Driving is one of the things I miss most since moving to England. I don’t know whether it’s the quiet, the control or the fact that I grew up with a speedway -obsessed dad… Maybe it’s all of the above. I know I loved being behind the wheel again.
Once I began driving it became apparent that I didn’t actually know what British road signs meant. I also had my fair share of clunky gear changes. But that didn’t matter, the tunes were flowing and we were headed to Cornwall!
I was lucky enough to share the journey with my first Cambridge friend Meredith and this girl knows how to road trip. She was ultra prepared with snacks, caffeine, offline map apps…she even brought an atlas!
After a 6 hour drive we arrived at our first night of accommodation, an eco cabin! It was so cute and cosy. Here’s a break down of the trip day by day.
I woke up feeling like a forest princess and that’s always going to be a good day. The wildflowers, the leafy trees, the scent of spring! We soaked it all up with a cup of coffee and then headed to our next destination.
Tintagel Castle! Where King Arthur became more than just a twinkle in his father’s eye or so the legends say. Visiting on a foggy morning really heightened the experience and sense of mystery about the place.
After exploring the ruins of Tintagel we set off on the road again. In Cornwall it is just village after village of cuteness. Be sure to pull over at every pretty sight!
Newquay was next for an overnight stay. To be honest this was my least favourite stop on the trip (sorry Newquay, not sorry) but it did make for some great travel memories. It was my first real hostel experience and it was creepy. It also turns out Newquay is the Stag and Hen do capital of Cornwall. We lived to tell the tale though so I’m happy! On some positive notes there was a really cool homewares shop, surf beaches and a magical island house that can only be reached by a 90ft-high suspension bridge.
We were up early and on the road again with a pit stop in Perranporth for coffee and rock exploring before we continued on to St Agnus. The fog followed us and made for an eerie cliff adventure and a there were certainly too many men in speedos for such a small beach.
Back on the road again and we arrived at St Ives! My favourite beach of the trip with soft white sand and the clearest water. After a quick stroll around St Ives in search of a bakery, two sun deprived ladies took the opportunity to replenish some vitamin D while gorging on cornish pastries.
With our first sunburn for the year we set off again to St Michael’s Mount. Sadly I didn’t get any good photos so you can check it out here. Being low tide we could walk across the causeway to the island and wander around. The castle here has been home to the St Aubyn family since 1650. Can you just imagine growing up in a castle?
It was time to check into our last night of accommodation in Penzance. We stayed in a room in this sweet cottage below with AirBNB. After meeting our host we set off to watch the sunset at Land’s End, the most westerly point of England and of course to get a cheesy tourist photo with the sign.
After farewelling our hosts and with bellies full of poached egg and coffee we continued on the road to St Mawes. This was a last minute change to the itinerary and the best surprise stop of the trip. We strolled up the harbour, had a delightful Cornish cream team and then jumped back in the car.
Next stop Polperro! I must admit I was a bad tourist here. I missed a sign that indicated I was about to drive on a pedestrian only road and needless to say people weren’t too happy with me! This place is obviously geared for bus loads of tourists but I can see why it’s popular. It’s really quaint with winding lanes and a historic harbour. We soaked up some more rays and drank red wine from cardboard coffee cups like the refined ladies we are.
The final stop of the trip was the twin villages of Cawsand and Kingsand. Colourful standstone cottages, winding lanes and bunting. It was all very cute.
We then embarked on our 6 hour drive home satisfied that we had crammed every Cornish travel to-do in our neatly packed three day road trip. Hope you are inspired to explore a little more of Britain!