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Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris!

We’ve had our Hyundi 100 van conversion a little over 2 months now, giving us plenty of time to take it on some adventures! Initially we’ve only taken the van out locally in Cornwall so we can get an idea of what to expect when we go away for longer trips. The last thing we want to do is find out that we’ve got some kind of problem when we’re thousands of miles away from home. It’s also good to get an idea of temperature so we don’t end up overheating or freezing, which might result in a trip being cut short.

Another reason we’ve not taken it out as much as we hoped, is we still have a few jobs to do. We’ve pretty much got the van ready to go now though, and as I’m typing this, I’ve just received word that our lovely handmade curtains are ready to be fitted. This means we’ll have grey curtains that are both black out and thermal lined, which is going to make a huge difference compared to the blinds we have at the moment.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Luckily, Cornwall has a lot to offer and we’ve had plenty of fun being tourist in our own county. There are so many places we haven’t been that we want to explore. I couldn’t list everywhere we’ve been because we take it wherever Magicseaweed says the surf is (Perranporth, Polzeth, Praa Sands, Newquay etc). But here’s a round up of some of our trips exploring the Cornish coastline beyond the surf!


St Agnes Head, St Agnes

When we first picked up the van in March we were eager to take it out as soon as possible. It was a little bit chilly but we decided to head up to St Agnes, pull back the sliding side door and enjoy the view. Thanks to the previous owner, Boris has a great sound system, so we put on some Bon Iver and watched the sunset with our dog.

There’s nothing better than being able to watch the sun go down over the sea whilst being cuddled up in bed. I can see us spending a lot of time up in St Agnes in the warmer months. It’s so quiet and peaceful, and you don’t get other people in camper vans up there. There is a height restriction to get into the carparks overlooking the headland but Boris just managed to slide under the barrier.

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

If you live in Cornwall, as soon as the weather starts to warm up, you’ll notice your feed covered in pictures of Porthcurno. I’m ashamed to admit that before May, I’d never been to this scenic village on the coast.

Desperate to go, we packed up the van with our dog on the first sunny morning and headed down towards Lands End. We left our van in a nearby carpark and followed the coastal path from the beach over to the Minack Theatre, taking in the incredible views on the way.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

The views were breath-taking, just as we expected. I’ve got so much GoPro footage to sort through, I don’t even know where to start. We were blessed with sunshine all day which made such a difference.

We soaked up the sunshine at the Minack Theatre and ate our packed lunch before heading back along the beach.

Of course, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach during the summer but we recently discovered a little loop-hole… Nobody minds where you take your dog if you carry him in a backpack. In matter of fact, it’s actually encouraged.

Everybody swoons over how cute our scruffy little Jack Russel is, when they see his happy little face poking our of our K9 Airsack. I don’t blame them – he looks absolutely adorable! It’s also really handy if we’re going over dangerous bits of loose rocks or if he gets tired after a long day of walking.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

St Michaels Mount, Marazion

The first place we slept in the van was overlooking St Michaels Mount from Marazion. We arrived with plenty of time after our trip to Porthcurno so we could get a good spot. There’s so many great places to park up but we had to make sure we could stay somewhere it was legal to sleep.

First, we headed over to a carpark that was right next to the beach. We reversed into a space in the quiet carpark before popping the back door. When we were laying on the bed drinking a cup of tea, all we could see was the calm sea and hear the waves gently crashing, bliss!

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

We spent a couple of hours enjoying the view before moving on to somewhere we could sleep, because we didn’t know how easy it would be to find somewhere. We drove a little bit further down the road and found Slipway carpark, located right opposite St Michael’s Mount. We pulled up and made a beef stew with dumplings and had our dinner whilst the sun went down. We couldn’t believe we got such a good spot with toilets nearby!

Surprisingly, I slept like a log and we didn’t wake up until 10am. It was so nice being away from technology (although we do have electrics, chargers, lights etc in the van). The distractions of televisions and laptops were left at home so we could just be in the moment. We had a slow morning with the doors open, having hot drinks, chatting in bed and letting the dog play on the nearby footpath.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Somebody came past our van at about midday, just as we were about to leave for a day out at the castle and said we shouldn’t have slept here, but it wasn’t a problem and he was really understanding. Oops!

We walked across to St Michael’s Mount and had a lovely day out, capturing even more amazing GoPro footage!

Tintagel Castle, Tintagel

North west Cornwall is an area we haven’t explored much, so I was really excited to visit Tintagel a village situated on the Atlantic coast. Tintagel lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with the same status and protection as a National Park. I didn’t know much about Tintagel but I was aware the area was associated with the legends surrounding King Arthur.

We parked in a field near the coastal path to Bossiney Haven overlooking panoramic ocean views.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

There were 3 other campers parked up in the field and the adjacent fields were empty, so it was really quiet. Once we got settled we walked into the village and had a drink in a nearby beer garden just a short 10 minute walk from where we parked up.

