What Makes Cornwall Unique Compared to the Rest of England?

If you have ever had the pleasure to visit Cornwall, you will have noticed that it is slightly different when compared to the rest of the UK. Not only are town names not English, but you will find that their culture and ideologies are different too. The main reason for this is that Cornwall isn’t actually English at all and was never formally annexed or taken over by England. In fact, many Cornish people believe that they should be a completely separate entity, such as Scotland or Wales, and there are even petitions for Cornwall to become independent. Arguments have raged on for years now as to whether Cornwall is just another county of England or stands on its own. Since 1889, Cornwall has been administered as if it were a county of England. In 1973, the Royal Commission on the Constitution highlighted that the legality of this move is doubtful and they even went as far as to recommend that Cornwall was not to be referred to as a county but rather as ‘The Royal Dukedom of Cornwall’. This means that Cornwall should be seen as its own separate country ruled by the current Duke or Duchess of the region which is known as a ‘Duchy’ for short. What makes this so strange is that Wales was actually formally annexed to England for centuries whereas Cornwall never was and there is no evidence of legal documents to show that it ever was. Wales now stands on its own but Cornwall is still considered by the majority of England as a county rather than a ‘Duchy’. The true constitutional status of Cornwall as of today, and for centuries in the past, is similar to that of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. It is of Crown Dependency which means that the head of state for all three of these entities is the current reigning monarch of Great Britain. In the case of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, the Queen is represented by a Lieutenant-Governor and each dependency has its own parliament, government and prime minister to make all laws, except for those about defence and foreign affairs which are looked after by the British Government. This means that the British Government in London has no power over these entities unless their governments agree. The Channel Islands are the closest in equivalency to Cornwall and are not ruled by a monarch but rather by the Duke of Normandy (although Queen Elizabeth II has claimed this title). This is similar to Cornwall as it is ruled by the Duke of Cornwall, not the Queen of England.
establishing view of cornwall
establishing view of cornwall
For centuries, Cornwall was ruled by Earls who were appointed by the King and who made their income from the south-western area. The earliest of these earls were Count’s Brian and Alan who were carefully chosen from Celtic-speaking Bretons. The reason for this is because the language that the Bretons used was almost identical to that of the Cornish and so they were seen as the best fit to build bridges between the two peoples. From 1337 to the present day, the rulers of Cornwall have been Dukes, who also make their income from Cornwall and its surrounding areas. When there is no Duke, which can only be the eldest son of the current reigning monarch, the Duchy reverts to the Crown. The Crown then holds it in trust and rules in proxy to the Duke until the next Duke is born if there ever comes such a time. The Crown owns every single bit of land throughout the whole of Great Britain except that of Cornwall where the absolute owner is the Duke. Cornwall even has its own government which has a clear distinction from that of the British Parliament. It is known as the Duch Council and is currently completely unelected. The current laws that are in place also allow Cornwall to have its own elected Parliament, known as the Stannary, which has many legislative powers. They even have the right of veto over Laws, Acts and Statutes that are made by the Westminster Parliament. This power was granted to them by Henry VII all the way back in 1509.
cornwall view
cornwall view
By the time of 1549, these rights were abolished by Archbishop Cranmer’s Act of Uniformity which forcefully imposed the new Protestant English State Religion and set the State Language to English to Cornwall and many other regions of the UK. This is when Cornwall’s distinction from the rest of England was lost and this led to a war that lasted 2 months and saw over 10% of its population massacred. Despite the events that happened during this time, the rights and powers of the Stannary Parliament were confirmed to be still fully extant at law by the Attorney-General of Westminster’s Parliament, Lord Elwyn Jones. This happened as recently as 1977 and was in response to a question raised in the House by Plaid Cymru. As is tradition, the Stannary Parliament is convened by the Duke but no Duke of Cornwall has done so since 1752. The failure of successive Dukes to take up this responsibility can only be concluded as an arrangement with the Crown and Westminster. Currently, the Duke of Cornwall is constitutionally immune from prosecution which means that the unique situation of Cornwall cannot be resolved in the courts and this is why it is still a grey area for many. The Duchy Council still continues to ensure that it retains the rights to convene a Cornish Parliament at any time it sees fit to. They do this by always having a duly appointed Lord Warden of the Stannaries to fulfil this responsibility by that of the Duke’s instruction. So there you have it, Cornwall is in a truly unique position and it doesn’t look as though it is going to be fully resolved anytime soon. Tell us what you think below, should Cornwall remain part of Great Britain and be fully governed by The Crown? Or should it become independent once again and have the rights to govern itself without guidance or advice from Westminster?
What Is Our Favourite Place In Cornwall?

What Is Our Favourite Place In Cornwall?


You really should visit Cornwall!

There are many wonderful and amazing things to see in Cornwall. Because there are so many places and sights to see it can be hard to fit them all into one visit. Because of this, we have decided on our favourite place in Cornwall as well as a few runners up to give you a place to start on your first time or if you are returning for another holiday.

Runners Up

Sennen Cove

Just down the hill from the town of Sennen is a beautiful cove with views full of sea and sunshine. This is also one of the most popular surf hotspots as the cove is known for its large waves and beautiful waters. The beach is great for bathing and there are flagged areas which move frequently to follow tidal movements so that you know where it is safe at all times. If you are more inclined to see the incredible views this cove has to offer you can head to the Pedn-men-du, a promontory located at the southern end of the bay, and use the lookout point. You will see spectacularly blue waters and clear skies for miles around. The granite cliffs below are also a popular attraction for those that enjoy climbing.

