Rife with Celtic myth and legend, Cornwall – Britain’s south-western tip – has magnificent granite cliffs dragged at by the wild Atlantic, smooth sand beaches, charming towns, savoury pasties and cream teas.
I was actually there to explore the rock climbing opportunities on the sea cliffs and zawns of Bosigran and Chair Ladder.
But I also discovered a Unesco World Heritage Site of historic ruined mines. The tin and copper mining landscape of Cornwall and west Devon reflect Britain’s burgeoning Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
There over 200 ruined mining sites, which according to Cornish Mining is the largest concentration of such monuments anywhere in the world. At the beginning of the 19th century Cornwall was producing two-thirds of the world’s supply of copper.
The boom era had come to an end by the end of the century and hundreds of thousands of Cornwall’s skilled miners migrated abroad to developing tin mines around the world. What is left certainly adds to the beautiful landscape.
Take a walk along the clifftop paths. I loved the great clumps of pink and white sea campion and saw seals playing in the rocky pools at the foot of the drop.
No first trip to Cornwall would be complete without visiting Land’s End. The lighthouse, the empty sea and the sun going down make for a memorable end to the day.
Followed of course by a pint of St Austell’s ale and a freshly baked Cornish pasty.
By Natasha von Geldern
Have you been to Cornwall? What was a highlight of your visit?