Cornwall LivingIssue #109
If you’re feeling the need to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, where better to do so than in Cornwall?
I think we can all agree that after a year of lockdowns and restrictions on our daily lives, as we look forward to a not-so-distant future when things might return to normal, nothing sounds quite as inviting as time spent out in Cornwall’s great outdoors. Indeed, from walking our favourite stretch of the South West Coast Path to surfing, from wakeboarding to freefalling, what better to way awaken our senses?
Outdoor adventures provide us with a wide range of physical and mental benefits, too. Outdoor physical activity boosts our endorphins and helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, whilst, at the same time, increasing our self-esteem and
With all of that in mind, and to help get you in the spirit of adventure, we break down just a selection of the activities you could be enjoying this spring and summer in Cornwall, and where better to start than 100 metres high, above the biomes of the Eden Project, on England’s longest (and fastest) zipwire? Based on the Eden site, Hangloose Adventure (hanglooseadventure.com) offers thrill seekers no fewer than six ways in which to get the blood pumping. Take the aforementioned Skywire (be that forwards or backwards!), or test your balance with the Skytrek high-rope course. Alternatively, you can experience a breathtaking freefall with Gravity, or have a go on Big Air which is, really, exactly what it says on the tin. You can even experience a 33-foot fall on ‘The Drop’, but be warned – it’s not for the fainthearted. With extensive Covid-19 measures in place, Hangloose Adventure offers visitors a safe, fun, and truly memorable day out – the kind we could all use after the year we’ve been through!
At Kernow Adventure Park, the team wants to help you to reconnect with nature in the gorgeous setting of a reclaimed Cornish quarry, accommodating all ages and abilities with a fresh approach to outdoor adventure. www.kernowadventurepark.com
DID YOU KNOW?
Delivering hire bikes, boards and more to your door, if you’re travelling to Cornwall but don’t have room for all of your bikes, Go By Cycle can help. With bike hire available all year round, and the ability to deliver your hire bikes to the door of your accommodation, it’s never been easier to explore Cornwall on two wheels – wherever you’re staying!
From one extreme to the other, if you’d rather remain close to ground level, exploring Cornwall on two wheels is another great way to enjoy our county’s great outdoors. The Camel Trail near Padstow and Wadebridge is the obvious place to start, offering a family friendly cycle alongside the Camel Estuary, with delicious foodie options at either end. Lesser known trails include the ‘Coast to Coast’ trail – running, as you might expect, from the north to the south coast, starting at Portreath to the north and finishing at Devoran to the south. The main trail runs for 11 miles, through Scorrier Woods, the Poldice Valley and alongside the stunning Restronguet Creek, making it a superb choice for those hoping to soak up the best of Cornwall’s coast and countryside. The trail is almost entirely purpose-made for cyclists, but does include
some country lanes.
Another popular choice and one which you’ll also find on the Cornwall Trails website (cornwalltrails.net) is the Great Flat Lode. This circular route of around seven miles includes some challenging terrain, but it does take you through some of Cornwall’s most iconic ‘mining country’. Named after a two-mile long ‘lode’ of tin ore that was discovered in the area during the 1860s, this trail is perfect for cyclists who are fascinated by Cornwall’s relatively recent industrial heritage. Passing by the remains of the engine houses, time spent here transports you back to a time when the area would have been abuzz with the sounds of industry.
If you’d prefer to leave the bikes in the garage and instead strike out on foot, then who could blame you? The South West Coast Path (southwestcoastpath.org.uk) has seemingly endless miles of rugged landscapes, awash with life and colour and just waiting to be explored. One of our personal favourites has to be on the Lizard peninsula, from Church Cove to Poldhu. Only a short walk, taking around 20 minutes, this is perfect for kids. In fact, at Poldhu, you can grab an ice cream or decadent hot chocolate (or both) from Poldhu Beach Café. From the National Trust car park at Church Cove, simply follow the path to the beach (look out for the church that gives the cove its name, and the remains of the Iron Age cliff castle above it), before crossing the stream and walking across to the far side. Here you’ll find steps leading up the hill – follow these to the top, where you’ll be welcomed with the most sensational, panoramic views over the Atlantic. From here, the rest is downhill, and if you don’t see the beach café of Poldhu, you’ll almost certainly be drawn by the smells drifting out from the kitchen. Whilst you’re there, why not try your hand at surfing? Thanks to Dan Joel Surf School (danjoelsurf.com), kids and adults alike can take a lesson in riding the waves, or alternatively hire boards and get stuck in!
