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Before we had even landed in the UK, our first holiday was booked. I knew that if I didn’t book it before we left, it would never happen so I spent at least two nights and four hours scouring Airbnb for the perfect holiday rental. The criteria was simple: I needed to be able to look at the ocean whilst drinking my morning coffee and not break the bank. I searched the entire English coastline (I kid you not on all accounts) and finally settled on the Clipper House in Looe, Cornwall. I knew nothing about Looe, or Cornwall, except that it was the closest thing to Tofino in England.
I could not have asked for a more perfect holiday. Ocean, sun and my family.
The worst part was the drive and even that wasn’t too bad. We have learned that here in England, if the SatNav (that’s how GPS is affectionately referred to) says it will take one hour, it will take two and if it involves the M25 (London’s Orbital Hi-way) it could take who-knows-how-long. That being said, us Ewerts, prefer to take the scenic route and so we didn’t mind (too much). On our way, we stopped at a little rock formation known as Stonehenge.
After a picnic lunch and a trip around the prehistoric rock formation, we hopped back in the car to brave the English roads. Driving in this country deserves a post of it’s own, but let’s just say it is not for the faint of heart. It certainly took longer than we thought but thankfully we pulled into Cornwall just as light was leaving the sky and the almost full moon was rising over the still and silent ocean. Our host was there to meet us as we pulled up the steep drive. Inside the apartment was fresh bread with butter, scones with clotted cream, eggs and milk. Soft music played while fresh flowers brought a special touch to each room. The apartment was the perfect size for us all to be comfortable including Byron.
(You should know, I am not being paid to write this – it was just that good. As an aside, to anyone using Airbnb, I would advise using a Superhost. They have obviously earned that designation and Sam, our host did not disappoint.)
Once we were settled Jakob and I took a walk down to the shops to pick up something for supper. Jakob immediately fell in love with the town and changed his plans from living in Tofino, to living in Looe. He loved how the harbour was lit up with lights and how the ocean emptied into the ocean with a good sized beachfront and quaint little shops.
The next morning the view was even better than the night before. The sun peaked through the clouds and there was a perfect autumn crispness to the air. After a cup of coffee on the deck, Jakob and I took Byron for a walk. It was around 9:30am and yet there were few souls to be seen. When we returned we took the morning slow and eventually made our way down to the beach in Hannafore just to the south. There, Byron was free to wander without judgement, as were the children.
We eventually made our way back to East Looe, where the shops are and had the quintessential fish and chip lunch followed by Cornwall Ice Cream. Then we went back to the apartment for some rest and tea. That evening we decided to take a drive to a National Trust site called Lantic Bay. If you bink, you would missed this beach, as the parking lot is across the street from a field. It’s only once you get to the top of the hill that you can even see the ocean but this secluded and unspoiled beach provided the perfect backdrop to our first day in Cornwall.
On day two we took a drive to the north coast of Cornwall to visit the legendary home of King Arthur, Tintagel. We parked at Glebe Cliff and walked from St Materiana’s Church along the coastline to where the entrance to the castle is. Unfortunately, the castle site itself was closed for repairs, but we were still able to take in some amazing views from the surrounding cliffs and coastlines.
After stopping for tea, we drove just a short distance to the entrance to Rocky Valley. The funny thing, is that this not where we intended to go. We were trying to go to St. Nectan’s Falls, but instead followed a public footway past the Trewethett Mill which was used for yarn production in the 18th century. On the rock face behind the old mill are two rock carvings of labyrinths. These are thought by some to be Bronze Age. Further along the path is a beautiful valley filled with all the colours of autumn which opens into a rock caverns and rushing water, finally spilling out into the ocean.
When dark started to descend, we went in search for food and blindly following the road, found ourselves in Boscastle. I guess that’s the thing about Cornwall – you never really know where you will end up, but chances are, it will be beautiful and surprising.
Our final day in Cornwall, we simply savoured the sea air. We laid and played on the beach with a picnic lunch of traditional Cornwall pasties (which are essentially a cross between a Calzone and a Meat pie. The kids didn’t want to leave and I don’t blame them. They take after their Momma: true beach bums who, no matter where we are in the world, when we stand in front of the ocean, we are home.