We headed back to our van and warmed up our smoked beef cheeks and macaroni cheese before having an early night so we’d be full of energy to explore in the morning. We woke up roasting at about 9am which soon got me out of bed and out in the sunshine. I must have spent about an hour throwing Alfie’s kong in the field before we got ready and headed to the castle.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

If you’ve never been, then you should definitely go! We spent hours just walking around in awe of the scenery and learning about the history of Tintagel. I couldn’t recommend it enough. Especially Bossiney Haven carpark (if you’re vanning it!) because it’s only £1 and overnight sleeping is legal. There’s also clean public toilets at the top of the field, just next to the coastal path.

As you can see from our pictures, Tintagel is BEAUTIFUL 👇😍

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle BlogArizona Birkenstocks from Footway

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Next stop: Snowdonia 🏔

2018-06-06T21:53:42+00:00 June 6, 2018|Van Life|

Our unique stay at Chelsea House in Falmouth, Cornwall

Our unique stay at Chelsea House in Falmouth, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Two weeks ago it was my lovely boyfriend’s birthday, so naturally I spent the entire week spoiling him. I baked him a gigantic peanut butter chocolate cake, cooked him a Chinese dinner and hide his present inside a fortune cookie – sneaky! What on earth could fit in a fortune cookie I hear you ask; I had a secret message slipped into the cracker that read ‘Your adventure begins soon. Bon Iver in Frankfurt, Germany in January 2017. Happy Birthday, Love you’. 

To top of a perfect weekend, we checked-in to Chelsea House for a mini-break. Chelsea House is a stylish mid-century bed and breakfast in Falmouth, Cornwall on the seafront in Emslie Road, Falmouth, next to Princess Pavilion Gardens. Only about a 20 minute walk from our house, it was the ideal staycation break for us to have some alone time.

Our unique stay at Chelsea House in Falmouth, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Built in 1908, Chelsea House isn’t your average B&B in Cornwall. Refurbished by loving owners, Sharon and Nigel, Chelsea House oozes character and sophistication. Full of mint condition g-plan teak furniture, it’s safe to say I was in my element as soon as I stepped through the front door. Each mid-century sideboard, desk or sofa was handpicked for each guest room. 

When we arrived from the freezing outdoors, we were greeted and shown to our gorgeous large king superior ensuite room with a south facing sea view and private balcony. The bedroom was light and airy, incredibly spacious and very warm (perfect after a chilly walk along the seafront). The room was equip with a Smart TV, free Wifi, DAB Radio and fridge, topped up daily with fresh milk and bottled water.

Our unique stay at Chelsea House in Falmouth, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

For me, the details are what makes a memorable stay, and Chelsea House nailed this. The bed was by far the most comfortable nights sleep I’ve had in a very long time. To be completely honest, when I stay away I’m sometimes miffed with showers because I’m lucky enough to have a steaming hot high-pressure shower at home. Chelsea House didn’t disappoint though, thanks to their power shower, luxury toiletries and their fluffy towels. 

As much as we were enjoying the room, we had to go out and grab some food because after all, we were on holiday. Chelsea House is a 6-minute walk from Gyllyngvase Beach and a 13-minute walk from Falmouth town centre, so there are heaps of restaurant options nearby.  We know the area well, so we decided to head to Gyllyngvase Beach cafe just down the road, however if you don’t know the area then there is plenty of suggestions in the guest house book located in your room. 

Our unique stay at Chelsea House in Falmouth, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

We indulged in a discounted three course meal with some wine, thanks to a voucher courtesy of Sharon and Nigel at Chelsea house. Once we’d filled our bellies with pigeon, steak and chocolate torte, it was time to drag ourselves back up the road to our lovely room. 

In the morning we headed downstairs to the retro dining area for breakfast. There were so many options, from yoghurt to fresh-fruit to granola and jam – we were truly spoilt for choice. Sharon offered us a full English breakfast or homemade pancakes and maple syrup. I highly recommend the fluffy pancakes if you get the chance!

Our unique stay at Chelsea House in Falmouth, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

We absolutely loved our stay at Chelsea House and we felt so welcomed the entire time. I’d hurry back to stay in one of their rooms without hesitation. Over breakfast Nigel and Sharon told us about how they are building a garden room opposite the property, so I’ll definitely be checking back in to visit once this is finished. 

We were invited to stay at Chelsea House for the purpose of a review, however all words are my own. We stayed in room 8 – the large king superior ensuite with south facing sea view and private balcony £110 – £145 per room breakfast included.

2018-06-04T01:31:14+00:00 December 6, 2016|Travel|

#Poetryinmoments with Sony – Cornwall style!

Sony Mobile recently ran a campaign with the help of The Poetry Society where members of the public were invited to capture a fleeting moment on their smartphone, and share the photo with the hope of inspiring a short poem from a team of poets.

Micro-poems were then written in response to people’s pictures and circulated around the world via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I was tasked with sharing a moment from my personal morning regime for the campaign and here’s the result!

