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UK holidays: Why Cornwall’s a cracker – whatever the season 

We thump our foam boards down on Porthmeor Beach. Shrink-wrapped in a quartet of borrowed wetsuits, we’re heat, regardless of a regular drizzle and temperatures the mistaken aspect of ten levels. Our chirpy St Ives Surf School teacher, Giacomo (there are not any waves in Rome, so right here he’s), briefs us on the fundamentals. ‘Turn your again on the wave, lie stomach-down on the board, look straight forward and paddle, paddle, paddle! When the wave takes you, transfer to your standing place and head for shore.’

Sounds really easy, does not it? And, on the seaside not less than, it’s. In reality, with stances off pat, we’re extraordinarily good at fake-browsing, dude. Trouble is, 20 yards past us the sea appears to be like virtually alive and Giacomo calls the ferocious, white-crested ocean ‘strong’. I ponder whether or not it is too late to sidestep Mother Nature’s large wave machine in favour of a cup of tea and a pasty as an alternative.

No such ideas intrude the minds of our youngsters. Belle, ten, and Cleo, seven, march with gusto straight for the spin-cycle ocean. Tripping off Giacomo’s each instruction, they dutifully flip their backs at the proper second and anticipate the first thrilling wave to thrust them upwards and again to shore. They’re nimble and fearless, and now we have to pull them from the ocean when the mild begins to fade.

Swell time: Jo Tweedy visited Godrevy Lighthouse, which inspired Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel To The Lighthouse


Swell time: Jo Tweedy visited Godrevy Lighthouse, which impressed Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel To The Lighthouse 

Jo's children, Belle and Cleo, with their board on the beach. They were 'nimble and fearless' in the water, she writes

Jo’s youngsters, Belle and Cleo, with their board on the seaside. They have been ‘nimble and fearless’ in the water, she writes 

How did I do? I had all the magnificence of considered one of St Ives’s well-known pilchards, standing up simply twice and succumbing to the fabled ‘wipeout’ many instances… nevertheless it was completely exhilarating.


The embers of Britons’ enduring love affair with Cornwall, well-known for its sweeps of honey sands, hidden coves, large-hitting vacationer points of interest (step ahead, Eden Project), centuries-outdated pubs and ambrosial gardens have by no means burned brighter than they did final summer time. When the Med quickly shut up store, Cornwall turned the subsequent neatest thing on house soil. And, attractive jutting St Ives, with its bobbing boats, fairly homes and trio of California-esque seashores – Porthminster, Porthmeor and Porthgwidden – was prime of staycation lists, alongside Padstow, Port Isaac and Poldark’s Charlestown. Malcolm Bell, chief government of Visit Cornwall, tells me that 2.8 million guests descended – up 20 per cent on extra abnormal instances. But make no mistake, St Ives out of season does not imply you will not should queue in your publish-surf cuppa.

Our half-time period go to sees Wharf Road, the harbour-going through cobblestone thoroughfare that is stuffed cheek-by-jowl with outlets, galleries, cafes and eating places – together with 14th Century tavern The Sloop Inn – host the form of crowds a resort elsewhere would possibly pray for at summer time’s peak. The locals, I’m instructed, barely set foot right here until it is mid-winter, preferring quieter seashores resembling Porthkidney, between Hayle and Carbis Bay.

Beach life could also be at this city’s coronary heart however artwork and literature programs move by its veins. We stride up one morning to Virginia Woolf’s childhood house, Talland House, and though you possibly can solely glimpse it from a aspect street, we did savour the identical views out to sea as the writer, together with to white-washed Godrevy Lighthouse, which impressed her 1927 novel To The Lighthouse.

While visitors can see some of Barbara Hepworth's work in the Tate St Ives (pictured), Jo says don't miss a visit to the sculptor's home turned museum


While guests can see a few of Barbara Hepworth’s work in the Tate St Ives (pictured), Jo says do not miss a go to to the sculptor’s house turned museum  

Enormous, arching skies and a each day drenching of golden mild have bewitched artists too. The hanging white rotunda of Tate St Ives, overlooking Porthmeor Beach, paperwork how the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron and Bryan Wynter put the city on the international artwork map.

Yorkshire-born sculptor Hepworth stays St Ives’s most well-known identify, and whereas a few of her works are in the Tate, her former house turned museum – a six-minute stroll away – should not be missed. Hepworth’s beloved Trewyn Studio is the place she lived, labored and died: in mattress after falling asleep whereas smoking a cigarette in 1975.

From Carbis Bay we take a 40-minute stroll alongside the South West Coast Path. Along this stretch, we savour large image views of the Atlantic, loads of lush greenery and eclectic structure, with all the things from twenty first Century minimalist monoliths to fishermen’s cottages lining the route.

Jo stayed at Una St Ives, an upmarket resort with self-catering lodges and villas, a trendy casual diner and a gorgeous pool and spa: 'It's a perfect base for families who want outdoorsy adventures, and somewhere to properly relax afterwards'

Jo stayed at Una St Ives, an upmarket resort with ‘architect-designed’ self-catering lodges and villas

Carbis, a tiny beachside village, is a five-minute drive away from Jo's base at Una St Ives. Pictured is its 'small but beautiful' beach

Carbis, a tiny beachside village, is a 5-minute drive away from Jo’s base at Una St Ives. Pictured is its ‘small however lovely’ seaside

Carbis, basically a tiny beachside village, exudes a glitzier air after internet hosting the 2021 G7 Summit. Photos of Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel posing incongruously on its small however lovely seaside have seen vacationers arriving for a nostril since. We stayed a 5-minute drive away at Una St Ives, an upmarket resort that huddles architect-designed self-catering lodges and villas – many with sizzling tubs and log-burners – round a hub that features a stylish informal diner in Una Kitchen, and a attractive pool and spa. Soon to develop, it is a excellent base for households who need outdoorsy adventures, and someplace to correctly loosen up afterwards.

When it got here to meals, tourism and the pandemic made spontaneity a little troublesome; our makes an attempt at stroll-ins (notably Art Deco Porthminster Beach Cafe, which has received awards for its Asian and Mediterranean seafood) failed, so guide forward.

Cornwall is actually in the working for a lot of household summer time holidays this 12 months, however switching to any of the different faculty breaks – one native tipped May as the finest month to go to – is a sage transfer as the madding crowds are smaller and lodging costs tumble. And simply because it is chilly outdoors, it does not imply you possibly can’t go online.


Joanna Tweedy was a visitor of Una St Ives. She stayed in a two-bed room self-catering lodge with costs from £140 per evening ( Lessons at St Ives Surf School value from £40pp (

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