Cornwall is situated in the South West of England, located on the shores of Mount’s Bay – a body of water dominated by the grandeur of St. Michael’s Mount – Penzance is Cornwall’s largest and most westerly borough. Only 10 miles from Land’s End, the town is surrounded by an area of Celtic culture and outstanding natural beauty. Majestic cliffs, rocky coves, pristine sandy beaches and crystal clear seas vie with the heather and gorse of the moors.
Cornwall is a county of England’s south-west peninsula, lying west of the River Tamar.
Cornwall’s county town and only city is Truro. The county includes the Isles of Scilly, 28 miles offshore.
Cornwall, being exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, is composed entirely of resistant rocks, as less resistant rocks have been eroded away. The centre of the county is largely Devonian sandstone and slate. The north east of the county, lies on Carboniferous sandstone. Cornwall is particularly known for its granite of Bodmin Moor and the areas around Camborne and Land’s End, and the dark green serpentine of the Lizard Peninsula. The granite forms high treeless moors on which sheep graze, and the characteristic Cornish cliffs.
Cornwall is the southernmost county of the British Isles, and therefore has a relatively warm and sunny climate.
Ancient fishing villages, cliff-top walks, sub-tropical vegetation, combine with early Christian history and Celtic legend to make the district surrounding Penzance a fascinating area. The coastline of coves and caves, the area’s history of smugglers and wreckers and its long tradition of music and song, inspired Gilbert and Sullivan to name one of the most famous of their productions “The Pirates of Penzance”.
All around the West Cornwall coastline, the sea is clean and clear and its beaches regularly receive awards for both their facilities and their cleanliness. Many of the beaches are ideal for families and children, with wide-open sand gently shelving into inviting water.
For watersports enthusiasts, there are excellent opportunities for surfing and wind-surfing, while sailing is popular in Mounts Bay with regular Championships being held for a wide variety of classes of boats.
Well marked footpaths all along the cliff-tops while the inland area is criss-crossed with footpaths and bridle-ways provide plenty of opportunity to “escape the crowds”. Scattered over the Peninsula are many pre-historic sites where stone circles, standing stones and settlement sites can be found. As symbols of the heritage of the people of West Cornwall, there are numerous stark granite-built towers rising above the remote moorland and cliff-tops to be seen. These were the engine houses of the tin mines which once formed the life-blood of the Cornish economy, even in Roman Times.
Added to numerous museums, galleries and other attractions in, and around, Penzance, plus the best Cornish food, drink and entertainment in a great range of bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs, there will never be a shortage of “things to do”.
Mounts Bay – is the island castle of St Michaels Mount – The ancient market town of Penzance is the Capital of the far west of Cornwall and is set in beautiful Mounts Bay – a body of water dominated by the grandeur of St. Michael’s Mount. Located just 10 miles from Land’s End, an area of Celtic culture and outstanding natural beauty surrounds the town. This is a must see site!
Minack Theatre -set dramatically in the cliffs above the sea. – Minack Theatre is a world famous open-air theatre located right on the coastline of Porthcurno bay with spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean as its back-drop.
Tintagel Castle – Tintagel – Legend has it that Merlin the Magician and King Arthur were all here.
Tate Gallery – St Ives
Holywell Bay Fun Park– Newquay
Pencarrow House & Gardens – Bodmin- Georgian house and gardens.
Mineral Tramways Discovery Centre Redruth Discover Cornwall’s mining heritage
Lands End Experience, – Land’s End is one of the most popular outdoor attractions in Cornwall. Situated on the westerly most point of mainland Britain it is surrounded by spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Trebah Gardens – Falmouth – 25 acre sub tropical garden. All year round colour; water gardens with water falls and Koi Carp, glades of 100 year old Tree Ferns and 18 feet high giant Gunneva
Paradise Park bird sanctuary – Hayle -Paradise Park is situated on the outskirts of Hayle, on the road to Helston. Hayle is on the A30 about twenty miles south-west of Truro
Flambards Theme Park – Helston worth a visit with the kids.
Seal Sanctuary – Gweek.
