Discover Cornwall England Where Myths, Legends, and Fiction Come to Life | Travel Research Online


Discover Cornwall England Where Myths, Legends, and Fiction Come to Life


Regular readers will be familiar with my 4-word mantra of ‘Travel less, See more’ which you’ll find resonates extremely well with clients who have been to Britain before. Being anglophiles, they will represent some of the pent-up demand you should be targeting for when planes start crisscrossing the pond.

While it is just 281 miles from London Heathrow to Penzance, it’s still a fair distance to travel especially if you’ve spent 8-11 hours flying through 8 time zones to get here, with jetlag still waiting in the wings. In a normal year, there are flights from LHR to Newquay (70 minutes). Hopefully services will be restored sooner rather than later.

Another option is taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington for a night in London before returning back to the station for an early departure, a 4.5-hour direct train ride to the cathedral city of Truro. The coastal town of Penzance is just 30 minutes further down the line. Letting the train, and the well-stocked buffet car, take the strain makes a great deal of sense for travel in both directions. Here come the conversation-starting tour suggestions.

Poldark, Doc Martin, Arthurian Legends, and a Tea Estate

Have you ever thought of putting together a (long?) list of anglophile clients who will have probably watched Doc Martin and Poldark on PBS? It’s worth doing, because you can now offer them a close encounter with the On-Location worlds of these two popular TV series. The itinerary also takes you to places associated with the myths and legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Blend in a Tea School Masterclass at Europe’s largest tea garden, an upstairs/downstairs stately home visit, an alfresco picnic, some superb river valley gardens, and at least one Cornish Cream Tea in an interesting location – and you’ve got something that will more than satisfy the demands for a tailor-made tour.

Credit @ Adam Gibbard

Scents of Spring in Cornwall

The Great Gardens of Cornwall comprise 12 of the best-known, largest, most historically and horticulturally important gardens in the county. Enjoying the warmth of the Gulf Stream, these magical gardens display some of the most exciting, rare, and beautiful plants in the UK. Their members are comprised of private owners and National Trust gardens with a worldwide reputation for innovation and excellence. Among them there’s Caerhays Castle, the 2016 winner of the prestigious Historic Houses Association Garden of the Year award, and the Eden Project, a dramatic global garden, dubbed by some as Eighth Wonder of the World. With the addition of private gardens participating in the National Garden Scheme, your contacts will be impressed with this proposal.

Have Sketchbook, Will Travel

This exciting travel idea brings together the Newlyn School of Art, the Tate Gallery in St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, Leach Pottery, and the St Ives School of Painting at Porthmeor Studios. I’ve added an evening at the open air Minack Theatre where the backdrop is the English Channel, the majestic St Michaels Mount often quoted as the jewel in Cornwall’s crown, a performance by a Cornish Silver Band, and time for a pint of Skinners Betty Skogs along the way. I’ve set aside a day for painting seascapes, before turning round to paint the landscape behind you. Back in London, we can add a visit to a major art exhibition to round things off.

John Wesley in the West Country

When creating a bespoke UK tour, I often come across an event of festival which causes a date change for the proposed itinerary. This happened recently, when I discovered that Pill Methodist Church, near Bristol, is meeting on 4th September to mark the 250th anniversary of the transatlantic sailing of Francis Asbury, the first Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church consecrated in the USA. Meeting fellow Methodists will develop new friendships and add a new dimension to the programme. John Wesley travelled thousands of miles preaching and bringing new hope to the poor of the emerging industrial nation, and as he visited Cornwall on many occasions, several important locations can be combined into a tour that follows in his footsteps.

In the Footsteps of King Arthur

Unravelling some of the myths and legends surrounding King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table makes a good foundation for a customised tour. Much of the content is concentrated in Cornwall, but on the way there you can see the medieval Round Table in Winchester’s Great Hall. On the return, pause at the Neolithic fort that was forever Camelot, Glastonbury Tor, the alleged burial place for the Holy Grail and Glastonbury Abbey, the burial place for King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. In between, in Cornwall itself, you’ll see the haunting ruins of Tintagel Castle, birthplace of King Arthur with Merlin’s Cave beneath, Slaughterbridge, Arthur’s last battleground and still and silent Dozmary Pool, Excalibur’s final resting place.


Paull Tickner, owner of U.K-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at or email him at

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