Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Slow Living

Lizard Cornwall National Trust Camping Tremayne Quay

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire Wheelbarrow

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Slow Living

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Wood Campfire

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire Cooking

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Local

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Slow Living

 

The other week, for a brief window in a spell of dull grey days, the sun came out. Matt and I had watched this fair weather window approaching in the forecast. Day by day getting closer. The sunny icons not changing for more rainy ones. So when the blessed Wednesday arrived, we decided to take that afternoon and the following morning off (something we’re both lucky we’re at liberty to do). We packed up a couple of wheelbarrows with tents, firewood and food. (We’ve got quite slick with our last minute camping trip procedures) Piled into Matt’s van and headed to Tremayne Quay.

We’ve been trying to camp at this spot since our first summer together. Now over five years later we finally managed to get it all to ourselves. Trundling our wheelbarrows through Tremayne Woods, we discussed a backup plan, only to find a group of boy scouts already pitched on our backup patch of grass. Luckily it didn’t prove to be a plan we needed!

Although brief it was so good to get a night away. I’d cooked a couple of pizzas before we left. Since we own very little “proper” camping gear, our campfire cooking generally means putting pizzas in foil on an old bbq rack over the fire; heating them up and making their bases more crispy and stone-baked. We enjoyed these with Pringles, precariously grilled corn on the cob and Helford Creek Cyder. Finishing it off, feet dangling over the quay, away from the campfire as the evening was already so naturally warm, we could’ve done without its extra heat!

It’s moments like this that remind us why we live here. The ability to walk out of the “office” and go spend a night by the water, under the stars, out where the sea birds are calling.

 

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Local Campfire

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Arizona Birkenstock

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Slow Living

 

Some of you who’ve read my blog for a while know that I spent the first 18 years of my life in Birmingham, before moving to Cornwall for university.  It was a choice I made based more on the change in lifestyle and location than for that particular university course (but that’s another story for another post on another day). But it’s fair to say my life has been remarkably different ever since. Like a defining BC/AD moment. Perhaps made all the more noticeable because of my relationship with Matt, who grew up here and has influenced my life like few others.

But from the city to the sticks, how is life different for me now I’m a Lizard local…

 

T R A N S P O R T A T I O N

First of all, you need your own car. I live in a little hamlet at the top of the Lizard Peninsula. My nearest village is Mawgan, which has a Post Office and a Spar and is a 5-minute drive (20-minute walk) from where I live. My nearest town is Helston (5 miles away) and this is where the nearest supermarket and high street is. However unlike the bus service I lived near in Birmingham – which came every 2-5 minutes – I believe my local one runs just a few times a day.

Meanwhile when I lived in Birmingham I could get anywhere I wanted to in the city by walking and public transport. And often I could get there within an hour. Now in Cornwall, it’s at least a half-hour drive to get anywhere – St Ives, Falmouth, Truro, Penzance – and there’s many more places you simply just can’t get to without a car. Admittedly whilst many see this as an inconvenience, it really doesn’t bother me. It’s my new normal. And driving for a solid 4-5 hours (like I do when going back to Birmingham) is something I can do with relative ease. If anything I see my peers without their own transportation and ability to travel for extended periods of time, as sometimes limiting the trips they can take and life that they experience.

 

T I M E   O U T   &   A B O U T

In Birmingham I was well-acquainted with the cinema – anyone remember Orange’s ‘Two-For-One Wednesdays’ when student tickets were still £3? In Cornwall, there is no Odeon or Imax and admittedly Matt is not a cinema buff – although on occasion he’ll make an exception if I provide snacks. Likewise Saturday’s spent at the Bull Ring or Touchwood have been replaced with online shopping. There is, unfortunately, no Zara or Mango or Urban Outfitters in Cornwall. So evenings spent half-watching E4 whilst browsing ASOS’s ‘New In’ have become a new guilty pleasure of mine.

