Where ever you live in England, point your car in a southwesterly direction and drive until you can drive no further. Park up, get out and you will find yourself in the beautiful county of Cornwall.
Actually, if you have really driven as far as you possibly can, you will be at Land's End, the most southwesterly point in the UK. Thirty years ago, the spot was marked solely with a signpost pointing towards John O’Groats some 800 miles away at the other end of the Britain; tourists stopped to take a photo beneath the sign and view the spectacular granite cliffs. Nowadays, as is the trend, it is an entire themed adventure but the signpost is still there and cliffs are as magnificently rugged as they ever were: granite erodes very slowly.
If you feel inclined to take a stroll, the SW coastal path runs through Land’s End. A couple of miles anti-clockwise brings you to the spectacular mile-long white sands of Sennen Cove; two miles in the opposite direction brings you to the unique Minac Theatre, an open air theatre clinging improbably to the side of the cliffs, carved painstakingly out of the rock. Bring a blanket and watch a play with an awesome backdrop of waves crashing against the rocks below.
If beautiful beaches are your thing and Sennen Cove is not enough, you will find numerous other stretches of golden sand along the miles of coast. If beaches aren’t your thing, then perhaps you prefer quaint fishing villages, like tiny Mousehole round the corner from the Minac Theatre, or Port Isaac - home of Doc Martin - further north along the coast. And if the walk from Lands End to the Minac Theatre is insufficient exercise, the path continues in both directions around the entire coastline of the county and on into Devon.
The rugged Atlantic coast is battered by the best surf in the country and is a mecca for anyone who owns a surfboard. From Bude to Newquay, from Polzeath to Widemouth Bay, you are guaranteed to find someone surfing on almost any day of the year. And if your sporting preference is to cling to the cliffs rather than surf beneath them, there are numerous rock faces to scale and very few other climbers likely to be in your way.
Cornwall really is renowned for its coastline but if sun, sand and sea is not your idea of fun, then inland Cornwall is home to the world’s largest greenhouses. In a disused china clay mine outside St Austell you will find the Eden Project where several enormous biodomes create eco systems found in places far more exotic than Cornwall. Stroll through a sweltering tropical rain forest or balmy Mediterranean garden. If that is not exciting enough, the Eden Project is now home to the country’s longest zip line.
Cornwall has more than enough to do to help you work up an appetite and there is really only one thing to eat: a Cornish Pasty. You might have eaten one elsewhere, but if it didn’t come from Cornwall, then it is a pasty, not a Cornish Pasty. It might look and taste the same but it truly is not. It needs to be a Cornish Pasty and it really should be eaten in Cornwall. It is worth drive just to experience England’s greatest culinary achievement.