10 Reasons Cornwall Is the UK's Most Underrated County

Student Work
by Lauren Williams May 15, 2015

1. We are the reason Ross Poldark is on British TV screens.

First of all, I would just like to say “you are welcome” to the people of Britain. If it weren’t for us Cornish and our tumultuous history and love of mead and mines, you wouldn’t have had a naked Ross Poldark on your TV every Sunday night for eight weeks. It’s not just him, but the scenery in which Poldark was filmed is untouched with no CGI or enhancement needed. Cornwall really is that beautiful. Unfortunately though, real Cornish men drink too much local cider to be that attractive.

2. Our seafood is actually fresh.

We may be famous for our pasties, but the seafood that lands on your plate from the ocean is nothing but fresh, juicy and local. There’s a reason why Newlyn Crab is famous, after all.

3. We can hike, climb, surf, kayak and dive all in a day.

With the Atlantic on our doorstep, and miles and miles of coast path and moorland filling up our soft centre like a Mento, Cornwall is an outdoor activity-lover’s dream. Take your kayak to Newquay’s Gannel River or around St Michael’s Mount. Go for a surf down Sennen or simply SUP your way across the clear water at Polkerris Beach.

And for the land-lubbers among us, climb Brown Willy or Aggie Head, trek around Lizard Point, or simply ramble from pub-to-pub from Penzance to Lamorna. If diving is your thang, there are shipwrecks, reefs, and more fishies than the local fisherman can catch for you to eat. The Cornish coast is in fact, your oyster.

4. We make some serious ale.

We can’t neglect our deep love of smooth ale. We make it in house and sell it all over the world.

Once I was in a bar in the French Alps and saw Doom Bar on draft. ON DRAFT. That’s dedication to the cause, I tell you. The world loves our smooth brews, from Heligan Honey to Jingle Knocker, Tribute to Weapon’s Grade (alright, it’s not ale but worth an honourable mention for the hardy drinkers). But just as is the case with Guinness, it tastes best when sipping it in the brewery it was made in. Come on down, take a seat, have a pint.

5. We have DOLPHINS. (Plus some other wildlife…)

Last year I spent a day kayaking in Mounts Bay with a pod of Risso’s Dolphins, while spotting seals sunbathe on rocks and fish swim under our boats. Just a normal day on the water in Cornwall, guys. We’ve got basking sharks and puffins, shags and falcons, butterflies, foxes, hedgehogs, and more wildflowers than a bee can buzz at.

6. And there’s an actual tropical rainforest here, kind of.

It might be inside and housed in a giant dome that James Bond likes to run across, but the Eden Project is one huge nudge towards climate change and green-living education.

And I’ll say it again: We have an actual tropical rainforest in Cornwall. Bananas and all.

The Eden Project was opened in 2001 as a charity dedicated to the greater good, as well as filling up some space that was coming to the end of its productive shelf life. It’s pretty, fun, and a whole little world dedicated to knowledge.

But the Eden Project isn’t just about plants and education — it’s a world-class venue for music and other gigs. It’s a stage that glows with five giant disco balls in the bottom of a quarry. Where else in the world can you find that? This year we’ve got the legend that is Elton John coming to play, Paolo Nutini is playing again, as well as The Stranglers, Motorhead, Paloma Faith, Spandau Ballet and local(ish) boy Ben Howard are going to rock some Cornish nights. Google The Eden Sessions: If you don’t think it’s one of the best venues you’ve ever seen, we’re going to have a serious problem.

7. Being a creative is a real perk here.

Wander through the streets of St Ives and you’ll be hard pushed to walk two metres without stumbling into an art gallery, hand-made jewelry store, life art class, or writing workshop. Being one of those creative-types gets you a job here — I mean, people actually live the dream and get paid for it.

8. We have a Tate Gallery.

Does your county have a Tate? Unless you live in London or Liverpool, the answer is no. Just saying.

9. Castles are everywhere here.

We were a defensive bunch back in the day, so much so that we built castles with cannons and watchtowers from top to bottom of our coast. Each has its own tale of giants and kings, love and war. Pendennis, St Michael’s Mount, Tintagel — Scotland ain’t got nothin’ on us.

10. You won’t find a better beach anywhere else.

People actually pay to travel to Cornwall, sit on our beaches, and tag their Instagram feed with #cornwallorcaribbean. I’ll take a day on Porthcurno over a beach holiday to Spain any day.

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