The Dramatic Cornwall Coast

I just finished filming a TV show about Cornwall, in the far southwest of England. And when the sun is shining (as it does off and on most days in the summer here), it’s hard to imagine a more dramatically beautiful place in the British Isles. The constant wind made the scenes even more strikingly beautiful, as the entire coastline came with a lacy border of crashing waves.

In filming this clip, I’m quite exhilarated because I had just sat on the edge of a cliff, looked into the camera, and opened our show by saying, “Set on a rocky peninsula, Cornwall is a fascinating land. It’s a pirate’s punch of Celtic culture, legends of smugglers, and mining heritage. It has a rugged appeal that makes it a favorite among English holiday-goers.”

Tin mining was long the dominant Cornwall industry. This evocative coast is dotted with 19th-century Industrial Age ruins. The two desolate engine houses you see in this clip once pumped water out so they could mine a half-mile down — and then, under the sea bed, far out to sea. Below me, the ground is honeycombed with mine tunnels. At its peak, there were hundreds of tin mines in this part of Cornwall. (The PBS series Poldark is filmed right here and features the tin-mining culture of Cornwall.)

This is Day 78 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Vienna, the Alps, the Low Countries, England, and beyond. Find more right here on my travel blog.


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