Cornwall Hotels and Holiday Cottages
Cornwall was for centuries the last haven for a Celtic culture elsewhere eradicated by the Saxons - a land where princes communed with Breton troubadours, where chroniclers and scribes composed the epic tales of Arthurian heroism, and where itinerant monks from Welsh and Irish monasteries disseminated an elemental and visionary Christianity. Primitive granite crosses and a crop of Celtic saints remain as traces of this formative period, and though the Cornish language had ebbed away by the eighteenth century, it is recalled in Celtic place names that in many cases have grown more exotic as they have become corrupted over time.
Another strand of Cornwall's folkloric character comes from the smugglers who thrived here right up until the last century, exploiting the sheltered creeks and hidden anchorages of the southern coasts. For many fishing villages, contraband provided an important secondary income, as did the looting of the ships that regularly came to grief on the reefs and rocks. Further distinguishing it from its neighbour, Cornwall has also had a strong industrial economy , based mainly on the mining of copper and tin in the north, and on the deposits of china clay in the south, still being mined today in the area around St Austell.
Nowadays, of course, Cornwall's most flourishing industry is tourism. The repercussions of the holiday business on Cornwall have been uneven, for instance shamefully defacing Land's End but leaving Cornwall's other great promontory, Lizard Point , untainted. All the stops are pulled out in the thronged resorts of Falmouth and Newquay , though the effects of mass tourism have been more destructive in smaller, quainter places, such as Mevagissey, Polperro and Padstow , whose genuine charms can fade from view in full season. Other villages, such as Charlestown, Port Isaac and Boscastle , are hardly touched, however, and you couldn't wish for anything more remote than Bodmin Moor , a tract of wilderness in the heart of Cornwall - and even Tintagel , site of what is fondly known as King Arthur's castle, has preserved its sense of desolation. Near St Austell , the spectacular and high-profile Eden Project , located in an abandoned clay pit, has pointed the way to a less destructive and exploitative form of crowd-pulling, while other places - such St Ives, Fowey and Bude - have reached a happy compromise with the seasonal influx, or else are saved from saturation by sheer distance, as is the case with the Isles of Scilly .
|CORNWALL HOTELS AND HOLIDAY COTTAGES|