Seeking adventure on the Lizard? Then look no further than Lizard Adventure! Take the chance to forget the virtual world and re-connect with reality, with activities including sea-kayaking, rock climbing, coasteering and paddleboarding.
Dan Joel’s is but one of many surf schools to call Cornwall home. In fact, wherever you are, if there’s surf nearby, chances are you’ll find a school to match. Gwithian for instance, is renowned for its waves, and sure enough, anybody eager to learn can do so thanks to Global Boarders. There are also some fantastic schools in St Ives (stivessurfschool.co.uk), Perranporth (perranporthsurfschool.co.uk) Polzeath (wavehunters.co.uk), to name just a few.
Much of Cornwall’s outdoor adventure activities revolve around the water, but that’s not to say you have to go in the sea. In fact, the county is also home to a number of companies and resorts offering adventures on the water, in land. Take Retallack Resort & Spa (watersportscornwall.co.uk), for instance. Here, as the team says, wetter means better! Enjoy a guaranteed day of fun for the whole family, where the weather really doesn’t matter. Take to the waves on Cornwall’s only surf simulator, FlowRider. Whatever your level, the experienced instructors will have you standing up and surfing in style in no time. Tick all the activities off your to-do list on the resort’s watersports lake; slip, slide and splash around the inflatable Aqua Park; carve up the lake wakeboarding on the 2.0 cable or, for a change of pace, take a leisurely paddle on a stand-up paddleboard and simply soak up the views. Once you’ve had your fun in the water, cure your hunger and refresh yourself at the Beach Café whilst still watching the action.
Another superb venue is Via Ferrata (viaferratacornwall.co.uk), which offers epic adventures with views last seen nearly a century ago by local Cornish quarrymen. Based on the same site as charity BF Adventure, with Via Ferrata, you can experience a unique journey across the 60-acre site near Falmouth. Originating in the Alps during the First World War to enable troops to cross mountains, a Via Ferrata is a climbing route like no other. With metal steps, suspension bridges and zip wires, this is one of the most adrenaline-filled climbing activities you’re likely to find, and when you combine it with the scenery of one of Cornwall’s reclaimed historic granite quarries, you have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable Cornish adventure.
If you’re staying on the north coast near Port Isaac, then why not instead book a day with Cornish Rock Tors? With 15 years’ experience running adventure activities in Cornwall, Cornish Rock Tors (cornishrocktors.com) is one of the south west’s premier coasteering, sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and sea swimming centres. With the team of experienced guides and instructors, and with both coastal and sheltered inland venues to choose from, Cornish Rock Tors is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and so comes highly recommended for anybody looking for a unique way in which to explore one of the most stunning parts of the county.
Looking to try something truly different? If so, Kennack Diving and Porthkerris Dive Centre both come highly recommended.
In actual fact, all of the above are superb ways to make the most of your time in Cornwall, and the activities we’ve mentioned are but a sample of what’s available. Whatever your ideal way to spend a day, whether it’s a relaxed walk, a family bike ride, or an adrenaline-fuelled day of action, you’re sure to find it here, and we hope you’ll agree that when it comes to an outdoor adventure, there are few better places to enjoy one than here in the Duchy.
If you need to kit yourselves out for an adventure this summer, be sure to head to Helston’s Edge of Adventure. Meeting the demand for good quality sports equipment, at The Edge of Adventure, youíll find everything you’re likely to need. It could be surf boards and accessories, stand up paddle boards, power kites, wetsuits for the whole family, skateboarding gear, or even just a decent rucksack. Whatever it is, The Edge of Adventure can help, and with a coffee bar in-store, you can grab a delicious, barista-quality brew whilst the team helps you find it.