October is the perfect time to visit Cornwall; the county is winding down for the winter with much of the summer crowds and traffic jams a distant memory.
So load up the car up with food for the week, fill up with fuel, strap on the bikes and don’t forget some walking boots and waterproofs for a week’s budget holiday in Cornwall for under £500.
Accommodation is much cheaper at this time of year, especially as holiday providers offer late availability discounts. Nancenoy (sleeps 2), near Falmouth, is a delightful barn conversion featuring an open plan living area with log burner and views over the magical Helford River. A great base to explore the area, there is off-road parking for one car and it costs £359.10 from Friday 26th October to 2nd November 2012. Guests will also receive a £20 voucher towards a meal at the local yacht club.
Once food, fuel and accommodation have been accounted for, little else will need paying for. It costs nothing to walk around towns and villages, or explore the natural beauty of the countryside.
Here is a range of things to do, and more importantly they are free!
Sightseeing by foot
There are miles upon miles of footpaths in Cornwall, many of which are through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Fal River Autumn Walking Festival takes place from the 19th October to 4th November and is a great way of exploring the area. Take the guided Autumn Ramble from Mawnan Smith around the Helford River. Bring a drink and packed lunch and enjoy the views along the way.
Heartlands in Pool is a major new free attraction. Talk a walk through the botanical gardens, art studios and galleries and be transported back in time in the World Heritage Site exhibition centre at Robinson's Shaft, a mine that was once a focal point of the tin mining industry.
On yer bike!
Another way to take in Cornwall’s culture is to follow the routes once part of Cornwall’s industrial past. Cycle the Mineral Tramways Trail from Devoran to Portreath or the Clay Trails, a 12-mile series of off-road routes around St Austell, taking in the Eden Project and a new section to Wheal Martyn Country Park.
Art and Museums
Great works of art aren’t necessarily confined to the big museums and galleries. The Falmouth Art Gallery houses an important permanent collection of works and the Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange in Penzance exhibit contemporary work from international and local artists. As well as galleries, there are also many free museums including the Helston Folk Museum and the Padstow Museum.
Go to the beach!
Whatever the weather, a trip to one of Cornwall’s beaches is an absolute must. The opportunity to lie down and catch some sun will have passed, but nothing beats a walk alongside crashing waves like at Watergate Bay to blow the cobwebs away.