30 before 30 – a list of musts in Cornwall!

I’ve just turned 29 and have realised that the big 3 – 0 is rapidly approaching. Having lived in West Cornwall all my life – except 3 years of University in London – I feel like there’s a huge list of things that I should’ve done by now, but haven’t! That’s where my 30 before 30 comes in.

I thought I should make a list of all those things that need to be ticked off by 30, which gives me 12 months to complete. Easy! Included are some things I’ve already done as suggestions to all you lovely readers to try for yourself…

Follow my journey with lots of blogs along the way documenting my 30 before 30!

Here we go…

1. Visit the Isles of Scilly

This is right up there at the top of the list and the highest priority this Summer! Living in West Cornwall I am so close to the Scillies but have never ventured across. With links by boat or air it’s so easy to get there, either for just a day trip or a longer holiday, it’s crazy that this is an unticked item on my list!

2. SUP

It’s only since this Winter that I have owned a SUP, so we’re still getting the hang of them. We have been out a few times in flat conditions but would love to build the confidence and skills to take the SUPs out in waves. Watch this space.

SUP cornwall 30 before 30

3. Watch a show at The Minack

On so many peoples bucket lists of Cornwall, The Minack is just such a unique concept. Having been schooled in Cornwall we would have yearly trips to shows, which have then gone on to become yearly traditions. Our top tip would be to try to pick one of the warmer months of the season, or wear lots of warm layers for an evening show.

4. Visit Padstow Obby Oss

Every year it gets to the beginning of May and my diary become full of May traditions and festivals that are a must visit. And it always seems that Padstow isn’t high enough on my priority list. We’ve done Flora day and Mazey so many times but Padstows Obby Oss never! This year we were out of the county, so next year, I will clear everything out of the diary to make sure I experience this event (although it will fall a few days after my 30th Birthday there’s not much I can do about that now!).

5. Learn to Surf

I have been trying most of my life to become a good surfer, but I have now realised sometimes you have to settle on being average. I have to admit I am a fair weather surfer which has probably massively hampered my efforts at becoming good. It gets to this time of the year and I begin to get the bug again, but by October I am feeling the effects of the air temperature and hang up my wetsuit for the Winter. I can surf and I enjoy it at my level, sometimes you’ve got to leave the rest to the pros.

Here’s our list of the best places to go surfing in Cornwall!

Surfers leaving gwenver 30 before 30

6. Take the Night Train

When I was at University in London I always thought travelling by night train would be such a great idea, but never go round to booking. Getting on the Night Riviera at Penzance, then waking up in the middle of the Capital saves all those wasted hours travelling out of the Duchy. Whether you choose to travel by train or road there’s no escaping just how far away the city is. This year I will experience this night time travel option.

7. Visit the South East of Cornwall

So we have taken a day trip to Looe, visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan and been to Carnglaze Caverns, but not much else. When it comes to the South East corner of our county I don’t remember ever visiting Fowey or Polperro, let alone the smaller villages found along the coast. It’s almost embarrassing. This year I will explore all along this wonderful coast.

8. Climb Trencrom, Carn Brea and Brown Willy

These are some of the best hills to climb in Cornwall with amazing views available. We’ve done Trencrom, but still have two other peaks to climb.

9. Swim in a Sea Pool

Although I have taken photographs and visited some of Cornwalls amazing sea pools I am yet to swim in one. At Bude they have an amazingly picturesque pool, as well as Porthtowan and the iconic Jubilee Lido. I love swimming in the sea so much more than in a leisure centre, so keep your eyes peeled for some summer sea pool dips.

porthtowan sea pool 30 before 30

10. Visit St Nectans Glen

Found near Tintagel the image of St Nectans Glen constantly pops up on my Pinterest. We’ve been meaning to visit for years so now I have no excuse…

11. Go Stargazing

Properly go out in the middle of the night, pack enough clothes and supplies to allow a decent length of stargazing time and just sit. There’s loads of spots in Cornwall where the levels of light pollution are low, so we’re sure there’s such amazing night skies to be seen.

12. Feast Night/Supper Club

Feast nights and Supper Clubs are springing up across Cornwall at the moment and the likes of Nancarrow Farm and The Hidden Hut are on our to do list! We’ve recently tasted the delights of a local Supper Club, of which everyone should give them a go.

Read our Borgia Bull blog for more details.

13. Cycle

We have just added mountain bikes to our collection (already having road and fold-up bikes stashed away in the shed) so have started exploring more of our local trails. The most iconic Cornish cycle trail being The Camel Trail, we’ve also cycled from Portreath to Devoran, Cardinham Woods and along Penrose and Loe Bar. Cycling is such a great way to see our county with lots of bridleways to be found off the beaten track of where you would usually travel.

Cycle Padstow Camel trail 30 before 30

14. Eat at Carn Brea Castle

This is a unique dining experience to say the least! It’s been years since we went, so will definitely be going again before my 30th. Perched on the side of one of Cornwalls largest hills, this will be like no other restaurant you’ve visited, guaranteed.