#Poetryinmoments with Sony - Cornwall style! | UK Lifestyle Blog

These boots have trekked this morning miles
to reach rolling blue beyond a rocky ledge.
Time to soak it all in, wait awhile
As white waves foam at the world’s edge

I was super stoked when Sony asked me to take part in this campaign for the Z5, and it was such a beautiful sentiment to team up with The Poetry Society to deliver a truly unique campaign. That’s more than you can hope to ask for when it comes to most marketing activity.

Not to mention, how perfectly it reflects my mornings in quaint Cornwall – when I have the chance to head down to the rocky coast before heading into work. There’s no better way to psych yourself up for a day in the office, than a blustery walk with a lung full of sea air.

The only thing that could possibly make this better, is when the rain passes and I can trade these wellies for a barefoot adventure, and lend myself to a spot of yoga with views that you would NOT BELIEVE!

Until next time. x

*Poems for the Sony Mobile Poetry In Moments campaign are written by The Poetry Society’s team of poets, including Ben Wilkinson & Will Burns.

2018-01-08T03:34:03+00:00 February 26, 2016|Uncategorized|

Things to do in Cornwall before you die

Tempted to cross the Tamar and touch down in the magic Kingdom of Cornwall? You’ll be in good company. You’re not going to fit everything in, so don’t try and wear yourself out. Dip into this sample of Cornish must do’s and let the wind fill your hair and the spray, surf and sun fill your heart.

Beaches are the Best

Some of the best beaches in the UK are in Cornwall. If you are ready to surf, or simply just out for an invigorating run there may be no better place than the stretch of coast from Newquay to Perranporth. Newquay’s reputation has just grown and flown. And with good reason; your surfing experience here will be simply stunning. Hire a surfboard or book into a surf school for the best experience. Perranporth’s miles of sand and stunning vistas lends itself to mind blowing walks and is the perfect place to clear the cobwebs with a good run. Ever dreamt of riding a horse along a beautiful beach? This is the place to do it.

Things to do in Cornwall before you die | UK Lifestyle Blog

Check out the Pasties

Heading down towards Truro and Falmouth. Two of Cornwall’s most famous towns contain plenty to see and do and eat if you’re feeling ravished after some time on the water. Cornish Pasties are a protected brand and here is the place to see why. A genuine pasty has a potato, swede, onion and beef filling. Accept nothing less and they are delicious

Rest and Relax

You’ll need somewhere to stay and there are no shortage of options. Basing yourself somewhere central to your list of things to do and makes real sense. Check out hotels in Looe for a relaxing change. Looe is just brilliant and has bags of atmosphere. From here it’s not far to spread your wings to take in some of Cornwall’s major attractions.

Green fingers

Both the Eden Project and the Lost Garden’s of Heligan show the visitor real gems at both ends of the gardening spectrum. Eden has over 100,000 plants and is an amazing sensory experience. Heligan displays the finery and grandeur and vision of a beautifully restored 19th century garden. Both are equally stunning.

Stretch your legs

The coastal path winds around Cornwall and offers the walker some incredible vistas. You might not feel up to taking on the whole track so why not dip for a five mile section that stars in Looe and winds down to Polperro?

Have a drink

Cornish Ales are famed and rightly so. Mix it up your beer with a little genuine piratic atmosphere. St Agnes has it all and the famous Driftwood Spars will hold you spellbound.

Leave the tourist trail

If you have the time, head further down towards Land’s End. Take a detour out to St Michael’s Mount and walk the causeway at low tide. Or head down to the Lizard and Kynance Cove. These stunning beaches will have you held for hours simply watching the surf pounding over the rocks.

Be entertained

The Minack theatre tucked into the rocks near Penzance is an unforgettable experience. If you are visiting in the summer, try and catch a performance.

With your senses filled, head back to your hotel for a sumptuous hot tub and a deep revitalising sleep. Knowing you’ll head back restored rested and taking home some Cornish magic.

2018-06-04T01:31:15+00:00 November 26, 2015|Travel|

Top Running Beaches in Cornwall

We all know that getting ready for your next beach break can be intense, with months of prep, staying active and eating well it’s a shame when you finally get on holiday and within a few days your hard work is all gone! To stop all the hard work going to waste, we’ve put together our top running spots in Cornwall so you can stay beach ready during and after your holiday too!

1. The Camel Trail (5 miles) – If you have a willing volunteer to pick you up at Wadebridge, this is a stunning run along the South West Coast Path. About 5 miles, or 10 if you run there and back again, the route runs along the coast from Padstow to Wadebridge. The route is almost completely flat so it is great to run as a beginner, plus you can admire the views while you run.

Top Running Beaches in Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

2. Perranporth Beach (3 miles) – Running in Cornwall would only be complete with a route along the beach, with this one you can spend the whole time on the beach. Just be wary of tide times to make sure you don’t get stranded! Run from one end right up to Penhale and you can always turn back again if you want to double your miles!

