Spring has come even earlier than usual to Cornwall this year; and the sight of the blooming daffs in the gorgeous sunshine has reminded us what an incredible place to live, work and play this is.
Why do we love Cornwall so much? Here are just a few of the reasons (and we could easily have kept going…).
We’re lucky at Western Discoveries – we spend so much of our time out in the Cornish landscape, and we never, ever take its beauty for granted. Its variety is astonishing, from the sweeping sands of St Ives to the gentle green Roseland Peninsula to the dramatic Penwith moors. The sea is the real star, and you’re never more than 20 miles from it in Cornwall.
Cornwall’s beaches and coastline are so accessible, thanks to the well-kept and well-trodden ways of the South West Coast Path and many other Cornish walking routes. As walkers, this instant access to nature is one of the things we really love about our home. It also brings us up close to some wonderful flora and fauna, from pretty coastal flowers to dramatic aquatic visitors. It’s quite a thing, to stand on a clifftop and bellow “Shark!”
Sweeping statement time, but on the whole, we Cornish have a friendly, time-to-chat nature (or is just that we like to gossip?). Neighbours are real neighbours (many are relatives), and the general feeling is one of welcome and inclusivity. Listen to the Kernow King, and you’ll see how the Cornish dialect is made for warmth and humour. And merciless micky-taking.
We’ve a history of welcoming people to our shores, way back to the days of the ancient Phoenician spice-for-tin traders. Since then, we’ve attracted artists (whole colonies of them, indeed), writers and filmmakers. We also have plenty of city escapees, who move to Cornwall for a different (dare we say better?) way of life. Everyone’s welcome. Kernow a’gas dynergh.
Look around the Cornish landscape, and our history is clearly visible in the mine stacks and clay pits, the fishing harbours, and the ancient standing stones. Many of our West Cornwall walks take you through the mining World Heritage Site, recognising centuries of industry. Our heritage is constantly being added to, with a wealth of art, theatre, music and literature.
The county that produced Richard Trevithick and Humphrey Davy is bound to have a can-do attitude. These days, we’re just as likely to be leading the way with IT and design as with more traditional industries. Farming diversification is a great example of how inventive the Cornish are, with producers like our local Moomaid of Zennor Ice Cream making unusual use of former farms. It’s also led to a host of independent shops and restaurants.
There’s a definite sense of having a different identity down here, which is noticeable when you cross over from Devon and the place names get weirder. Our language isn’t spoken in the shops like Welsh is, but it remains alive in these names, and in our accents and unique dialect words. (Don’t forget, if the Tamar were just a tad wider, we’d be an island.)
Where else in the UK do echiums grow like weeds and every other roundabout is planted with palm trees? Spring comes early to Cornwall, after a typically frost-free winter, and the Gulf Stream ensures we enjoy a year-round mild climate. No wonder we have to scythe topless…
Nature certainly sited her larder here in Cornwall, with an abundance of crops and a sea-full of fish. These days, we’re a real foodie destination, with award-winning restaurants and food producers. And of course, we invented the pasty, the best street food ever.
There are the big-name breweries such as St Austell and Skinners, then so many fabulous micro-breweries dotted around. On a warm walk in Cornwall, there’s nothing like a chilled brew from St Ives Cider. There are some excellent local gin distillers; and let’s not forget Cornwall’s very own vineyards, Camel Valley and Polgoon. Yeghes da!
But it’s not all beer and pasties in Cornwall. We’re an active bunch, with a huge rugby heritage, lots of local gig rowing teams, and we’ve become the UK’s surfing capital. You can come to Cornwall to take part in all sorts of outdoor activities – including walking the Cornish coast, obvs…
Yes, many of us are aware we’d probably earn more the other side of the Tamar, but this is home. Life’s about prioritising, and at Western Discoveries, we’ll take the coast path over the fast lane any day.
The song Cornwall My Home, as sung in pubs, parties and concerts up and down the county, sums it up perfectly:
For this is my Eden, and I’m not alone.
For this is my Cornwall and this is my home.
You’ve also got to love the Cornish for our willingness to burst into song (although some may call that a mixed blessing!)
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