May 3rd, 2021
The minute Matt Hancock popped up on the Beeb and told everyone he was going to Cornwall for his holibobs was the moment we realised just how busy Cornwall was going to be this year.
At Cohort our stock answer to this is usually ‘it’s always busy’; pandemic aside, at some point Cornwall always hits capacity and the enforced staycation boom won’t necessarily change that. The difference this year, like last year, is that it doesn’t build up – it just happens. One minute the beaches are empty, the next minute it’s like Picadilly Circus at rush hour; there’s no gentle easing and that can be tough for everyone.
Add to that the fact almost all businesses (at least until 21st June) are operating at reduced capacity in order to maintain social distancing, it may actually feel busier than it is.
All that aside what we really want is for people to have an awesome time down here, to experience Cornwall in all its Grecian-sea glory and to truly have a GREAT BREAK… mainly because we all bloody deserve it!
To make sure you get the most out of your Cornish holiday this year we’ve pulled together some hints and tips; some of which you’ll know, some of which may be the difference between you having an OK time and a truly A-mazing time. They won’t all be relevant so pick and choose what suits you.
If you don’t need to go away during the school holidays try not to. That’s not because it’s cheaper (although we appreciate some places put their prices up during the school holidays) but because it’s just that much busier. Not only do you have tourists you also have all the local families in St Ives. As huge swathes of the Cornish population work in tourism they don’t often go away at this time which means Cornwall feels even busier with all the kids out of school.
Don’t expect to eat in a secluded beach cafe watching the sun set every night. Restaurants are going to busy. Chances are that you may struggle to find even an indoor table in St Ives unless you book a few weeks in advance, so just come prepared to do your own thing. Eat fish ‘n chips on the beach, get by with a pasty and a cream tea and banish thoughts of beachside restaurants from your head. At least that way you’ll be pleasantly suprised if you nab a table rather than continually disappointed.
When you think of Cornwall you think of the coast… trouble is so does everyone else! During lockdown the Cohort crew spent a lot of time exploring inland Cornwall and we discovered some phenomenal places, gorgeous scenery and really remote, idyllic spots. If you challenge yourself to look that way you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get away from the crowds.
Whether you’re frustrated because you can’t find a parking space, annoyed at having to walk at a snail’s pace behind 6 people all walking next to each other or tutting in the queue at the supermarket because a local is having a chat with the cashier, keep smiling. You’re in no rush. You’ve waited a long time for this holiday so just enjoy the moments. Take a leaf out of the Cornish playbook and tell yourself that you’ll do it ‘dreckly’ (this could mean anything from straight away to 4 months later).
We wrote a Facebook post about this a year ago; it’s a curious thing that when crowds hit the beach they tend to gravitate towards the centre or don’t drift too far from the entrance. This often means that a beach can feel and look ridiculously busy when it really isn’t. We guarantee that if you head to either end you’ll suddenly find it much much quieter and there’s the added bonus that the seagulls are much more likely to leave you alone.
Cornwall isn’t going anywhere. If you don’t get to the Minack this year you can see it next. If you don’t see every single idyllic village that you’ve heard or read about you can always put them on your wish list for 2022. If you were planning on staying 1 night in three places stay 3 nights in one place. Rushing around during what is going to be a busy season will mean that you will find yourself searching for parking or waiting to check-in to your accommodation more than you’ll enjoy being in Cornwall.
This year, more than usual, we have to plan. Believe us, it does not come naturally. We’re used to deciding what we want to do 3 minutes before we do it but COVID has put paid to that attitude and we understand that if we truly want to do something we have to consider it a good few weeks in advance. You’ve been used to it at home and Cornwall is no exception. Book those National Trust tickets in advance, get on the list for that restaurant you’ve read about, most importantly don’t wing your accommodation! Book it in advance, don’t rely on places having availability if you rock up, they probably won’t.
Cornish health services are awesome and for about 6 months of the year they really go above and beyond for every single person who needs them during their holiday. However, this puts a huge amount of pressure on those services, especially right now where many are operating in new ways to aide social distancing and the like. If you could make sure that you have all your regular medication with you when you leave the house that will help – spare pairs of glasses, an extra inhaler – you know the drill. Not only will it mean that you don’t have to spend your holiday waiting to see a doctor it also helps ease the pressure on the NHS and we all want that.
Even on the busiest of busy days Cohort is a haven in the heart of St Ives. Our private courtyard is a peaceful sun-trap, our lounge is cool and spacious and staff will happily chat or leave you be. During the busiest times of day you can escape back to us, grab a coffee or a beer and give the day-trippers an hour or so to go home before dipping out again for the evening.
Know that we WANT to see you. We are looking forward to seeing you and at Cohort, where we are still operating at 35% capacity to remain COVID secure, we are gunning to open our doors: This time quietly confident we will never be forced to close again.
It’s always cheaper to book direct so visit our calendar and see if you can’t join us this Summer.