Travel is, without a doubt, one of my favorite things in life. Even though I don’t do it as much as I would love to (only 2/3 times a year), I can assure you you’ll always find me planning my next trip – or the next 10.
Alongside traveling, I have always liked sharing my experiences through words and images, and that’s why I’ve decided to write about it in this blog. But at the same time, I feel like talking about my feelings towards a certain memory, can leave the reader out of the story and it might not be what everyone wants to find.
For this very reason, I am gonna walk you through all my trips in a very descriptive way, including the accommodations and restaurants links, and related prices, hoping that you will see it as a guide to help you plan your perfect vacation.
Keep in mind that this was a backpacking trip to Cornwall for a long weekend. We were three girls in our early twenties and were willing to make compromises on transport and accommodations so that we would have saved as much money as possible.
So, without further ado, let’s pack our suitcases and drive to Cornwall!
Days involved: 5 nights, 3 days. From May 13th to May 17th
Visited areas: Penzance, St. Michael’s Mount, Land’s End, St. Ives, Newquay
night buses: London – Penzance & Plymouth – London
daytime buses: Penzance – Land’s End (round-trip), Penzance – St. Ives, St. Ives – Newquay, Newquay – Plymouth
One night at YHA Hostel Penzance – £39
One night in the Cottage Bay Tree in St. Ives – £102
CORNWALL DAY ONE: PENZANCE AND LAND’S END
On the night of May 13th, we got to Victoria Coach Station in London, with tracksuits and backpacks, ready to catch the night bus at 11 pm that would have taken us directly to Penzance in about 8 hours.
The decision to travel to Cornwall by bus was made after checking a few pros about them: no luggage restrictions whatsoever, cheap fares, and the possibility to spend the night traveling to save us some time.
We slept most of the night and when we finally woke up we were in Penzance ready to start our adventure – and to celebrate my birthday!
First thing first, birthday celebrations called for a massive breakfast at Wetherspoon: English breakfast, pancakes, some fruits, and coffees.
We then had a walk around the village, nothing fancy and particularly impressive but it was well linked to all the places we wanted to visit. We headed to the nearest bus station to catch a bus to Land’s End – the most westerly point of England – but decided to stop in a pub where a lovely lady let us use her bathroom to refresh a bit.
Time to hop on a bus to Land’s End
The trip to Land’s End took us one hour and, once we arrived there, we were astonished by the beauty of the land. Trust me when I say no words can express the feeling of being at the top of the land, surrounded by the ocean, and catching a sense of freedom you’ve never experienced before. We kind of wanted to stay there for eternity.
In the end, we catch the last bus back to Penzance and worked our way back to the YHA, a lovely hostel established in an amazing Georgian mansion. There, we were able to eat some pizza and nachos for dinner and have a good night’s sleep.
CORNWALL DAY TWO: ST. MICHAEL’S MOUNT AND ST. IVES
It is a nice little walk on the windy beach from Penzance to St. Michael’s Mount, the British equivalent to the most famous Mont Saint-Michel. St. Michael’s Mount, in Cornwall, is a tidal island that can only be reached by foot at certain times of the day. That day we were able to walk to it in the morning and were told that at 4 in the afternoon everyone would have had to leave the island.
The view from the coast to the island is wonderful and we tried to fully enjoy it every step of the way. It is quite a small island and while it has a long history behind it, the only thing you can visit when you get there is the Castle, home of the St Aubyn family since 1650.
Heading back to town…
After we visited the castle, we left the island just in time for the rain to start pouring down, so we had to stop in a small bistro along the way back to Penzance and grab some food for the travel. In the early afternoon, we catch another bus headed to St. Ives, my new favorite place in Cornwall.
This small village is the home of lots of art clubs and exhibitions, cute little cafes, and cottages straight out of a fairytale. We walked around for a bit before entering one of the several cafes for an afternoon tea in pure Cornish style. The weather wasn’t at its best so we decided to spend a bit more time in there enjoying the pasties and called the guy we rented our accommodation from.
Although we had initially booked a hobbit house (didn’t you just fall in love with it by hearing the name? Because we did) the weather was playing tricks on us. For this reason, our host, Dale, was so kind to offer us one of his cottages instead, for a small charge of price. That was the best thing that could have happened to us. Dale’s cottage was stunning and lifted our moods 100% that we decided to stay in that night and enjoy the house.
CORNWALL DAY THREE: NEWQUAY AND PLYMOUTH
During our stay at Dale’s cottage, he was really helpful in our planning for the next day. Our initial plan was to enjoy St. Ives a bit more in the morning, take a bus to Plymouth in the afternoon and catch the night bus to London after dinner in the city. He instead advised us to arrive in Plymouth just before catching the night bus and make a stop in Newquay instead, the home of surfing, so this is what we did.
The city of surf
We took the bus first thing in the morning headed to Newquay and arrived there just about midday. We decided to have lunch in one of the restaurants on the beach and enjoy the amazing views a bit more.
Newquay is probably the closest thing my head imagines Australia to be: lots of green, amazing beaches, seaside restaurants, and people on bare feet around the city with surfboards under their arms. Too much television on my side, probably, but that is exactly how Newquay is. I’ll let you know about the Australia part when I get there!
(Psst, guess what? Since I wrote this post I’ve been to Australia, come read about it here!)
We spent the day walking on the beach, entering every cave we bumped into, watching people surf, and climbing every possible cliff we could find. When we thought we reached the furthest one, there was always one more just beside us.
On our last night in Cornwall, we decided to have a happy hour and got ourselves into a very nice pub for a Mojito. The atmosphere was so cozy and welcoming that we extended our night in the pub for a proper meal – and maybe another Mojito.
We then took a bus at 10 pm from Newquay to Plymouth and waited just about an hour for our ride home to London. I have to say, though, we were not quite ready to say goodbye to those breathtaking views we allowed ourselves to encounter.