* [[Tamar Valley]]
* [[Tamar Valley]]
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Revision as of 18:32, 4 May 2010
The biomes that house the Eden Project, near St. Austell, Mid-Cornwall.
- For other places with the same name, see Cornwall (disambiguation).
Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow)  is a Duchy in the extreme south west of the UK and includes the Isles of Scilly. Lying westwards beyond the River Tamar border with its nearest neighbour Devon, Cornwall is one of the more isolated parts of the United Kingdom but is one of the most popular with travellers and holiday-makers. Its relatively warm climate, long coastline, amazing scenery, and diverse Celtic heritage (combined with tales of smuggling and pirates!) go only part of the way to explaining its appeal. Cornwall is increasingly becoming a popular destination for those interested in cultural tourism due to its long association with visual and written arts, and enormous wealth of archaeology. Its mining heritage has recently been recognised by the United Nations (UNESCO).
Cities, towns and villages
- Truro - Cornwall's main administrative centre and only city
The modern English name of the Duchy is thought to be derived from its old Celtic name, Kernou, or the Horn, from its projecting promontories; that it was latinized to Cornovia or Cornubia; that when the Saxons gave the name of Wealas (foreigners) to the Britons, they distinguished those who had retired into Kernou or Cornubia, by the name of Cornu-wealas; and their country was thus called Cornuwall or Cornwall <ref>CORNWALL - GENERAL HISTORY - British History Online </ref>. Cornwall is called Kernow in the Cornish language and many signs have Cornish language descriptions on them. However, everybody in Cornwall speaks English as their first language. The Cornish language is recognised internationally and has government funding, a thriving community of speakers and publishers and is making a successful come back, with the number of fluent speakers now increasing, being in the thousands.
Recent polls place Cornish identity amongst young people at around 40% regarding themselves as Cornish rather than English.
A common, somewhat derogatory term for tourists is emmet, a Cornish Dialect word from Old English meaning ant (you do tend to swarm everywhere). The Cornish word for ant is actually murrian.
The Cornish have several patron saints rather than those recognised in other parts of the United Kingdom (Andrew, George, David etc) but the pre-eminent one is Saint Piran whose flag, black with a white cross, can be seen all across the Duchy and flown from not only private homes but also Government and public buildings as well as in most towns. Saint Piran's Day is widely celebrated on March 5th, not only in Cornwall but amongst the Cornish diaspora across the globe.
The stereotype of the Cornish as 'inbred' and 'backward' is entirely untrue and if repeated to a local is likely to cause offence (and perhaps a smack). The cornish people tend to hold onto traditional morals, and are slightly more conservative than the UK as a whole. Cornwall has a strong protestant heritage - where Methodism is the main denomination - Nearly every village has atleast one methodist church, some small villages have more than one methodist church and no church from any other denomination. It's common to be driving along a backroad and find a methodist church in the middle of nowhere, with no houses or settlements in the vacinity, or in a tiny hamlet of a couple houses, but still hold regular sunday services with good attendance.
Cornwall was a major contributor to the industrial revolution and has produced major writers, artists, scientists and musicians to current times. The Cornish are extremely proud of their history and heritage pre dating the arrival of the English in Britain, and many Cornish people are loyal to their duchy. You may even see some Cornish people wearing kilts and playing Cornish pipes at cultural and other gatherings and Cornwall is recognised as a separate nation by many international organisations.
Cornwall has a small but developing lesbian and gay community. There is an annual Pride event in Truro.
Regular trains run on the main line from London Paddington (12 daily to Plymouth, 3 hours, 8 daily all the way through Cornwall to Penzance, 5 hours) Bristol, Birmingham etc. to Plymouth, Truro and Penzance. There are also a few branch lines, the most useful linking St Ives to the main line at St Erth, from Truro to Falmouth via Perranwell and Penryn, and from Newquay to Par. There is also an overnight sleeper train which runs Sun-Fri nights to/from London Paddington and Penzance.
Cornwall can be accessed by road via the A30 which starts at the end of the M5 at Exeter. Cornwall can also be accessed from the A38, crossing the Tamar River at Plymouth via the Tamar Bridge. From London it's a 5-6 hour drive. On Saturdays in July & August and Easter bank holiday weekend roads can be busy, although a new 7-mile stretch of dual-carriageway at Goss Moor near Bodmin has helped to alleviate many of the long tail backs.