3. Falmouth Circular (4 miles) – You can start anywhere along this route and shorten or lengthen it as needed. Run along the beautiful Gyllyngvase beach and up along the South West Coast Path towards Swanpool. Back to the main road behind Swanpool beach turn right and head back towards Falmouth. At the crossroads turn left and then right onto Melvill Road.

Top Running Beaches in Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

A little way down take a left and run through Fox Gardens (Falmouth University) and down through the campus. Head out through the woods and past the Falmouth Town railway. Back onto the main road; run along the coastline, taking in the naval port along the way. Head back up the hill towards Pendennis Castle and along the coast path. When you reach the castle, you know the rest will be down hill – head back along the cliff and back to Gyllyngvase beach!

4. Helston to Porthleven (5 miles) – This route can be a tricky one with a few minor hills mixed in the route; it will keep your heart pumping! Start out by Coronation Park Boating Lake at the bottom of Helston; you can park opposite the lake in the Penrose Amenity car park. The path to follow heads into the woods, next to the car park, and onwards past traditional buildings and National Trust land.

Eventually you will come out above Loe Bar and see the stunning views out across Porthleven beach. Our advice for getting back to Helston after your run is to jump on the bus (unless you fancy another 5 miles back!) If you’re feeling inspired to take a trip Cornwall you can find more useful tips and things to do in our Guide to your Cornwall holiday here.

What’s your favourite route? Find out what everyone else thinks!
Check out the other Cornish Bloggers’ posts below:

Holly @ Full of Beans & Sausages: ‘My Top 5 Beaches in Cornwall
Anna @ The Cornish Life: ‘5 Best Beaches in Cornwall
Jess @ Jessica Cece: ‘Life’s a Beach
Alice @ Wooden Windowsills: ‘5 Cornish Beaches You Should Visit This Summer
Liv @ Maiden in Cornwall: ‘My 5 Favourite Cornish Beaches
Abel @ Brainfood: ‘Top 10 Beaches for Summer 2015′
Chloe @ Life Unexpected: ‘Top 5 Family Friendly Beaches in Cornwall

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2018-01-08T03:34:35+00:00 May 15, 2015|Health|

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall

With all the drama of the house, working and trying to squeeze in doing university work – as well as leading a normal life, O and I felt like we could do with a little weekend away for just us. We packed our bags and headed over to the North Coast of Cornwall to spend the weekend at The Headland Hotel.

If you haven’t heard of it, all you need to know, it’s in 1990 movie “The Witches” based on Roald Dahl’s book. Having never seen the movie (don’t worry – it’s on my list of things to do..), and to read this blog post.

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

I packed up my stuff and O picked me up straight from work and we set off to Newquay for our mini break on the North Coast. Our package included a two night stay in a beautiful sea-view bedroom overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a delicious Cornish breakfast each morning, unlimited access to the spa and leisure area, a three course restaurant dinner on our arrival night and a 60 minute Rejuvenating Facial.

Not to mention all the lovely little complimentary extras like the porterage on arrival and departure, a box of Cornish Fudge and the designer Elemis amenities in the bedroom, as well as the use of the luxurious Headland Spa robe, towels and slippers.

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Stepping inside The Headland, you will appreciate our investment in comfort and luxury, whilst being struck by the timeless quality and many original features of this iconic Victorian hotel. The pictures truly do not do the bathroom or the bedroom justice.

We were lucky enough to be put in a room with panoramic views of Fistral beach in both the bedroom and the bathroom. I could definitely get used to underfloor heating, his and her skins and a double bath and separate double power shower.

Once we’d had a good snoop around the room and a quick wander around the hotel, we scrubbed up to go down for dinner in the restaurant over-looking Fistral. Both O and I ordered the medium rare venison, rocket and Parmesan warm salad to start, followed by a char-grilled 28 day aged Cornish fillet steak, hand cut chips and roasted vine tomatoes. Without a doubt, this was the best steak I’d ever had!

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle BlogFor dessert I order the chocolate delice with mango sorbet, and O ordered the fresh fruit and substituted the ice cream with sorbet.All this washed down with the Headland Hotel, Cépage Colombard Côtes de Gascogne. Sharp service, coupled with friendly staff and tasty food was a cracking start to our stay.

We woke up lost in a bed that was big enough for us to both starfish in. We had a cup of tea in bed (from one of the many teas that were hiding in the cupboard), and watched the waves crashing onto the beach – this is how mornings should be spent.

Surprisingly, after eating so much the night before, we managed to force ourselves to breakfast – when we arrived it didn’t seem like such a chore anymore. There was every option you can imagine from cured meats to a full fry up, to pasties and fruit. In addition to all of this, you could order breakfast fresh off the menu, and alas! they have gluten free options.

After breakfast we went for a stroll around the Headland to explore the area and walk off our food babies.

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle BlogReview: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

I popped back to the hotel to have my facial that was pre-booked, whilst O went for a surf. I’d never been to the Headland for a treatment before, so I was keen to see what the treatment room and spa was like.

