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Cornwall: Land of Legends, Beaches, and Smugglers?

written by Penny Sadler

Cornwall is a beautiful seaside land that has provided the setting for many myths and legends. Tintagel Castle, near the village of the same name, figures prominently into Arthurian legend as the former residence of the famous king’s mother, Lady Igraine. This area of Britain was also home to the star-crossed lovers Tristan and Iseult as well as their ultimate nemesis King Mark.

It is not just the legends that have left their impenetrable mark on the landscape, however. For many centuries travelers have been flocking to Cornwall for the secluded beaches and picturesque ruins. There is so much to discover, plan to stay several days or longer. Cornish holiday home in Looe and Polperro offers the perfect location to base yourself and enjoy the area and all it has to offer.

Exploring South Cornwall

Pednvounder Beach, by Jim Champion, Creative Common

Things To Do in Looe and Polperro

Looe to Polperro walk. This well-marked coastal trail has excellent views and takes in many local sights. Hiking the trail takes about two and a half hours and is moderately difficult. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended. It is best to start the trail at Looe, where there is free parking available.

Polperro is an extremely picturesque village so you’ll definitely want to have your camera on hand when you arrive there.

You may also want to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the pretty coves along the way, otherwise, a snack shop can be found near the middle of the trail. However, most hikers stop for a quick bite to eat in Polperro at the journey’s end, before catching the bus back to where they started.

Houses and boats in the harbor at Polperro, from Cornwall land of legends beaches smugglers

The charming village of Polperro, Cornwall. Photo Mick Knapton, wikimedia creativecommons

The Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol. This interesting museum provides great insight into the history of Looe. One of the original cells in the jail area has also been rebuilt so that visitors can learn what crime and punishment were like in the olden days. The docents that work at the museum are very well versed in the material at hand, but there is so much information that some may find the site overwhelming.

Admission to the museum is £1.80 (just under $3 USD) for adults and less than that for children. The building isn’t handicap accessible and it is closed during the winter months, so travelers planning on coming here should be aware of those things.

Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling & Fishing. Another good activity for passing the time on a rainy day, this former factory turned museum focuses on the town’s history and the local economy. The fun feature of this museum is the history and information on smuggling. There are a number of ship models as well, and other intriguing displays. Delicious food can be found at the nearby café that overlooks the harbor area.

The Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s’ number one tourist attractions. Here you will find the world’s largest contained rainforest. Learn about nature and our relationship with the flora and fauna of the rainforest. Take a canopy walk through the treetops or admire the world-class architecture and ever-changing gardens on display.

Eden Project has something going on year-round and the events calendar does change frequently. There are concerts, art exhibitions, lectures, educational activities and even an ice rink in the winter. This is a wonderful place for all ages to enjoy. The Eden Project is located in South Cornwall.

Gardens at the Eden Project, Polperro, Cornwall

Eden Project, Photo by Rob Young, wikimedia creativecommons

St. Mawes and Pendennis Castles

Castles scream adventure and romance, don’t they? St. Mawes and Pendennis were built to protect the mainland from invasion by the French and Spanish during the time of the Tudor King Henry VIII, and are well-preserved examples of Tudor architecture. St. Mawes is the best preserved and most architecturally interesting, with a circular central tower and three lower bastions creating a cloverleaf shape. Both are on Falmouth Harbour.

Castle on hilltop in Cornwall

Pendennis and St. Mawes by Eva K. from Creative Commons

This is but a brief summary of all that Cornwall has to offer tourists, whether seeking a weekend break or a longer and deeper exploration of the area. Have you been to Cornwall?

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