Lockdown made us all slow down and become local tourists and whilst the travel restrictions have been lifted, many of us are reluctant to travel further than necessary. For me, this has meant exploring the beautiful South West coast of England with friends on a very small budget.
Whilst it’s been odd, not living in my rented flat, nor with my family, it’s allowed me to learn a lot more about pasties and seagulls and well, proving that Devon and Cornwall are a lot more than that.
I’ve been lucky enough to be living not too far from Plymouth and able to freely hop between the two counties and get back to the simple enjoyment of nature. I mean, there’s a reason the Cornish population quadruples in Summer. Here are just a few of them.
I must admit, the travel here isn’t for the faint hearted, especially if you’re not used to country roads: Google Maps will take you down a myriad of single tracks and steep inclines that will make you feel like you’re travelling through Thorpe Park. When the path levels off and the crisp sea air finally consumes your car, you’ll be met with a 180 sea view. Park up and take the path through the trees and you’re greeted with a soft, undisturbed shorefront with shallow waters and countless rock pools. Perfect for families and couples alike, its hidden location makes it a enjoyable Marine Conservation Society area with enough space to socially distance- without the worry of overcrowding.
Looe Town Square, Looe
Looe is an example of how tourism and local cultures can be combined for the greater good of the local economy. Cobbled streets with classic bakeries and gentrified American candy stores come intertwined amongst back streets. Sandy beaches with kayak hires and small traditional bars along the same streets. Noisy arcades hidden behind old boats along the river.
Sure, the streets can be swarming with seagulls, picking their next treat from an unsuspecting group tour but the vast array of attractions make it a family-friendly destination without compromising on natural landscapes.
Wembury is a National Trust site hidden on the Moors just a half an hour from Plymouth Town Centre. Enjoy the wildflowers and coastal views whilst socially distancing. Visitors, recently, appear to be few and far between making an ideal family trip out, especially for those four legged friends. Take the steep declines down to the beach or the slow coastal path to soak up the 270 degree view of clear blue waters.
This scenic viewpoint is a great option if there are grey skies above or even a little drizzle, its numerous walking routes and weather-proof paths mean that although sunbathing may not be on the cards, you can emerge yourself in rugged moors like you’re a guest in Wuthering Heights.
There’s something about the serene ambience and the smell of rain that can be a lot more enjoyable than burning to a crisp on an overcrowded beach.
I still have a few months left in this gorgeous part of the UK, so I’d love to hear if there are any more photo-worthy places to visit before I return home.