Travelling. What does the word mean to you? It could be hiking up blue-peaked mountains in Switzerland, or exploring the deepest jungles of Peru tracking down Jaguars that still roam around. All of this sounds incredible, but whether your idea of a holiday is an adventure or a relaxing time on sandy shores, perhaps you don’t need to travel as far as you think. Maybe it’s as little as a three-hour journey from Bath Spa: Somerset to Cornwall.
The train journey to Cornwall, slicing through the centre of the countryside, is a convenient route. From the window, lavender grows in the sun and wind farms tower above grazing sheep. Then, on the bus ride from Exeter to the edge of Cornwall, the landscape gradually becomes more captivating and magical. Trees are bent like old men from where the Atlantic wind continuously blows upon them; panoramic views of rolling hills; church steeples poke through glades of trees.
I found myself at Plum Bottom Farm in Bude. Daffodils and primroses grew in the stone hedges, while only nesting sparrows and finches, newborn lambs and cows could be heard. The chickens ran free and promised fresh, free-range eggs for breakfast. The light had a clean, fresh quality that magnified the landscape and enhanced its colours, like looking through rose-tinted glasses.
My days were spent walking through country lanes, drinking locally brewed rhubarb and bramley apple cider, and of course, devouring Pengenna’s Cornish pasties and having lashings of clotted cream with dessert. I stood in the garden and watched the sea mist creep slowly inland. Bude residents smile and wave, greeting me like an old friend.
I spent a lot of time surfing, despite the coldness of the Atlantic swell. A great location is Widemouth Bay (twenty minutes from Bude), as the light gradient of the beach causes the waves to break more gently, which makes it ideal for beginners. There’s also enough force for the more experienced surfer. Its sandy beaches and sheltering rocks make it a great place to chill with friends, have a bottle of wine and cook some freshly picked mussels.
I also went harbour wall and cliff jumping in Appledore, which is great fun for those who like adrenaline while on holiday, though make sure you do it with someone who has experience.
Returning to Bath and going back to my assignments and stresses of university was certainly disappointing. I will miss Cornwall with its small fishing villages and pasties, the salt wind and its friendly atmosphere.