West Cornwall is absolutely beautiful with spectacular scenery all along the coast. There are numerous towns and villages along the coast including Padstow, Newquay, St. Agnes, Portreath and the ever popular St. Ives. Incidentally, all these places are connected by the coastal path which goes all the way around the Cornish peninsula.
Padstow is a busy fishing and trading port which has been in existence since Elizabethan (the first Elizabeth of course) times. Tourists have been visiting Padstow since the arrival of the railway in 1899 and have certainly replaced the town’s previous industry – pilchard fishing!
A word of warning – if you visit Padstow in May the town holds a fertility festival called the ‘Obby Oss’ – and according to the locals it very effective!
A few miles down the coast, past Trevose Head with its lighthouse constructed in the mid 19th century and past the famous Watergate Bay (home to Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen’ restaurant and training facility) you arrive in Newquay.
Newquay has miles of beautiful sandy beaches with numerous caves and rock pools to explore. If you tire of the beach, just five minutes walk from town is the amazing Trenance Park. The 26 acre park is a fantastic experience for the whole family. Apart from the beautiful gardens it has a zoo, a water park, a miniature railway, a boating lake and horse riding facilities – you will be spoilt for choice.
Back in the centre of town you will find lots of old inns and restaurants where you can try the local ales and enjoy a pasty or some freshly caught local fish – delicious!
The nightlife in Newquay is famous throughout Cornwall and indeed further afield. Now that there are direct flights from London it is not unusual to see groups of young people down for a weekend of surfing and partying.
Travelling a few miles further down the coast, past the village of St. Agnes with its multitude of craft shops and galleries, you will come to St. Ives.
St. Ives is now primarily dependent on tourism although it has been a fishing port since the Middle Ages. A fairly recent attraction is the Tate Gallery Cornwall which was opened in 1993 and occupies a stunning position overlooking Porthmeor Beach. It is well worth a visit to see their constantly changing exhibitions. Also of great interest to art lovers is the nearby Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden and Museum.
At top of the town is a mass of narrow twisty lanes known as ‘the Warren’. There are clusters of white-washed cottages overgrown with flowers in hanging baskets and window boxes. Follow these lanes down to the harbour and you will find a wide choice of hostelries and restaurants to cater to your needs or perhaps buy a pasty from the bakers and dine on the harbour wall. West Cornwall is a Joy from end to end.