Newquay airport (NQY) is the main airport for Cornwall which has the following services:
- Air Southwest - Bristol, Cork, Dublin, Glasgow-International, Grenoble (winter only), Leeds/Bradford, London-Gatwick, London-City, Manchester, Newcastle
- bmibaby - Manchester
- Flybe - Belfast-City, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Isle of Man (seasonal)
- Isles of Scilly Skybus - St. Mary's (Isles of Scilly), Cardiff, St. Brieuc
- Lufthansa - Düsseldorf (weekly, summer only)
- Ryanair - London-Stansted, Alicante, Girona
Cornwall is served well by National Express coach services from London Victoria coach station (9 hours, 3 daily) and other parts of the UK (Edinburgh - Glasgow - Penzance, 18 hours, 1 daily).
Megabus  also run a daily service (8 hours) from London Victoria through to Penzance stopping off at a few major towns in Cornwall. With ticket prices from £1 this is a very cheap option, the coaches are relatively comfortable, but expect them to be pretty much full.
Several bus companies operate in Cornwall including Western Greyhound , Truronian and First Bus .
Virgin Trains  and First Great Western  operate regular train services between the main centres of population, the latter company also serving a number of outlying towns via branch lines. For train times and fares visit National Rail Enquiries .
Everybody in Cornwall speaks the English language as their native tongue. Centuries ago people in the Duchy were monolingual in Cornish, a Brythonic language, which is closely related to Breton and Welsh. It survived as a first-language tongue until the 19th century. Dolly Pentreath of Mousehole, who died in 1777, was the last person thought to have been monolingual in Cornish. The publication of Henry Jenner's "Handbook of the Cornish Language" in 1904 caused a resurgence of interest in the Cornish language, and it is now increasingly used. Several thousand Cornish people speak the language fluently, and several young people have grown up bilingual in both Cornish and English. Increasing areas of Cornwall have bi-lingual road signs in both English and Cornish and there is a full time language staff at Cornwall Council.
St. Michael's Mount lies offshore close to Penzance.
Cornwall boasts a large number of attractions for the traveller, many lying outside of cities and towns amidst the Cornish landscape:
- The Eden Project, . Open Every day all year except Christmas Eve & Christmas day. 9AM 6PM (). Near St Austell - a fabulous collection of flora from all over the planet housed in two 'space age' transparent domes.
- Land's End  - The extreme South-West where Britain meets the Atlantic head-on
- The Lost Gardens of Heligan  - 80 acres of stunning landscaped scenery with a huge complex of walled flower and vegetable gardens
- Tintagel Castle- legendary birth place of the famous King Arthur and seat of the kings of Cornwall. Earl Richard of Cornwall and King of the Romans built the present medieval castle at the site. Ongoing excavations are revealing a Cornish royal seat of the period 400 to 700 AD.
- Minack Theatre - a outdoor theatre built, by hand, into the side of cliff over looking the ocean; located near the village of Porthcurno, the theatre includes a museum and offers tours when there are no performances
- The Tate St Ives  - one of the four Tate Galleries in the UK - Modern Art
- The National Maritime Museum Falmouth - home of the National Maritime Museum's small boat collection and other exhibits.
- Penlee House - home of the famous Newlyn School of Art
- Pencarrow House and Gardens - A large house near Wadebridge built in 1760 with extensive gardens.
- Cornwall's Crealy Great Adventure Park, Crealy Great Adventure Park, Tredinnick, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7RA, ☎ 01841 540 276, . Great family days out at Cornwall's top theme park.
National Trust Properties
- Godrevy  - Gwithian, Near Hayle - A stunning mix of long sandy beaches, high cliffs, and smugglers coves.
National Trust Gardens
Kynance Cove offers great views towards the Lizard.
- The South West Coast Path - Which runs along the coastline of Britain’s south-west peninsula. The Cornish section is supposed to be the most scenic, particularly around Penwith and the Lizard. The trail takes walkers to busy towns, remote cliffs, beaches, heaths, farms and fishing villages. Walking along it is a great way to experience the region in all its variety. For more information on the coastal path .
