For a week’s stay in Cornwall, base yourself in Newquay which has plenty to offer. The causeway connecting the island to the mainland is only exposed at low tide, so you’ll need to time your visit carefully. Pilgrims have been making this same crossing for centuries in homage to the island’s namesake, the patron saint of fishers.

The castle at Tintagel has been said to be where King Arthur was conceived . Medieval Cornwall is also the setting of the trilogy by Monica Furlong Wise Child, Juniper, and Colman, as well as part of Charles Kingsley’s Hereward the Wake. The late Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman was famously fond of Cornwall and it featured prominently in his poetry.

Cornwall’s rich history of smuggling dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Bodmin Jail also boasted a chapel, a hospital, and a library, making it one of the most modern and well-equipped prisons of its time. While it’s fun to watch, surfing should only be attempted by professionals. With towering palm trees on white sand beaches surrounded by bright blue water, the Isles of Scilly look like you’ve completely turned up the contrast on any beach trip. The biggest towns are Falmouth, Camborne, Newquay and St Austell, and all are larger than Truro.

The largest team in the county are Truro City, who play in the Calor League Premier Division. They are the only Cornish side to ever win a national competition, winning the FA Vase in 2007. Rugby is considered the most popular sport in the county with the biggest club team in the county being the Cornish Pirates who play in the second level of the English rugby pyramid. The county’s representative rugby side have reached the final of the County Championship on 12 occasions with the last of these coming in 2013. Cornwall is historically famous for producing cider but nowadays the major breweries are best known for producing stouts and ales. As you would expect Cornish dishes are largely influenced by their surroundings with many of the local dishes being fish-based.

But the romantic history of the gardens at Heligan lends them a touch of intrigue that’s hard to beat. Chief among Cornwall’s cultural highlights, the Minack Theatre is an open-air theater in an unbeatable location. Perched on a clifftop near Penzance, this spectacular setting looks as though it has always been there, its stone seats facing out onto the Atlantic Ocean. A rocky, tidal island topped with an ancient castle and steeped with Cornish folklore, St Michael’s Mount is one of the most famous places to visit in Cornwall.

However, there is still a strong dairy industry, with products such as Cornish clotted cream. In 1985, sports journalist Alan Gibson made a direct connection between the love of rugby in Cornwall and the ancient parish games of hurling and wrestling that existed for centuries before rugby officially began. Among Cornwall’s native sports are a distinctive form of Celtic wrestling related to Breton wrestling, and Cornish hurling, a kind of mediaeval football played with a silver ball . Cornish Wrestling is Cornwall’s oldest sport and as Cornwall’s native tradition it has travelled the world to places like Victoria, Australia and Grass Valley, California following the miners and gold rushes. Cornish hurling now takes place at St. Columb Major, St Ives, and less frequently at Bodmin. The Mousehole Cat, a children’s book written by Antonia Barber and illustrated by Nicola Bayley, is set in the Cornish village Mousehole and based on the legend of Tom Bawcock and the continuing tradition of Tom Bawcock’s Eve.