15. Visit Bodmin Jail

Here’s a popular tourist attraction thrown in to the list, but with such an interesting history I feel this has got to be up there for anyone looking for things they must do in Cornwall.

16. Try Gig Rowing

A bit of a random one for my 30 before 30 list, but with gig rowing such a huge hobby in Cornwall I thought it’s a great idea to try. The World Championships are held every year on the Isles of Scilly and most coastal towns have their own boats and crews. I feel like I should at least have a go…

17. Go camping

We love putting ourselves in the shoes (or flip flops) of holiday makers. We’re so lucky to be able to holiday on our very own doorstep. There is a crazy statistic out there that says most people can holiday somewhere they’ve never been before within (something like) 10 miles of their own home. You don’t even have to stay in a tent, try a tipi or glamping!

Read our Trevedra Farm or Trevella Park blogs to find out about our staycations.

Campsite meal 30 before 30

18. Dine at more Amazing Restaurants

Cornwall is lucky to not only produce awesome food, but we also have such a vast choice of top restaurants and Michelin starred chefs available here. We have chefs like Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth just to name a few.

Here’s some of the great places to eat in Cornwall, but there’s still so many waiting to be discovered.

19. Learn the language

We’re trying to learn Cornish, but it’s not going so well. Maybe this year we’ll become more fluent in the mother tongue.

20. Take a Skinners Brewery Tour

Pasty and a selection of Cornish ales, what better way to learn about the Brewery! Tours are available all year, so I don’t know why I’m yet to explore…

21. BBQ on the Beach

Just spells S.U.M.M.E.R.

BBQ on a cornish beach 30 before 30

22. Swim in the sea in winter without a wetsuit!

It has to be done. Full stop. Growing up a member of our local Surf Life Saving Club I spent many hours in the freezing cold Winter Seas. A Christmas/New Year tradition is a wetsuit-less swim, which I have now completed several times!

23. Get Lost

Surely Cornwall is one of the best places to explore without a map (or a phone), sometimes getting lost is the best part of the adventure.

24. Walk the Cornish Coast Path

The whole of it… I want to challenge myself to walking the whole of the Cornish Coast Path to raise money for St Julias Hospice, and this year is the year. Watch this space!

25. Make Fudge

Cornish Fudge is an iconic souvenir but ever tried making it? No, me neither. I will try, and share my recipe…

26. See a gig at The Eden Project

Visiting the Eden Project is surely on everyones list, but ever seen a live music event here? It’s such an intimate venue in comparison to the large stadiums usually available on tours, but when top artists visit here, the tickets don’t hang around for long. We’ve been to several gigs here and have booked again for this year. Cannot wait!

the eden project cornwall november in cornwall 30 before 30

27. Visit the South East of Cornwall

So we have taken a day trip to Looe, visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan and been to Carnglaze Caverns, but not much else. When it come to the South East corner of our county. I don’t remember ever visiting Fowey or Polperro, let alone the smaller villages found along the coast. It’s almost embarrassing. This year I will explore all along this wonderful coast.

28. Go Coasteering

At my last job I was lucky enough to take part in several local activities and coasteering was one that I signed up to not 100% sure on what to expect. We suited up in wetsuits and life jackets and headed for Newquays rugged coast, still not realising that within the hour I would be jumping off the top of a 30ft cliff! As much of an amazing experience it was, and one that everyone should try, I’m not sure I’ll be hurrying to do it again!

29. Explore The Roseland

Again, like South East Cornwall, The Roseland is just somewhere too unfamiliar. There will be lots of Roseland blogs coming soon!

30. Campervan

Live in a campervan, even if it’s just for a week. Living on wheels is perfect, pitch up pretty much anywhere you like, move coasts with the tides, surf conditions or weather. We’ve spent more time than the average person sleeping in a campervan, having originally owned a larger van, and now downsizing they just give you so much flexibility.

Here’s some of our Campervan adventures across Europe…

Campervan conversion camping france 30 before 30

We could go on… Comment below with your top things to do in Cornwall or what you’ve got on your 30 before 30!

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By | 2018-05-12T09:04:14+00:00 May 6th, 2018|Salty Songs|4 Comments


  1. Emma 12th May 2018 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I have to admit I’ve only done four of these properly and I’ve lived here all my life. Great list.

    • salty songs 14th May 2018 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      I know, it’s hard to believe that there are so many things still discover… hopefully you’ll tick some of these off soon!

  2. Jen 15th May 2018 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Went to St Nectan’s glen but didn’t think it was worth the cost, a short walk to a waterfall. There are two waterfalls on Tintagel beach one in the cave and one where water pours of the rocks onto the beach. Free and gorgeous. But each to their own. Hoping to go to Bodmin jail this year. This holiday will only be my third in Cornwall, I visited last year staying in Boscastle and once as a child. Next year I have to go back to Dorset. Love Cornwall though. Beautiful . I don’t have a list like this but I have this feeling that i’d love to do something great but I don’t know what yet

    • salty songs 16th May 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comments, we’ve been to the waterfall on Tintagel, it’s beautiful. It’s great to hear that you love Cornwall!

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