Archive for July, 2009

Top 10 beaches in Cornwall

We’ve spent the last 12 months researching Cornwall and here’s a stab at Cornwall’s top 10 beaches.   Both Sennen Cove Beach and Perran Beach (specifically the long stretch of sand to the middle and north of the beach) produced impromptu ‘wows’ so they top the list:

1. Sennen Cove Beach

2. Perran Beach

3. Porthcurno Beach

4. Rock Beach

5. St Ives Harbour and Beach

6. Watergate Bay Beach

7. Fistral Beach

8. Holywell Beach and Cove

9. Mother Ivey’s Bay

10. Kynance Cove

There are dozens of other beaches that could make it onto a top 10 list and PictureTheUK catalogues attractions within Cornwall here but if we haven’t included your favourite beach then pls post below or @picturetheuk on Twitter.   Cheers.


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Early summer 2009, we spent some time exploring the east coast of Cornwall around Falmouth.  As ever, we got lost and ended up driving down the wrong side of the River Fal and Fal Estuary.  We arrived at St Mawes Castle, an exceptional sixteenth century castle in a beautiful setting.  The views across the water to Pendennis Castle, Falmouth etc are astonishing.  But then came the best part of the trip. 

The walk along the coastline into St Mawes was a highlight of the research period we spent in Cornwall.  Take a look at the photos here to get a sense of what we mean.  We thoroughly recommend visiting St Mawes, Cornwall.

If you live there or have visited, we’d love to add further info so pls post below or @picturetheuk on Twitter or contact me on james@picturetheuk.com.  Thanks.

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Famous UK film locations

To offer people UK travel inspiration, we’ve been building a gallery of famous film locations.

Film people are expert at finding great locations for the obvious reasons.  I remember watching Val Kilmer acting a scene from ‘The Saint’ outside the Bodleian Library in Oxford in the 1990s.  The BBC shot a scene from a Charles Dickens’ novel in a house we used to live in within the village of Hambleden, Berkshire a couple of years later.  Then there was Johnny Depp in a forest by Henley-on-Thames and Spielberg’s ‘Band of Brothers’ in roughly the same area.  Recently, we took the little people for a picnic on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere in the Pewsey Vale, Wiltshire when half a dozen US WW2 vehicles pulled up with twenty or so actors in full army kit.  No idea what they were doing but we left when they said they needed to fire guns.

Watching them work was pretty dull to be honest.  There is an astonishing amount of standing around and the line ‘then we must celebrate’ from the Dickens’ adaptation will stay in my mind forever becasue they shot the short scene about twenty times in a row.  Nice people did stop the shoot so we could feed our dog though.

Back to the locations, if you could add any UK film locations or @picturetheuk on Twitter that would be appreciated.

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St Ives, Cornwall

We’ve photographed St Ives, Cornwall and the surrounding area three times so far in 2009.  We plan to go back for Summer and Autumn too. 

It’s an exceptional place.  Twice, we’ve parked at the top of the town (expensive but ticket lasts all day) and walked down a well marked path to the harbour and beach.  Behind the harbour, the path leads to the chapel  at the top of  St Ives Island  from where the views across Porthmeor Beach and back towards the harbour are superb.  You can pick out the white building of Tate St Ives behind Porthmeor Beach very easily.

It’s really worth exploring the general area, too.  St Ives Bay to the east and north styles itself as one of the most beautiful bays in the world.  The beaches are packed with surfers and to the north, around Godrevy Point and Island, there are spectacular cliffs and sandy coves full of seals.

To the south of St Ives, along more exceptional coastline, you’ll find the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site and further still the white sand at Sennen Cove Beach.  Then it’s Lands End.

We’re building a database of attractions around St Ives so please explore the area here or even contribute to the project.  We geo-locate attractions, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, petrol stations etc on a map too.

Any suggestions as to other content we should add, pls post below or @picturetheuk on Twitter.

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England’s Top Towns

We noticed a VisitEngland report on the top ‘towns’ in England.  The list was generated from visitor stats and is pretty much in line with what one would expect.  First up, London and then Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Blackpool, York, Scarborough, Newcastle upon Tyne and, finally, Liverpool.  Would have expected Bath to be in there too but hey-ho.

However,  if you park the stats to one side, there are dozens of other candidates for the title of ‘Top Town’.  We’ve collected some candidates across the UK  here (towns, literally) and here (cities).

We’d love other suggestions too.  As ever, pls post this blog or @picturetheuk on Twitter.

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A few weeks ago, a Parisian asked if the UK had an equivalent to Tuscany.  Rolling hills, lush countryside, pretty villages, great food etc.  The UK equivalent had to be a wealthy area, too.  I suggested the Chilterns AONB and then asked others on Twitter:

roryjmaxwell@picturetheuk The Cotswolds?

JonathanFoyle@picturetheuk Yes, Suffolk is the UK’s Tuscany (good food, historic buildings)and Bavaria would be the Wye Valley for me.

Now I’m thinking the Cotswolds AONB is probably the best equivalent but if you have others suggestions pls add below or @picturetheuk on Twitter.  Cheers.

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