Instead in Cornwall, my free time is predominantly spent on beaches and cliff paths, in woods and all manner of seaside pubs and cafes. As a result of this a wetsuit, a waterproof and wellies (by Cornwall Farmers rather than Hunter) are now relative staples in my wardrobe. And like I mentioned at the start of this post, Matt and I are seasoned weather forecast watchers. Luckily on the Lizard Peninsula, there’s almost 360 degrees of coastline, so whichever way the wind blows there’s somewhere sheltered to go. Plus a tide book lives in a drawer of our coffee table, to let us know how much beach there’ll actually be to enjoy.

 

S U M M E R   S E A S O N

In Cornwall, summer is peak season. For Matt and I it’s when our jobs get busiest and in our free time, we’re more selective about the kind of places we go. Explicitly the kind of beaches without cafes or car parks; the kind of beaches that require a bit of “getting to”, a bit of scrambling down cliffs. These are the beaches you’ll find yourself only sharing with a few locals, rather than the whole of the nearest holiday park. There’s also particular times you know are best to head out on the road. All it takes is one caravan driver to increase your journey by a few hours!

Also in summer when Matt and I could get like ships passing in the night, we do our best to flexibly fit time together in around busy work schedules. Matt works for Lizard Adventure, so on his lunch break I’ll sometimes go visit him in his harbour-side shack and get ice creams if he’s been tipped that day. Also if an evening’s swell isn’t too bad we’ll nip out on paddleboards or kayaks. Few things shake off stress like a dip in the sea as the sun sets.

 

D E M O G R A P H I C S   &   E C O N O M I C S

Although something of a sensitive subject, since coming to Cornwall I would be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed the remarkable difference in the population, its economic status and the average levels of education here. Especially since graduating and moving out of the Falmouth-student-bubble.

Compared to Birmingham, Cornwall is very white. In my secondary school, around half of the students were Caucasian. Whereas in Matt’s secondary school, all but 3 of the students were Caucasian. Cornwall is also quite elderly, with many young people leaving the county at 18 for further education or to find work elsewhere. In our church, I would guess around 75% of the congregation is elderly and we are the only people in their mid-twenties, somewhere between graduation and starting a family. It would be an understatement to say we find this difficult.

Also before Brexit Cornwall was eligible to a large amount of EU funding, as there’s greater levels of poverty here than in a lot of Europe. And whilst I’m not certain what’s happening with the funding, I would say I noticed upon moving here the lower level of economic success the county has had. In Birmingham, I’d always felt financially comfortable but upon moving to Cornwall it made me question if I was in fact really quite rich. It was perhaps one of the first times I had actually thought at length about “class” in the UK and just how normal my normal was.

In my experience, this particular mix of whiteness, poverty and lower levels of education has resulted in many heart-breakingly difficult conversations, both at church and in the workplace, about immigration, equality, evolution and Islam. Cornwall voting itself out of the EU – giving up £60 million of funding – was frustrating and felt somewhat symbolic of the demographic mix here.

 

P A C E   O F   L I F E   &   W E L L – B E I N G

Life is undoubtedly slower in Cornwall. When there’s limited phone signal and it takes time to get anywhere, that’s simply how it’s going to be. However I think it’s done me the world of good.

I’m someone who is susceptible to mood swings and somewhat temperamental mental health. Although it’s something I tend to keep private and am hesitant to talk about. Yet I’ve noticed a significant change in my mental well-being since moving here. It was this shift that inspired me to study the link between the environment and well-being for my dissertation; the impact that green spaces and time outdoors have on people.

All the outdoor images in my last blog post were taken in our garden. The view from my bedroom is one of fields and trees and greenery.  And from time to time we’ve spied deer wandering through the bottom of the garden. Right now, I really live out “in the sticks” and I’m aware of how ridiculously fortunate I am to have stumbled upon this life.

Although there are things I surrender to live here – Ben & Jerry’s bought after 4pm on a Sunday due to cravings, being just one of them – in the overall balance I’m not sure there’s anywhere else I’d rather be. What’s more the South of Cornwall and Lizard peninsula strongly feel like home now, in a way I’m nostalgically reminded of whenever I go back to Birmingham.