My treatment was what I expected and more – just what I needed after the last couple of weeks. The rejuvenating facial is designed to refresh the skin, leaving it looking and feeling radiant. Incorporates a face-lift massage and acupressure point techniques to alleviate the signs of ageing combined with a deeply hydrating face mask to leave the skin visibly smoother. The facial also eliminates congestion, returns moisture to the skin and restores luminosity.

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle BlogThe Headland Spa has six treatment rooms with two double treatment rooms, comprehensive heat experiences, a mani and pedi room and the spa lounge which overlooks the Atlantic ocean. Freshly renovated, the treatment rooms ooze sophistication. I was offered a robe and flip flops after my treatment and waited for O to come and meet me downstairs so we could relax in the spa together.

The Headland Hotel and Spa is Cornwall’s only ‘Five Bubble’ rated spa hotel, complete with united pools with varying temperatures, aromatherapy showers, jacuzzi, Swedish sauna, Cornish sea salt steam room, hydrotherapy suite, gym, tanning suite, mani and pedi room, and seven treatment rooms, as well as a deep relaxation lounge and couples suite.

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

We headed to the pool, which at the time was quite busy, however they do have slots that you can visit the pool for adults only. The swimming pool is open every day from 7.30am – 10pm. Adult only swimming times (no under 16s) are between 11am – 3pm and after 6pm.

Unfortunately, we didn’t spend much time in the bar area, except to have a glass of water but we completely fell in love with the interior design. If anybody knows where I can buy these chairs, then please let me know – because I absolutely need them in my life!

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

We spent hours unwinding in the spa, before pulling ourselves together and heading to the Stable for dinner just a stone-throw away from the hotel. We had to keep our energy up after all, it’d been a hard day 😉

Two very full stomaches later, we couldn’t resist popping back down to the spa. Just a couple more minute in the steam room was enough to ease us back into our calm state before we headed to the relaxation lounge. This, without a doubt, was the most precious, memorable and my favourite part of our trip away — and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Review: Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

After the best night sleep, EVER! We then woke up and headed down for our last breakfast, and to our surprise, when O ordered some gluten-free bread, the waiter told us that he had already ordered it for him – impressive! It’s the little things that count, the personal touch was so lovely!

The weekend absolutely flew by, but now it was time to pack our bags and say goodbye.

Thanks to Headland Hotel and Spa for inviting us to come and stay!

2018-06-04T01:31:15+00:00 April 18, 2015|Travel|

Porthminster beach cafe – St Ives, Cornwall

It’s official, I made it to 24 years-old.. Luckily, O softened the blow for me by waking me up with tea, breakfast and showering me in presents. After a lovely lie in, we set off to St Ives to visit the Tate, have a meander around the shops and go for lunch.

Porthminster beach cafe - St Ives, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

After working up an appetite, walking around the gallery, we head off for some food at Porthminster beach cafe, nestled beneath the steep slopes of Porthminster Point. Themulti award winning seafood restaurant sits right on the beach with unbeatable and uninterrupted views across St Ives Bay to Godrevy Lighthouse. Porthminster beach cafe.

Porthminster beach cafe - St Ives, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

The café specialises in Mediterranean and Asian seafood cuisine and is an oasis of taste and visual beauty. The menu was to die for, with so much to choose from and an bottomless wine list. If that wasn’t enough, everything on the menu can be made suitable for celiac/(gluten free) and lactose free – hurray!

Porthminster beach cafe - St Ives, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

I ordered St Ives Bay Mackerel Pate Ponzu, dulse, black mustard and grilled flat bread to start, followed with Crispy Black Squid Lime and miso dressing, Asain style salad and crispy shallots – washed down with a glass of Albarino Colleita de Martis, Spain white wine. Bliss!

Porthminster beach cafe - St Ives, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Alas! I forgot to take a photo of the crispy squid, I just couldn’t help myself and tucked right in. O had Pork Cheek Celeriac and apple, spiced beetroot, macadamia nut and honey dressing with a side of salt and rosemary hand-cut chips.

Porthminster beach cafe - St Ives, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Despite the chocolate torte calling my name, we decided against a dessert as we were so full. I’d definitely recommend go checking it out though.

The café is open daily, all year round for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a selection of homemade patisserie and fine coffees from St Ives Small Batch Coffee Roasting Company.

Porthminster beach cafe - St Ives, Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

2018-01-08T03:34:37+00:00 March 4, 2015|Food|

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall

After a busy couple of weeks, it feels somewhat surreal to be back at the keyboard again. O and I decided to beat the January blues by booking an impromptu getaway to a beautiful log cabin set in the forest in Herodsfoot – an excellent place to visit if you want to get away from it all.

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Our Silver Birch cabin was tucked away deep in the forest, yet close to the coast. I’d read on trip advisor everyone recommending to choose your own cabin, but as it was our first time at Deerpark, we didn’t know any better. Luck was on our side and we were allocated, what we thought, was the best lodge in the forest. The lodge was well positioned close to reception, out of view from neighbours with astonishing views of the woodland and lake. I can safely say that timber frame homes are now on my dream list.

