A weekend in Cornwall (incl Polperro, Padstow & St Ives – with prices, tips and tricks)

I have something awful to admit. Although I went to Plymouth University for four years – I never went to Cornwall. Yep, it would be fair to say that I was so incredibly lazy overworked at university, I didn’t really explore further than the pub!

What I would say in my defence is that I can’t drive, and I really think that if you’re going to spend some time in Cornwall – you need a car. Cornwall is full of beautiful little towns and if you want freedom to travel around, the bus or train isn’t really going to do it.

Anyway – the reason we went is because some friends of ours from university got married in St Austell on the Friday, so went down on Thursday night and decided to make a long weekend of it.

Airbnb

I kid you not, it was cheaper (£30 a day, x3 days) to hire a car in London for three days than it was to get a train ticket down to St Austell for both of us. I know we had to fill up on fuel etc, but we’d have had to pay for taxis and buses if we had decided to do it by public transport, so was definitely the better option.

 

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I’ve decided I prefer Airbnb to fancy hotels. If you get a good Airbnb (you NEED to check reviews), you get serious luxury for a fraction of the price of a decent hotel.

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve dropped a £100 – £200 per night on a big named hotel and found it was soulless and just not memorable. However, if you want to stay at a luxury boutique hotel, it tends to be eye-wateringly expensive – but with a good Airbnb, it feels like a boutique, and is so much cheaper.

 

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We stayed in a lovely place in Charlestown, which was £50 per night (have a nose). It had everything you could possibly want there, but also more – like, breakfast, toiletries and in fact, the lady who lived there offered to iron some clothes for us too!

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Oh, if you do use Airbnb, use my link and you’ll get £15 off.

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Charlestown

Charlestown is a beautiful little down, with a late Georgian working port (ooofff look at those facts!).

There are a few pubs and lovely restaurants (I recommend Wreckers, but book in advance if you want a reservation as we had to hang around till 9pm to get a table).

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You may recognise it, because its been in loads of TV shows and films, but most notably, Poldark. All over Cornwall you can see Aiden Turner’s face (Poldark) on mugs and t-shirts etc.

I’ll let you into a little secret, but I’ve actually went out with Aiden a couple of times a year or so ago and he was very cool. Just want to clarify, like not in a date way – but at parties. ha!

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Somewhat annoyingly, you have to pay £5 per person to go down into the port bit – but to be honest I don’t really think you need to as you can just look down into it and see everything (and spend the fiver on ice-cream).

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I also spotted a Titanic museum and was automatically gutted my six year old nephew wasn’t there. I’m putting it out there now; there is no adult in the UK that knows more about Titanic than my nephew Oliver.

Sure, he knows the basics like, the year it was made/sunk, the captain etc… but he can also give you information on the ships that went to rescue it.

 

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The first day we were there it was pretty gloomy, but you know what – I feel like it suited Charlestown.

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Polperro

When I asked Twitter to recommend places for me to visit in Cornwall, Polperro seemed to be the number one place. It’s absolutely the cutest little town, with lots of shops, pubs and well – look at the views.

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I just feel happier breathing in the sea air. We were so lucky it was a sunny day, and just sat by the sea soaking in the sun (working off the hangover from the wedding the night before).

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With my blogs I get paranoid that there are no fancy pics of me skipping along a beach or posing under a waterfall (its usually because I look awful!), so like to take selfies now and then to remind you who I am. The one below is literally the best I could do, and I feel like the watery eyes give away how hungover I was.

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Ah, something that you’re going to have to stock up on when in Cornwall is fudge. We went to Roly’s Fudge in Polperro (though spotted it in St Ives too), because you can see them making it fresh.

You just say what flavours you want and how much you want to spend, so I asked for £3’s worth which was a decent sized bag.

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I asked Twitter and friends where we should eat and we got the suggestions of the Three Pilchards which is the oldest pub in Polperro and has a lovely garden looking over the port and the Blue Peter Inn.

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We of course had to get a crab sandwich (and a side of chips to share to soak up the booze), while sitting in the sun.

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Padstow

After spending a morning in Polperro we decided to drive up to Padstow which was about an hour away. We really enjoy driving around (we do a lot of American road trips) but if you wanted to stay closer, Looe is 15 minutes away and is stunning.

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Now, I think think Padstow was my favourite place in Cornwall, because I like shopping! I’m not really into clothes shopping; I’m all about trinkets and art.

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You know how I’ve recently bought a flat? Well, it’s nowhere near decorated and am looking for beautiful things to go on my wall – and I must have been in London too long, because everything seemed pretty cheap! ha.

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Newquay

We wanted to squeeze as much as possible into the weekend, so decided to drive over to Newquay. At about this time the hangover was really kicking in and I was getting tired. It also got gloomy and started to rain to when I got there, I couldn’t really be bothered to get out of the car.

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HOWEVER, we drove past the Headland Hotel and it struck me, it’s the hotel from one of my favourite films, Roland Dahl’s The Witches.

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No matter how tired I am, I’m always up for a nose around a fancy hotel and a scone – so we decided to pop in (cream tea – 2x scones with a tea or coffee was £8).

We got a table by the window and watches the surfers bob about in the sea in the rain. I definitely want to go back to stay at that hotel, it’s got a real old school glamour about it. Maybe i’ll just go back for the next witch convention…

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St Ives

On the Sunday we visited St Ives before driving back to London. Considering it was supposed to rain all weekend, we were so lucky to get all the sunshine we did.

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Parking is a proper nightmare there – just a heads up. But once you do get sorted, St Ives is the ultimate seaside town. The only thing I didn’t like about St Ives, is that there are a lot of cars driving around. You’d think they’d avoid traffic on the sea front, but nope – cars.

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I didn’t take a photo of it because I shoved it down, but stopped at Moomaid of Zennor to get ice-cream. I’m currently not eating dairy, and I kid you not, they had a chocolate sorbet which was INCREDIBLE. You’d never know it wasn’t made with cows milk.

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Something you need to be worry about when in Cornwall are the seagulls. We saw them swoop down and steal whole ice-creams off people, which was a bit hilarious to be honest – but yeah, not cool when it happens to you.

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I could kick myself that I haven’t been to Cornwall sooner. It’s beautiful, can be done cheaply with brilliant seafood and shopping.

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Have you ever been to Cornwall? Where do you go on holiday?

3 Comments

  1. Emma May 21, 2017
  2. Penny May 21, 2017
  3. Lynn James May 22, 2017

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