In September of the year 2000 my brother and I took the ferry from Hamburg to Harwich, UK. It took some time until I managed to drive my Volkswagen Van on the other side of the road. It was raining cats and dogs, the clouds were almost touching the green hills and I will never forget the sign on the highway that said Lands End. Back then, to me that sounded like a pretty scary place. I studied for 3 years in Plymouth, about an hour from Lands End, the most southwestern tip of the UK. Plymouth is not a pretty town, but it is right next to a magic region: Cornwall.
Ever since Karl Mackie joined us as a Sentinel in 2012, I had the feeling that I needed to visit Cornwall again for old times sake and to discover it through different eyes. Once the trip was planned, we figured out that our Sentinel Conchita had also lived in Cornwall and we were stoked that she decided to join us for this adventure. This August 2019 the time had come, we were driving our Volkswagen Van onto a ferry again; this time in Santander with destination Plymouth.
When we drove from Plymouth to Padstow in Cornwall it was raining so hard that we could barely see the countryside and our kids gave us this "where are you taking us" look.
That same night we went to a Pub in Padstow and fell immediately in love with the Cornish way of life. A beautiful fisher village with an amazing bay view. The atmosphere in the pubs is great. You have the sensation that the entire village meets here. Everybody is super friendly and polite. Most people calling one “mate” or “my love” makes you feel at home in an instant.
The next day the sun was out and we drove to Watergate Bay. The name says it all: Caribbean Blue Water, white sandy beaches embedded in green hills like almost all the beaches in Cornwall. The atmosphere at the beach is a cross between surf culture meets rural English countryside charm. The atmosphere in the water is equally pleasant in a very British way, people are true ladies and gentlemen. I have never heard surfers say "sorry" that much. As in the Pubs everybody is welcome in the line up, you can see a Dad on a Body Board and a Pro Surfer right next to him and it somehow feels natural. I felt so blessed all of a sudden, to have spent three years of my life here, what a magic place!
If you plan a surf holiday, or family surf holiday, I would definitely recommend Cornwall. You are constantly discovering little beautiful villages, amazing beaches, cliffs, and bays. You can basically ignore any map and drive around, you will always find a cosy pub with friendly people or a spectacular bay with firing waves.
We will be back next year.