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

The private hot tub was checked everyday and was one of many of my favourite parts of our break. It was amazing to unwind in, gaze at the stars and listen to the owls with a glass of wine in the evening. Equally, just as relaxing in the day surrounded by the crisp trees towering over the lake.

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

Located 30 miles from Polperro and Looe, there are some stunning beaches worth visiting nearby, not to mention the stunning woodland to explore in Deerpark. The site was perfect and the staff were just incredibly friendly and helpful – you can even get little extras delivered to your cabin such as pizzas, curry’s, cream teas.

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

There is no mobile phone signal and the only emergency phone is at reception (however, there is free wifi in the retreat if you need it!). It took a little getting used to, but we loved this – it’s a true escape from every day life. If you want to spend quality time with your loved ones in beautiful surroundings, then this is for you. I could not recommend it highly enough.

Silver Birch cabin getaway, Deerpark Cornwall | UK Lifestyle Blog

In a nutshell: Our 4 nights flew by,
I fell in love with Deerpark.

2018-06-04T01:31:16+00:00 February 2, 2015|Travel|

10 reasons to go travelling in a campervan

Traveling is the BEST, and we dedicate our energy to seeing new places as much as we possibly can. You’ve probably already read (because I keep writing about it…) but I recently bought a van conversion. We’ve got some big plans which we’re publishing on the blog pretty soon.

So far we’ve only done smaller trips but we’re completely in love with our van and cannot wait to do more. There’s something really special about traveling in a van. Here’s why we love it and we’re so excited…

1. Work from anywhere in the world

We are so lucky that we run our own company, and we can make money from wherever we are, as long as we have our laptops. This makes life so much easier for us because it means we’re not restricted when we travel or for how long. One of us can be driving, whilst the other is in the back working on our clients websites using our personal hotspots or portable wifi

People often think we’re an exceptions and that nobody else can do this but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this modern era, there are so many different jobs you can do remotely from a computer, from being a virtual assistant to being a designer. There’s a wealth of information online about how to get started… If you want to read more essays about travel go to this site.

2. Unbounded freedom

During every trip, one of the most important aspects is accommodation. Hotels and hostels always bound you to the place where you are staying, and it becomes impossible to move far away for some sightseeing as you have to return for the night. We all know how much this sucks…

While traveling in a campervan, you can stay for a sleep anywhere and stop off at spot along the way to your destination. You can even park up in front of the sea or overlooking mountains (if parking permits!). The type of views you can get from a van blow hotels out the park. 

3. Value of space

Every vacation requires preparation of things that you are going to take with you. Usually, people bring with them a bunch of unnecessary stuff, and some of them are not even used once! When you’re traveling in a campevan, you’ll soon find out what’s really important to you.

Whether you’re going on a long trip or a short trip in your campervan, you should think twice. Only take only the most important and needed items as space is limited. That helps to reconsider the essential things for you. It really changes your perspective and there’s something liberating about minimal living. 

4. Revaluation of values

In the campervan, all resources such as food and water are limited, and you have to refill them from time to time. However, when the trip goes far from the civilisation, you start to think about different ways of shortening the consumption. What is the real value of the water and possibility to take a shower several times a day? 

We’ve had to consider this for when we’re traveling in the colder months because an outside shower isn’t so appealing. We’ve read so many inspiring posts, and the verdict is, at the end of such a trip you will look at the world differently. That’s a pretty exciting prospect. 

5. New people, new friends

While traveling in a van, you will ride through big cities to small villages, and you will definitely meet new people that will be very curious, where you are from. There is a chance that you will be invited for dinner.

This is something we’re really excited about, and it was one of my favourite things about traveling in Australia.

6. Nature around us

The magnificence of the Earth cannot be compared to anything else and you can come closer to nature. It is really wonderful to wake up in the morning with leaves rustling and birds singing. Here you will remain far away from the city noises 🍃 What could be better?

I love rolling the van door open in the morning, letting the dog out and feeling the sun rays on my face. Even just one night away in the van and in nature makes me feel so much better. Even if we’re on a slanted field and we’re not in a king size bed, somehow, I sleep better. Would you believe?!

7. Living is cheap

Traveling is not cheap and there is list of reasons why. When you’re traveling in a campervan, cost is significantly decreased! Everything you need is inside your moving home, and you do not have to book a hotel room, pay for meals out in restaurants, and you won’t need to worry about getting taxis or buses.

When you’re traveling, you’ll find that fuel is the most expensive thing, which is pretty unavoidable. That said, if you’re having a slow month making money, you can always park up and just enjoy whatever country you’re in. The second biggest expenses is food. 

