Read on for low-fi, coupled-up things to do in Cornwall this Summer.
An oldie, but a goodie – few things in life are as simple and romantic as a picnic on a Summer’s day.
Amp the Romance: Make it a surprise picnic. Choose a secluded spot with a classic Cornish clifftop view – Bedruthan Steps, say, or Tintagel – and make sure you throw in plenty of cushions, strawberries and wine.
Never underestimate the romantic power of watching the sun go down together.
Amp the Romance: Take along a little musical accompaniment. Something classical could really ramp up the romantic ambiance. Classic FM recommends Elgar’s Salut D’Amour, or Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, 3rd Movement for just this sort of thing.
A Skinny Dip
For an experience both bonding and exhilarating, dare to bare. Skinny dipping offers a feeling of freedom and sensuality that even the skimpiest of bikinis and sparest of speedos can’t provide. Pedn Vounder Sands, near Penzance, is just one of several unofficial naturist beaches in Cornwall. It’s backed by the cliffs of Treryn Dinas, so you won’t be overlooked, has a sandy beach, crystal waters and fantastic rock formations. Take care with the tides and currents.
Amp the Romance: Take time to enjoy lying out on the beach after your swim. Listening to the hypnotic lap of the water together can leave you feeling in sync with one another.
A Night Walk
Walking hand-in-hand through the quiet night – or while the evening is laid out against the sky, as T S Eliot puts it in The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock – is far more relaxing than a daytime ramble. An evening stroll cuts out a lot of the daytime’s distracting external stimuli – the bright daylight, the traffic and bumping into people you know – and gives you more space to connect with one another.
Amp the Romance: Take your evening walk by the sea, along the shore of a lake, or next to a river. Moonlight reflected in water will magnify the amatory atmosphere.
A Wild Sleep
Sleeping out under the stars is one of those rare experiences in life that’s genuinely worthy of dreadfully over-deployed descriptor ‘awesome’. Cosy up for warmth, and the last sight you’ll see before drifting off to sleep – the stars above you – will have you marveling at the immensity of the universe together.
Amp the Romance: If a double sleeping bag on the ground doesn’t cut it in the comfort stakes, then make yours a lux wild sleep out: chuck a mattress in the back of the car, bring plenty of soft sheets, plump pillows and a super-downy duvet.
A Sundowner on a Deserted Beach
Scientists have given the thumbs up to couples who like to enjoy a tipple or two together. A study by researchers at the University of Buffalo suggests that sinking a few beers or glasses of wine (not too many) tends to leave you feeling closer to your partner the following day, and that you have fewer relationship problems, compared to couples who drink apart or don’t drink at all.
Amp the Romance: Make sure you pick a beautiful and quiet spot to make the most of your imbibers’ bonding session. Cornwall is brimming with them.
A Get-Lost-Together Adventure
For a truly bonding experience, venture into the unfamiliar together. Whether you set out on foot, or go by car, keep walking/driving until you lose your bearings. You’re bound to discover some interesting surprises in your environment – a must-try café maybe, or a stretch of coast path you’ve never explored before. You might just find out something new about each other, too.
Amp the Romance: Revel in the sense of being totally removed from your predictable, everyday lives, and embrace the feeling of spontaneity together.
A Visit to The Tristan Stone
Take a drive over to Fowey on the A3082 and just before you enter the town, you’ll see on your left a 7ft high monolith. This monument dates back to the 6th Century and is believed to be the burial stone of Tristan, the Arthurian Knight of the Round Table who fell in love with beautiful Irish Princess Isolde, the wife of his uncle, King Mark of Cornwall. Admittedly, theirs was an ill-fated, tragic affair. But the legend of Tristan and Isolde has inspired poets for centuries and is one of the greatest love stories in British history.
Amp the Romance: Take a copy of Joseph Bédier’s The Romance of Tristan and Iseult along with you and read their doomed but transcendent love story while you’re there, or watch the Ridley Scott movie before you go.