Cornwall, United Kingdom
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When to go
There’s always a chance of rain. Crowds can get annoying in the summer months and the roads can be clogged with traffic. Autumn and spring provide sunshine, peace and the chance of dramatic rainstorms; blustery weather is also ideal for surfing.
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PlanesNewquay International (www.newquay-airport.co.uk), Cornwall’s main airport, has flights from Manchester (BMI Baby), and London Stansted (Ryanair). Cornwall has its own airline, Air Southwest, which flies from Bristol, Manchester, Leeds and Dublin, among others.
TrainsThe journey to the South West from London Paddington takes between four and five hours. First Great Western offers the very civilised Night Riviera Sleeper to Penzance, departing London shortly before midnight and arriving at around 8am; to book, ring 0845 700 0125.
AutomobilesThe five- or six-hour drive to Cornwall from London, along the M4 and M5 (or via the slower but more scenic A303) is something either to savour or curse. Once in Cornwall, you’ll pretty much need a car; roads can be hellishly congested in the summer, so allow extra time.
TaxisCabs are thin on the ground, so ask your hotel for a number and book ahead if you can. Ring +44 (0)1726 832676 for Fowey Taxi Service; Truro Taxi Cab Co is on +44 (0)1872 321321.
Beaches and cream…
Latticed coastal towns linked by rolling farmlands, painter-seducing cliffs framing the vivid sea, a world-famous pastry treat, more Rick Stein restaurants than you can shake a lobster at and a fine line in afternoon tea – Cornwall has something for every palette and palate. You might even see the Beast of Bodmin…
Stay at Idle Rocks – classically Cornish throughout, with seaside-inspired deco and right by the water’s edge: this is the place to awaken your inner angler.
St Mawes is full of picture-postcard fishing boats bobbing up and down in the harbour, but instead of Instagramming them from the window of your nautical nest, why not pack yourself a pasty and head into open water on one? As well as hosting the occasional wow-worthy encounter with dolphins, whales and basking sharks, these waters are home to mackerel, monkfish, octopus, crab and other sustainable species for you to pit your fisherman’s wit against. Fish & Trips run regular excursions and charters from the port, for all ages and abilities and with all the necessary kit thrown in. Amiable skipper James Brown (he’s a fishin’ machine) will have you feeling like a pro in no time, and if you’re successful – and nice to the chef on your return – you can tuck in to your take for tea.