After this strange year and a half of no travel, thinking I wouldn't be able to get abroad this year, I decided to do a first and take a staycation! I've never done this before, put off by the price and similarity to real life as I prefer to fully get away in a totally different culture, language, climate (sun). I figured a staycation was better than no vacation so I booked an overpriced Airbnb in Penzance, with a view to exploring West Cornwall; I've never before been this far west in the U.K. before. As it happens, I decided I couldn't get through the year without going abroad so I also booked a holiday to Crete the week after! So my staycation turned out to be less of a stay at home vacation and more of a pre-holiday short break…
My experience confirmed for me now important the weather is in a holiday and how much I NEED the sun. I was away for 3 nights (booked 4 but came home a day early), the half days either end of my trip were overcast / drizzly but the two full days in the middle were glorious. I had planned to walk some sections of the coast path and did this. On the first full day I hiked out west from Penzance past the working fishing port of Newlyn along the coast path to the lovely fishing village of Mousehole - missed out on the views somewhat as it was really misty first thing but still a nice walk, very atmospheric with the waves lapping just beside me then the sea disappearing into mist just a few metres out. The mist cleared by mid morning to a glorious sunny day. I stopped briefly in Mousehole trying to find enough signal to make a phone call (managed at the top of a hill only!) then hiked on to Lamorna, through a jungle of undergrowth higher than my head that obscured most views of the sea. It wasn't that pleasant to hike in honestly but thankfully opened up close to Lamorna to granite rocks and the kind of walking I love best, that's half climbing / mountaineering :) and spectacular views. Put off a bit by how overgrown the first section of path was, I stopped at Lamorna and caught the open top bus back to Newlyn, which was fun. I would definitely like to come back to cover the next section from Lamorna to Porthcurno (location of Minack) and beyond from Porthcurno to Lands End - maybe at a different time of year in hopes of less jungle. I lay on a wall in the sun for a couple of hours beyond Newlyn, with views back over the entire St Mounts Bay.
The second full day, I got a train to St Ives, just 30mins across the centre of Cornwall to the north coast. I loved St Ives!! It was such a nice place, with a lovely vibe, beautiful harbour, golden white sandy beaches and a high grassy area with spectacular panoramic views all round and a beautiful little chapel on the very top. The town itself was seething busy by mid-morning and traffic snarled.. cars, vans, buses bumper to bumper on the narrow streets benching out exhaust and seething with tourists. Really it would benefit from being fully pedestrianised, there are so many tourists trying to walk alongside this. I dipped my toes in the sea and rued not bringing my swimming costume as it felt so lovely I would have enjoyed a swim - but maybe not so much walking round all day covered in salt. After lunch I walked along the coast path to Carbis Bay and on past spectacular Porth Kidney sands and Hayle bay to Leland and on to St Erth. This was a much nicer section of the coast path to walk as it wasn't so overgrown and had amazing views most of the way. The beaches in this part of Cornwall are so lovely, white sands and turquoise sea, hard to believe it's the same country as the red cliffs and grey sand / shingle / pebble beaches of south Devon..
My final day was drizzly again. I struck out on the coast path from Penzance past Marazion towards Porthleven but only went a couple of hours out before turning back. I wanted to get home to sort myself out before leaving for Crete and it was raining anyway, which somewhat spoilt the enjoyment.. This was also a much nicer section of cost path than the bit between Mousehole and Lamorna and again I'd like to return to do the whole walk to Porthleven, which I think would take around 4 hours.
If only it was possible to guarantee good weather in the U.K.! Although not possible I'd still like to come back. I guess I could book last minute only if the forecast is fine, maybe go out of season so it doesn't cost as much. The trains are cheap enough but accommodation in Cornwall in the middle of a pandemic is so inflated above what it's worth…