Penlee House Gallery & Museum – in the centre of Penzance which has extensive displays of local archaeological artifacts and a range of exhibits illustrating the life and social history of West Cornwall.
How to get there
BY AIR ;
Air South West, the South West’s own low fare airline, flies to Newquay Cornwall Airport from London Gatwick (for worldwide connections), Dublin, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester and Bristol. Also to Plymouth City Airport from London Gatwick, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds-Bradford and Jersey.
There are two flights a day between Stansted and Newquay Cornwall Airport. Also flights from Exeter Airport link to Belfast City, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Jersey, Guernsey, Dublin, Malaga and Alicante, Faro.
he M4, M5 and M6 motorways have made travel to Cornwall simple and straightforward, while within Cornwall itself, the two major holiday routes, the A30 and A38 continue to improve, with fast dual carriageways as far as Bodmin, and most of the way to Penzance. The easiest way is to join the M5 which you then follow to Exeter, after which you take either the A30 or A38 into Cornwall, depending on your final destination.
The South West is served by an excellent rail network covering the entire region. All major networks supply links to the region, and the mainline stations of Paddington and Waterloo both offer direct services from London. The Paddington service is both fast and direct with the fastest travel time to Exeter just over two hours. The route from Waterloo station travels through many county towns and provides a wonderful way to enter the region at more leisurely pace. Rail links from the North of England and the Midlands provide excellent high speed services to the South West with direct services passing through Birmingham New Street.
Regular sailings are provided by ferries from France, Belgium and Spain to ports in the South West of England all of which are served by excellent rail and coach links. As a foot passenger or driver, the ports of Plymouth and Poole provide links with the continent, and the ports of Weymouth and Bournemouth have regular crossings across to the Channel Isles. The ferry port at Penzance provides a regular service to the Isles of Scilly.
National Express Coaches supply regular services to all major cities in the South West and provide links to many of the smaller destinations that the traveller may like to reach. Many of the regions have local services that provide bus links to out of the way destinations.
Park-and-ride schemes run in season at Liskeard (for Looe) and Lelant Saltings (for St. Ives).
There are many festivals in Cornwall, see regions for local events.
Cornwall Folk Festival – August – Wadebridge.
Four nights and three days of the best traditional and contemporary folk music, song, dance and street entertainment set in the lovely riverside town of Wadebridge in Cornwall.
Eating Dining Shopping
Cornwall is famous for its pasties (a pastry dish- traditionally contains meat and vegetables, often peppered),
saffron buns, – Cornish Heavy Cake, – Cornish fairings (biscuit), – Cornish fudge – Cornish ice cream
Cornwall with the South West shares clotted cream and many types of cider. There are also many types of beers brewed in Cornwall – the St Austell brewery is the best-known – including a stout and there is some small scale production of wine.
Rodda’s cream (a creamery based in Cornwall) is eaten by Queen Elizabeth at Christmas.
The modern English name is likely to derive from the same root as Wales (Walea, meaning foreigner) combined with its Roman name of Cornubia. It is also proposed that it may derive from the Celtic tribe of the Cornovii. A people of this name are known, from Roman sources, to have lived in the Outer Powys to Shropshire area of the later Wales and England.
Cornwall was the principal source of tin for the civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean, and at one time the Cornish were the world’s foremost experts at mining. As Cornwall’s reserves of tin began to be exhausted many Cornishmen emigrated to places such as the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where their skills were in demand. The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 is attributed to Tin miners. The tin mines in Cornwall are now economically worked-out at current prices, but the expertise and culture of the Cornish tin miners lives on in a number of places around the world. It is said that, wherever you may go in the world, if you see a hole in the ground, you’ll find a Cornishman at the bottom of it.
Since the decline of tin mining, agriculture and fishing, the area’s economy has become increasingly dependent on tourism — some of Britain’s most spectacular coastal scenery can be found here. However Cornwall is the poorest county in England.
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number 999
Airport Information; 0870 241 8202
Train station: 08457 48 49 50
Tourist Office: 01872 322900
Holiday rents online:
National Transport Line; (bus link details tel;) 03457 48 49 50
24 hour medical service NHS Direct on 0845 46 47