Monday, 27 October 2014

Seeing Home Like a Tourist: The Beauty Of Cornwall

One of the most surprising things personally about becoming an expat is how you one day end up seeing the country you were born in through the eyes of a foreigner. I haven't lived in Britain since August 2000. I've been gone long enough now not to feel quite like I am home when I return. Of course I am not a complete foreigner when I am back, but I do see my own country through different eyes than fourteen years ago. And I now totally understand why tourists come from across the globe to parts of England they think are 'quaint' and picturesque. I feel the same way about some English places and Cornwall remains at the top of my list.

We've just spent herfstvakantie in Cornwall, primarily for my husband's 40th birthday. It's a place all five of us love. We again stayed at Glynn Barton. Once you have been, you'll know why we return year after year.

Glynn Barton - beautiful at any time of the year
In fact, whilst we were there last week, we met a lovely expat family from The Hague. It's the first time we've met anyone there not from somewhere in Britain, so we were surprised to meet a family from so close to where we live in the Netherlands. It got even more surprising when I learned that the family was there because of reading about Glynn Barton on this very blog. Fantastic!

There were more surprises lined up. I'd organised an art day for my husband as one of his '40 days of presents for turning 40' and he came home with three stunning pieces he had painted. This was one of them: turns out I have my very own van Gogh at home.

A van Mulligen original

We also got out to dinner sans kids. First time in a year I'm sure - and it was worth the wait. We went to Trewithen restaurant in Lostwithiel and the food and service was top notch. I definitely recommend  a visit if you are in the area.

We also enjoyed a lovely cream tea at Wreckers in Charlestown, after clambering over the rocks and exploring the rock pools on the beach. The cream tea included the biggest scone I have ever seen (see my Silent Sunday post from yesterday for a picture of that). 

Charlestown - great for rock clambering but watch out for that tide sneaking in
The weather was kind to us whilst we were there, and we got to explore a little and relax a lot before heading home at the end of the week. In this case, I think photos can do more justice to the beauty of Cornwall than my words. So here are a few snapshots of a place I have grown to love, and which I guess I now see through the eyes of a tourist. 

A boat moored in Rock, Cornwall
The view from Rock, Cornwall
Polzeath Beach on a very windy day

Time to relax with my joint favourite pastime

I hope those of you in the Netherlands enjoyed your herfstvakantie too - I would love to hear what you got up to you - and for those of you with children off school this week in the UK - what do you have planned?

Ersatz Expat


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful time Amanda. So glad you're able to get back to the UK to show your children about your homeland and history.

  2. Cornwall is indeed a beautiful area. We still have three weeks to enjoy in Twente. Saturday we visited "Boeldag" in Bathmen. See my Wetcreek Blog for more info. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  3. Linda - enjoy the rest of your break in Twente! I will check out your blog for sure :-)

  4. Meg, we really did. We've been to Cornwall so many times now yet have a different holiday every time we go. We were talking to the restaurant owner and she was commenting about how we make memories for our children - and in our case Cornwall will always be a special place for my children - and will stir up fond memories in the future. Just like it does for me - that is special!!

  5. I love Cornwall, I spent 3 months in Penzance on a work experience many years ago and just loved the area. Landscapes are beautiful and of course reminded me on Brittany.
    I'd love to go back some day... Looks like you had a great time :-)

  6. The Cornish landscapes really are amazing Anne - I guess that's why there are so many artists huddled down there - and why the artist really got the best out of my husband with exhilarating subjects to paint!

  7. Amanda - thanks so much for sharing this post full of wonderful pictures. Cornwall is a truly spectacular place and one of my favourite places to visit in the UK. It is where MR EE and I spent our very first holiday together. We were broke students and thought a static caravan in Cornwall would be a more sensible option than a break in the sun. Of course we had forgotten to count in the car rental costs! It ended up being (per capita and as a percentage of income) one of the most expensive breaks we have ever had but it was magical.

  8. I made my ever ever visit to Cornwall when we visited the UK for part of half term this herfstvakantie (which google assured me means autumn!). We went to the Eden Project and it was fabulous so I am planning a bit more time down that way when we next go over to the UK. Am I a tourist or a expat coming home now? A bit of both I think especially as where my Mum now lives is not where I was brought up and I have never lived there. #TravelAtHome