Discover this Quaint Gem on the English Coast
Tucked in the corner of the southwest of rugged England, lies one of the country’s most-loved gems – Cornwall. The county forms a peninsula fringed with golden sandy beaches, lined with towering cliffs, and dotted with picturesque fishing villages that harken back to days gone by.
Brightly-colored fishing boats, turquoise nets, and stone harbor walls are the totems of Cornwall. With its 300 miles of wild shoreline, the region has long been a draw for artists and surfers. Its quaint quays are equally stunning and are packed with history of pirates and smugglers, home to generations of fishermen who have sought sustenance from the sea since the Stone Age.
Mevagissey is believed to have been founded in 1313, and traditionally was the stronghold of all the fishing villages in Cornwall. The historic harbor is a draw for visitors, who can watch as fishermen boat in lobster, skate, cod, and monkfish in time for dinner.
Once a thriving port, with trade taking place between Bristol, Wales, and the rest of South England, Boscastle is now a tranquil home, although one that is steeped in medieval history. The harbor dates from the 16th century and is located in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wonderful walking can be found along the cliffs, whilst nearby the remains of an Iron age cliff castle still exist to be explored. One of the more unusual sights is the Devil’s Bellows, a blow hole that, when conditions are right, expels a horizontal jet of water that reaches almost halfway across the harbor mouth. And for a deep dive into history, the Witchcraft Museum offers a plethora of broomsticks, crystal balls, and spell books.
Padstow has become a culinary hotspot in recent years, thanks to celebrity chef Rick Stein opening up a number of high-end restaurants, fish and chip joints, and seafood hole-in-the-walls. With a bustling quay in the center of town, the River Camel estuary provides a brilliant bike riding path, multiple sandy beaches, and blufftop walks, not to mention the endless Cornish Pasty cafes.
Port Isaac rounds off these must-visit villages, home to the British favorite TV series, Doc Martin. The village’s old stone houses cluster around the port, which is enclosed by an old moss-covered sea wall. Rolling green hills rise above the houses, giving way to endless farmland. With its traditional cobbled streets and endless views of the coast and country, Port Isaac is English countryside at its best. Visitors can't miss the local singing sensation ‘Fisherman’s Friend’s - a group of Cornish sea dogs who belt out traditional sea shanties in between fishing trips.