4 Epic Days in Cornwall, England

It finally happened! I’ve always wanted to go to England, but it wasn’t until I read the Poldark series by Winston Graham and started watching the T.V. show that brought me to the point in my life of: I need to go there.

My boyfriend and I have had England planned for awhile now. You might be remember my post on what we choose to see when there.

But now it’s time to tell you all what we actually did. This all about our 4 days in Cornwall (technically we were there 5, but we basically just went to the beach and left on day 5 so I’m scratching that). You’ll see other posts in the future on our time in London, my favorite pictures (which will probably coincide with my favorite things that we did), the do’s and don’ts of traveling there, and how to save some money on your trip.

Day 1:

We were mighty adventurous on Day 1. After not really sleeping on our overnight, and waiting around in Heathrow for 3 hours, we finally made our way out to the countryside — a 4 hour drive from Heathrow to our little home away from home in St Agnes. If you are a Poldark fan, then St Agnes and Cornwall are just what you need. Anyway, to say we were tired was an understatement, we took a power nap, I’m not sure if we could have done any sight seeing that first day if we didn’t. But it was beautiful day and I just had to see something of Cornwall before we truly crashed for the night. This is what I had dreamed about for too long. I needed to see the coastline and it did not disappoint. IMG_0767.jpgSince we were at Porthtowan Beach, we decided it only made sense to sit out, relax and eat at it’s multiple different restaurants, we chose the beach cafe where we got some delicious burgers (reasonably priced). But there were at least two other places for eating plus Moomaid of Zennor ice cream. As an FYI — you do have to pay for parking almost everywhere in Cornwall.

Day 2:

Remember how I said we were jet lagged? Yeah, we slept for awhile into day 2 but were still able to see a lot! When we planned our vacation, we planned based off of geographical locations. So Day 2 was the Northern section (or what I considered Northern) of Cornwall. We got a little lost and ended up in Bodim, the cutest town, with the loveliest walking trail and the buildings were so old. Exactly what I was looking for. We also saw a festival going on that had it’s own reenactment of an execution!

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Once Bodim was done we headed to Tintagel Castle, which is really more of a ruin than castle. This is the supposed birthplace of King Arthur. You can even find a cove called Merlin’s Cove (PS — you can buy your tickets there, you also have to pay for parking or you can buy an Overseas Visitor Pass from English Heritage — which is what we did, more on that later). I mean, we really walked into history here, the Castle is a ruin now because it hadn’t been used in over 500 years — that’s right over 500 years. How unbelievable is that?

 

After our activities for the day, it was off to dinner (yes, we brought our lunches with us — more on that later) in Port Isaac, there was no real reason why we went to Port Isaac other than I wanted to see it. We had a lovely little dinner of fish and chips right on the water at the pier at The Slipway.

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Day 3:

Day 3 was our only truly rainy day. But even with that being said, it was pretty amazing. It didn’t downpour so that made it better. This was our first day of seeing a Castle that was not in ruin. Pendennis Castle was pretty amazing, not only was the Castle itself old and had a lot going on, it was cool to see the history of what it was used for after it was a castle, like a barracks during the WWI and WWII.

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After this, we went to Truro and had our first ever Cornish Pasty. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Everyone needs to have one, seriously. They even have Vegetarian ones as well as their traditional meat version. When in Truro, you have to see the Cathedral, it is a must see — gorgeous (with free admission) and of course, a lot of history.

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The last thing we did on day 3 was something I had been waiting to do since we started planning. If you’re a Poldark fan, you have to go to Chapel Porth Beach and Wheal Coates. When walking up the trail and seeing the water and the old mines.  It was everything I hoped it would be, I was so happy I think my boyfriend might have laughed at me. Honestly, I could post so many more picture but I chose three, maybe you’ll see more in some later posts.

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The mines were mainly for copper, tin and ore and very popular until the 1800s, I was in awe at the fact that I finally seeing it.

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Day 4

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t mentioned anything about TEA. Anyway, we finally had some tea and scones near St Michael’s Mount. We got to the location early which was the perfect excuse to have some tea — we went to the Godolphin Arms and had a picturesque view of the Castle while we ate and waited.

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Why did we have to wait, do you wonder? Well, one of the coolest things about St Michael’s Mount is getting there. It’s on it’s own Island, technically you can take a little boat but we wanted the full experience of waiting for the tide to go out and then walk across the brick road like shown above. It was such a cool experience, we both loved it (FYI — Parking is about $4 pounds for the day and attraction pass is about $10 pounds, this is not part of the Heritage Pass mentioned earlier).

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Once there, you get to walk through a little town as you make your way up to the actual Castle. Be aware, this Castle is on a hill and is a cobblestone walkway, I would suggest sneakers. We were honestly thinking that anyone who has trouble on uneven surfaces might have trouble with this place. It’s worth it though if you can get to the top. The Castle itself is amazing, but the view of the ocean and the little town is also amazing. We took a lot of pictures and probably could have spent all day there.

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After St Michael’s Mount, we drove about 45mins to Land’s End. To say we did a lot of hiking/walking in Cornwall would be an understatement. Land’s End is the most south westernly point of Britain — which means I’ve been there and to the southernmost point of the US all within a year! I’m pretty happy with myself.

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What surprised me about Land’s End is how much of an attraction site it was. I expected to go there and just see lush cliffs — which don’t get me wrong, we saw (and I loved). But there was also a lot of fun attractions for families and kids even before you start walking the cliffs.

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I’m not going to lie, there were also some sketchy areas that we hiked. At one point, we seemed so close to the edge that I didn’t want to continue on the trail. If you ever feel like this though, don’t worry, you can go on a trail that’s not as close to the edge and still get the view you’re looking for.

