With the rising sun chasing away morning mist and the bramble bushes laden with ripening blackberries, Keats’ ode To Autumn – ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ – is brought to mind in these softly shortening days.
With the exodus of the summer visitors, Cornwall’s vast wide-open sandy beaches can once again be fully enjoyed and appreciated. Walk for three miles along Perranporth beach at low tide – one of the largest stretches of unbroken sand on Cornwall’s north coast – and as the peak season dog restrictions have been lifted, take your dog too, to race along the length of the beach off the lead.
The changing of the seasons can be perceived in the natural surroundings, through the vivid and colourful turning of the leaves: the coppers, golds and russet reds, and also in the waves, sky and sunsets. The sun is lower in the sky, casting a golden glow, and the waves refract the light as they rise and crash onto the shore. Autumn sunsets set the sky alight with a fiery glow, reflected in the pools left on the beach by a retreating tide.
Cornwall has the mildest climate in the UK and the south-west coast has even been classified as sub-tropical. The warm ocean currents and mild winters mean that snow and frost are rare, and Autumn is generally a time of temperate, clement weather. That’s not to say it can’t feel a little chilly in the evenings, but just imagine snuggling up in your holiday home at the end of the day in front of a cosy log burner or settling into a comfy local pub to enjoy a glass of red wine or hot chocolate… bliss!
Seasonal Cornish menus
In Autumn there’s a glut of fresh, seasonal food served in Cornish cafés and restaurants. As well as all the hearty root veg, squashes, blackberries, pears and plums, it’s also a great time of year for seafood. Cornwall has miles of coastline, much of it bordered with rocks covered with gleaming black mussels, which are harvested at this time of year. Find them on restaurant menus and enjoy in a delicious mariniere.
October also heralds the start of the oyster dredging season. The Falmouth Oyster Festival runs from Wednesday 9th to Sunday 13th October this year and is one of Cornwall’s biggest and best loved food festivals, celebrating the native Fal oyster and abundance of other Cornish seafood. The only remaining oyster fishery in Europe to be dredged by sail and hand punt, the River Fal observes this old tradition to protect the delicate riverbeds and oyster stocks.
Each Autumn the annual festival of Lowender Peran celebrates Cornwall’s cultural heritage and Celtic connections. This year it runs from 30th October to 2nd November at The Hotel Bristol in Newquay where over 300 performers from Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales and Brittany will be playing music, singing and dancing. From ceilidhs and sing-a-longs to storytelling and Cornish wrestling, Lowender Peran is uplifting and entertaining for all the family.
Autumn provides a stunning backdrop to outdoor adventuring. Take a walk along one of Cornwall’s many coastal paths for dramatic cliff top views or explore some of the beautiful woodland to appreciate the new season in all its glory. Discovering Cornwall by foot, bicycle, or even by kayak can be wonderful at this time of year.
In the Autumn the surf picks up and it’s widely regarded as the best time of the year for surfing. The sea is still quite warm, bigger and better swells roll in from the Atlantic, and both the beaches and the water will be quieter with fewer people jostling for space. Remember some warm clothing for when you get out, wrap up and enjoy a thermos of tea while watching the sun set over the waves.
October half term
After a busy start back at school, why not treat your loved ones with some quality family time in Cornwall? As well as all the beautiful natural sights and activities, Cornwall has many fabulous attractions which will be running special half term events during the school holidays.
Take a look at some of our latest properties, available for family breaks this Autumn, click here to browse our full range of Cornish coastal self-catering accommodation.