If like me, your geography is quite poor and you weren't sure if there were beaches in the UK, well well... there are! I remember a funny episode. My Supervisor randomly mentioned that he wanted to take his daughter out to the beach in Somerset, but it was still too cold. I didn't even pretend to know. I just blurted out "Are there beaches in the UK?". Good thing though, I don't think he heard me, so I just forgot about it and did the research for myself.
After our botched Dubai trip we decided to salvage what we could and so we planned a last minute stay-cation to St, Ives which is a seaside town in Cornwall, England. Even though we spent two nights there, we essentially had just one full day to explore. We drove for about 5 hours from Milton Keynes (I say we drove, but in actual fact only Tee drove, while I slept) and arrived pretty late in the evening so we couldn't do much - just checked into the hotel and slept.
It wasn't a proper holiday but it definitely made us feel like we had a little get-away time and could re-fresh. So if you can't plan a full blown holiday, have a staycation somewhere local to you. In just one full day, we managed to do quite a bit, and I'm definitely looking forward to going back! The Highlights essentially were:
1. The Castle:
We lodged at the Tregana Castle which was pretty amazing. Not the interior per se, but just the location and environment. The Castle is set on an extensive woodland estate in a mansion dating from 1774, and overlooks the St Ives Bay. There's a golf course, lawn tennis court, a pool, a huge play ground for kids, really lush gardens and greenery. It also has some wooden lodges and cottages if you'll like to stay on your own, away from the regular hotel apartments.
2. The Beaches:
It was good really just see the beach. Even though it was still slightly cold and we couldn't really get in the water, It still gave me that feeling of being on a holiday. We walked on the shore and just chilled by the beach for a drink.
Watch out though! There are sea gulls all around and they were not even kidding. A couple of times they flew down and without mercy, snatched people's foods off their hands. I felt so bad for a little girl who had her food snatched twice! After that, her family just packed up and left the area.
3. The Town Itself
For some weird reason, the entire town reminded me of Enid Blyton books and cobbled floors. The town centre had lots of charity and tea shops.
While exploring, we stumbled on a Farmer's Market and ran into this pretty lady who runs The Green Door Healthstore - where she makes healthy treats. We tried out her smoothie and it was really good.
I told her I'll put up her picture on the blog and she seemed so excited. Maybe she thought I was a huge blogger. But if you're ever in Cornwall, check her out!
4. The Minack Theatre
While having tea at a really nice tea shop called Madeleines, the ladies suggested that we had to see the Minack Theatre as it was amazing. They both agreed that if we only had to see one thing in Cornwall it had to be the Theatre. The husband and I are quite funny. When people over hype things and we finally encounter it, it sometimes falls flat. But we decided to give this a go. The drive to the theatre was a bit scary - through long, windy and very narrow roads. This was all made worse by the fact that the theatre is located in a place called Lands End - it definitely felt like it was the end of the world. But it was amazing and worth it. The pictures cannot do it justice. Much more inspiring is the story behind the theatre. Essentially, it is a unique theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean, and it was more or less built by a woman called Rowena Cade.
Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House, decided that the cliffs below her garden would be the perfect for a Theatre, and over the winter of 1931 and into 1932 she and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, moved endless granite boulders and earth, creating the lower terraces of the theatre.
The very first play to be held there was Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' and over the past 80 years the theatre has evolved to a unique for professionals and amateurs to have their shows.
We din't get to watch an actual show, but there were a few people rehearsing for a show and that was quite god to see. Above all, I think I was most inspired by the documentary on Rowena and how people have over the years struggled to keep her legacy and dream alive
5. Surprise! Kind of...
The staycation co-incided with the anniversary of our civil ceremony and I managed to arrange with the chefs to bring in a mini-surprise for Tee.
Too bad I was sleeping when they brought this in, so it didn't go as planned. But all in all, I've always wanted this fancy writing on a desert plate, so kind of glad I got it.
That's all folks. For people who regularly come to the UK on holiday, I suggest you do something different from London (and shopping on Oxford Street) and try out Cornwall.
Have you guys been to Cornwall? What were the highlights for you? Are you a fan of stay-cations generally?