My husband and I wanted to take a spring break somewhere near the sea. We didn’t want all the hassle of booking flights, airport delays and paying for airport parking so we decided to look for somewhere in the UK.
We briefly considered Scotland but thought a Scottish beach might be a bit inhospitable in spring, so we eventually settled on Cornwall with its temperate climate. After checking the map we thought Newquay would make a suitable base for our holiday – giving access to both the north and south coasts and within easy driving distance of the Eden Project which we were looking forward to visiting.
We started looking for hotels, but we’re both quite active people and we decided that a bed and breakfast might be more suited to our purpose as we expected to be out and about every day.
We started searching on the internet for bed and breakfasts in Newquay. We were totally astonished at how many there were – ranging from beach front houses to 100 year old farmhouses offering bed & breakfast just outside Newquay.
We managed to narrow our search to two or three possibilities – our main criteria being walking distance of the bars and restaurants and if possible a sea view and off road parking. We thought we would be well advised to book early as in peak season the population of Newquay rises from 22,000 to 100,000. The bed and breakfasts in Newquay are very popular with youngsters and surfers visiting the town, being a much cheaper option than the luxury hotels in town. Indeed our first two choices of bed and breakfasts in Newquay were already fully booked but we struck lucky with our third choice.
Newquay – Here we Come!
On a lovely sunny morning in May, we set off for the long drive to Newquay. After driving across the scenic Bodmin Moor we stopped for lunch in a lovely old inn in the town of Bodmin. I agreed to drive the rest of the way so that my husband could try a couple of pints of the local ale from the nearby St. Austell Brewery. He was very impressed, in fact so much so, that I had trouble getting him to leave and head for our bed and breakfast in Newquay.
After a couple of wrong turns in the centre of town, we arrived at our bed and breakfast overlooking Fistral Beach. We were warmly welcomed by the owner and shown to our charming sea view room.
We went straight out, to walk along the beach and get some of that lovely fresh sea air into our lungs. We stopped to watch the surfers and the kite buggies – a lot of activity! Then it was into the town centre to do some more beer testing and forage for food. Mission completed, we strolled back to our bed and breakfast in Newquay.
Next morning we set off north along the coastal path after eating a huge breakfast at our guest house. We walked for miles, passing Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth and Porthcottan Bay to name but a few. We stopped for refreshments at the National Trust café at Bedruthan Steps – we were surrounded by birdlife, including Kittiwakes, Razorbills and Guillemots – an idyllic spot.
We resumed our walk, hoping to make it as far as Padstow before dark. We did (just!) – It’s not a good idea to be caught on the cliffs after dark. We entered Padstow at the north end of the harbour and asked an old man sitting on the harbour wall for directions to Rick Stein’s famous fish restaurant.
We arrived at the restaurant absolutely famished after our long day of walking. However, this was soon put right – a little later we were feasting on salmon steaks with muscadet, watercress and dill – absolutely delicious!
We had intended to take a taxi back to our bed and breakfast in Newquay, but the people at the next table overheard us asking the waiter to book a taxi and kindly offered us a lift – gratefully accepted. The following day, muscles aching from the unaccustomed exercise the day before, we decided to take books down to the beach and spend a few hours relaxing.
The Eden Project
The following morning, fully recovered, we set off on our much anticipated trip to the Eden Project. The Eden project, opened in 2001 on the site of an old china clay pit, consists of a series of domes (called biomes) and the Rainforest biome is home to the largest indoor rainforest in the world. It’s an amazing experience walking through the jungle canopy on the purpose built walkway nearly 50 metres above the ground.
We spent the whole day at the Project – the facilities are wonderful. We had an ‘alfresco’ lunch at the restaurant in the Mediterranean biome and afternoon tea in the Eden Bakery. After a long tiring day we returned to our bed and breakfast in Newquay and spent the evening in the guest lounge catching up on the news on the TV.
National Maritime Museum
Next day we went off to the National Maritime Museum at Falmouth. We went up the lookout tower first and used the telescope to look out over the harbour and pick out various landmarks along the coast. Next stop, the main hall with various exhibits including ‘Waterlily’ a steam launch dating from 1866. If you look up you will see a flotilla of small boats of all types suspended from the ceiling.
Not being very interested in all things maritime, I managed to persuade my husband that we had seen enough and go into the centre of Falmouth for a bit of lunch and some retail therapy – my real reason for agreeing to this day out.
Bought a few gifts for the family and set off to our bed and breakfast in Newquay. Sadly, next day we had to leave our bed and breakfast in Newquay and return home – but we will definitely be back!