 

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Slow Living Local

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Arizona Birkenstock

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire Local

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire Slow Living

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Slow Living Local

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Slow Living Local

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire Arizona Birkenstock

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Local Slow Living

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire Slow Living

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Campfire Arizona Birkenstock

Lizard Cornwall Camping Tremayne Quay Local Slow Living

Blanket The Future Kept // Tshirt GAP // Jeans Zara // Sandals Birkenstocks

22nd July 2017

7 Comments

  1. Reply

    Eleanor Austin

    5th August 2017

    I didn’t know you lived in Birmingham!

    I’d love to live out in the sticks and hope to move to the countryside when I’m older. I drive everywhere at the moment so don’t think that would make much of a difference!

    I’m surprised to hear that there’s so much poverty in Cornwall, I always thought it was one of the more affluent areas of the country.

    Do you think you’d ever leave Cornwall? Move elsewhere?xx

    • Reply

      Alex

      29th September 2017

      Hi Eleanor

      (So sorry for the late reply!) Do you live in Birmingham? I’m always surprised when I discover bloggers that do and kinda love spotting old haunts and familiar when I scroll through their pics.

      I think Cornwall is one of those funny places where you’ve got areas populated by millionaires, London bankers and second homeowners. And other areas of incredible poverty. Obviously, when marketing tourism in Cornwall these areas are skimmed over – there not places holidaymakers typically visit or know about.

      To be honest I really love it down here, but wouldn’t be completely against moving one day. I think if were to move it’d be situational – perhaps to do with work. Or maybe we’d try living abroad for a couple of months, but I don’t think it’d be permanent. Still never say never 😉 xx

  2. Reply

    Antonia

    5th August 2017

    Cornwall seems like such a beautiful place. I’ve been born and raised in the countryside for my whole life. This year I moved to big city for university and I only then realized how fortunate I am for living in my beautiful village. I’m definitely not a city girl as I love to be surrounded by nature and animals. XO
    I love your photography style so much. x

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

    • Reply

      Alex

      29th September 2017

      Hi Antonia,

      Thanks so much (and apologies for the late reply!). I always think it’s such an interesting and valuable life experience to have; to move away from where you grew up and actually go somewhere quite different. Definitely, something I’d encourage my children to do. xx

  3. Reply

    Rose

    28th September 2017

    As someone in my early twenties who’s just moved to Cornwall with my partner, it’s so great to read a balanced reflection of life here from someone in a similar position. So far, we’re loving the quality of life and time spent outdoors, but the employment opportunities and lack of affordable housing for young people certainly have their challenges. I’ve found blog posts like this so useful during our move; I’d love to see more x

    • Reply

      Alex

      29th September 2017

      Hi Rose,

      And welcome to Cornwall! Where abouts are you? (If you don’t mind me asking).

      I have to admit it was so easy to write this post. Perhaps because it’s something I’ve given so much thought to, as I’ve encountered changes in culture and lifestyle. All my thoughts just came spilling out!

      Still I think that’s what makes blogging so interesting for me; getting to see how different life is for different people. Even within the UK, people have such different lifestyles and cultures and ways of doing things. It ignites such a curiousity in me!

      Although if there’s any particular topics you’d be interested in hearing about let me know. A lot of my posts try to capture something of what life is like for me in Cornwall, but I never know what people will find boring or TMI. Plus right now I feel rather without much inspiration as to how best “open up” and give people a good insight into my life. So all ideas are welcome! xx

  4. Reply

    Rose

    29th September 2017

    At the moment near Redruth, but we’re in temporary acommodation as we found it very hard to let somewhere before we’d moved. Currently we’re on the hunt for a more long term let in the villages around St. Austell, due to my partner’s commute, but the rental market is moving so fast down here it’s a bit of a challenge!

    I’d love to see content on days out, outdoor activities, and just generally the best places to go in Cornwall- any tips for avoiding tourist hotspots also very much welcomed haha xx

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