Cornwall: England's Hidden Gem

When you think of England, you might instantly picture London, the country’s capital, brimming with culture and life. But just four hours west of London lies Cornwall, a traditional Celtic region designated as one of England’s Areas of Outstanding National Beauty. There’s a reason this stunning landscape is one of the most popular getaways in the UK, and why Brits look forward to holidaying here in the summer. While the narrow coves boast white-sand beaches edged with blooming wildflowers, they also whisper the legends and secrets of King Arthur. Read on for a glimpse into Cornwall’s history– or read about all our England trips here.

cornwall

King Arthur's Castle


Tintagel Castle, King Arthur’s supposed birthplace, is the perfect place to start your Cornwall adventure. Unlock the secrets that have shaped this mysterious county as you cross a medieval drawbridge over to the island where (legend has it) sea caves are still haunted by the spirit of Merlin, the storied wizard. Gaze up to the crumbling castle, then wander through the remains of the great hall and imagine the key battle decisions that were made in this very spot or the love triangle that entangled Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot, endangering the kingdom as they knew it. Whether or not you believe these stories, what is undeniable is that the urgency to see Tintagel castle is ever more increasing. The cliffs it stands upon are rapidly crumbling away, and in a mere 10 years, this castle could be unvisitable. Some claim it’s the spirits of Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere and others that are still playing their part in making this ancient castle memorable. Join us in Cornwall and visit this extraordinary clifftop 12th-century castle!

castle

England's Southwestern Peninsula


It’s not all knights and wizards here; Cornwall’s magic moves beyond legend. This often sleepy county boasts tiny traditional fishing villages looking out to the shipwrecks that litter the rocky coastline. The incredible hikes that follow the towering cliffs and headlands lead to red and white lighthouses. A walk along the South West Coast Path is a great example of these winding costal trails. This 350mile stretch of gorgeous coastline takes you through fields of wildflowers, and it’s an idyllic spot for birdwatchers with opportunities to spot razorbills, guillemots and even puffins. Our Cornwall Walking & Hiking Trip takes you on a winding trail all the way to beautiful Penleath Point, where fishermen and sailors alike flock daily.

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Handheld Pies? Yes please.

No British coastal area would be complete without traditional fish and chips, and the dish can’t get much fresher than in Cornwall. You may also want to try the region’s famed Cornish pasty. This classic pastry dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries when Cornwall’s industry was built on mining and workers needed a a nourishing but portable lunch to bring into the mines.  Heating their pastries in a tin bucket over a candle, the miners would hold the outer crusts only to avoid contaminating the meat and vegetables inside with copper or tin dust residue on their hands. The Cornish pasty still lives on in modern-day Britain, and in Cornwall you won’t be able to walk down the street without being greeted by the tempting smell of this golden baked good.

cornish pasty

A Lot to Love

Surfers, sailors, birdwatchers, historians or anyone searching for a small slice of white-sanded heaven can find solitude and peace here, and it’s not hard to see why. The legends and secrets that shape Cornwall are just a part of its outstanding beauty. The crumbling sea caves, sandy coves, crystal blue sea and chocolate-box villages are all aspects that contribute to Cornwall’s romance, and we’re thrilled to be offering an adventure in this spectacular region – check it out here!

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Find your perfect trip at Backroads today. Search through over a hundred unique adventures.