Cornwall’s popularity has soared over recent years, and it’s often seen as one of the UK’s very best staycation destinations. 2021 was a mixed bag to say the very least, and as travel abroad became harder to negotiate, for a holiday spot, Cornwall thrived.
An unsurmountable point of recognition had to be the G7 Summit choosing to hold a moment in history at Carbis Bay. The VIP-filled event, including US president Joe Biden, Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel, France's president Emmanuel Macron, and our own prime minister Boris Johnson is a milestone for the county.
With 2022 already showing more hope than its predecessor, if you’ve not encountered this wonderful corner of the country, or need an excuse to visit again, we’ve rounded up some of the highlights on why Cornwall should be on your 2022 bucket list.
Crooklets beach in Bude recently joined the Blue Flag list for the first time in over 10 years
Whether you’ve seen picture-perfect snaps on social media or personally had the pleasure of meandering along the Cornish coast, we’re sure you’ll agree that our beaches are pretty special. But it’s always humbling to be officially recognised. The prestigious Blue Flag award is widely considered the gold standard in the beach world. An international quality mark for beaches, last year saw Cornwall clinch more Blue Flag beaches than ever before, now boasting eight in total (up from six in 2019).
Among the eight beaches, Crooklets in Bude joined the list for the first time in over a decade, after losing out in the last awards in 2019. Another newcomer is Polzeath, which joins Gyllyngvase in Falmouth; Great Western in Newquay; Trevone near Padstow, Porthmeor in St Ives, Porthtowan and Widemouth Bay near Bude. This Blue Flag status reassures beachgoers that Cornwall’s beaches are clean, safe and recommended.
Paul Ainsworth's latest restaurant Paul Ainsworth at No 6 recently became a Four Rosette holder
Cornwall’s food scene has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years with many well-regarded and celebrity chefs appreciating the Duchy’s incredible larder. The celebrity chef following has seen many open their own restaurants here, some of which have made it into the respected AA Restaurant Guide 2022. A whopping 56 Cornish restaurants have been named in the 28th edition of the book, which features around 1,700 eateries across the UK.
The 10th anniversary of the World Pasty Championship takes place in 2022
In 2022 Lost Gardens of Heligan celebrates 30 years since discovery by Sir Tim Smit
View of the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden © Bowness. Photo © Kirstin Prisk
Cornwall’s 2022 calendar is shaping up nicely with some standout events taking place this year. A date for the diary has to be the World Pasty Championship taking place on Saturday 5 March 2022 aptly landing on St Piran’s Day. Head to the Eden Project to witness the tastiest event around.
Another special anniversary takes place at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, this April sees 30 years since Sir Tim Smit discovered Heligan, hidden behind brambles and thickets. Roll forward three decades and Heligan’s 200 acres are a paradise for explorers of all ages, wildlife, plant lovers and garden romantics.
We’re fortunate to be home to the famous Tate Gallery in St Ives. Towards the end of 2022 (26 November to 1 May 2023), a special exhibition Barbara Hepworth Art and Life will take place. With a special focus on Hepworth’s life in Cornwall, the exhibition is set to bring together many of her most important works. For serious sculptor enthusiasts, save enough time to visit the nearby Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden too.
On your Bike
Perhaps 2022 will see you up your pedal power? 2021 saw the launch of West Kernow Way, a new 230km circular bike packing route which takes in some of Cornwall’s most beautiful landmarks in the western half of the Cornish peninsula. Cycle past the Botallack tin mines, St Michael’s Mount, the Bronze Age monument Mên-an-Tol, Lizard Point and Land’s End.
While many travel to Cornwall by car, perhaps 2022 sees you searching for a greener way to holiday? Late in 2021 saw the reopening of the Dartmoor Line, for the first time in 50 years visitors can now catch a train service from Exeter to Okehampton. Additional infrastructure work is underway too, to enable GWR to increase the service to hourly from summer 2022.
Alternatively, the train route from London Paddington is a scenic one, taking around five hours to reach Cornwall. There are also direct trains from the Midlands, and Bristol. Stops take you directly to towns like Lostwithiel, Penzance, Bodmin and Truro, with branch lines off to other towns.
Take the plunge at the tidal sea pool at Summerleaze
Penzance's Jubilee Pool is art-deco in style
In the Swim of Things
The popularity of wild swimming sees no signs of waning. You only have to take a scroll through Instagram to see flocks of people swimming, dipping or bobbing in lakes, pools and the sea. According to Outdoor Swimmer magazine’s annual report, searches for the term “wild swimming” increased 94 per cent between 2019 and 2020. In Cornwall we’re lucky enough to have a fabulous tidal sea pool at Summerleaze beach on the north coast in Bude, or head west for a dip in the splendid Jubilee Pool, a large triangular art deco open-air lido.
A Place to Call Home
OK… we might be a little biased, but Cornwall has some truly special places to stay and at Cornish Secrets our portfolio continues to build with inspiring spaces. Whether you’re looking for a dog-friendly bolthole for two, a large family home with a games room, or a converted Engine House… we’re confident we have something to suit you.