crossing the border
If you're feeling more adventurous and maybe have more time to spare, a two hour drive will take you to the north coast of the West Country. Alternatively head due west and Cornwall is just across the Tamar bridge. A journey of two and half hours or thereabouts will bring you to St Ives or the Eden Project. Drive a little longer and you'll find yourself at Lands End. Next stop New York!
OK it has to be said if you're planning to travel further afield the journey times can vary quite dramatically, particularly during July and August and to a lesser extent, half term. So do check the travel sites to see what they predict. But if the omens are good then there are further treasures waiting to be discovered.
The uniqueness of the Eden Project is recognised throughout the world and is a fascinating destination. Comprising two biomes, which nestle in disused clay pits, and inside of which has been created different climate zones planted with literally hundreds of plant species. This means for instance you can visit a tropical rainforest, any time of year, without leaving Cornwall. The scale of the project is truly epic and if that isn't enough, the brave of heart can ride a zip line over the top of the whole site. Depending on the time of year you visit, remember to wear a few removable layers of clothing because it gets mighty hot and sweaty in there.
Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall PL24 2SG
lost gardens of heligan
Without doubt one of the most famous gardens in the UK, but thirty years ago they were unknown and unseen; lost to the brambles of time since the outbreak of WW1. It was only the chance discovery of a door in the ruins that led to the restoration of this once great estate. Today, The Lost Gardens have been put back where they belong: in pride of place among the finest gardens in England and so Heligan’s 200 acres have become a paradise for the explorer, wildlife, plant lover and garden romantic.
Pentewan, Saint Austell PL26 6EN
Where legends are concerned, few places can match those surrounding Tintagel Castle and its legendary occupant, King Arthur and the nights of the Round Table! Perched on a rocky outcrop, it doesn't take much of a leap of imagination to bring to life the heroes of legend and a visit to the Caves of Merlin (tides allowing), is the perfect way to round off your trip.
Tate St Ives
St Ives' artistic connections date back to Victorian times when numerous artists, attracted by its special quality of light came to paint and have done so ever since. So it was fitting that it was chosen as the location of the second of the Tate's regional galleries. It opened in 1993 to much acclaim and has proved a major attraction ever since with over 200,00 visitors every year. And when you've finished your visit to the gallery, a trip down to one of the town's six spectacular beaches is a must.
Porthmeor Beach, Saint Ives TR26 1TG
The tiny port of Padstow has been attracting tourists for decades and justifiably so. Today though it has become better known for two chefs who are, it seems, slowly colonising the town with various outlets and eateries. Rick Stein of TV fame and more recently Michelin starred Paul Ainsworth are the two protagonists and a visit to one of their establishments is certainly worth the journey. Travel across the Camel estuary to Rock and there you will find another renowned chef Nathan Outlaw has his own restaurant which too is well worth a visit.
find out more?
You can see a full list of properties to visit by visiting either the National Trust or English Heritage websites.