Beside the Seaside

Monday 16th May 2016 – the day I sat my last ever, ever, ever exam at the University of Bath and then found myself on a beach in Cornwall ready to catch the sunset just a few hours later. Freedom has officially begun, ladies and gentlemen!

Back at the beginning of the semester when exam timetables were released, I remember frantically running to all my friends and asking them if they finished early like I did – hoping that maybe, just maybe, we could plan a holiday together. Unfortunately, all of my closest amigos had to battle it out until the very last exam date, leaving me with a week spare and no-one to play with. Luckily, my trusty travel partner (who also happens to be my Mother) was at hand with a master-plan… We both agreed it was time to re-live some old memories and head down to the South of England for a few days.

When I was younger (and before airfare was within our budget) Cornwall was always the holiday destination of choice for my family. My parents and Grandparents would load up the cars and brave the standstill traffic just to spend a week by the British seaside. Although I was too young to remember exact details, I can still remember how much we all enjoyed our time there and how special this place is to me and my family.

CF

Blast from the past

My Mom was in charge of booking our accommodation and found us an amazing B’n’B specialising in vegetarian and vegan food – The Bean Inn at Coast. Biodegradable products, energy saving techniques and no uneccessary daily room-cleaning are just a few examples of how the ethics at this place span further than just the food options and, for that reason, it scored a major thumbs up from us.

Always happiest when I have banana pancakes

Always happiest when I have banana pancakes for breakfast

It can be a nightmare to find vegan food away from home – I sometimes miss the days when I could just walk into any restaurant and eat whatever I wanted from the menu but at the same time I love finding hidden gems that I would have walked straight past before. Turns out that Cornwall is super vegan friendly – there was an abundance of options at most restaurants and even some speciality places that were 100% veggie! My sweet-tooth was also satisfied with dairy-free ice cream and chocolate galore. If you happen to be interested in where I got all my restaurant recommendations check out this link: Vegan Cornwall and on the contrary, if you’re desperate for me to shut up about my diet then keep reading to find out about what we got up to besides eating…

St. Ives

This is where we were based and man, it’s so beautiful! There are quite a few beaches all within walking distance of each other and the harbour area is jam-packed with great restaurants, museums and galleries.

Restaurants with a view

Restaurants with a view

Stairway to (beach) heaven

Stairway to (beach) heaven

Exploring the beach caves

Exploring the beach caves

Generic 'jumping for joy because exams are over' photo

Generic ‘jumping for joy because exams are over’ photo

Gorgeous at sunset

Gorgeous at sunset

St. Ives lighthouse

St. Ives lighthouse

We were so lucky with the weather but even when it rained we had fun!

We were so lucky with the weather most of the time but even when it rained we had fun!

The Eden Project

My Mom and I had mentioned a million times how keen we were to visit the Eden Project and considering we were staying so close, we thought it would be stupid not to tick it off the bucket list while we were there. The project opened back in 2001 and consists of various biomes that re-create different climates and environments. There is a lot of information around the attraction regarding sustainable living, energy consumption and reducing climate change. We noticed a few outdated signs and the attraction tends to steer clear of controversial topics that people aren’t quite comfortable talking about *cough* animal agriculture *cough*. But, generally, it proved to be a really educational, inspiring day trip and I can imagine a lot of people leave feeling quite connected to nature. But also, ’cause it’s 2016 and they’re trying to market the attraction to a wider audience there’s also a skydiving simulator, zipwire and giant airbag – just in case you need a more exciting reason to visit!

Overly saturated shot to make it look sunnier than it actually was...

Overly saturated shot to make it look sunnier than it actually was…

Tiny changes to make the world a better place

Tiny changes to make the world a better place

Soaking up the knowledge

Soaking up the knowledge

Inside the biome

Inside the biome

Perfect spot for lunch

Perfect spot for lunch

Learning to grow our own veggies

Learning to grow our own veggies

I liked this

I liked this a LOT

Lizard Point

This is the most southernly point on mainland Great Britain – I’m not sure why this is exciting, but it is. There’s a ton of beautiful hikes around this area that I would highly recommend if you have the time and the energy but if you just fancy a lazy stroll and some cream tea on a cute cliffside café then that’s also an option here.

Happy feet

Happy feet

The signature pose

The signature pose

Seal Sanctuary

Unfortunately, I have no idea where the hell this place is because I fell asleep in the car and cannot for the life of me remember what was typed into the SatNav. And to anyone thinking ‘just Google it?’… no. I’m doing this the old fashioned way, ok? Anyway, I’m not exactly a pro-zoo kind of girl since I did more research into the ethics behind them but my Mom insisted that the Seal Sanctuary was actually beneficial to the seals and not a cruel, money-making scheme. If I’m honest…. I’m undecided. It’s cool that these seals are rescued and rehabilitated into the wild but why, then, is it even open for public viewing and more importantly, why does it have direct links to the SeaLife Centre? Yeah, yeah, I’m being ridiculously sceptical here but whatever… you can form your own opinions!

Get well soon, lil pups!

Get well soon, lil pups!

Newquay

Notoriously good for surfing – Newquay is a must-do when you visit Cornwall. It’s perhaps not as scenic and sophisticated as other parts of the area but it’s the best place to catch some waves and hang out on the beach. It’s May, so the Summer season isn’t in full swing yet but during July-August times these beaches can become pretty unbearable due to overcrowding from tourists. So, if you do fancy a trip to Newquay, try to get your timing just right…. (good weather, no crowds – miracle?!)

Home of British surfing

Home of British surfing

Surf schools galore

I learned to surf in Cornwall, back in the day!

Peaaaaaace

Peaaaaaace

Boscastle

We stopped here on our drive home because my Mom spent a lot of time here when she was younger and wanted to show me. It’s a really quaint little village with gorgeous little shops and cliff climbs to stunning sea views – I loved it!

So quaint

So quaint

Taking time to stroll around

Taking time to stroll around

Shhhhhh

It’s as if they positioned themselves at different heights just for my photo

There were a few other checkpoints on our trip that 1) can’t remember the name of and 2) stupidly took no photos of, so they are going to be omitted from this post. Hope you enjoyed it, nevertheless! I sure enjoyed living it – I don’t think there could have been a better way to celebrate the end of my degree than a week reminiscing about old times with my wonderful Mom. It’s strange to think I’ve finished university and being in Cornwall just made me feel younger than ever – the thought of being a fully-fledged adult soon is quite daunting. Luckily I have a few less-daunting events to attend before I need to worry about any of that… summer ball and graduation are right around the corner and after that? Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait and see…

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