Why I drive from Scotland to Cornwall every year for a family holiday

Forget flying to the Med… I drive from Scotland to Cornwall every year for a family holiday to enjoy one of the most glorious parts of the UK

  • Each year, Steven Henry drives from Scotland to Cornwall for a family holiday 
  • On his most recent trip, he stayed in the delightful Fuchsia Cottage in Boscastle
  • READ MORE: The best places to visit in 2024 named by Lonely Planet

There’s a curious thing about flying to Europe and beyond in search of sunshine. You’ll be passing over some of the most beautiful countryside and coastlines – right here in Blighty.

Everyone knows Cornwall is a tourist magnet, pulling in tens of thousands during the peak summer months. But on our most recent visit we didn’t hear a single Caledonian accent.

As a child, my family dragged a caravan from just outside Glasgow on an annual 500-mile pilgrimage to the Cornish coast and I’ve spent the last six or seven years following those same roads south with my wife and two children.

So why my fellow Scots seem to be ignoring this glorious part of our green and pleasant land is beyond me.

Sure, it’s a bit of a drive – but you can stop off at any number of beautiful, historic towns, villages and cities along the M6 and the M5 to break the back of the journey.

Steven Henry and his family holidayed in Boscastle, a ‘picturesque’ village and harbour on the north Cornwall coast. Above is a view of Boscastle harbour 

And, if the fancy takes you, planes and trains will get you there in jig time.

But what is it that keeps drawing us back? Well, every trip guarantees something different.

This year we stayed in the delightful Fuchsia Cottage in Boscastle, the picturesque coastal village and harbour between Padstow (of Rick Stein fame) and the surfing paradise of Bude.

If you’re looking for an authentic Cornish cottage then this is it. Low roofs, exposed beams, wood-burning stove and fantastic views across the nearby hills and out into the Bristol Channel.

A historic cottage that sleeps four (and pets are welcome), its elevated garden is perfect for simply sitting and enjoying the peace of Boscastle with a strong coffee and the morning papers.

Steven stayed in the ‘delightful’ Fuchsia Cottage in Boscastle. ‘If you’re looking for an authentic Cornish cottage then this is it,’ he says  

A bird’s eye view of the coast at Boscastle. ‘You can stumble across any number of beaches in the region,’ says Steven 

If you decide to venture into town – and you really should, it’s lovely – be warned that the perfectly pleasant wander downhill turns into quite a hike on the return leg. However, there’s always the Napoleon Inn to slake your thirst should it get too much. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Fuchsia Cottage, this brilliant pub seems to have changed little since it was built in the 16th century.

It’s as a traditional pub should be – homely and welcoming with a huge range of beer and lager on tap and some top-notch food coming out of the kitchen. There’s even talk of a ghost or two. One of our nightly visits coincided with an appearance by the Boscastle Buoys, a cappella band who sing well-known (and some a little salty) sea shanties.

Boscastle is also home to the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. Unlike any museum I’ve ever visited, it is by turns fascinating and deeply unsettling. 

Widemouth Bay, pictured, ‘has ample parking and is the perfect mix of rock pools and wide, sandy stretches’

The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, pictured above, is ‘by turns fascinating and deeply unsettling’

Boscastle lies between Padstow (pictured in the background) and the surfing paradise of Bude


Fuchsia Cottage can be found at: sykescottages.co.uk. Prices begin at £413 for seven nights.

For more properties in Boscastle see: sykescottages.co.uk or call 01244 352 309. 

Find the Napoleon Inn at napoleoninn.co.uk.

Children are admitted at the discretion of accompanying adults and I’d say that was fair warning.  Some of the exhibits are eyebrow-raising – but you’d be mad to miss the experience if you’re in town.

Exploring museums is all well and good, but any visit to the Cornish coast surely involves a visit to the beach. 

Most of our days involved some time on the sand. Only rain would stop play, and even then it had to be a proper deluge.

You can stumble across any number of beaches in the region and our preference was Widemouth Bay. It has ample parking and is the perfect mix of rock pools and wide, sandy stretches.

Oh, and there’s a smashing little café to boot.

If donning a wetsuit in the middle of a farmer’s field before throwing yourself down a 360ft ‘slip and slide’ appeals, Cornwall has that covered too.

Three of these ‘mega slides’ popped-up in Cornwall this year.

I can’t say I was entirely taken by the prospect of launching myself off a tower down hundreds of feet of soaking wet slide. But the grins proved big kids loved it just as much as the little ones.

There’s always something new to visit – and pasties and cream teas to demolish. On reflection, perhaps I should be keeping this spot so overlooked by fellow Scots to myself.

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