A 3 day roadtrip in Cornwall, UK while sleeping in a VW Van.
I’m not quite sure how we ended up in a VW campervan roadtriping through Cornwall. I think it was a combination of the wedding chaos, family overload and an upcoming move across the planet – that made Cornwall seem like a perfect option for our honeymoon.
So, on a Saturday morning we took a 3-hour train ride from London to St. Austell to pick a VW 1970’s campervan that we had booked two days before. What follows is a brief recap of each place we stopped in.
Day One: A first glimpse
Once we arrived to St. Austell, The Cornwall Camper Company met us at the train station and quickly set us up with the van. After a quick driving lesson and a list of recommendations we quickly got on the road to leave all city life behind us.
3:00 PM – The Hidden Hut: Leave the city we did, with a stop here. Literally, a tiny hut with a few picnic tables steps away from a gorgeous, quiet beach. It was the perfect place to catch a first glimpse of what was to come.
Sleeping – Arthurs Field near Portscatho: The town itself didn’t have a ton to offer, but it was lovely to be able to park the van at Arthur’s Field and walk over to the town.
Day Two: Hugging the coast
Waking up in Arthur’s Field alongside all of the other campervan families and couples, we felt a little bit like posers. However, we embraced it and cooked our eggs and toast in the van kitchen. We didn’t linger too much though as we had a full day ahead.
11:00 AM Pandora’s Inn: Tucked down a narrow and tree-lined road, Pandora’s Inn is a pub right next to a lake with plenty of outdoor seating. It was packed and we procrastinated too much in ordering food but this should have been the place to get lunch.
2:00 PM Falmouth: After a short ferry ride from a park & ride, we were ready for lunch in Falmouth. The kind of town that’s maybe even nicer in the fall when it’s a bit chilly out and you can quickly duck in to one of the many cosy places.
Sleeping – Henry’s Camp, Lizard: What a gorgeous place. Immediately after arriving to the hippie campsite we asked, “What’s the quickest way to the water?”. That question set us off down a footpath that quickly turned into an incredible coastal path with cliff views and wildflowers.
Possibly the highlight of the whole trip was finding a semi-secret beach on this coastal path, down a very sketchy hill path that was once probably a safe descent. Once you’re down there though, you have the whole beach to yourself – perfect for real sunbathing. After that adventure we headed back to Lizard for a pint & food. Looking back was it a dream?
Day Three: Heading north.
8:30 AM Cadgwith: We woke up “early” to get to this tiny fishing village, but it was worth it. You can only walk in to Cadgwith, as far as we know, but as you walk in the thatched-roofs suddenly come in to view. Three little streets all on slightly different elevation. We quickly reached the water and found a most classic fishing village – filled with old wooden boats, nets, and a heavy scent around you. Not much was open though and we were in desperate need of coffee so we scuttled away.
10:00 AM Porthleven: Another harbor town, but the breakfast at The Twisted Currant provided us with Cornish breakfast experience we were looking for. Afterwards we watched a dog swim in the water long enough for everyone to feel anxious for him. A boardwalk heads straight in to the sea where you can easily imagine how cold and menacing the waters might become in the winter time.
1:00 PM Sennen: Beers, bikini babes, babies. This is a stereotypical, gorgeous beach: colored umbrellas dotting the white sand. However, it being nestled underneath a green hill makes it feel a bit more special. This is the place to get early to, set up a little base with a cooler and snacks. Us, though, always on the go – grabbed a beer and a crab sandwich and continued onwards.
3:00 PM Zennor: Pretty sure this place has beautiful views to offer but we were distracted by the Clotted Cream! Not sure what it is except for really buttery cream, but we were really happy about that.
4:00 PM St. Ives: Finally, we made it to the picture perfect St. Ives. The most talked about town in Cornwall. While it wasn’t necessarily our favorite, it didn’t disappoint and was a wonderful conclusion to the roadtrip. The highlight here for us was visiting the Tate Gallery which is literally on the water, so you can view modern art one moment and crash in to the waves the next. What more can you ask for.
To end the trip we drove a bit more north to Gwithian which was rumored to have a good campsite. We didn’t find a spot there though so we slept in the parking lot of a restaurant which allowed it. We caught a gorgeous sunset and woke up early the next day to take the train back from St. Austell to London.
If it’s not clear, it was a perfect honeymoon.