12 Things You Miss When You Leave Cornwall

Portreath Beach at sunset | © David Hodgson/Flickr
Portreath Beach at sunset | © David Hodgson/Flickr
Photo of Lauren Williams
Freelance Travel Journalist26 September 2017

Life is different in Cornwall to the rest of the UK. Time here seems to move slower, and time spent here imprints on your soul for a good long while after you’ve crossed the Tamar for more exciting shores. You miss Cornwall when you leave and even though the sound of seagulls squabbling is akin to hell at 5am on a Sunday morning in August, life just isn’t the same without them.

Sea air

The air in Cornwall is as fresh as fresh can be. It bellows off the Atlantic, whips hair around faces and blusters what little pollution there is far away from your lungs. In Cornwall, you can blow away the cobwebs with an ocean breeze with the same ease as going to the pub after a long day of work in the city.

Coastline near Porthleven | © Tim Green/Flickr

Slower pace of life

Nobody is in a rush to do anything in Cornwall. Things will happen when they happen and will get done when they are done. More often than not, you will be late for work because of a tractor/sheep/cows and it’s okay, because Cornwall.

Being no more than 20 minutes from the beach

There’s nothing like finishing work on a Tuesday evening and swinging by the beach on the way home for a dip and a pint, just because you can. Even if you live inland, the sea isn’t far away and weekend conversations in summer usually consist of choosing which beach to spend your days on.

Community culture

There’s nothing quite like community culture in Cornwall, and that’s not just because everyone happens to know or be related to each other. There is a sense of neighbourly love in these ‘ere parts and everybody supports each other’s business ideas. Living in Cornwall is like being part of a huge social club where everybody supports each other, always.

Proper pasties

Proper Cornish pasties are made in Cornwall, and you can’t get a proper Cornish pasty outside of Cornwall. Fact. Not only do they taste better in the Duchy, but the Cornish pasty has been given Protected Geographical Status by the European Union. This means that only pasties made in Cornwall which follow the traditional recipe can be called as such.

Pasty eating | © Evo Flash/Flickr

Winter storms

Cornwall is great in summer, of course, but in the winter it’s a completely different beast. The coast turns into a giant churning washing machine of white-wash which pounds the land with fury, winds whip across moorland and the clouds are so heavy they feel as though they fill the whole sky from where the sea touches the horizon. Big seas mean gathering friends with flasks of mulled cider to watch the turmoil and lashing rain means nights in cosy pubs with your feet by the fire.

Long coast walks

There are over 200 miles of coast path to walk in Cornwall, with each section being different from the next. You can amble across the flat from Penzance to Marazion, traverse up and down steep cliffs in Tintagle or walk along the sand dunes at Godrevy Beach. Of course, every coast walk ends in a pub.

Calling someone a cock

Without them getting offended, that is. The Cornish have many turns of phrase which are deemed a bit bizarre out of county, but “wasson me cock?” has to take the title for the most offensive if you’re not versed in Cornish lingo. It actually means, “hello, how are you?” to insiders, but can often be taken the very wrong way. Teasy, hangin’, bird and shag also have to be dropped from your vocabulary when leaving the county.

Fresh seafood

Being surrounded by the sea means that fish and seafood are in abundance in Cornwall. This means that food often comes straight from the fishermen to your plate with no need for freezing and storing in between. Away from coastal living, however, this isn’t always the case and it doesn’t take long to yearn for that fresh, fishy goodness again!

Cornish Oysters | © The Local People Photo Album/Flickr

The importance of sustainability

Nature and the outdoors are a huge part of every day life in Cornwall. This means that caring for the sea, beaches, moors and woodland is a huge part of every day life and most businesses have care for the world at their core. People buy local, eat local and sell local to make sure their friends and neighbours stay in business.

The sound of seagulls

It’s not that waking up at the break of dawn to seagulls fighting on the roof above you is a pleasant sound, it’s just that it’s missed when it’s not there. It just feels a bit too quiet without that incessant squawking going on.

Places where there is no 4G

There are places in Cornwall where you can still get away from it all. We’re not talking about the office and stresses of home, we’re talking about social media. Of getting away from your phone pinging every three seconds with notifications. There are small pockets of Cornwall where G’s can’t reach you and there isn’t one bar of phone signal.