Cornwall is one of the most popular summer destinations in the UK for those seeking some more trustworthy sun. Areas like the green and hilly Dorset are also high up on the list, especially with beaches like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, but Cornwall can offer something a little different. Whilst Dorset is beautiful and very typically ‘English’, Cornwall can show both Brits and tourists alike a more traditional side of the UK, and give an insight into what village life is still like in this sleepy south-western corner of the UK.
Within the county of Cornwall, you will find some more crowded and busy areas, especially beaches like Fistral, where many visitors come to surf and soak up the sun. But there are plenty of places in Cornwall that are far less-well known and can show you ‘village-life’ aspect of British culture that not that many people have the opportunity to understand and enjoy.
Located right in the heart of Cornwall, Truro is the perfect example of what a relatively popular and busy seaside village can be when tourism is not the principal concern. The majority of the population here, slightly further away from the sea than the villages on the coast (with a river and wetland area connecting it to the nearby water), get on with their lives and are not overly concerned with creating businesses that are overtly connected to bringing hordes of people into the area. As a result, Truro is a wonderfully calm and peaceful place, and only really in full summer, does the little village of 20,000 people ever get much busier.
One of my favourite areas to visit in Truro is the Lemon Quay square, where the village gathers for all the important festivals and parties. This little circular area is ideal for the people who live here (and those who visit) to spend time together and enjoy some of the best weather the UK can offer. The gathering point is also the best place to experience the local culture, and often there are music performances, art installations and traditional celebrations in Lemon Quay.
The town also has an impressive Gothic-Revival cathedral, built in 1910, and is one of only three cathedrals in the UK to have three spires reaching into the sky. The cathedral is free to visit and is open every day, with the views from the towers being particularly impressive, especially as there aren’t too many places to get such aerial, raised views over the town. The cathedral also has another claim to fame, with what some people call the best instrument in the country. The Father Wills Organ (an organ is the loud piano-like instrument you can hear in large churches around the world), was built in 1887 and then didn’t need adjustment until 1963, such was the quality of the work and build.
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