When I, Suhani Lotlikar, moved to Bournemouth from Mumbai, I brought along my love for the sea with a hint of curiosity to explore. I took the opportunity of off-term time to explore the south western coast of England with my partner. And as the restrictions on travel ease this summer, I would like to share 11reasons why you should take a camping trip in south west England.
- CRAVING FOR CREAM TEAS – From the mountain-top cafe at St.Michael’s Mount to the cosy village cafe at the foot of Boscastle, the British speciality of cream tea and scones can be found in all locations here. At the local cafes, they are served with a side of fresh clotted cream and homemade jams. For those of you who prefer the taste of savoury, plain and cheese scones arean absolute delight. The table spread at each one of the local cafes is adorned with a unique collection of vintage ceramics that make for the perfect Instagrammable shot.
2. HOMELY CAMPING SPOTS – To truly experience the enchanting outdoors of south west England, you must pitch a tent on one of the many camping sites here. The Chelsfield Farm Holiday Park is the perfect place to experience widespread green land with a touch of southern hospitality. Fresh eggs at the farm shop, a wandering stroll among a herd trying to spot which one is Shaun the Sheep, and an iced glass of whiskey with the owners are somethings to look forward to. Just as you begin to connect with nature, treat yourself with a getaway at the Tolcarne Campsite. I recommend you to travel to this campsite in daylight as the roads are narrow and discreet. After pitching your tent or parking your caravan, you will notice the single network bar on your phone. Take this opportunity to dine withyour loved ones on the slope-sidetables at the site.
3. BOAT RIDE TO ST.MICHAEL’S MOUNT – When you arrive at the coast, you will see an eye-catching visual of the tidal island that holds the grand home of the Aubyn family. There are three landing points to get a boat to the island which can be accessed depending on the tidal time. You can find the information for booking a boat ride and accessibility on the St.Michael Mount’s website and on the many information boards located at the coast itself. The wind in your hair during the 10-minute boat ride will surely prepare you for the hike up the cobbled path that holds the Giant’s heart.
4. MESMERISING BLUE WATERS AND GOLDEN SANDS – It is no surprise that the southern coast of England holds some of the most spellbinding stretches of beaches. There are many beaches here to choose from during the heavy footfall of tourists in the summer. Porthcurno is one of my favourites to feel the calm sun on my skin. Another one of the most relaxing beaches is Perranporth. You can simply enjoy the sand between your toes with a vodka ice or go windsurfing in the well-guarded waters of the beach.
5. COUNTRY ROADS WITH PICTURESQUE VIEWS – Driving through the country roads of south west England is an experience like no other. The single lane road stopped with side paths help keep the flow of vehicles and local tractors going. At many locations, you will see the shorter trees cut in a certain shape to perfectly fit the height of heavy vehicles. All travellers must beware and be conscious of animals from the dense trees crossing paths during all times of the day and night.
6. COVID-SAFE VACATION SPOTS – Just as the restrictions on travel in England begin to ease, camping is one of the best ways to ensure that we continue to stay safe while slowly returning to our normal lives. With properly marked areas allotted to each camping group, resting in your tents and caravans is a better way to continue maintaining social distance than choosing to stay at a hotel.
7. HISTORIC IMPORTANCE OF CORNWALL – Every site maintained by trusts such as English Heritage and the National Trust display the historic importance of the locations through gift shops, information centres and boards. A tiny store at the start of the fishing village of Port Isaac holds the history of the land. The Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave known for the legend of King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table is a grand representation of British history.
8. THE FIRST AND THE LAST HOUSE – You must make the trip to Land’s End to experience the most beautiful sunset you will ever see. The iconic pole that marks the distance of this southern most point of land in England from New York and John O’Groats will make a perfect picture to mark your visit.
9. BREAK IN YOUR WALKING BOOTS – Long treks up and down hills are not my first choice of holiday activities. However, the traditional cobbled paths and railed steps lined with benches and halt spots at every location adds a sense of comfort for the tourists. I recommend you to take along a pair of walking boots and beach slippers to cater to the various activities one can do during this trip. The summer breeze will have you craving for a lick of ice cream topped with a flake as you walk through the fascinating lanes of historic villages.
10. THE DONKEY SANCTUARY – To finish the trip with a touch of love, I would recommend stopping at the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth. You will be lucky if the rain decides to be a no-show as the donkeys do not appreciate the drizzle on their cute little heads and the paths inside the sanctuary could get mucky. Grab some donkey pins for your kids on your way out for a small donation to help the upkeep of the sanctuary.
11. TO MAKE UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES – Having stayed indoors for over a year, we have all missed the whiff of the outdoors. As we begin to see some sunny days, it is time to take a vacation. Plan a trip with your family and loved ones to make some fresh and sweet memories to remember for years to come. With a newly realised value of travelling, let’s take this opportunity to reconnect with nature. The endless beauty of south west England is waiting to be explored by you.
You can read more of Suhani’s work on suhani17.wordpress.com and on Instagram by following @suhani_lotlikar