Pick up your hire car in Cornwall and enjoy a hearty west country welcome, complete with great beaches and cute surfers.
"A dramatic coastline, the country's best beaches, ancient moorland and a whole town-full of Rick Stein restaurants - we've got it all. In fact, we should be an independent country. Now there's a thought..."
Yep, some locals do want Cornwall to become a nation in its own right, but for now you won't need your passport to enjoy a thriving gastronomic scene, great nightlife and, of course, some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK.
With all those surfers hanging out, Cornwall can't help feeling nicely chilled. It's remote and there's little hustle and bustle but boring it most certainly isn't.
Contrary to popular misconception, locals will not try to stab tourists with pitchforks. Be nice to them and you'll be given a friendly Cornwall welcome.
Thanks to its position on the south west coast, the lucky people of this county enjoy the mildest climate in Britain as well as the shortest winters.
The Cornish pasty, of course - or oggy, as they call it in these parts. According to tradition, the meat, potato and pastry combo was originally made for tin miners who, covered in filth and unable to wash their hands, would hold the pasty by its crust and eat the rest.
A raft of A-listers, from Prince William and Hugh Grant to Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet have been known to descend upon Cornwall.
Wherever you go in Cornwall, you're never more than 16 miles from the sea.
"I love Cornwall. It's not England."- DH Lawrence
Car hire desks or, if you’re travelling at weekends, meet and greet staff from the rental company, will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall.
There are no duty free stores at Newquay airport, but mercifully you can still pick up some Cornish fudge from the gift shop.
There is a cash machine available in the check-in area of the terminal.
There are two coffee bars selling snacks and drinks in the airport, but with only a ten minute drive between you and the coast, fish and chips are never far away.
In the last few years there’s been an increase in muggings (from Seagulls), particularly of tourists. Until all of the seagulls responsible have been apprehended, it’s best to keep your Cornetto and your chips under cover.
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Pick up your car rental at Newquay Airport and drive into Doc Martin country. This picturesque fishing village has been the setting for the popular soap and led to many a tourist wanting to relocate here permanently. The whitewashed houses, turquoise waters of the bay and friendly locals make this a really special place to visit.
There are over twenty wrecks lying at the bottom of the Celtic Sea just off the coast of Cornwall. For divers, this is one of the best sites in the UK to get up close and personal with these spooky, fascinating and unique homes for marine life. Diving trips are available with Atlantic Diver on Ulalia Road in Newquay.
If you can surf, then Booby’s Bay is the beach for you. With challenging tides and a wide cove, this spot is popular with surfers from all over the UK. Interestingly, it is not a nudist beach as its name may suggest - great waves, no nudes.
Cornwall's most visited tourist attraction has recently had a £3.6 million face lift. Once you're feeling sufficiently holy, have your lunch in the great restaurant.
Moorfield pay and display car park on Calenick Street is a four-minute walk from the cathedral.
The epicentre of the UK's surf scene attracts all manner of poseurs, wannabes and hangers-on, and when the sun shines in the summer months, all human life arrives in Fistral.
There is a small car park close to the beach on Headland Road but it is quite expensive - the charges vary throughout the year. Another option would be to use the pay and display road parking, which is available on the south side of the beach.
Previously the home of a well-to-do miller, Penlee House now exhibits work by local artists. Take advantage of the (hopefully) good weather and enjoy a spot of open air theatre in the park too.
Penlee House Car Park on Alverton Street is just a hop, skip and a jump from Penlee House Gallery and Museum.
Formerly just a tropical bird garden but now also a sanctuary to red pandas, red squirrels and not-red otters. The birds are still the big draw, though, with eagle flying displays and parrot feeding.
There is a free car park on site and they provide eight wide car parking spaces reserved for the disabled.
Alongside the expected boats, sailor stories and maritime history, come here to explore the deeply claustrophobic side to the sea - think diving bell, human torpedoes and shipwrecks.
There is off-street paid car parking in the Maritime car park or alongside in Grove Place car park, providing over 400 short term - three hours only - spaces within 150 metres of the Museum. The Dell, near the railway station, close to the museum, has long-term parking.
Like a cross between The Day of the Triffids and Gardeners' World, this eco project is truly amazing - and also extremely popular.
Head east on the B3058 out of Newquay towards St Austell. It should only take half an hour to get there.
This artistic hub is bursting with cool eateries, shops and galleries, including the Tate. Be sure to go for a coffee on the rooftop cafe and soak up the spectacular view of the beach.
Take the A30 south out of Newquay and head onto the A3074. It should take just under an hour.
Just around the corner from the too-famous and possibly a little tacky Land's End is a gorgeous and peaceful bay. From here, there's nothing between you and America.
Head south on the A30, past Penzance. It should take around an hour to get there from Newquay.
A jaw-dropping amphitheatre cut into the cliff, meaning that every show, from Shakespeare plays to Charlotte Church gigs, has the most amazing backdrop.
Take the A30 south out of Newquay. It should take just over an hour to get to Porthcurno.
" It's always worth getting off the main roads and discovering the scenic routes (often marked with a brown road sign) which can take you across the most beautiful countryside. It's a good idea to invest in an Ordnance Survey Map - they show the smallest details and will direct you to wonderful prehistoric sites such as Merry Maidens stone circle. Something that is unique to Cornwall is how they let you know when the road is too narrow for two cars - they simply stop painting the line in the middle of the road! "