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Then we drove to St Ives (honestly, the coolest town) and had dinner at Harbor Fish and Chips (our favorite Fish and Chips on the vacation) and then had a drink with some Cornishmen and Cornishwomen while watching England play in the World Cup. There was honestly no better way to end our first leg of our England trip and Cornwall.

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What I loved the most about Cornwall was the relaxed feel and nature of the whole place. Four hours from London and I felt like I was in a completely different country. I could have spent a week there, not just a couple of days.

 

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Reminiscing About Paradise Island, Bahamas

My first ever vacation outside of the country was to The Bahamas back when I was a senior in college. I didn’t think it was real, my mom kept sending me ideas of places where we could go over my winter break, she’s never been so serious about a trip before. But still, I didn’t think it was going to happen. But one day I got an email with all the bookings and where we were going, I couldn’t believe it – my roommates couldn’t believe it but it happened.

It was a much-needed vacation and looking back I can see why my mom planned it. We had gone through a rough two years – my dad passing away first and then my grandfather (my mom’s father) the year later. I think it was time but I was still young (and poor) so a vacation wasn’t even in my vocabulary. It was in my mom’s though, so for 5 days and 4 nights we headed to Paradise Island, Bahamas in 2010.

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Man, was it Paradise. Again, it was my first vacation out of the country, and while I had seen pictures of the clear turquoise ocean and white sand beaches, I still didn’t believe it was what I was going to see when I got there. I remember looking out the window on the plane and being in awe of the water and the fact that it wasn’t all a lie. I was here, I was seeing this crystal blue water and I hadn’t even gotten off the plane yet!

We made this vacation the epitome of vacation too, we stayed in Riu Hotel, an all-inclusive that had the most delicious food ever. We had a view of the pool and the water, could sit out on the beach all day in 70-degree weather. The locals were cold and said we were crazy when we got in the water but honestly, we couldn’t help it! It was Paradise!

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We didn’t just sit around either, don’t worry. One day we went out to The Blue Lagoon to swim with dolphins. It was an experience I will never forget. I love dolphins but being up so close to them was a little intimidating to be honest. My dolphin liked me (yeah, I’ll brag a bit) and went to the bottom of the ocean to give me a rock, I still have it, it will follow me everywhere because who knows when I’ll swim (and fly) with a dolphin again. To get to The Blue Lagoon, you had to take a boat from the main Island, after we swam with dolphins we stayed there for a bit and just enjoyed the quiet. We were the only people who stayed so we had out little Island to ourselves (minus the lifeguard on duty)!

Other adventures outside of relaxing on the beaches and seeing the gorgeous water and sunsets was our walk around The Atlantis and the hotel’s aquarium. They also had shops where we found the best Rum Cake. We still buy it occasionally from Amazon.

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That’s all I have for reminiscing on Paradise Island, Bahamas. I can’t wait to go back, it’s still one of those vacations where I could go back again and again. I feel like I have an itch for the Caribbean and that clear turquoise water.

Why You Should Travel With Your Girlfriends Once a Year

A few weeks ago I wrote about why I love to travel so much. After writing that, I thought about all the people I have traveled with — Groups of couples/friends, family, my boyfriend, my boyfriend’s family and my girl friends. It got me thinking about why it’s so important to not always travel/vacation with your significant other (sorry bud, love you!)

Every year for the past 3ish years, my girlfriends and I try to do a girls weekend. From that experience we’ve gone to Maine, Florida, Philly, and to each other’s hometowns. Experiences apart from the people you see all the time is good, I am in awe of the people that do solo trips, if I felt more comfortable with it I would do it in the heart beat.

Part of my big reason for traveling with my girlfriends is because I don’t see them as much as I would like and it’s sometimes easier to talk about all the girl things in your head without your significant other’s being there. It’s also an easy way to make memories and to reiterate how important your friends are to you (I am not a fan of the people who forget about everyone else when they start dating their significant other). Without them you wouldn’t be the person you are and some good quality time with them is necessary at least once a year, and not because of a celebration but because of how much you value your friendship.

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Last year I was lucky enough to experience that 3 separate times with different friends and I loved Every second of it. While 3 times was amazing, I’m hoping for even more time spent with them this year.

Do you guys do solo travel trips? Go traveling with just your friends? Do you have rituals or a certain amount of occurrences a year?

My 30: 30 Places I Can’t Wait To Visit

Hi Everyone! My first 30 post! If you didn’t read my February Roundup, I turn 30 next Month. So I’m going to try a post a week — 30 things either about me, what I want to see, my favorite books etc.

The first week of “My 30” is 30 Places I can’t wait to visit. In the past year I’ve knocked off a few of those places (Hey Chicago, Maine, Miami and The Florida Keys)! This won’t include those — these are all new places.

In no particular order

  1. England — going this year!
  2. Iceland —going this year!
  3. Grand Canyon
  4. California
  5. Quebec
  6. Spain
  7. Scotland
  8. Australia
  9. DC — going this year!!
  10. Nashville
  11. New Orleans
  12. Costa Rica (again)
  13. St. Thomas
  14. Texas (San Antonio)
  15. New Zealand
  16. Alaska
  17. Utah
  18. Colorado
  19. Hawaii
  20. Greece
  21. Norway
  22. Chile
  23. Dubai
  24. Dominican Republic
  25. Acadia National Park
  26. Yellowstone
  27. Yosemite
  28. Atlanta
  29. Switzerland
  30. Vancouver

As you can see, I’m heading to England and DC this year, I might try to sneak one more trip in by the end of the year but we will see how that goes.

Have you been to any of these? If you could choose one off the list where would it be?