Thursday, August 20, 2020

Our Dream Staycation Destination: Cornwall


At this time of year, we'd normally find ourselves on a transatlantic flight to Washington state - spending lazy afternoons on my parents' sun-drenched deck eating fruit-stand strawberries, strolling along the Tacoma waterfront in the early evening, and taking weekend trips to the stunning San Juan Islands. I'd been so looking forward to bringing our eldest back to my hometown, now that he's old enough to understand a little more about the world around him, and the twins are at an age (7 months) where they'd be content just being outdoors - primarily what the Pacific Northwest is famous for. 

With our international travel plans scrapped for this year due to the global pandemic, we're wistful for a restorative coastal break (well, as restorative as you can get with 3 kids under 3!), keeping in mind all the safety precautions we need to take at this time. The obvious choice for this? Cornwall: sun (mostly!), sea, and pretty coastal villages selling ice-cream and fresh seafood at dusk.

I've always been drawn to the coast because of my upbringing in the Puget Sound, but Cornwall is truly special - a glittering jewel in the south of England. The first time we visited was over a decade (!) ago now: John surprised me with a trip to Looe. We arrived after a 7-hour car journey, in the dark, and all I could make out from the window of our charming bed and breakfast was a blur of twinkling lights, which gave way to a sparkling blue sea and cloudless sky come morning. When we were much older, and before our eldest was born, we stayed in St. Ives, memorably hiking part of the Southwest Coastal Path in a pair of Stan Smiths (me!) and visiting the beautiful Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. 

I have memories of the train slowly pulling into St. Ives and the sight of Porthminster unfurling before us - trees giving away to sand giving away to the tide. I remember thinking I'd been dropped into some sort of paradise as I shielded my eyes from the sun and made our way down the length of the platform. That night, we walked along the same beach before sitting down to dinner at Porthminster Cafe, clinking glasses of crisp white wine as the sun set beyond the picture-frame windows surrounding us.

Although the Southwest Coast is a far cry from the Pacific Ocean and the conifers that surround its shores, Cornwall remains one of my favorite places to visit in England - a place I can't wait to show my children. We're currently browsing for accommodation in Cornwall and thinking of all the ways we can travel safely in line with current government guidelines (e.g. only traveling together as a family in the car; making very few, short stops on the journey; washing and sanitizing our hands, and practicing safe social distancing measures at our destination).

The way we travel certainly looks very different in 2020, but the ability to revisit our favorite destinations here in the UK safely and responsibly isn't impossible. And that, my friends, is the light at the end of the tunnel.

This post was written in collaboration with All opinions are my own.

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