- The Camel trail - An 18 mile off-road cycle-track following the scenic estuary of the river Camel view the local council website 
Cornwall has a number of regional specialities:
- The Cornish Pasty - a semi-circular pockets of soft or flakey pastry, usually filled with meat, turnip, swede and potatoes with a crimped crust to hold whilst munching - follow the Pasty Muncher  as he continues his search for the perfect pasty.
- Cornish Ice Cream - distinctly yellowish in colour, and rich in flavour, on account of high buttermilk content
- Cornish Cream Tea - splits with clotted cream and jam or treacle washed down by a pot of tea (note scones are more commonly employed in a Devon cream tea)
- Saffron Cake - fruit loaf flavoured with saffron, saffron being historically popular in Cornwall
- Hevva Cake - lardy cake made with fruit
- Hogs puddin - a spicy thick white sausage which is sliced then grilled or fried
- Seafood - Cornwall has a long tradition of seafood - specialities include 'Star Gazey' pie (a mixed fish, potato and egg dish with fish heads 'escaping' from the pastry)
- Confectionery - in particular locally produced Fudge, Biscuits (called Fairings) and Rock Candy.
Vegetarian food is easy to find in Cornwall - even in tiny towns with just one pub there is frequently a meatless option.
Cornwall has three main breweries which are available to drink in most pubs in Cornwall:
- Skinners - Based in Truro. Tours of the brewery are available  for details.
- Sharps - Based in Rock. They have a shop at the brewery  for details.
- St Austell Brewery' - Based in St Austell. They have a museum and shop,  for details
Cornwall is also well known for its production of mead wine (Honey Wine).
Because of it climate Cornwall also has a number of vineyards.
- Camel valley vineyard  - Guided tours are available see for details.
Cornwall boast a large range of tourist accommodation, ranging from 5 star luxury hotels to B&Bs, guest houses and hostels. There is also a large number of serviced holiday cottages that can be rented from anything from a long weekend to upwards of a month.
There are Tourist Information Centres (TICs) in most major towns. Theses are normally run by the local council and can check latest availability on the day to save having to phone round a number of B&Bs and guest houses. Note that they are unbiased and won't express an opinion on accommodations, more than giving its tourist board rating and facilities.
- Cornwall Cottages  Tel: (01834) 812791 Powells Cottages offer beautiful Holiday Cottages in Cornwall, ideal accommodation for your next holiday in this stunning part of England.
- The Cormorant Hotel & Restaurant, Golant, Fowey (Take A30, signposted to Launceston), ☎ 01726 833426, . checkin: From 4PM; checkout: 10AM. The Cormorant Hotel is an independent luxury Hotel, which nestles on a hillside, high above the glorious River Fowey, in the quiet village of Golant in CornwallThere are unsurpassed views of the River Fowey from every room. Unwind in this unspoilt and peaceful spot; relax with a drink on your own balcony, on the garden terrace, or in the comfortable Sitting Room, and allow the endlessly changing river scene to wash away the stress of everyday life. From £150 per room.
- Mounts Bay Caravan Park, Marazion nr Penzance. 5 star small exclusive, family run park.
- Penhale Caravan & Camping Park, . Camping in Cornwall
- Rayle Farm (Holiday Cottages Cornwall), Bridge, Illogan, Nr. Redruth, Cornwall TR16 4QP, ☎ (01209) 842245, . Rayle Farm self-catering holiday cottages are set in the heart of beautiful western Cornwall. The traditional farm buildings have been sensitively converted by local craftsmen and are perfect for relaxing short breaks or longer family holidays. Each cottage rental accommodates between two and six people and dogs are welcome.
Visitors to Cornwall should at all times be aware of the unpredictable and dangerous nature of some of the tides and currents around the Cornish coast and seek advice from local lifeguards before swimming or surfing. It should also be noted that there is a small chance of getting great white or tiger sharks off the south coast, but don't let this worry you, they are very very rarely seen, and there have been no known attacks.
Crime rates are mostly low in Cornwall, but there are some impoverished areas of some towns where crime is more common.