Very Special Tours of Cornwall

for one person on their own, up to eight people

Getting the most from your visit to Cornwall!

Where it is and how to get there.

Cornwall is about 280/300 miles (440/480 klms) WEST from London and Heathrow or Gatwick. Thats about 5 hours travelling by train or car. Much longer by coach - they roam about, picking people up and dropping them off. Add at least an hour if coming from central London - horrendous traffic travelling at the speed of an ancient tortoise has to be allowed for.

If you arrive at Heathrow and plan to take the train down to Cornwall, the quickest and cheapest way is to take a bus to Reading and get on the train there. However, if you've got one of the Train Passes which allows you as much travel as you want (go anywhere, on certain days), then going into London to get on the train at Paddington won't make any difference financially - but going from Heathrow into London/Paddington IS travelling EAST and away from Cornwall.

If hiring a car and driving down from Heathrow, we suggest you get onto the M25 heading south east and anti-clockwise (the M25 orbits London so you can go clockwise or anti-clockwise). Go off onto the M3 heading WEST. Once on the M3 be aware that the M3 actually goes to Southampton, which you DO NOT want to do! Therefore at a certain point (after 30 miles (48 klms) or so) you must branch off LEFT onto the A303. Whatever you do, don't miss this branch off, because if you do it will add a long and tedious time to your journey! Once on the A303 you just follow your nose to Exeter. At Exeter you branch off onto the A30 heading for Okehampton. Then follow your nose and you'll come straight to Cornwall. (We Cornish say "Oggie Oggie" as we re-enter Cornwall - we know we're home then.).

Coming from Heathrow, if you DO want to come down the M4 then head clockwise on the M25. Then get onto the M4 heading WEST. Keep going for about 120 miles. At Bristol get onto the M5 heading SOUTH. Keep going for about 80 miles. At Exeter, get onto the A30 heading for Okehampton, then follow your nose into Cornwall. The M4/M5 route is longer, but much faster.

'M' roads, (Motorways) are the UK's principle highways - wide, several lanes and fast.

Where to stay (and some tips on avoiding being eaten by the Cornish natives)

As you know, there are various websites which link you to B&B and Hotels, BUT, at every large town there is a "Tourist Information Centre" (TIC), which has a list of most of the accommodation in the area. They've usually got a website or an online brochure, and between them they cover all Cornwall (and all the UK as well). TICs are run by the Local Government Authority.

Cornwall is about 80 miles long and 20 miles wide in the middle. About 80% of Cornwall's boundaries are coastline - therefore there are lots of pictureque fishing villages you can stay at. Lots of picturesque villages inland too. And a few very nice towns, also. Also just one or two places you'd not choose to have as your holiday base (Cornwall's long history of mining has left its mark - much of it good, poignant and interesting, some of it just plain 'scruffy').

If you don't have a car, think about how far you will have to travel to the places you want to visit - and how you are going to get there. The bus services and the train services are good but you MUST plan ahead to get the best out of them. See our very basic list of Cornwall's attractions - and search Google.

Think about places to eat at night - some villages don't have a restaurant - others have a just one good pub (inn) with good, nicely cooked food - in other, bigger locations there are plenty of good eateries to choose from. Usually the food in Cornwall is 'high standard' - these days.

If you are going to arrive at your accommodation after 6pm you should telephone your accommodation hosts and let them know. UK law allows Hotels, Guest Houses and B&Bs to re-let rooms if people haven't arrived by 6pm AND they haven't telephoned to advise of their pending late arrival. If you do intend to arrive late and you let your hosts know you will find they are very helpful and will even wait up for you (usually)

Most UK establishments provide a full English breakfast - we enjoy it (especially when away on holiday) - so if you have any special dietary requirements or preferences then let you hosts know when you check in the night before - they should ask you (but they might forget)

Your B&B hosts will also be pleased to help as best they can on places to visit, how to get there, etc, etc.

Driving in Cornwall (a unique experience!?)

You'll have got used to driving on the left hand side of the road by the time you get to Cornwall, but if you intend to go "off the beaten track" - which you must do to get the best from Cornwall - you won't be prepared for the very narrow, twisting lanes and the high hedges.

The writer of this little piece has been driving around them for the best part of 35 years, so he feels qualified to offer a few small survival tips.

  1. Always travel slowly enough to stop in the distance you can see clear in front of you.
  2. Be prepared for the occasional idiot travelling too fast coming towards you.
  3. Think about your position on the road. Close to the hedge is good (watch out for projecting boulders). If a choice is necessary, its preferable to be really close to the hedge coming out of a bend rather than entering it.
  4. And please don't forget to leave space for that idiot travelling too fast coming towards you.
  5. Keep in mind that there could be a walker or a cyclist just out of sight, so be prepared to STOP or take avoiding action.
  6. Talk yourself through unfamiliar road junctions, and roundabouts. (its what the writer does in France, where WE have to drive on the 'wrong' side of the road).
  7. Be prepared to "backup" when its easier for YOU to do so than the other driver, and when you back up, make sure you tuck yourself in real close to the hedge.

Good luck - and enjoy!

And Finally...

  1. Study the maps and websites to decide where you want to visit.
  2. Take that small turning down that small lane... there'll be something good and worthwhile at the end of it.
  3. Try a Cornish Cream tea.
  4. Try a Cornish pasty... ask the locals which SHOP sells the best ones.

We hope you enjoy your visit... and come again.

Andrew Mills
Owner/Guide
email: cornwalltour@yahoo.com
tel: 07747 634348

Airports

London:
Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW),
plus
Birmingham (BHX),
Manchester (MAN),
Bristol (BRS),
Exeter (EXT),
Luton (LTN),
Newquay (NQY)

Cruise Ship Terminals

Southampton : Ocean, QE2, Mayflower,
City,
Terminal 5 (Mayflower Terminal),
Falmouth,
Fowey.

Ask for a Quotation!

Beautiful Cornwall Tours

Video of Cornwall and the West of England (created by Anthea from Australia who toured Cornwall with her husband Gary in 2011 - with Cornwalltour)

Plus - First Class Airport and Cruise Ship Shuttle Service for the West of England and Cornwall - Optional Extra!

Contact us

Email: cornwalltour@yahoo.com
Tel: 07747 634348

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Link to The Official Cornwall Tourist Board Website

Enquiries from Travel Advisers & Travel Agents Welcome!