Last Updated on February 17, 2024

I love exploring new places within a country I have visited many times. As I looked at a map of England, I decided it was high time to visit Cornwall.

It’s a trek from London to St. Ives, so having a long weekend from work, I decided to spend some quality time (4 to 5 hours) and take the train roughly 450 kilometers to England’s far southwestern tip. Trains leave from Paddington station throughout the day or, if you like, a sleeper train will travel during the night and arrive early in the morning.

I never mind the distance of a train journey as looking out the window and reading a book is the most peaceful of activities.

Leaving the hustle and bustle of London behind, I arrived at St. Erth, where I could either take a bus to St. Ives or a train that takes only 10 minutes. As I had packed light, I decided to take the bus.

The ride was a bit of adventure however, as, unlike London, they do not call out the bus stops, so I had to keep my eyes on the signs to know when I had reached my stopping point. My first glimpse of Cornwall immediately made the tension in my shoulders relax a little. Instantly, I could see that it was a slower pace here, the air a bit fresher, and the scenery a sight to behold.

Stepping off the bus, I caught sight of the ocean and harbour. A sunny bluebird sky only added to my excitement. 

One of the best parts about Cornwall is that it’s primarily filled with locally owned businesses and only a few chains or name brands. This includes lodging. There are many cottage rentals which are ideal if you are staying longer.

As I was just there for the weekend, I chose the Pedn Olva Hotel—a lovely property with seaside views and easy walkability to the sites around St. Ives. I was able to check into the hotel right away and was pleased by how charming the room was.

Pedn Olva hotel terrace St. Ives, Cornwall.
Pedn Olva hotel terrace St. Ives, Cornwall. Photo by Erin Jones

The balcony overlooking the water made it difficult to leave the room, especially when I could watch the tide roll in and out.

To my left, I could see the harbour featuring several shops and restaurants and boats docked alongside. The Pedn Olva offers a restaurant with highlights including traditional fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. If the weather is nice during the day, you can sit on the terrace outside, as several locals were doing, enjoying the views and chatting away.

After being on a train for so long, I was ready to take a walk about town and pleased with how the Pedn Olva location made it so easy to stroll along the harbour area. St. Ives has a collection of narrow streets and pavements with hardly any room for cars to drive through.

Although it was closing time for the shops, I couldn’t help, but window shop at the various boutiques and home good shops I knew I would be returning for. The sounds of seagulls squawking around the pier and the happy chatter of passersby made me smile and feel thankful that I’d made the trip.

The weekend I chose to go to Cornwall was the same as the King’s Coronation. I was more than happy to leave the busy streets of London and enjoyed watching the ceremony from the harbor in St. Ives. The local community put up a big screen and invited the town to bring a picnic lunch to the beach to watch the festivities. There were beach chairs to rent; however, I had brought a towel with me and sat on the sand. After the coronation, I strolled through the independent shops that remained open and took in the city’s fun and festive atmosphere.

Lands End

Land's End Sign in Cornwall, England.
Land’s End Sign in Cornwall, England. Photo by Erin Jones

The following day, it was time to discover more of Cornwall. I took the Cornwall Coaster Bus, an open-top coach that passes through many of the harbour towns to Lands End. Thankfully, it was a warm, sunny day, so I could find a seat at the top for a perfect bird’s eye view.  

As we passed through the countryside, I couldn’t get over how fresh the air was and how verdant the rolling hills appeared. Finally arriving at Lands End, I was in for a treat as the scenic Atlantic Ocean overlook is breathtaking.

Lands End is the westernmost point of England, and you can take a picture with a signpost documenting your visit. The area sports a restaurant, snack shop, and ice cream stand, so you can enjoy a treat while wandering around the headland.

The area has several lookout points and walking trails if you need to stretch your legs. Families will appreciate the activity areas, so no one will be bored. I enjoyed walking around and taking pictures of the landscape before hopping back on the bus to return to St. Ives.

After a couple of sunshiny days and plenty of beautiful landscapes that will remain in my mind, it was time to journey back to London. Having only scratched the surface of what to see and do in Cornwall, I know I’ll be back to discover more of its unique and beautiful attributes. 

Author

  • Erin Jones

    Erin Jones works in the corporate world, but her true passion is exploring. Whether it’s navigating across cities in America or Europe there’s no vacation left behind at year end. You can find Erin’s latest travels on Facebook (Adventures of Erin), Instagram (@londonerin8) or on her blog (adventuresoferin.com).

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2 Comments
  • Penny
    February 18, 2024

    We were in Cornwall two years ago, and this makes me yearn to go back.

    • Noreen Kompanik
      February 21, 2024

      Thanks for your comment, Penny!