Cornwall is a jaw-dropping beautiful peninsula defined by its spectacular coastline tapering out into the Atlantic Ocean. With its picture postcard harbours, expansive sandy beaches, stunning cliffs and a rich cultural heritage, Cornwall has been a favourite holiday destination for generations. Here, I bring my favourite bits of Cornwall. Cornwall is HUGE and it is impossible to pack in everything in one short holiday. However, that only gives you an excuse to go back.

Polperro:

Cornwall attractions

Situated in the south of Looe is the picture perfect fishing village of Polperro. With narrow cobbled streets lined with pretty granite cottages and colourful homes, Polperro is a great little place if you fancy a nice little walk. Polperro was once notorious for smuggling and you can trace this history at the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing. Unwind yourself by the delightful harbour or have some tea in the cute tea rooms, Polperro’s charm will stay with you for a long, long time.

The Eden Project:

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

Not your run-off-the-mill park, the Eden project which was opened in 2001 is the worlds’s largest greenhouse. Characterised by its two huge “biomes” they give you a taste of the flora and fauna of tropical and Mediterranean regions. The “biomes” are actually are a series of interconnected domes.

Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea (and many find it overpriced), I still would argue for it because to replicate the hot tropical climate (with a Malaysian hut and African totem sculpture made from recycled timber) is definitely a mammoth task. While you are here don’t forget the scrumptious ice-creams from their coffee house. My favourite?Cacao with coconut flavour. As mentioned Eden is expensive with £25 per adult but you can save up to 20 % if you book in advance online.

Land’s End:

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

As the name suggests it is end of the land, intriguing enough for me. It gives you stunning coastal views of the Atlantic Ocean. The undulating landscape dotted with cliffs makes it a great spot for some easy trekking (easy for me). Don’t forget to enjoy a tasty meal at the Land’s End Restaurant after you have thoroughly explored this place.

Minack theatre:

Image from: Wikimedia Commons by Tim Lewy

Image from: Wikimedia Commons by Tim Lewy

Minack theatre is a truly out of this world place that will simply blow your senses. An open-air theatre, carved into a granite diff and set amidst glorious gardens; Minack theatre has to be seen to be believed. Overlooking the spectacular Porthcurno Bay, Minack theatre is exotic and magical. The summer theatre season runs from May to September presenting drama, musicals and opera in this dramatic setting.

Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps:

Cornwall attractions

cornwall attractions

This is a stretch of coastline located on the north Cornish coast between Padstow and Newquay. Another great spot for trekking, characterised by steep steps and dramatic views of this rocky beach. Bedruthan steps gets it’s name from the huge slate outcrops scattered along the beach and not the inordinate number of steps you need to go down to get to the beach. It is said that the outcrops were put there by Bedruthan, a giant, and used as stepping stones. The Carnewas cliffs has several nooks and crannies giving various different views of the Bedruthan Steps.

Beaches:

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

Being a coastal area, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Cornwall. There are just so many offering a variety of activities. This time around we explored the lovely Lusty Glaze at Newquay. This was right opposite to where we were staying (Kallacliff Hotel). A fantastic beach in the heart of the city, Lusty Glaze is an ideal place for couples (although we enjoyed it as a family too). A somewhat steep stairs take you down the beach (hence cumbersome if you have a buggy) but once you reach there you will treated to vast sandy beach with crystal blue waters. A quiet cove which faces towards west is ideal to catch sunset. During summer, there are numerous kid-friendly activities here. Fistral beach is another family friendly beach that should not be missed.

Surfing:

Cornwall attractions

There are many surfing friendly beaches in Cornwall. Fistral in Newquay is considered to be the most famous surfing beach in Britain. While we could not try surfing due to the weather, this is definitely on my bucket list. If you are a newbie and then head towards Towan Beach (Newquay). Between two grassy cliff tops and azure coloured waters, this beach is considered ideal if you are a beginner as the waves are slightly less challenging. Plus, this is one of the less crowded beaches of Newquay.

Food:

Image from Wikimedia Commons by Tristan Frene

Image from Wikimedia Commons by Tristan Frene

Cornwall has some of the best sea-food restaurants in Britain. It is also the home of the famous Cornish Pasty. If you are looking for a scrumptious sea-food option then don’t forget to check Rick Stein’s restaurants. The fresh fish dishes are to die for and while you will get British classics like Fish & Chips you can also taste Stein influenced far-off dishes like Pad Thai, prawn curry and fish chilli burgers. Yum.

