With our eyes still stinging from the news that Lonely Planet has rubbished Great Britain as a tourist destination as ‘overpriced, overrated and overcrowded’, we headed down to an area of Cornwall that proved to be the antithesis of all three. Our base for a week of writing and building dens was Morwenstow near Bude.
We probably encountered less than twenty people during our visit. Even on the Marsland beach, a few miles away through a nature reserve, our only company was seagulls and lively waves. Pocketing some of the liberally growing rock samphire for dinner, we returned back to the fields and forests surrounding Gooseham and set to making dens.
Debris shelters are easy enough to create, fun and quick to construct (for more details, look out for the next Independent feature and video). The only distraction is the landscape. Overrated it is not.
We were in woods filled with hazel, birch, oak, hawthorn, holly, ash, lime. Broad green canopies that sheltered us from the sun, dappling the forest floor as birds struck up melodious conversation.The lanes were replete with bluebells, wild strawberries, campion and orchids and restorative strolls through them to the pub after dinner left us both returning to London feeling energised and renewed. It is easy to knock this country and if you only analyse its landmarks or ‘tourist destinations’ you may be left with a negative skew. Scratch the surface by doing something different and a world of beauty and fascination awaits.