Cornwall

Eden ProjectDespite the county’s location some distance from the UKs main centres of population, nearly one quarter of the Cornish economy is based on tourism, with five million visitors arriving every year to swell the resident population of half-a-million.

Mevagissey Harbour Cornwall’s unique cultural heritage, proud Celtic identity and distinctive heritage, both industrial and maritime, are the area’s major assets. However, most visitors are drawn by its classic resorts (many aimed at families), beautiful beaches, spectacular landscape, mild climate, stunning moorland, country gardens and historic and prehistoric sites.

The north coast, on the Celtic Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, is more exposed than the south, and boasts a wilder nature. Nevertheless, it has stretches of fine golden beaches and popular resorts such as Bude, Newquayand St Ives.

The south coast, sometimes referred to as the Cornish Riviera, is more sheltered Land's Endwith broad estuaries such as those at Falmouth and Fowey providing safe anchorages. The beaches on the south coast tend to consist of coarser sand and shingle, with the fishing communities of Polperro and Looe especially popular. Moving westwards along the coast brings you to the notable port of Penzance while Britain’s most westerly point, Land’s End, is just a few miles further on.

Cornwall’s interior comprises an east-west spine of infertile upland and is dominated by Bodmin Moor, which contains the highest land in the county. The uplands are surrounded by farmland that turn into deep, wooded valleys as they near the south coast, providing sheltered conditions for many kinds of shade-loving flora.

Cornwall’s unique geology led it to become one of the mostTin mine important mining areas in Europe until the early years of the 20th century. Tin was mined here as early as the Bronze Age, with the derelict remains of ancient workings still visible. Copper, lead, zinc and silver were also all mined in Cornwall. The presence of granite gave rise to extensive deposits of china clay, especially around St Austell, which is Cornwall’s biggest town, larger than the capital Truro. Near St Austell is the Eden Project, a major tourism success, drawing one in eight of Cornwall’s visitors. Other industries are fishing, although this has been significantly re-structured by EU fishing policies, and agriculture.

NewquayCornwall is well served by an extensive road network, airports are to found at Newquay and over the Devon border at Exeter, while excellent rail services run between the county and most regions of the UK.

Article written by Donald Edgar

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