If street food is more of your grub style, then don’t forget to tuck in a Cornish Pasty. Check out for some local options like Philps Pasties, Niles Bakery etc. You will find beef, chicken and vegetarian varieties but be warned they are humungous!

Hope you enjoyed this travel guide post. Thanks for reading and have a great week ahead. Do show me your love with your likes and comments and don’t forget to follow me. 🙂

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Today’s guest poetry post is by Nitya who describes her journey as a traveler or a vagabond. Here it goes:

Treading along the glorious paths,

Amidst the endless stretch of mountains,

One becomes a tiny speck of dirt,

An insignificant part of Universe.

Yet it reaks of an unspoken philosophy,

That teaches you the Words of the Wise.

The cold wind that turns you numb,

The rains that drench you without warning,

The enormous size of the snow clad peaks,

Gives an enthralling sense of thrill,

That the world’s best Hash can’t-

A different kind of High.

The sound that you hear is the voice of God,

Reminding you of your insignificance,

Teaching you to stay humble.

Because without a warning,

Within a blink of an eye,

The wind may turn into a storm,

The calm sea may flash its turbulence.

Live now,

Live forever.

Watch where you go,

Remember what you leave.

Coz yesterday’s already gone,

Today is what you have,

And Tomorrow is just a hope.

Nostalgia has kicked in and before going on my break, I thought I will do two nostalgia posts. Here, I bring to you my top travels of this year. French writer, Gustav Flaubert, has once said, “Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” This year was all about that realisation and broadening my horizons intellectually and spiritually; something which traveling always teaches me.

Travel and Living

1. Kerala: It is God’s own country after all.

2. Amsterdam: The coolest and the most liberal city I visited this year.

3. Paris: Because Paris is always a good idea.

4. Longleat Safari Park: As I am a through and through nature’s girl.

5. Barcelona: A vibrant city which teaches you the art of doing nothing, enjoying everything and living.

6. Ibiza: Not just a clubbing heaven but pristine beaches, sparkling blue Mediterranean waters and scrumptious food.

7. London: My new work place and perhaps the most pulsating city in the world where you can never get bored.

8. Bombay: Truly a city that never sleeps and as Dorothy said, “there is no place like home.”

9. Oxford: A wonderful walking city and the seat of knowledge and learning.

Hope my next year is also as adventurous as this one and I am able to tick off few more places in my travel bucket list.

Have a great day and wish you all a Happy New Year.

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

When I first moved to Bombay (Mumbai) as a teenager, I genuinely  felt like Alice in Wonderland. Bombay for me is not just a city. It is  like a person. It makes me happy, it makes me sad, sometimes its sheer apathy has shocked my senses and sometimes it has wrapped me in its comfortable arms and given me hope. I have laughed with its crazy winds and cried when it has been shot and blooded. Often I have wondered if the city famous for its spirit is losing some of its soul too. Today, a friend, traveler and fellow blogger, Rushikesh Kulkarni who blogs here tells you the story of Bombay, a city with many, many shades. 

Marine Drive Credits: Nan Joshi

Marine Drive Credits: Nan Joshi

First there were the islands, then came the colonists who reclaimed land from the sea and the islands became one. The city of Bombay witnessed upheavals throughout her long history. The islands were ruled by powerful rulers belonging to illustrious dynasties. There were the Mauryas, the Chalukyas, the Silharas, and also the Sultanate from Gujarat until the European powers arrived. Portuguese came to Bombay first then arrived the British who received some of the islands in a marriage treaty with the Portuguese. All the remaining islands were soon captured and Bombay’s identity as a important trading centre was established. Incidentally, the city played an important role in the overthrow of the British – from the founding of the Indian National Congress to the Naval Mutiny – Bombay and her residents fought relentlessly for freedom.

A little over a decade later, fresh struggle broke out on the streets resulting into the division of the State of Bombay into Maharashtra and Gujarat. Shiv Sena was born soon after and opposed the influx of migrants from South India (a tactic used to gain sympathy of the locals, to be repeated by MNS an offshoot of the Sena against North Indians years later), the once thriving textile mills went silent and India’s blue collar workers were rendered unemployed, the chawls made way for towers and communal violence broke out. A series of bomb explosions rendered the city silent but terrorism against the city was to continue. Amidst all this, the city was renamed Mumbai and its financial importance grew exponentially.

