A hidden gem for most of us. Some may remember those cliche-ridden stories of Rosamunde Pilcher (if not, don’t worry!!!) but among surfers it remains the more secret place of often perfectly peeling waves, crystal clear turquoise (and yeah, sometimes grey) water and golden beaches along the most beautiful coastline of Cornwall, at the south-west tip of England.
Cornwall was always on the list of places I wanted to explore and when Concha asked, whether I’d like to join them as a photographer during their retreat in May I couldn’t resist!
Concha (based in Portugal) and Lauren (based in Cornwall) have organised Yoga & Surf Retreats for some time now and are perfectly complementing each others knowledge and experience in surf coaching and teaching yoga. This year’s duo was joined by Patrick, artist and surf coach from Cornwall.
Most guests arrived at Newquay Airport, through London or directly from Berlin, Frankfurt or Faro. We were based at one of those beautiful townhouses in the center and overlooking the bay of Falmouth.
As the Cornish coast is littered with surf spots, Falmouth was the perfect place to be based and from there we commuted to surf spots every day, depending on swell, tide and wind conditions. With two locals (Lauren and Patrick) and Concha, who used to live here, we surely had the experts leading the group to the right surf spots every day.
Concha, hailing from Germany, is a true ocean soul and competing longboarder. Having taught surfers of all different levels she is now aiming to coach those who have surfed before. Yet, as surfing levels still vary a lot, Patrick joined teaching. In two small groups Concha and Patrick were able to individually coach each one based on her or his experience and capabilities. Ihave honestly never seen a group of surf students progressing so quickly! Through small hints, training on the beach or in the water, video and photo analysis or just recommendations on which type of board to use – I had the feeling that each one of the guests accomplished his or her very own progress in surfing by the end of the week. HAPPY FACES EVERYWHERE!
Days continued to be filled with an early, super yummy and healthy breakfast, surf coaching and Vinyasa Yoga classes by Lauren to restore our bodies and minds. She usually teaches at the local Yoga Center but found the most beautiful locations in nature practicing Yoga whenever the weather allowed.
But next to surfing and yoga we were also able to get to know the Cornish lifestyle and people. I was blown away by the openness and friendliness of the locals – not to mention their cracking British humour…
We went skateboarding (yes!) at Mounthawke Skatepark, learned about surfboard shaping by surf legend Ben Skinner, found super creative places like the Wheal Kitty Workshops, also home to Finisterre Headquarters and had the most delicious food ever! Having been to England several times I expected heavy pub food, however, Cornwall offers the hippest and healthiest eating haunts!
PLACES YOU MUST VISIT
Slous, Clifftop kitchen Perranporth, by Sam and Lou Bingham – very good coffee and delicious homemade food with stunning views! low impact on the environment so bring your own coffee cup if you can! Located in Droskyn car park, open every day from 9am unless the weather is absolutely apocalyptic. Earlier on Saturdays and in the summer holidays.
Bathsheba Surf, Perranporth, surfboard rental & shop, and the nicest people working there! https://www.bathshebaonline.co.uk/
Finisterre Headquarters & shop, https://finisterre.com/pages/store-st-agnes
Surfers Against Sewage, charity https://www.sas.org.uk/
Open Surf, Surf shop and shaping workshops https://open.surf/
Good People Canteen, open for breakfast, lunch and coffee https://www.canteencornwall.com/canteen/
The Stable, Falmouth, all about the Pizza, Pies and Cider https://stablepizza.com/locations/the-stable-falmouth/
Glamping St Ives, Shepherd huts and hobbit houses by Kat & Dale http://www.glampingstives.com/
Gilmores, Newquay, Golf, Tacos, Tequila and Bee – the explosion of fiery and flavor! http://www.gilmoresnewquay.co.uk/
Check out their upcoming retreats and get the chance to visit magical Cornwall in September here!
If surfing is not for you (yet) they also run a Swim-Retreat