Whether you’re off to uni, moving for a job, following your heart, or heading out of county for something completely different – there are plenty of reasons you might be leaving Cornwall for a short jaunt or a long haul. But Cornwall’s a pretty special place, and wherever you end up, we predict you’ll find yourself daydreaming about at least one of these things…
OK, we know this is an obvious one… but having the sea almost in sight from pretty much anywhere is a fairly unusual state of affairs. Whether it’s a spectacular sunrise surf in a secluded cove, nipping down the beach on a sunny evening for an after work beverage with your friends, or a windswept walk along the cliffs on a winter’s afternoon – the sea’s so much more than the big blue wet thing at the bottom of the beach. It’s a place to work, rest and play for so many of us down here, we predict you’ll find yourself longing for a sea breeze sooner or later…
Local food and drink
Whether you’re a dedicated foodie or not, we predict that you’ll soon be craving the huge range of delicious food and drink we’ve got right here on our doorstep when you venture up country. There’s many a little farm shop with local seasonal produce to be found nestled in the lanes (more on those next), chicken and duck egg stalls with honesty boxes, and whether you’re into your fishing, or you’ve got a mate with a handy habit of catching one too many, or you frequent the fish markets of a morning – it’s always amazing to have fresh and delicious seafood within easy reach. And that’s not even mentioning the huge range of local breweries, vineyards and distilleries!
It might sound like a funny thing to miss… but the lanes are a driving experience unlike any other. High herringbone slate hedges, hefty granite slabs – heck, sometimes the roads are carved into bare rock. They’re long, narrow, windy and quite often blocked by sheep, cows, buses, tractors or motorhomes. Sometimes you’ll be hemmed in by ten foot hedges for miles on end and you’ll feel like a rat in a maze, and then all of a sudden you’ll burst out into a spectacular view that takes your breath away. And what all that means, is that when you’re away, you’ll be able to reverse with a confidence bordering on arrogance, and have such a precise knowledge of how wide and long your car is that driving feels like an out of body experience.
Do your non-Cornish friends ever struggle with pronouncing your address? Thats because heaps and heaps of Cornish place names are literally in another language – the Cornish language! The old rhyme’s true … “By Tre, Ros, Pol, Lan, Caer and Pen,You may know the most Cornishmen” and we’ve got Trerice, Roskear, Polperro, Lanlivery, Cardinham, Penzance – and the rest – to prove it! But we suppose once you get out of county, there are plenty of other weird and wonderful names to enjoy … like Great Snoring in Norfolk. Or Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate in York. Or, you know… Plymouth.
Traditions, Music and Festivals
Cornwall’s chock-a-block with interesting traditions, music and festivals to get involved in – from the super local and niche to huge, world-class events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Fancy a strange, possibly ancient pagan festival to celebrate the coming of spring? Padstow Mayday’s got you covered. An epic 3 day extravaganza of surfing, skating, and epic music? Boardmasters is where you want to be. What about a chilly boxing day dip followed by a Christmas carols in the pub? Charlestown’s the place. Gig rowing world championships? On the Scillies, of course. Whether you’re sporty, arty, outdoorsy, foodie, music-y or parent-y, there’s absolutely no excuse for being bored down here.
We’ve sort of talked about food and drink already, but this needs a special mention as a crowning experience – is there anything better in the world than sitting outdoors on a warm sunny day with hot pot of tea, fresh scones straight out of the oven, home-made jam (which is your favourite – we’ve got a left field favourite of blackcurrant) – and a heap of smooth, rich, clotted cream … we’re drooling just thinking about it. And as for the age-old argument about jam or cream first – you get a mouthful of scone, cream and jam whatever way round you choose, but… come on. It’s OBVIOUSLY got to be jam first on your cream tea – if you put the cream on first, the jam just slides off doesn’t it! See? Logic.
Ah, so you’re off to the land of Gregg’s. And by that, we mean absolutely anywhere apart from Cornwall (OK, we know there’s one – ONE – Gregg’s in Cornwall, but it’s in Saltash, which is only a mile over the border and to be honest we’ll be amazed they get any further). We’ve heard rumours about the good news of pasties being spread further than Cornwall, so we wish you good luck on your journey, traveller. It’s a very disconcerting thing to be without a handy bakery stocking freshly made Cornish pasties, hevva cakes and saffron buns to fuel up on your daily adventures.
The characteristic cross of St Piran is everywhere… obviously they’re on flagpoles, but you’ll find them on cars, on numberplates, t-shirts, fishing boats, hoodies, tattoos, murals, bunting, festivals… the design is said to represent when St Piran, Cornwall’s patron saint, discovered tin when it smelted in the shape of cross on his black hearthstone – evidently made out of ore. We reckon you’ll get a little heart twinge when you’re in some distant, far flung corner of the world, when you spot a car driving by with a Cornish flag on the bumper!
Cornish accent and dialect
Who doesn’t love being greeted with an ‘alright, yeah you’? It’s not just a west-country accent – there’s whole words and phrases that make sense this side of the border that definitely raise an eyebrow on the other… for example, where else can you ask ‘Wosson shag?’ without fear of propositioning someone?! Or talk in sentences that almost need literal translation – for example, we all get a bit mazed (mad or angry) when we miss our crowst (elevenses) – it makes us teasy as an adder (cross)… but dinnus worry (don’t worry), we’ll get un (it) dreckly (somewhere between now and the heat death of the universe).
Your local pub
Yes, we know about the existence of skyscraper rooftop bars, swanky boutique distilleries, themed speakeasies hidden away in secret alleys up in the big cities… but there’s nowhere quite like your local, is there? They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home … and quite often the pub is the heart of the community. It’s a family friendly place to congregate, there’s always a welcome, something delicious to eat and refreshing to drink, a bit of friendly chitchat and in this season, usually a roaring fire to tuck up to. And when you’ve got a view like ours… well, it’s no wonder you’d miss it.
What do-ee reckon to our list then? Something you’d never thought about before but suddenly became really obvious when you moved away? Tell us in the comments!