Credits: Rushikesh Kulkarni

Credits: Rushikesh Kulkarni

Mumbai Skyline. Credits: Rushikesh Kulkarni

Mumbai Skyline. Credits: Rushikesh Kulkarni

For her residents, the mention of Bombay evokes many emotions. It signifies home and each one of them share a unique relationship with her. Most love her and can’t imagine living anywhere else. It doesn’t matter if they live on the pavement or in skyscrapers. Why? You may ask. The city is congested, chaotic, noisy, even hostile at times and everyone seems to be in a perpetual state of hurry. It is is most puzzling really. But still, the lights of the city seem to draw crowds like moths are drawn to a flame. The lit up neighbourhood are symbolic of the pulsating nature of the city nights. If you knew where to look, you’d find what you are looking for at anytime of the day. Cryptic as it may sound, Bombay provides for all your needs. Her capacity to momentarily satiate human greed is remarkable and if you are a hedonist, you couldn’t have wished for more. If you have a dream and the will, Bombay almost assures success. The rags to riches story can be heard in everyone of her bylanes. And as they say – work hard in the city and you will never go to sleep hungry.

Way back in 1956,  a movie named C.I.D was released, a very popular song from that film spoke of the way of life in Bombay. Strangely, all these years later Yeh Hain Bombay, Meri Jaan  (This is Bombay, my love) continues to be the most accurate song to describe the city and her denizens. Fast paced, nimble footed, moving swiftly one station at a time – the people of Bombay won’t surprise you, they will shock you. From casual indifference to overt concern they may seem helpful and hostile at the same time. Time is paramount to them and distances are calculated in minutes rather than kilometers. They are accommodating and will adjust-a-little to squeeze in more people in small spaces including railways compartments, auto rickshaws, elevators, and even bus stops on a rainy day. They have a distinct dialect which encompasses words from Hindi, Marathi, English and to a certain extent Gujurati to form a unique tongue; indecipherable to outsiders.

Streets of Mumbai by Rushikesh Kulkarni

Streets of Mumbai by Rushikesh Kulkarni

But as it is with any other city, the migrants add a new dimension to the overall population. A large number of migrants belonging to every strata of the society have altered the nature of the city. Most old residents reminisce fondly of the times when the city was much more liberal, open minded and friendly to people of all backgrounds. Ghetto-isation is much more pronounced with people belonging to minorities opting to live among their brethren as many housing societies follow absurd rules banning non-vegetarians or minorities from taking up residence. There are increased number of instances of sexual harassment towards women and this has led many to question the very safety once provided by the city to its female residents. The institutions that held the city together and provided her with the distinct identity through their yeoman service also show signs of tiredness and inefficiency. Whether it is the impersonal attitude towards the city of the new migrants or the weakening of the emotional bond of the citizens that they shared with her historically, it is difficult to tell. In pursuit of making ends meet and satisfying growing needs, one may have lost sight of what is more important.

Mumbai Local by Rushikesh Kulkarni

Mumbai Local by Rushikesh Kulkarni

Marine Drive by Me

Marine Drive by Me

As this untamed tsunami of change sweeps over the city, the cool breeze, an unrestricted sea view and the solitude at Marine Drive remain untouched. The monsoon continues to be dramatic and washes the city clean. The Gothic architecture mingles with the new age steel and glass comfortably, retaining its old world appeal that charms passersby. The sev-puri ( street food delicacy) remains symbolic of the varied emotions one feels towards the city while the Bombay Duck (deep fried and served crisp) makes this world a better place. Sitting on the steps of Asiatic Library, many watch the world rush past them while film stars add glamour to the island city; as each day future Shah Rukh Khans arrive at Victoria Terminal railway station, with a dream of making it big in Bollywood. Each afternoon a man enjoys home cooked lunch delivered by a Dabbawallah (complete with the Gandhi topi; Prince Charles was so impressed by them when he visited the city in 2004 he invited them for his wedding with Camilla Parker) as the Coppersmith Barbet keeps calling out to no one in particular. A couple steals a moment of privacy in an autorickshaw while a hijra winks flirtatiously at a young labourer from Jharkhand (in Eastern India). And as I stand on the footboard of a Churchgate bound fast local, the wind smothering my face, listening to the rhythmic noise of its wheels in motion, watching the city zip past me, inside the crowded compartment a man asks the passengers to adjust-a-little to conjure up the fourth seat for him.

That my love, is Bombay for you. Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan.