Travel is, without a doubt, one of my favourite things in life. Even though I don’t do it as much as I would love to (only 2/3 times a year), I can assure you you’ll always find me planning my next trip – or the next 10.
Alongside travelling, I have always liked sharing my experiences through words and images, and that’s why I’ve decided to write about it in this blog. But at the same time, I feel like talking about my feelings towards a certain memory, can leave the reader out of the story and it might not be what everyone wants to find. For this very reason, I am gonna walk you through all my trips in a very descriptive way, including the accommodations and restaurants links and related prices, hoping that you will see it as a guide to help you plan YOUR perfect vacation.
Keep in mind that this was a backpacking trip to Cornwall for a long weekend, we were three girls in our twenties and were willing to make compromises on transports and accommodations so that we would have saved as much money as possible.
So, without further ado, let’s pack our suitcases and drive all the way to Cornwall!
Days involved: 5 nights, 3 days. From May 13th to May 17th
Visited areas: Penzance, St. Michael’s Mount, Land’s End, St. Ives, Newquay
night buses: London – Penzance and Plymouth – London
daytime buses: Penzance – Land’s End (round-trip), Penzance – St. Ives, St. Ives – Newquay, Newquay – Plymouth
One night at YHA Hostel Penzance – £39
One night in the Cottage Bay Tree in St. Ives – £102
Day one: Penzance and Land’s End
The night of May 13th, we got to Victoria Coach Station in London, tracksuits and backpacks, ready to catch the night bus at 11pm that would have taken us directly to Penzance in about 8 hours. The decision to travel by buses was made after checking a few pros about them: no luggage restrictions whatsoever, cheap fares and the possibility to spend the night travelling to save us some time. We slept most of the night and when we finally woke up we were in Penzance ready to start our adventure – and to celebrate my birthday! First thing first, birthday celebrations called for a massive breakfast at Wheterspoon: English breakfast, pancakes, some fruits and coffees. We then had a walk around the village, nothing fancy and particularly impressive but it was in fact well linked to all the places we really wanted to visit. We headed to the nearest bus station to catch a bus to Land’s End – the most westerly point of England – just to stop in a pub where a lovely lady let us use her bathroom to refresh a bit. The trip to Land’s End took us one hour and, once we arrived there, we were absolutely astonished by the beauty of the land. Trust me when I say no words can express the feeling of being at the top of the land, surrounded by the ocean, and catch a sense of freedom you’ve never experienced before. We kind of wanted to stay there for eternity.
We catch the last bus back to Penzance and worked our way back to the YHA, a lovely hostel established in an amazing Georgian mansion, where we were able to eat some pizza and nachos for dinner and have a good night sleep.
Day two: St. Michael’s Mount and St. Ives
It is a nice little walk on the windy beach from Penzance to St. Michael’s Mount, the British equivalent to the most famous Mont Saint-Michel. St. Michael’s Mount is a tidal island that can only be reached by foot at certain times of the day: we were able to walk to it in the morning and were told that at 4 in the afternoon everyone would have had to leave the island. The view from the coast to the island is wonderful and we tried to fully enjoy it every step of the way. It is quite a small island and while it has a long history behind it, the only thing you can actually visit when you get there is the Castle, home of the St Aubyn family since 1650.
After our visit to the castle we left the island just in time for the rain to start pouring down, so that we had to stop in a small bistrot along the way back to Penzance and grab some food for the travel. In the early afternoon we catch another bus headed to St. Ives, my new favourite place in Cornwall. This small village is the home of lots of art clubs and exhibitions, cute little cafes and cottages straight out of a fairytale. We walked around for a bit before entering one of the several cafes for an afternoon tea in pure Cornish style. The weather wasn’t at its best so we decided to spend a bit more time in there enjoying the pasties and called the guy we rented our accommodation from. Although we had initially booked a hobbit house (didn’t you just fall in love with it by hearing the name? Because we totally did) the weather was playing tricks on us and our host, Dale, was so kind to offer us one of his cottages instead, for a small charge of price. That was the best thing that could have happened to us, Dale’s cottage was absolutely stunning and lifted our moods 100% that we actually decided to stay in that night and enjoy the house.
Day three: Newquay and Plymouth
During our staying at Dale’s cottage, he was really helpful in our plannings for the next day. Our initial plan was in fact to enjoy St. Ives a bit more in the morning, take a bus to Plymouth in the afternoon and catch the night bus to London after a dinner in the city. He advised us to arrive in Plymouth just before catching the night bus and make a stop in Newquay instead, the home of surfing, so we did. We took the bus first thing in the morning headed to Newquay and arrived there just about at midday. We decided to have lunch in one of the restaurants on the beach and enjoy the amazing views a bit more. Newquay is probably the closest thing my head imagine Australia to be: lots of green, amazing beaches, seaside restaurants and people on bare feet around the city with surfboards under their arms. Too much television on my side, probably, but that is exactly how Newquay is. I’ll let you know about the Australia part, when I get there!
We literally spent the day walking on the beach, entering every cave we bumped into, watching people surf and climbing every possible cliff we could find. When we thought we reached the furthest one, there was always one more just beside us. Our last night in Cornwall, we decided to have a happy hour and got ourselves into a very nice pub for a Mojito. The atmosphere was so cozy and welcoming that we extended our night in the pub for a proper dinner – and maybe another Mojito. 😉
We then took a bus at 10pm from Newquay to Plymouth and waited just about an hour for our ride home to London, not quite ready to say goodbye to those breathtaking views we allowed ourselves to encounter.