How Cornwall stole my heart
Cornwall has me in it's spell. I moved here the best part of 20 years ago and have never looked back. And I was lucky enough to be born in another beautiful part of the world, in the Cotswolds, which in many ways is very similar in vibe. But there's something about Cornwall that's deeply magical and to be treasured.
First and foremost, the main reason I love Cornwall is not for the beaches, but because there is a slower pace of life. The famous saying "dreckly" is used to say "yes I will do it, in a minute/later/when I get round to it (probably)". This sums up the casual, low-pressure environment that percolates through the whole culture of this county. It rejects the hustle and busyness of the cities and more built up areas. Our only city, Truro, is the size of a large town elsewhere in the country and maintains an intimate community vibe.
Yes, this slower pace can be frustrating, particularly when you need a job doing quickly - or you want to drive to St Ives or Padstow in the summer and the roads and streets are heaving far beyond the capacity they were ever built for - but the flipside is worth these inconveniences tenfold.
abundant rural life
Although the beaches may not be the main reason I love Cornwall, they are, naturally, a close second. I can drop my son off at nursery in the morning and in just a few short minutes drive round the corner and take some deep lungfuls of bracing sea air before I begin my working day. On a stormy day, as I walk back to the car I lick the salty spray from my lips.
Where I live here on the south coast, we have beautiful intimate bays and coves to explore, where the sea laps gently on warm summer evenings with the intoxicating scent of gorse carried on the breeze. The north coast boasts dramatic coastlines, cragged rocks and cliff faces, sands as far as the eye can see and huge waves for surfing. The west coast is steeped in history and pagan folklore, with standing stones and ancient pilgrimage sites providing plentiful hikes and wholesome and spiritual experiences. And inland, there are vast moors, woodlands, derelict hilltop castles and huge hills to climb - notably Brown Willy (a good name for a giggle but in fact is a distortion of the Cornish Bronn Wennili, which means 'hill of the swallows').
This land is intoxicating. The huge variety of landscapes in such a relatively small area provides endless inspiration and opportunities for walks, photography, cultural and spiritual sustenance. It's as if one moment you can have the ethereal and rich lore akin to stonehenge, and around the next corner there are the stories and history straight out of Poldark. This county is rich and varied and an utter delight to explore.
The light here is famous for a reason. It is like nothing else. Clear and abundant, reflecting off the water and shores that surround the county and coastal villages. It has drawn artists here since the early nineteenth century when Turner famously visited, and Cornwall now has the highest concentration of artists outside of London.
This sense of community here as a result is profound. There are artists, galleries, studios around every corner. Students studying and breathing new life into the artforms, both new and established artists catering to practically every taste imaginable. Creativity is the life-blood of Cornwall. Informing it's evolution and rapidly developing culture and society. Paving the way for eco-conscious businesses, slow living and putting quality of life at the forefront of growth and development (despite prevailing low wages, high housing costs, under-funding from the government; the list goes on).
Cornwall nourishes your soul in a way that seems to nurture a slower pace of life. Intentional living, soulful and wholesome. Celebrating the myriad independent business and creatives that live and thrive here.
I'm a country-gal at heart, so it suits me down to the ground. I adore this place to my bones. Living in Cornwall isn't without its challenges, but for me, it's worth it. It invites me to look inward, tend to my need for the outdoors and space, and to also look outward to the wealth of community and richness of spirit that this county has in abundance.
I love Cornwall, and it feeds into my life and work in more ways than I can count. It is my home and I am very happy - and lucky - to call it that.