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CORNWALL: BEST FOR...
Cornwall has a patch of sand to suit every
taste - from big, family-friendly beaches such
as Perranporth, Holywell Bay and Gwithian, to
tiny coves such as Porthcurno, Chapel Porth
and Kynance Cove. Surfers congregate in and
around Newquay on the north coast, home to
Britain's best-known sur ng beach, Fistral.
Many beaches are busy mid-summer, but
if you're willing to go o the beaten track you
can nd seclusion even in August. Try the
rugged Lizard Peninsula and the wild beaches
of West Penwith - if you're looking for Poldark
locations, this is where you'll nd them.
For active types, there's plenty to enjoy
- from sur ng, mountain-biking, paddleboarding
and snorkelling, to the newer
sport of coasteering, combining climbing,
scrambling, rock-pooling and wild swimming.
Cornwall's food culture has enjoyed an
astonishing renaissance over recent years.
The big name, of course, is Rick Stein, who
began his culinary empire in Padstow with
The Seafood Restaurant, and now also has
a deli, café, pub, sh and chip shop, seafood
school and a whole lot more besides.
The county's other notable chefs include
Paul Ainsworth, who runs his own Michelinstarred
Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow,
and Nathan Outlaw, whose two-starred
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has relocated to
Port Isaac, where he's also opened a smaller
bistro called Outlaw's Fish Kitchen.
Other names include Ben Tunnicli e, who
runs the excellent Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn,
and Ben Prior, whose Marazion restaurant
Ben's Cornish Kitchen received a glowing
review from The Observer's Jay Rayner.
But it's not all about ne dining. Cornwall
has an abundance of superb pubs, farm
shops and cafés, too. Favourites include the
swish Porthminster Beach Café in St Ives, the
Scandi-tinged roadside café Strong Adolfo's
near Wadebridge, and the Hidden Hut on
Porthcurnick Beach that's locally famous for
its sell-out feast nights.
And while you're here, you have to try a
proper Cornish pasty. Philps in Hayle and
Chough Bakery in Padstow are the locals' tips.
Blessed with a balmy climate nurtured by
the Gulf Stream, Cornwall boasts a wealth of
stunning gardens, many originally planted as
part of aristocratic family estates and stocked
with unusual plants that can only grow in a
The best known are the Lost Gardens of
Heligan (heligan.com), the sprawling Victorian
garden painstakingly restored by local
entrepreneur Sir Tim Smit - who is also the
brains behind The Eden Project (edenproject.
co.uk), where three futuristic biomes recreate
habitats from across the globe.
There's also a trio of gardens on the banks
of the Fal River - Trelissick and Glendurgan,
which are both owned by the National Trust
PHOTOS: DAVID CHAPMAN,DAVID GRIFFEN
TIME FOR TEA Cream teas are a teatime tradition in
Devon and Cornwall, but each county
has its own serving etiquette: in Devon
the clotted cream must be spread on the
scone rst, followed by the jam, while in
Cornwall it's the opposite. Cornwall also
has a variation on the cream tea known
as 'thunder and lightning', in which the
jam is substituted with treacle.
THE ART OF THE PASTY
Since 2011, the Cornish pasty has had PGI
(Protected Geographical Indication) status,
meaning that only pasties made in Cornwall
can be labelled as such. There's a strict
recipe: they should contain swede, potato,
onion and no less than 12.5% minced or
chunked beef, be shaped like a capital 'D'
and be crimped on the side (never the top).
From left: Trebah
Garden; The Seafood
peaceful estuaries and
This picture: National