restricted is so much more pleasant for the younger traveller!

The Night Rivera Sleeper Service is one of only two Sleeper Rail services in the UK, sweeping though the English countryside into the night and arriving in one of several idyllic locations in the South West. For me travel doesn’t get more romantic; book a Sleeper Cabin and be swept away to a Cornish adventure.

Whilst on the subject of Rail travel, the Looe Valley line – which runs down the valley from Liskeard to Looe and was British Travel Awards silver winner of Best Coastal Resort category 2013 – takes you on a scenic journey with several stops along the way. Jump off and explore some of Cornwall’s history or discover some great Cornish pubs along the Looe Valley Rail Ale Trail. This line also has a lovely quirky aspect: along the route the driver changes ends so the train can ‘reverse’ the rest of the route.

The Looe Valley line

The Looe Valley line Photo: Imagerail

From train to foot: Looe is on the South West Coast path so there are many walks to enjoy whilst taking in the spectacular seascapes and coastal surroundings. For some great inland walks it is worth investing in the new book Rambles from the Railway. Looe is renowned for its great walking and cycling trails and this book gives a great insight into some fabulous walks around Looe.

Boats bobbing in Looe harbour

Boats bobbing in Looe harbour Photo: Imagerail

If visiting Looe with children in tow then the Monkey Sanctuary always has something fun to take part in. Here, you can keep your little monkeys entertained this Easter not only by watching the monkeys’ antics and learning about their natural habitats and habits, but also taking part in an Easter Egg hunt with a difference: you will also be looking for a monkey called Murray to win a special prize.

Blue Reef Aquarium, Cornwall

See the turtles at the Blue Reef Aquarium Photo: Blue Reef Aquarium

Leaving land-based wildlife behind, we move on to sea life at the Blue Reef Aquarium at Newquay, which took a battering from the storms in past months. Steve Matchett, Manager and Curator explains what we can look forward to this Easter:

“We are open for business as usual after the winter storms. Come down and see our new displays and join in all the Easter fun. We’re hoping the combination of talks, exhibits, fun activities and live specimens will really help to bring the amazing world of turtles to life for all our visitors over the Easter Holidays.”

Get up close to the wildlife

Get up close to the wildlife Photo: Blue Reef Aquarium

From the 18 to 21 April, Blue Reef is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt, with eggs hidden amongst the displays – make sure Blue Reef features on your Easter itinerary.

Another Cornish business that took a battering from the storms was the Watering Hole in Perranporth. Tom Job from the Watering Hole reiterated the great resilience that has been shown across Cornwall:

“We are blessed to have rolling surf on our doorstep and whilst over the last few months it has been a little too close for comfort we are privileged to be the UK’s only bar on the beach. We’ve been working around the clock to get ready for Easter and there’s a real buzz around here at the moment which we can’t wait to share over the holidays.”

Perranporth, a beautiful beach

Perranporth, a beautiful beach Photo: Visit Cornwall

Perranporth is one of my boys’ favourite beaches. It’s great for surfing, and during the summer season has lifeguards on the beach, so after enjoying all that surf call into the Watering Hole and warm up with one of the best hot chocolates known to the British people!

Visit Cornwall also provides a plethora of inspirational ideas and practical advice when visiting the county. If you are looking for Easter adventures, from the interactive Smuggling Exhibition at The National Maritime Museum and Chocolatey Weekend, to open-air performances at the world-famous Minack Theatre, Visit Cornwall has it all at a click of your fingers. Find beautiful gardens to explore, events and attractions across Cornwall and historical sites to take you back in time.

Julia Hughes, Tourism Press & PR Executive from Visit Cornwall:

“April and May are great times to visit; the warmth from our mild climate is being matched with an amazing array of spring colours and there’s a jam-packed calendar of events. Beaches across Cornwall are also getting back to their former glory to offer the perfect place to enjoy the lighter evenings. Why wait till summer?”

I think the message is clear: Cornwall is open and ready to welcome you. There really is a huge amount going on over Easter and the coming months.

 

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KirstiCornwall: Keep calm and carry on

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