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Things you didn’t know about Cornwall

People from across the UK flock to Cornwall throughout the year as the county is home to some of the best beaches, a stunning coastline, quaint towns and villages, and rugged moorland. The Duchy also boasts a fascinating history of pirates and miners, but what is Cornwall famous for?

In this guide, we take you through the things you may not know about Cornwall as we share some interesting facts and stats about the county.

Interesting facts about Cornwall

  • Cornwall has its own language
  • Pasties were invented for Cornish miners
  • Basking Sharks live in Cornwall’s waters
  • Cornwall has over 200 miles of coast and 300 beaches
  • Cornwall is home to over 380 species of plants
  • Cornish wrestling is a thing!

Cornwall has its own language

Cornish is a Celtic language which is closely related to Breton and Welsh. It is predominantly spoken in Cornwall (or Kernow as it is known in Cornish), and a few hundred people speak it.

Many place names in the county boast Cornish dialect, such as Tre as in Trebetherick and Trelissick, meaning a homestead and its nearby buildings. If you are staying at caravan parks in Cornwall, you will be interested to know that the Cornish prefix Pol, found in Polperro, means a pool. Pen-in-place names like Penzance or Pendennis mean an end of something, a headland or head.

Cornish pasties were invented for miners

A traditional Cornish pasty

Pasties are synonymous with Cornwall because they were invented in the county. The Cornish pasty is now world-famous, and eating one is on many people’s bucket lists when they come down on holiday to the county.

The Cornish pasty was invented for miners so they could take these thick-crusted treats filled with beef skirt, potatoes, onions and swede down into the mines to eat. The miners would eat the pasty and its filling and throw away part of the crust they had been holding to avoid harmful substances entering their bodies. Nowadays, the crust is eaten as well as the pasty and its filling.

Geoff, who runs Geoff’s Baking Blog, says that Cornish pasties are one of his favourite things to make: “One of my favourite savoury bakes is Cornish Pasties. These are a very traditional item in Cornwall. Farm workers would take them into the fields. Miners would also take them for lunch. The pastry was always very firm to withstand travelling. Not only that, but there was also a thick rim which could be used to hold the pasty whilst eating. That rim was how the pasty was held, in the dirty hands of the workers.”

ALSO READ: Where to find the perfect Cornish pasty

Basking Sharks live in Cornwall’s waters

Cornwall is known for having a diverse range of marine life, and one of the most impressive animals in its waters is basking sharks.

The basking shark can grow as long as a double-decker bus, weigh up to around seven tonnes, and live for 50 years, making it the second largest fish. These gentle giants can be seen regularly in Cornish waters from April to October, with sightings peaking in the middle of the summer as temperatures begin to rise.

Basking sharks are not the only marine life you can see in the coastal waters around Cornwall, as dolphins, seals, sunfish, and fin whales are just some of the other incredible marine wildlife you can see in the county.

There are lots of amazing boat trips and wildlife safaris you can enjoy in Cornwall, and here are some of the tours you can enjoy:

ALSO READ: A guide to wildlife in Cornwall

Cornwall has over 200 miles of coast and 300 beaches

The coastline in Cornwall

Cornwall is famous for its coastline, and with more than 250 miles of coast, it has one of the most varied and beautiful coastlines in the UK. According to Cornwall Council, there are more than 300 beaches along this stunning coastline, each offering something slightly different to its visitors.

With its incredible beaches and great waves, it is no surprise that Cornwall is seen as a surfer’s paradise.

ALSO READ: Beaches you need to visit

Cornwall is home to over 380 species of plants

Cornwall boasts a milder climate than most parts of the UK, and its fertile soil makes it a perfect place for species of plants to grow. Cornwall is estimated to be home to more than 380 species of plants, and no matter what time of the year you visit, there will be a variety of plants growing.

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust lists some wildflowers that grow in the county, including Fly orchid, Deptford pink, Scarlet pimpernel, Cross-leaved heath, Yellow water-lily, and Thrift.

Cornwall has many gardens and attractions you should visit if you are a keen gardener. From the Eden Project and Trewithen Gardens to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Trebah Gardens, there are plenty of places that are home to a number of plant species.

Cornish wrestling is a thing!

When you think of wrestling, you might think of the WWE over in America or Lucha libre, which is the term used for the style of professional wrestling that originated in Mexico. Cornwall, however, is also home to its own form of wrestling.

Cornish wrestling was established many centuries ago, and the referee of the bout is known as a ‘stickler’. Wrestlers wear thick jackets to grasp their opponents, and the aim is for a wrestler to make their opponent land as flat on their back as possible to be deemed the winner of the contest.

The Cornish Wrestling Association website lists all the rules of the sport, the different weight categories, and the different age groups that people can compete in.

ALSO READ: A brief guide to sport in Cornwall

This guide shares some fascinating facts and interesting information about Cornwall that you may not have previously known. If you are planning a stay at one of the holiday parks in Cornwall, then you can use this information to impress the friends or family who are coming with you on the trip.

For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our blog.

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