Last summer I found myself on a tranquil long weekend in the picturesque seaside town of St Ives with fantastic beaches, great restaurants, bustling pubs, a remarkable art scene and welcoming locals; this tourist hub exceeded my expectations. I didn’t plan to leave as there was so much to do there. However on chatting to some locals I was informed about what they described as “the most scenic bus trip you’ll ever embark on.” I was lucky enough to have fantastic weather all weekend which really made my Cornwall experience feel like I was on the Med, only the water was a lot colder.
With a full day bag packed I jumped on the A3 bus line and shortly after we were winding our way down a narrow coastal road. I was blown away. I was on the top level of the bus warmed by the spectacular sunshine as I took in the scenic route, the numerous quaint coastal villages that we sped through, lush green meadows, the sheer West coast cliffs of England, the crystal blue water in the distance and the vast expanse of this beautiful landscape. These bus drivers sure know how to navigate the narrowness- I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car! The last stop and my stop on the route is Land’s End- a famous British landmark being the most southwestern point in the country, with great history attached to it.
At the viewing site there was much to see and I walked some of the coastal path, 30 minutes either side of the point to get a good feel. I treated myself to a clotted cream tea at the Land’s End Hotel which would be a great place to stay a few nights if you have the time.
After my tea I explored the museums and gift shops before hopping on the A1 bus line on my way to Porthcurno Beach. As it was a beautiful day I enjoyed sunbathing on this idyllic beach followed by a walk along the cliff towards the Minack Theatre, a spectacular open air theatre perched on the Cornish cliffs where I took a tour of the theatre and grounds. Once again, if you have more time, seeing a show here is a bucket list item.
I headed back to Land’s End (back on the A1) to board the A3 again for the next part of my day. En route Sennen Beach, one of the 53 scenic stops on the 77 minute (approximately) A3 route. A long beach famed for great surf, crystal clear waters and a vibrant seaside feel. Packed with families, surfers, kids licking up ice-cream cones and holiday makers you'll be sure to love the vibe. I fueled up with the traditional Cornish pasty- a chunky, hearty pastry that will be sure to full you up- before renting a board and a wet suit from the many rental spots along the beach. As it was a fairly windless day the swell was small so be sure to check the surf if you’re looking for something bigger while there.
At the end of the afternoon, sun drenched and truly satisfied I hopped back on the A3 to make my way back to St Ives. Once again I sat on the top level taking in the scenery under the early evening light.
I went for dinner at The Mermaid, one of St Ives oldest family owned restaurants, well known for its fresh seafood. I'd highly recommend the seafood pot- a divine combo of the freshest mussels, fish, lobster, crab and calamari! Check out bus timetables, the South-West Coast hiking routes and activities to do in Cornwall.