When Friends Visit
When you live in Cornwall and you have friends in other parts of the country, its not surprising that they want to come down and visit during the summer. With long sandy beaches and crystal clear sea water, Cornwall is an amazing place to visit, especially if you live in London. My close friend Effy, has learnt this first hand and her yearly trips down to Cornwall are becoming something of a tradition. Of course, the majority of fun activities that we do in Cornwall revolve around watersports, so good weather is a must. Luckily Effy has managed to time her trips when there's a heatwave so its always sunbathing weather when she arrives. We were blessed with incredible weather from the beginning of the week to the end making it a hell of a lot easier to entertain!
Surfing at Poldhu
After Effy's long journey from Paddington we all got a good nights sleep and woke up on Tuesday morning to blue skies and sunshine. The first stop on any tour of Cornwall has got to be the beach so my twin sister Tegan and I took Effy surfing at Poldhu beach near Helston. Poldhu is the perfect place to take beginners because its a small cove, so you're less likely to lose each other. Plus, because its on the south coast the swell is usually smaller and more manageable which makes it easier to learn than on the north coast. Tegan and I taught Effy the basics in reading waves, paddling and popping up and then we got her out in the water. With Teeg's and I taking it in turns to encourage Effy onto waves while the other one went out back to catch some waves of our own, we all managed to make the most of the surf. The first stop on any tour of Cornwall has got to be the beach and Poldhu made for a pretty perfect first day.
Kernow Adventure Park
Second day and second watersport of the week, we took Effy wake boarding at Kernow Adventure Park, this is such a great place to take friends. The staff are super friendly and the whole set-up of a bar, inflatable park and wake boarding arena makes for a very entertaining day. It doesn't take long to pick up and after her first 15 minute session Effy was already riding switch! Kernow Adventure Park makes wake boarding accessible for everyone, you don't have to have a boat to get into this sport. The cable wire drags you around the quarry (once you've got your corners down) and you progress from corners, to switch, to jumps and trust me it doesn't take long to go from one stage to another. The fact the whole activity centre is based within an old quarry come lake makes it a pretty impressive stop on any tour of Cornwall. After wake boarding we really put Effy through her paces by going to Gwithian beach as well. Seeing the beach stretch out for miles before her, Effy decided that she'd prefer to walk along the coast instead of surfing and I don't blame her. When the sun is shining at Gwithian you could be in the south of France, it's so beautiful. While a group of us ran in to surf, Effy soaked up the sun and wandered across the shore, wading in to swim between the red and yellow flags.
The Eden Project
Tegan, Effy and I convoyed to the Eden Project with Daisy and her friends in the evening and then started the long winding walk from the car-park to the venue. A sustainable and eco-friendly park, The Eden Project is a charity that promotes sustainability in our attitude towards the environment and proves that its possible to be a successful and sustainable business. As we carried on walking to the stage the incredible biomes loomed in front of us, one containing a humid tropical climate filled with rainforest plants and the other a warm temperate climate containing Mediterranean species. The structure of the biomes is breathtaking and makes for a pretty spectacular backdrop to the performance stage. Tegan described the whole experience as: 'magical, because Eden is a magical place' and this couldn't be more true. The stage is set within the depths of the clay pit where Eden was founded but it has a natural hill that means even people at the back get a good view. Watching Bastille live was great, the lead singer Dan Smith, engaged the audience throughout and the atmosphere of the music coupled with our surroundings was amazing.
The only slightly irritating things about Eden Sessions is no.1 the cues (which understandably happen due to the amazing venue) and no.2 the drinks tokens. Having to cue to get drinks tokens before making it down to the stage was pretty time consuming and it was tricky guessing how many drinks you were likely to need during the evening. Luckily if you had the sense to you could re-exchange unused tokens but it all seemed a bit complicated to me. Overall though, the whole experience at an Eden Sessions concert is pretty spectacular, and if you ever know that a favourite band of yours is playing there, I would 100% get a ticket because its worth it, drinks tokens and all.
After a really busy week and a late night watching Bastille, it was definitely time for a chilled out beach day. I decided to take Effy to another lovely cove on the Helford River, Grebe. As you walk down from the National Trust car park through the woods, you wouldn't expect to find a beach. There's a pretty obscure opening in the trees that you walk down and then suddenly the stony beach opens up before you. A great fallen tree is a feature to the right of the beach, boats travel up and down the river in front of you and you're surrounded by trees and hills, its a very unique place. You feel like you're on the hidden shores of a lake until you look out to open sea and watch cargo ships slowly moving on the horizon. The skies were blue and the sun was shining so it was easy to spend the day lazing on the beach and intermittently dipping in and out of the water. I swam to Porth Saxon and back because its the next beach along and isn't far at all. In the evening we got home full of sea and sun and topped it all off with a family bbq.
We ended the holiday where it started and spent the whole day surfing at Poldhu cove with Effy's friend Theresa. Theresa impressed me so much by managing to come out back and stayed in for hours with me. After another full day of sun, we went home that evening, made some delicious veggie burgers with sweet potato fries and then set of for Perranporth to watch the sunset and see SubFocus play live at the watering hole. The Watering Hole has got to be one of my favourite bars to take visitors, its the only bar completely built on sand in England and I've rarely seen a sunset more beautiful in Cornwall.
We managed to pack these days with activities thanks to the amazing weather and assortment of activities that are readily available in Cornwall. I'm so happy that Effy got to see Cornwall at its best with hot days where we could spend the whole time in the sea and then dry off naturally in the sun. Its days like this that reveal Cornwall really can be as good as other European tourist spots. Even if it only lasts a couple of weeks each summer! Its worth it.