Cornish holidays: How do they compare?

Lovely St Ives

As I live in one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the world, my forfeit is that my own holidays are now spent returning to Bradford. Of course I want to see family and friends, of course I miss the food and sometimes would give anything for a proper, savoury breakfast or a curry. I do miss Bradford. I miss the people, the voices, the relaxation derived from understanding the accent, the humour, from being able to get a joke and know that it’s funny. But, I have to say, it’s not my holiday destination of choice.
   Last year, having spent the entire month of August in a rain-soaked Yorkshire, my parents decided that to avoid the moaning, this year we’d spend a week in Cornwall as part of my summer return. 

  

   
   A flight to London and a five-hour train ride later, only to discover that (as the poster above claims) ‘there is a great similarity between Cornwall and Italy both in shape, climate and natural beauties‘. I’m not sure I completely agree with the premise, but it’s a lovely poster and a good reminder to explore your own country, preferably by train. 
   In terms of beaches, I do prefer the wide open spaces of British beaches and have always felt that the narrow strips of sunbed filled bronzers in Italy are a bit of a let down. 

If that’s not a beach Italian friends I don’t know what is.

   Sunbathers in the UK though are defintely less glamourous than their Italian counterparts, less prepared for the sea and sun experience, except perhaps better equipped with wind-breakers and buckets and spades. We’re more interested in building sand castles than posing in this year’s perfect bikini. Sun loungers hired at 20Euros a day are replaced by deck chairs and towels on the sand. There are certainly less umbrellas to hide from the sun, more a frenzied desire to soak-up as much of the sun whilst it lasts.  
   So a week was spent walking along the coastal paths (far too breezy for a Roman to sunbathe) and over-eating. Cream teas and fish and chips are not the best way to prepare your body for an Italian summer. Although great preparation for the politeness-enduced force-feeding I will endure during my trip to Calabria next month. Which would you prefer?

  

6 comments

  1. Have never been to an Italian beach, but the Cornish ones are stupendous and we're having some lovely sun to enjoy them properly! Lobster alert though! Cream teas look divine.

    Kari 🙂

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  2. Having spent every Summer of my childhood on Cornish beaches, and the last ten Summers on Italian ones, I could comment on this topic for hours! I would exchange the neat rows of sun umbrellas and sun beds for the 'bag my patch' with a towel and a wind-break any day. I miss the rugged cliffs; the crashing waves that churn you up and spit you out; and the sqawking seagulls that steal your pasty if you aren't quick enough to eat it (you didn't mention pasties amongst your cream teas and fish and chips Catherine, please don't tell me you didn't have one!). I also can't get used to my seven year olds insisting on wearing a two piece bikini and having a shower as soon as they get out of the sea in case the sea water irritates their skin. I've done quite well though as I've managed to ignore the Italian insistence that they put a clean, dry costume on as soon as the get out of the water. Of course, there are also the up sides of the beaches here too, the most significant being the weather. You leave the house having prepared children, picnic and 'things to do in the shade' and you know the sun will still be out when you get to the beach. There is no need for a contingency plan for when it clouds over and the rain drops start to fall. You know you won't have to convince your children, as my own parents did, that clutching a burger in a bun as you shiver uncontrollably on a windswept beach, is a great way to enjoy a family BBQ. And, when you promise the kids that they can come back again the following day for another 6 hours of swimming, sandcastles and skipping in flip-flops across the burning sand, it won't be the weather that you will let you down. See you soon with your flip flops Catherine? Rhi

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  3. I fear the next trip won't be til 2014 and that seems a LONG way off! Will make sure when it's nice weather though. Beach sounds good – I'll be in a one piece beached whale costume… K 🙂
    P.S. At the moment Rhi you can guarantee the sun. Heatwave warnings springing up everywhere!

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