8. The project aspect is fun

When I bought the van, the aim was so go traveling and take our dog with us. I didn’t give too much thought about the build of the van, and it kind of stressed me out. We bought a van that (luckily) had most the stuff done, such as electrics, plumbing and gas installation. This meant we didn’t have to fork out for expensive essentials.

BUT we’ve spent every hour of our weekends on making the van our own, you can see our pics on Instagram 📸 From painting the cupboards, through to hooking up fairy lights and putting in new curtains. These little changes make a huge difference, and it feels so good knowing that we did it ourselves (with some help from our family) and it’s all come together.

9. Rest whenever you want

When you’re traveling in a van, there’s no limitations on when you have to leave. This is perfect if you enjoy slow-living because you can take the time out to have a bit more relaxation, without missing out on your trip. I know this is going to work well with our busy schedules, and it’ll take the pressure off us, allowing us to truly enjoy our trip.

These are the main reasons why to go traveling in a campervan is really worth trying. There are always advantages and disadvantages in any kind of trips, and only you can choose the option, which suits you the most.

2018-06-19T14:07:30+00:00 June 19, 2018|Van Life|

Why We’re Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan

In the past, Brits have famously headed for locations like Mallorca, the Algarve or Benidorm for their summer jollies – no doubt in an effort to soak up a year’s worth of sun in one week! Yet recently studies have begun to show a change of attitude, with more and more Britons foregoing foreign destinations in favour of more local trips. This article will examine this trend, to establish whether Cornwall really is the new Crete.

Whispers surrounding the growing popularity of the staycation have abounded ever since the Brexit vote in 2016, yet enough time has now passed to allow this speculation to turn to plausible theory as more and more data is released to back it up. A leader in this field, is the annual study released by the accommodation provider Travelodge. This year they found that the number of British people opting to stay at home for their main holiday has increased by 2% since the 2017 study – now standing at 57% (well over half!).

Pull over and enjoy the view!! PC: @rileys_travels

A post shared by VANLiFe 🚐💨 (@vanlife) on

In line with these findings, peer-to-peer rental platform, Fat Lama, have found that the number of campervan rentals on their platform has more than doubled in the past year (rising from 2.45% to 5.74% of their GMV). If this is not enough to convince you that staycations are now ‘trending’ so to speak, the Caravanning and Camping Club have reported a 10% increase in UK campsite bookings this year. Clearly, staycations (and campervan trips) are on the rise across the board, begging the question what has prompted this new trend?



What’s all the hype about!? 🌍

No doubt people have a wealth of personal reasons for opting to stay on their home turf this year, yet such a universal increase in popularity suggests that some broader factors must be at work as well.

Since this trend has been gaining momentum since 2016, the obvious catalyst for change has to be the Brexit vote. This is not just a case of jumping on the ‘Brexit bandwagon’ (blaming it for everything from the struggling economy to your most recent breakup) – there is actually significant evidence to back it up.

There is no doubt that the sudden drop in the value of the pound in 2016 corresponded to the Brexit vote, and this has had a huge impact on the British tourist scene. Firstly, Brits are the only ones holidaying here – VisitBritain has reported an increase of foreign visitors by 6.2% in 2017, set to rise by a further 4.4% this year.

Since Britain’s ancient charms aren’t going anywhere soon (hopefully), it would not be unreasonable to assume that this influx is due to the weakening pound making it better value than ever before to visit the UK.

Yet, the British tourist scene is clearly benefiting from the patronage of its natives as well. Once again, it appears to owe its thanks to Brexit (one of the very few who do) for bringing in the extra trade, as the falling pound has not just made UK holidays a financially good option for foreign visitors.

Anxiety about the exchange rate has tipped the balance for many people when deciding where to book this year, one such candidate, is Becky a 22 year old who, despite being a keen traveller, is opting to take a campervan around Scotland this year. After landing in Peru on the day of the Brexit result and consequently burning through her money far faster than she anticipated, Becky has chosen to explore the UK this year as a safer financial option.

It seems that stories like Becky’s are not atypical to a post-Brexit world. until the split actually comes, the uncertainty of foreign travel is not a risk worth taking for people on tight budgets.

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

So, it seems that Brexit has landed most of us fairly and squarely on British shores this summer (the irony of this is not lost on me). It’s now up to the rest of this article to advise you how to spend it. One form of travel that I believe lends itself especially well to UK travel is hitting the road in a campervan.

Why I’m sold on traveling on wheels 🚐

The rise in popularity in staycations does not necessarily prompt a corresponding rise in campervan rentals, yet from what we have seen from both Fat Lama data and the Caravanning and Camping Club, the popularity of camping is certainly on the up.

Perhaps, this is because the freedom to travel the road is very much ‘on brand’ with the average avocado-munching, penniless millennial who would rather invest in an experience than material goods. Or, perhaps it’s simply because us Brits have always loved a good bargain! Either way, here are my top reasons for taking on the camper this year:

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle BlogBirkenstocks c/o Footway

1. Access To Nature

Britain has some famously beautiful countryside whether it’s the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the craggy tops of the Scottish Highlands or the stunning coastline of Cornwall – what better way to access it than on your own four wheels and agenda. If its remoteness you seek, then a campervan gives you the freedom to move away from the tourist train that depends on hostels and hotels, and find some of the true treasures all of your own.

