For roughly the last five years of my life I have wanted to visit the Cornwall area of the U.K. For those unfamiliar with the geography of this area, Cornwall is basically the large peninsula jutting out of southwest England. Frequently referred to as “the end of the land” (I’m sure many have heard of Land’s End in the U.K.), Cornwall is probably one of the most beautiful and dramatic parts of England, with its high cliffs, crashing waves, abandoned tin mines, fishing villages, rustic way of life and, of course, Cornish pasties (more on that in later posts). In England, Cornwall is known as “the wild west”, and with good reason. Think of the maritime way of life in Canada, but on steroids, and you’ll have some insight into Cornwall scenery.
As I mentioned earlier, doing a photography tour of Cornwall has been on my bucket list and life goals for some time. I wasn’t actually going to go this year but Vince was instrumental in making me get moving on this one – life is far too short and the future way too uncertain to say “could-have”, “should-have”, “would-have”: do it now while I can! So, I’m off!
For this trip I will be joining a photography tour group in Cornwall. A few years ago I found a company on the web called Light & Land UK, who specialize in hosting dedicated photo tours in many countries around the world. The company puts together a shooting agenda and includes hotels, transportation, etc. as part of the package. Light & Land UK take you to the best photo spots. The photographer doesn’t have to worry about any travel details or logistics – just concentrate on creating great images with a small group of like-minded people/fellow photographers.
The overview and agenda for this “Wild West Cornwall” tour is found here if you’re interested in further details (the link will open in a new tab in your browser). This listing is the 2019 tour description, the current one having been deleted, but the content will be the same.
The tour is five days in duration, although I will be in the U.K. two weeks in total – September 24th to October 8th. After the Land & Land tour is over I’ll be staying in Cornwall for another few days, moving on to the small city of Truro (with its beautiful cathedral), St. Austell, the little fishing village of Mevagissey and a possible visit to the famous Eden Project (home of the largest bio-domes in the world). I finish up my two weeks in the U.K. with three days in London before returning to Toronto.
My goal in all of this? To come back with a few really great images – shots I’m proud to frame and hang on my walls, meet new people and explore a part of England I’ve never seen before.
So, off I go…. Cornwall or bust!
The golden and unpeopled bays
The shadowy cliffs and sheep-worn ways
The white unpopulated surf
The thyme-and-mushroom scented surf
The slate-hung farms, the oil-lit chapels
Thin elms and lemon-coloured apples…
– Sir John Betjeman, Delectable Duchy, 1974