Keep your Distance
Enjoy fun-packed holiday activities from a safe social distance
These days we all want a bit more space on our self-catering holidays. Not just a stylish and private space to come home to after a day on the beach, but a good deal more space while we’re out and about having fun. And while two metres is the socially acceptable distance between people, we’ve come up with plenty of things to do where you can enjoy a lot more space than that. Try some of our favourite outdoor activities and you might find yourself miles away from other people, with only wildlife for company.
PRIVATE SURFING LESSONS
Learning to surf used to involve joining a beginner group and sharing the waves. Not any more. Enjoy one-to-one tuition and private family surfing lessons with an instructor to yourselves. Not only will your personal surf coach help you to really ramp your skills and get you riding waves like a pro, they will also take you to the best spot for your ability and find a quiet peak away from the crowds. Strict social distancing measures are in place at our local KingSurf surfing school in Mawgan Porth or , to ensure a safe and spacious surfing experience.
Since the 16th century, visitors have flocked to the UK’s beaches to reap the health benefits of a dip in the sea. In recent years wild swimming has experienced somewhat of a resurgence, but if you veer away from the more popular beaches there are still plenty of spots to swim with just the sea life. Amongst our favourite places to go wild swimming in Cornwall is the serene Helford River, where you might even spot seahorses and you wend along the estuary from Mawnan Smith to Port Navas. Or, if you take a dip at Rinsey Cove you might be lucky to spot a cheeky seal or two. If you prefer the safety of a tidal pool, head to Treyarnon or Porthtowan and seek out the rock pools as the tide ebbs.
Safety tip: If you go wild swimming make sure you always check the tides and currents, go with a swimming buddy, take a floatation device and never dive from the rocks.
How would you like to castaway and explore the coastline under paddle power, safe in the hands of a qualified lifeguard and personal guide as you glide from cove to cove? On a two-hour private coastal tour you’re likely to encounter more wildlife than people, as you immerse yourself in the natural surroundings, bask in the natural sunlight and enjoy a non-contact ocean sport. Learn how to paddle in the natural elements of the tidal flow and sea breeze, getting a great core workout. Discover crabs and blennies hiding in the nooks and crannies of Newquay’s sheltered ‘Gazzle’ area, or float along the serene River Gannel spotting little egrets, greenshanks and other birds that flock to the rich pickings of the salt marshes.
Swim through gulleys, explore sea caves and leap from rocky ledges on a coasteering adventure. In the hands of experts you can safely explore the territory where the land meets the sea, encountering sea life from starfish to seabirds. Taking small groups of up to five people, Newquay Activity Centre have adapted all of their watersports sessions to adhere to government guidelines and maintain the two-metre social distancing rule.
Cornwall is blessed with miles of traffic-free cycling routes, criss-crossing diverse terrain from World Heritage Mining sites to coastal trails. One of the lesser known ones is the circular Goss Moor trail – an easy-going 12km cutting through a stunning nature reserve. With no gruelling hills or cars to worry about, you can focus on spotting the flora and fauna. And while most cyclists hit the busier Camel Trail and mountain biking trails, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter too many other cyclists on this tranquil cycle path.
WALK THE SOUTH WEST COAST PATH
Reconnect with nature and get a blast of briny air as you step foot along some remote sections of the South West Coast Path and stray from the crowds. In West Cornwall, lap up bucket loads of landscape drama as you trace the wave-lashed cliffs – past engine houses and Iron Age castle ruins – on the way to Cape Cornwall. Once thought to be the westerly tip of England, this wild promontory is more remote and dramatic than the more accurate Land’s End, and standing above the crashing waves where the Atlantic meets the English Channel, you’re likely to spot more seabirds than people. If you’re in North Cornwall, set out from Duckpool, just north of Bude, and tackle some of the most undulating and staggering sections of the coast path towards Morwenstow.
Leave the shoreline behind and explore some of the most pristine and historic areas of Cornwall in a kayak. Launch from the Lizard Peninsula or Hayle harbour, and learn about the wildlife and natural history of the area, as you discover the beauty of the coast with local experts. The sit-on-top kayaks are super stable and easy to paddle, and your fully qualified guides will run you through the safety procedures and ensure you get to grips with basic techniques before hitting the open water.