A Cornwall Cheat Sheet for Your Family Holiday
Cornwall is a leading holiday destination for families, and for good reasons.
Its 4 million yearly visitors are drawn to the tip of the South-West Coast for a taste of the seaside, a taste of history, and a taste of the many cultural possibilities afforded by events and experiences in cities such as Falmouth and Newquay. Before you set off for your family holiday to the land of Land’s End, familiarise yourself with some of these tidbits of information to enthuse your family and inform your trip.
Cornwall as a county offers so much to the average holidaymaker, and there are myriad ways to spend your time there. Picturesque rural locations abound, offering opportunities to hike and to camp – but for a more comfortable, homely experience you could make the most of your own holiday home accommodation for your trip. The more-than 300 beaches are a real draw, giving you and your family space to enjoy the sand, sun and sea, as well as a tub or six of traditional Cornish ice cream…
As with any holiday trip with family, knowing a little more about your destination can go a long way – and engaging the little ones with fun facts can ensure they stay present and enjoy their surroundings. Cornwall is a county rich in culture and history, as well as being home to sites of great geographical interest such as the most south-westerly point of Great Britain, Land’s End. Cornwall is the birthplace of the steam engine, as well as a pioneering county for the art of pasty-making – the Cornish pasty was invented there in the 1600s, as a means for miners to safely eat their lunch without ingesting harmful metals. Speaking of mining, Cornwall was a global source for tin, providing half of the world’s supply at one point!
Learning the Language
The Cornish language is of deep importance to locals, having been extinct between the 18th century and early 20th century. Its revival is thanks to the passing down of knowledge regarding the language through native families, before an explosion of interest in keeping it alive. Learning some common phrases can go a long way not only to immersing your family in the holiday experience, but also to ingratiating you and your family with the locals!
‘Deeth da’ means ‘good day’, and will suffice as a simple greeting for most interactions – though hello, or dydh da’, will also do. ‘Mar pleg’ is please, and ‘meur ras’ is thank you – though you may not want to learn much more, lest you get trapped in a conversation you don’t understand. You can even get your children involved, and teach them the Cornish names of local animals as you see them; horses are ‘marghs’, donkeys are ‘asyns’, seagulls are ‘goelanns’, and cats and dogs are ‘kaths’ and ‘kis’ respectively! Lastly, you might want to know the words for goodbye – and with the end of our cheat sheet drawing near, it seems only appropriate that we show you in practice. Cornwall is a magical place, and with a little knowledge under your belt you can turn a good trip into a great one.
‘Dyw genes’, ICENI Magazine.