2. Freedom to Move

Though Britain has arguably got some of the most beautiful countryside around, it does have one problem… the weather. British summers are famously unpredictable, and the last thing you want to do is be stuck in a rainy resort for your summer break. This is where the camper comes into its own – you are not rooted to your accommodation. If the resort or the weather doesn’t suit you, move on to sunnier climes. Weather aside, the freedom to make your own way, stop when you want and move when you don’t is fantastically liberating.

You’re also not burdened or restricted by carrying heavy bags around with you all the time 👇

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

3. Your money goes further

If freedom and the open road are not enough to tempt you away from your hotel, perhaps the low price of a camper trip will. Whether you own your own camper or rent one for a one off trip, campers are almost always the best value option – especially when you factor in that you have covered transport and accommodation in one fell swoop.

4. Food and Comfort On The Road

This final point ties nicely in with my last one, if you carry everything with you including your kitchen, you can save a ton of money by avoiding eating out. If you are doing long distance travel this can be far better for your health too. After all, if you have your own food source, you do not need to rely on fast food chains and convenience stores that dominant roadside services as much (though I won’t judge you for the occasional roadside chippy). Lastly, rather than all squishing into a car or a Ryanair flight, camper travel gives you space to relax on the road and even take a nap if necessary (though hopefully not whilst actually driving).

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

Where to start your adventure?

So with the trend and the reasoning established one question remains, where are the top spots favoured by staycationers this year? If you are thinking of joining the trend, here are my top 5 recommendations for UK travel:


Devon

As one of the largest counties in England, Devon has a lot to offer someone with the freedom and ability to explore it. If you have access to a campervan you could spend days traversing the country and still find things beautiful spots that will make you want to instantly pull over. Crossing the Dartmoor you can come across remote regions like Bellever forest or even encounter a herd of wild ponies. If you are a surf seeker you will not be disappointed either, with the (almost laughable quaint sounding) beaches of Bigbury-on-Sea, Westward Ho! and Saunton Sands all firm favourites with borders and sun bathers alike!

Cornwall

An immovable favourite with British holiday makers, Cornwall’s spectacular coast, quaint villages and wild moors have attracted visitors for centuries, inspiring many a ripping yarn (if you’re a Poldark or Daphne Du Maurier fan you will know what I mean). Camper travel in Cornwall is not only achievable, it’s actually desirable as the peninsular remains surprisingly difficult to access by public transport and accommodation can be some of the most expensive in Britain in peak times. Read about our here trips here.

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

The Cotswolds

If you fancy something more relaxed than the ragged extremes of the Cornish moors, Lake District or Scottish Highlands, why not try the creamy stoned villages and rolling hills of the Cotswolds – the epitome of gentle English countryside. The accessibility of this area from London means that it’s often crammed in the weekends thorough summer with city dwellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle (and inadvertently creating a new one in their mass exodus). Exploring the area by camper will allow you to get off the usual tourist trails and discover hidden delights like Great Tew, The Slaughters (not as grim as it sounds) and the Rollright Stones.

Scottish Highlands

Wild, untamed and hauntingly beautiful the Scottish Highlands attract many visitors from Britain and further afield every year. The sheer remoteness of the highlands and islands makes travel without a car almost impossible and therefore travel with a camper absolutely ideal. My advice is to take your time and explore some of the lesser known destinations – I can assure you Scotland has plenty more castles than just Eilean Donan! Venture west on the ferry and explore some of the best beaches in Britain or aim high and conquer the Cairngorms. You’ll find it’s not for nothing that Scotland has been voted the most beautiful country in the world last year.

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

The Lake District

I have often thought that the Lake District is a slightly misleading title for the area. Yes, there are plenty of lakes, but far more noticeable than that are the stunning mountains that rise up from nowhere and then drop dramatically into huge pools of water – in a way that you do not tend to outside the Scottish Highlands.

It is certainly a well-appreciated geographical treasure, with its famous dales immortalised in the writings of William Wordsworth and preserved by the will of Beatrix Potter (she left all her land there to the National Trust, thus preserving it for the enjoyment of future generations like yourselves). Exploring the area by camper will allow you to access the remoter dales and explore the area on your own terms away from the expensive accommodation in walking hotspots like Keswick, Kendall and Glenridding.


Though it’s easy to see the jest in Brexit preventing Britons from going abroad, the point of this article is a serious one. It’s easy to hanker after the beaches of Mediterranean or cities of Europe, without appreciating the beauty that sits on your own doorstep. So if you are feeling a bit financially pinched this year, be grateful that you’re staying at home. By embracing the open road and making your own way, you just might have one of your most memorable holidays to date.

2018-06-15T12:28:03+00:00 June 15, 2018|Van Life|
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