I am currently on a trip around Cornwall starting from Helston (the Lizard’s Point) and stop over at St. Ives for the last day of the trip.
I have made so many mistakes starting from the first day that I was here, some of them sound quite dumb but I don’t think I’m the only one making these mistakes because there were people who did what I did as well!
1. Don’t ever forget your raincoat
As I was in Falmouth, it was always warm so I thought packing a waterproof or raincoat on this trip would be quite a burden… how I wish I could go back and rethink. It’s the UK and you’re in Cornwall, it will rain whenever the sky pleases without a single warning. And when it rains it can get quite cold!
However, that’s not the only reason why a raincoat is essential, it’s because the wind here is ridiculous. Have you ever experienced the wind that can just push you to the side? Well, that’s the kind of wind I’m talking about in Cornwall, especially if you go more down south. Another thing to say is that… umbrellas are useless here, the wind is way too strong your umbrella would be ruined within seconds.
2. Camping out might not be the best idea
I tried this on the first night in Penzance near St. Michael’s mount to get the wild camping experience… that didn’t go well one bit. The wind was so strong that it took more half an hour to set up the tent because the wind kept blowing the tent into million directions, it was hard to make the flying tent stay still.
Once it was set up, the tent just instantly looked unstable because the wind kept shaking it to the point where the hooks that kept the tent stayed stable to the ground came off. It was concerning to leave your tent even to go use the public toilet!
Also the next day, it wasn’t just extremely windy… it rained as well. Imagine being in a shaky tent in the middle of a storm… that’s how I felt trying to protect myself from the outside weather.
So camping out is not exactly a good either whether it’d be by the beach or up in a campsite about 15 minutes walk from a beach. However, caravanning is definitely recommended as you get to feel safe in your caravan while transporting conveniently from stops to stops.
Also, don’t even think of bringing cookery for wild camping… it’s not worth it and you’d probably end up not using it (unless you’re in a caravan) because it’s difficult and scary to by camping outside with the wind like that in Cornwall.
3. Don’t do a pay as you go buy ticket
I have mentioned in the post How expensive is the UK that public transports is very expensive over here (although I only mentioned trains, buses also don’t have much mercy on its customers– £5.5 for a single ticket to go from one city to another), so the way to save up some money is to buy either 1 day, 2 day, 3 day or 7 day pass (£12, £18, £24, and £26). The pass allows you to travel anywhere within Cornwall with Firstbus (Kernow) company for however many times as you wish for as long as the pass lasts.
Try it because it will save you quite a bit!
4. Don’t pull out your swimsuits and bikinis
Even though Cornwall is known for its beautiful beaches, the water seriously feels like you’re in the ice age. It’s so cold that if you’re putting yourself in the water (if you’re brave enough), it would probably take you 15 minutes to adjust to the temperature… or when you’ve adjusted you’d end up with a cramp.
Instead what you can do is getting or renting yourself a wetsuit, it will save your life andyou get to have fun in the gorgeous blue or turquoise cornish water!
5. Don’t think you’re brave and not bring a hiking shoes
This makes me sound really dumb because I thought my feet could survive all the hikes I have to do on this trip as they survived without even an ache when I went hiking near the suspension bridge in Vancouver with Converse shoes. This time my feet were begging for help since the second day because Cornish hiking trails are full of hard rocks everywhere you go, so the soles of your shoes will be the ones deciding whether you can walk for the rest of the trip.
So don’t think you’re going to be okay, bring hiking shoes (not even normal runners, hiking. shoes.) and don’t underestimate Cornwall even for a little bit.
6. Don’t miss the bus
This never happened to me but it happened to me at a hostel in Penzance, she thought the bus would run until later than six o’clock but when she was at the bus stop the timetable said there was no buses running after six. Of course this doesn’t apply to all buses but most of them are like that, especially the ones that take you to places with not much civilization.
And the fact that Cornwall has a reputation regarding its bad public transportation doesn’t make the situation better, so watch the clock and don’t miss your bus!