You may remember I made a bold statement that I would see more of the UK this year? Well it’s half way through the year and I’m actually pretty happy with where I’m at. For a start, I finally made my very first journey to Cornwall, land of the pasties!
You see, I’d been put off Cornwall in the past, firstly because the massive drive out there (it took me 7 hours from Milton Keynes because of traffic, and 5 hours return). And secondly because of the expense. I remember looking at staycations in Cornwall a few years ago and they seemed to be more expensive than going somewhere in Europe! So naturally I put it off.
But I found a solution to my budget woes! There is a YHA deep in the heart of the Eden Project!
So a couple of weeks ago, I packed up the car and Josh and I had our very own West Country adventure, exploring the Eden Project and surrounding areas. Here’s all the goss.
A Cornwall Weekender
The YHA Eden Project
After the hideous 7 hour journey, I was really hoping I’d like this YHA. And thankfully I was really happy with it! You see this isn’t an ordinary hostel. It’s actually more like a pimped out camping ground with all of the best bits of camping and none of the ick.
The rooms are converted shipping containers that have been transformed into 4 bed cabins complete with all of the ‘mod-cons’ as my mum would say. There’s a TV, air-con, cosy beds and a hot shower. Definitely nothing like camping. Except when you leave your little cabin you are in a field in the Eden Project. And the Reception and common areas are in a big white marquee near the car park.
Like I said, it’s camp vibes without the tents and mud and condensation hitting your face when you wake up.
It’s a YHA so naturally the clientele were more along the lines of school trips and families. But you know, you’re not exactly going to be downing tequila shots at a pretty garden in Cornwall are you? So I thought it was perfect. There’s a kitchen to cook your own food but they told us when we arrived that they had takeaway menus available, so obvs I ordered a curry. Both Josh and I have an inability to turn down Indian food. The struggle is real.
So we had a few beers (sold on site), a slap up meal (out of plastic containers so we didn’t have to wash up) and retired early to watch TV in bed. So pretty much my usual Friday night, but I guess it’s a good thing when a hostel feels like home right?
The Eden Project
On the Saturday, we were up and out and ready to explore the Eden Project!
So hold up a sec, what is this place? It’s basically a really big pretty garden with massive biomes that control the climate inside in order to grow lots of plants from around the world. In other words, it’s a big greenhouse. But I wanted to check it out and allocated the day to exploring the complex.
The entrance was only a 5-10 minute walk from the YHA so we got there quite early and on entering the Eden Project decided to kick off the day in Cornwall fashion – with a pasty for breakfast. The complex has lots of fabulous food options (including a burrito bar and Mediterranean cafe) and one of them is Eden Pasty where I opted for a three cheese pasty and cornish lemonade. Because Cornwall.
We then wandered around the outer gardens before heading into the first of the two biomes, The Mediterranean Biome.
Here were all of the plants that are native to a warmer climate, think beautiful sunflowers, grape vines and olives. There was also a cute herb garden which smelt delicious, as well as cool sculptures from the parts of the world that were being represented. We had a lovely little stroll around this place.
But the next biome was much more impressive.
The Rainforest Biome is where more tropical plants are displayed, like bananas and rubber trees. And it was humid AF in that place, it truly felt like I was in the rainforest. There were so many cool added touches here too like a swampy lake, tropical birds and an actual real life waterfall. It was pretty awesome.
We also got to walk around a canopy walkway looking out over the rainforest. There’s actually a viewpoint that’s even higher but because of how humid it was, it was closed for the day. But tbh, I was high enough. I think going right to the top would be pretty scary y’all.
Oh and I got to see the famous Corpse Flower in bloom, named so because of the smell it emits, like the smell of rotting flesh. Sounds gross, right? Well, I’m just going to put it out there, it didn’t smell that bad. Like seriously, I had to get really close to smell anything at all. But it’s still cool that we happened to be there for the 48 hours it’s in bloom (it only happens every few years).
Finally we had a wander through the botanical gardens outside, as well as the cute little allotment growing vegetables and herbs.
Now, I really liked all of this, I think it was a super interesting place to visit. But at this point, we’d been there 2 and a half hours and we were kinda done. So I don’t think it’s an all-day thing unless you’re like really into plants.
Newquay & Co
So what are you to do when you have a free Saturday afternoon in Cornwall? Well we went for a drive and ended up visiting Newquay.
Newquay is one those places I’ve thought about visiting a lot when I was younger. It’s just one of those people that groups of people go to when they finish their A-levels or visit in the Summer when they’re at uni, you know? But for one reason or another I’d never made it out there. So here I was living out my teenage dream!
The thing is, Newquay obvs attracts this kind of person. So there were a lot ‘lads’ about. A lot of stag dos and a lot of teenagers.
But we still had a lovely time walking along the beach, playing in the penny arcades and eating a cone of chips overlooking the sea. I just bloody love the British seaside. No matter where in the country I am, the seaside always feels like my childhood.
Oh a whim we decided to drive back to a sign we’d seen when we drove into Newquay, advertising Newquay ten pin bowling. It turned out to be pretty much a back room in a pub that they’d converted into a bowling alley… But that made it so much funnier and we had a laugh about it.
Next on our ad-hoc adventure, it was time for dinner. We randomly drove to Truro and went to a street food place, again set in a shipping container, called Craftworks. And tucked into some delicious burritos and epic ‘dirty fries’. Oh baby.
It was a bit of a random day really but it was an adventure and we had fun. In the end we got some snacks from Tesco and headed back to our little cabin in the YHA and ate antipasti in bed watching a James Bond film. Beaut.
So my first taste of Cornwall was definitely good overall, but I feel like I barely scratched the surface in this part of the country. I’d love to go back and see some of the places a bit further afield like St Ives, Padstowe or Land’s End even. But alas, that is for another weekend. Girls gotta work.
Have you ever been to Cornwall? Anywhere you’d recommend for my next west country adventure?
Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total Blogger Transparency: I enjoyed a complimentary stay at YHA Eden Project and complimentary entry to the Eden Project itself, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.