Co-Founder Zoe reflects on the season so far: water, walks and a wedding!
Well for anyone who is keeping up with our blogs (I’m always hopeful!), you might have been able to tell that it’s been a busy year so far…our last journal entry was in January and now suddenly the school summer holidays are upon us! And of course, the holidays started in great British summer fashion…and so here I am on a wet July evening at my computer rather than out on the coast path!
Some of you might find it surprising considering the nature of our business but July and August are actually much quieter for us. We made a sustainability pledge quite early on to not run group tours in these peak months for various reasons but mainly because Cornwall is quite simply busy enough already. And so aside from a few private, smaller groups, we have a few weeks to breathe before weekends become busier again from September onwards.
The season kicked off early in March with our annual ‘Spring in Falmouth’ event in association with our great partner Bernard Magee. As always it was a week of combining bridge (the card game) with touring all around Cornwall. And Cornwall really did show off its true sub-tropical nature this particular week, as whilst the rest of the UK was battling snow and minus temperatures, we just had a little wind and mizzle to worry about and were practically stripping off compared with the north!
As we moved into April and early May, I think we can safely say that it took a while for the sunshine and periwinkle blue skies to arrive! Luckily we had some groups that were keen to head out and explore no matter what the weather. One particularly grey Saturday brought an exciting visitor to Fowey harbour in the form of Aurora Expeditions’ ship Greg Mortimer and I was fortunate enough to be meeting their UK MD for a private tour and chat about all things to do with sustainable tourism. As it states on their website, the Greg Mortimer operates with low energy consumption, high fuel-efficiency and has a streamlined design to reduce emissions. A fascinating day of conversations both onboard the ship and whilst out and about showcasing Fowey (plus the skies did clear for their sail out of Fowey!) and we hope to see more small ships visit Cornish ports and have the chance to work with them on more sustainable land options. If you are visiting Cornwall by ship you can always contact us to design an alternative excursion by visiting our bespoke page.
One of the biggest events of the year that Cornwall Discovered handled came towards the end of May…and it just happened to be my wedding! Never ones to shy away from a crazy challenge, the planning only started at the end of January (with a lot of help from certain friends and family members!) and although I often wondered along the way what possessed me to try and turn it around so quickly, it ended up being the most incredible experience for so many reasons. Designing a relaxed Cornish style celebration, meant we were working with some fantastic Cornish businesses – from the special venue itself to the BBQ masters, ice cream van, wonderful Sea Shanty guys and very own local DJ. The weekend ended up encapsulating everything I love about Cornwall and the fact that it also marked the arrival of the wonderful spring weather was just the cherry on the top – even the Greek visitors were impressed! Oh and gaining a husband was pretty good too...!
We’re not sure we’re quite ready to add wedding events to the regular Cornwall Discovered portfolio…but you never know!
June brought some new programmes including a group from across the pond who were on a full tour of the UK and we were delighted to greet them in Cornwall at the end of their journey. Jumping on their coach, tales of Poldark were told, Cornish villages were discovered and the most delicious cream teas were sampled by the sea. One lady on this tour told us that she felt Cornwall was the prettiest place she had ever been to (and she had travelled a lot) – praise doesn’t come higher than that! A lot of walkers also came to Cornwall this June – a great time of the year for exploring the coastal paths when the flora and fauna are at their best, plus the crowds of summer have not yet arrived. This year aside from some hosted walks around our favourite stretches of the coastal path between Fowey and Mevagissey, we designed an itinerary and hosted a group who wanted to walk all along the south coast of Cornwall. Walking with them one morning as the sea mist started to lift as we rounded the Lizard peninsula inspired stories of smuggling and alike and made us think…we need to design more walking tours around the county. Stay tuned for more walking programmes coming this autumn!
And so talking of planning, this is how we spend a lot of our time in July and August – putting the final touches together for our upcoming September programmes but also planning our 2024 touring. This September we’re very excited to be running a new luxury gourmet programme in St Austell Bay including an evening dedicated to Cornish wine and cheese – (anyone who knows us will know that’s the main reason we’re excited by this new tour!) and again it is a fantastic time for us to work alongside unique Cornish businesses throughout the programme.
We hope to build on this for 2024 and run a Taste of Cornwall tour as well as some of our other favourites such as Historical Landscapes which will make a return in the spring. But we’re always keen to hear from new groups and design new special interest tours – so if you’re thinking of bringing a group to Cornwall next year, we would love for you to get in touch!
In the meantime, have a wonderful August folks and here’s hoping that the sunshine makes a return for those enjoying their summer holidays in Cornwall and the rest of the UK!
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