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Trip Report Cornwall: An American Family's take on a quintessential English Holiday

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We’ve just returned from a week in Cornwall. Going to Cornwall wasn’t in our original plans when moving here but just about everyone here goes on holiday there so we had to go see what it was all about. Photos and more as usual on my blog:

http://ukfrey.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/cornwall.html

The weather wasn’t the best but tolerable most of the time. We did enjoy ourselves, but it didn’t capture us like Scotland, the Lakes and North Wales did. Some of that could very well be personal preference or the influence of weather but I think part of it is not being English and going year after year (and generation after generation).

Lodging:

4 nights at the Glencree House in Penzance. 2 rooms on the top floor at £70 prpn. Superb host (Andrew) took the time when we arrived to give us the lay of the land and checked with us each morning at breakfast. Great food and excellent restaurant recommendations. Any small niggles became features rather than complaints due to Andrew’s wonderful personality. This is what we desire at a B&B/Guesthouse. Highly recommended.

10-15 minute walk to most of the restaurants on Chapel Street. On street parking was not an issue.

http://www.glencreehouse.co.uk/

4 nights at the Poltair Hotel (Guest House) in Falmouth. Family room on 1st floor with sea view for £100/night. Near Princess Pavilion and 10 minutes to the Event Center and 30 all the way to High Street. Good location. On street parking not an issue.

Nice touches of a refrigerator in the room and homemade cakes in the afternoon. Less personable (more hired help) and breakfasts were ½ a notch down. Adequate and cheaper so perhaps not fair to compare. Beds were a little soft for us.

http://www.poltair.co.uk/

We could have managed in 1 location (and perhaps gotten an apartment) but I wasn’t sure how difficult the travel would be around the peninsula and we do like to walk to restaurants in the evening so this gave us twice as many choices.

Restaurants

We ate well at night with most ranging from £60-80 for the total bill (kids still eat off the children’s menu most nights and we usually just have 1 round of drinks). Best to book if possible, particularly for the smallish Olivers. Seafood heavy by choice save the one night of Italian. I did get a decent steak at Olivers at the end of the week as well.

General Order of preference (F = Falmouth, P = Penzance)

Oliver’s (F)
The Bakehouse (P) – ate there twice

The Assay House (P)
The Shack (F)
The Navy Inn (P)

R Steins (F)
Zizzi’s (F)

No issues with any of them. The bottom two are nothing special but they were closest to our B&B and available on a wet night.

Enjoyed the cafes at Gylly Beach (F) and St. Michael’s Mount (P) as well for lunch.

Activities

The kids enjoyed the beaches (though cold by US standards) and even better the pools (leisure centers) that we visited. Porthcorno was stunning but we didn’t swim there. We stayed to the bigger ones in Sennen Cove and Praa Sands.

I liked the castles (St. Michael’s Mount, Pendennis, St. Mawes). The Eden Project was a big hit as well.

The picturesque villages/towns didn’t do as much for us (e.g. Mousehole, St. Ives, etc.) though St. Mawes was nice. Personal preference I guess. We don’t know what we are supposed to do in these to be honest.

We didn’t set out on any “proper” walks this time but the short one from Sennen Cove to Lands End was nice.

The National Maritime Museum was set up well for families.

The activities due to Falmouth week and at Pendennis Castle were a nice bonus.

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