Praa Sands

The first thing you’ll notice when visiting this beautiful beach is how white the sand is, it’s almost blinding! The reason the sand is so white is because it is made from seashells that have been pulverised by the waves over millions of years. Located between the Lizard and west Penwith, this mile-long beach is perfect for families with children to entertain. The sand is perfect for sand castles and the shoreline is great for splashing around in. An image showing a man surfing the waves. This is another great spot for surfing too as there are some surprisingly large waves that form further out. If this isn’t your scene there’s no need to worry as you could just grab a coffee and sit back on the beach soaking up the sun.

Roskilly’s Ice Cream

This quaint little farm is located in St. Keverne and is a great place to visit whether you have children or just love ice cream. You can visit the farm for free, that’s right free! You can walk around the meadows and relax by the ponds with a tub of fresh and organic ice cream that is made on site. You can even visit the cows that make the milk and see how it’s done yourself. A great place to let your children roam and explore while enjoying some of the best ice cream in Cornwall.

Minack Theatre

This is Cornwall’s world famous open-air theatre which is carved right into the granite cliff of Porthcurno Bay. This stunning and incredible feat of ingenuity looks like something straight out of a movie and overlooks the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. The Summer season runs from May to September and includes drama, musicals and opera so make sure to visit during this time so that you don’t miss out. If the theatre isn’t your thing, you can always visit the sub-tropical gardens that are another favourite attraction at this incredible location. They grow on the open cliffside and provide a beautiful dash of colour to the Minack all year round. Another thing to look out for is the Rowena Cade Visitor Centre which tells the incredible story of how a girl from Cheltenham in the Victorian era grew up to build the internationally famous theatre. There’s even a café where you can relax and soak in the amazing views that Minack has to offer.

Porthcurno Beach

Porthcurno, which is located in the far west of Cornwall, is described by many as being an absolute paradise. The area has won plenty of awards and if you visit this area it’s easy to see why. The sea turns a beautiful shade of turquoise in the sun and the sand is pearly white and soft to the touch. The incredible high cliffs on either side provide shelter to everyone enjoying the beach. The beach is very popular with families and has a stream that flows down one side where children can enjoy paddling while being safely watched over. Above on the cliffs is the amazing Minack Theatre, see above for more information, which gives an incredible view of Porthcurno and the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is also dog friendly, unless you visit between the 1st of May and 30th of September when there is a seasonal ban, so feel free to bring your furry friends along for an adventure. An image of a dog having fun in the water Just a 30 minute walk away is the famous Logan Rock which is an 80 ton granite rocking stone. Also close by is the fascinating Porthcurno Telegraph Museum which tells the story of how Cornwall played an important role in the pioneering days of global communications.

Trebah Gardens

This beautiful sub-tropical ravine garden spans over 25 acres of wooded area and descends down to its own beach located on the Helford River. There is a natural spring at the top of the garden that drops into a Koi Pool surrounded by breathtaking colourful waterside plantings. A mixture of plants from the Mediterranean and southern hemisphere can be found here alongside Trebah’s grove which is full of huge Australian tree palms and ferns. There are also huge patches of bamboo and gunnera which give the garden a sense exotic wilderness. It has been rated as one of the best 80 gardens in the world! There is also an award winning Visitor Centre which houses a Mediterranean-style restaurant, terrace, plant and gift shop.


Porthleven is the most southerly working port in the entire United Kingdom. It has to offer some amazing views and an interesting granite harbour with plenty of buildings to explore and visit. The sea walls are huge and face south west into the prevailing wind making it a popular place for people to visit during the winter. Many come to watch the storms that cause huge waves which crash against the sea defences that are in place. This area has been inhabited for over a 1,000 years but the fishing village that is located here was started back in 1811 when the harbour first began construction. This place is very popular due to its location as it is close to many of Cornwall’s theme parks and attractions. The village is home to several restaurants, its world famous clock tower, a pier and a pretty little beach. It is always a great atmosphere and is a nod to the old world as it hasn’t been ruined by progress.

Gwithian Towans Beach

Gwithian Towans is always full of kites blowing in the wind and avid windsurfers riding their water blokarts. There are plenty of sand dunes with wild grass to lie on and relax while you watch all the commotion. When the tide is out, there is plenty of sand to play in and large rock pools and caves which are great for the little ones to explore.This beach is another popular surf spot as there is a constant flow of waves for people to catch and the ocean provides good all year round conditions. Seals are a regular sight near the beach as well as large colonies of seabirds due to the area being a breeding ground for guillemots, cormorants, razorbills and more. There is also a nice little café and bar, The Sunset Surf, which overlooks the beach and is open all year. They serve locally sourced and seasonal ingredients whenever it is possible for them to do so. Just a short walk away is the Jam Pot Café and Shop which is a former 19th century coastguard lookout. Here you can enjoy home cooked snacks and look out at the stunning natural views of St. Ives Bay.

Our Number One Favourite Spot

St. Michael’s Mount

Visit this fantastic island and you’ll see why we chose it for our number one spot. You can walk across the granite causeway and follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and, as legend has it, the mythical giant. All you have to do is hop onto a boat and travel to this sub-tropical island where you will discover a historical sights such as a medieval castle, a fortress, priory, harbour and home. An image of St.Michael's Mount You can stray from the mainland on foot or by boat to get up close and personal to the castle-topped island that is standing tall in Mount’s Bay. Come with the family or take a tour of the castle and gardens by yourself, either way you will have a magical time exploring all the sights. You can climb the castle turrets, straight out of an old movie, for amazing views and listen to live music on the greenery of the village that is close by. If you fancy a bite to eat, travel to the Island Café or the Sail Loft Restaurant which both serve fresh local food. Visit the sub-tropical gardens which can be found clinging to the granite slopes, the terraced beds of the gardens travel all the way down to the edge of the ocean and boast many exotic plants from places such as the Canary Islands, South Africa and Mexico.