Life seldom gives you a chance to make your childhood fantasy come true. For my daughter and me, both being ardent fans of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers based on a boarding school on the sun-drenched cliffs of the Cornish coast, a trip to Cornwall was certainly chasing that reverie!
Filming locations in Cornwall and Devon of the BBC series Malory Towers based on the book.
Of all the far flung places I’ve visited so far, St. Ives has been the most intriguing and sadly its not on every traveller to Britain’s list of places to visit..so lets cut to the chase and discover all the reasons you simple have to go there next summer !
You could take a flight to Newquay from London, but I’m a stickler for train journeys and this one certainly is to be savoured with many stops in Devon and Cornwall if time permits. (read more about it in this interesting book “The Great Way West”)Headed west, the railway line hugs the coast at many places for panoramic vistas of the aquamarine waters, boats and harbours along the way.
The last bit of the journey is the most sensational for the views coming up outside your window as the scenic railway journey St Ives Bay line runs from St Erth to St Ives, past Carbis Bay.
This extremely picturesque town of whitewashed fisherman’s cottages, numerous art galleries, cosy shops, tea cafes, bars and restaurants is a pure delight to discover. Wandering through the narrow cobbled streets, you can enjoy the atmosphere that is uniquely St Ives. The artistic connections date back to Victorian times when numerous artists came to St Ives to paint, attracted by its special quality of light.
You wouldn’t know where to begin with the infinite possibilities of St Ives’ galleries. Unique to this town are the sculptor galleries, displaying magnificent works ranging from hand-made pottery to masterpieces of modern ceramics .
The colours in the paintings reflect the surrounding hues of browns, blues and whites that you see all around you in the St Ives’ narrow streets, rugged cliffs and beaches. The entire town is positively stacked with fabulous independent galleries and a feast for every art lover.
The most noteworthy is the museum of Barbara Hepworth’s work, one of the UK’s greatest sculptors, who had made this area her home. She moved her in the difficult times of the World War II and she achieved what very few female artists may have in her lifetime. Her presence also helped turn this remote town on the western tip of Cornwall into the remarkable thriving artists’ colony it is today.
Tate Modern of St Ives is a huge draw for art-lovers. Exhibiting work by modern British artists with links to the St Ives area, this museum has some fabulous collections.
Whilst in the town, don’t forget to rest your weary feet in a tea shop for Cornish Cream Tea: handmade scones, freshly baked with clotted cream, jam and a pot of tea. Many delectable fudge stores to chose from too. Made from traditional recipes, using locally sourced Cornish sugar, milk and butter, there are so many flavours to chose from in all the fudge stores !
Painter’s cottage is the warmest B & B I have ever stayed in! Madge and Duncan host you in the most perfect, cosy and quintessential cottage. The rooms are beautifully decorated with a lot of art work and ceramics and great hospitality extends beyond expectations. A happy haven for travellers. I wished I could have stayed a week, like the other guests who were here for self-guided walking tours in Cornwall.
If you have car to drive yourself around its well worth making that trip to the Land’s End Landmark Attraction (another tick off the bucket list: the westernmost point of England!) and beguiling views get better and better as you drive around the peninsula.
At Marazion, be sure to visit St Michael’s Mount, a medieval castle on a small island. One can walk across or take a boat ride to discover this historical monument and its gardens later in the summer. The waters were still choppy in the last week of June when we visited and so we had to be content with selfies from the shore and a nice breezy walk along the coast.
An exhilarating fusion of paintings and sculpture, topped with rugged cliffs and breathtaking views of the sea and the cherry on the cake is the clotted cream scones and fudge! This cobblestone town makes you feel awakened in every sense of the word, every step of the way.