Cornwall South Coast holiday cottages & beach resorts

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A holiday cottage in one of the pretty fishing villages on the South Coast of Cornwall will offer a slightly slower pace of life. In contrast to the surging, rugged coast of the north, the beautiful estuaries and shimmering seas of the south are backed by gentle green hills. It may be calmer here, but there's still plenty to see and do. There's the ever-popular Eden Project for a start, which was established as one of the landmark Millenium projects in the UK to mark the year 2000.

The Eden Project describes itself as ' a living theatre of plants and people'. Set in a fifty-metre deep crater near St Austell, the project is home to thousands of plants, spectacular both in appearance and in scientific interest. Three of the world's climate zones, or 'biomes', have been replicated here; The Humid Tropics and the Warm Temperate zones are housed in two giant conservatories. The third 'outdoor biome' is the UK's own temperate zone, and the plants featured here thrive in the Cornish climate. The Eden project also hosts a range of theatrical and musical events throughout the year, so check what's going on during your stay. Holiday cottages near the Eden Project are plentiful - you can rent a cottage near St Austell, a self-catering house near Charlestown or holiday accommodation anywhere on the south coast of Cornwall.

St Austell itself is also worth a visit. You can take a tour of the St Austell Brewery and taste some of the fine local beers. The china clay works behind the town make for a strange but interesting landscape, which has been used in the Bond films. Charlestown, just to the South, also has a cinematic feel with its unspoilt Georgian harbour.

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Don't forget that The Eden Project is not alone as a place of ecological wonder in Cornwall. The year-round mildness of the climate brought by the gulf stream makes Cornwall an ideal spot for growing plants which wouldn't survive in other parts of the UK. There are palm trees, lush gardens, and even Daffodils in January! There are several national trust gardens, the magical lost gardens of Heligan, a Japanese garden and bonsai nursery and numerous traditional cottage gardens scattered all over Cornwall. Beaches on the South Coast include Whitsand Bay, where you can join a diving trip on the HMS Scylla artificial diving reef. Gorran Haven is a sheltered beach offering safe bathing, and Porthpean is a great place for rock hopping and exploring rock pools. If you've got the stamina to tackle the 200 odd steps down to the beach at Polstreath, you'll find another of Cornwall's gems.

If you're planning to stay in south Cornwall in August you might want to get into the party spirit and check out the Fowey Regatta and Carnival. Fowey is a pretty place, with streets dating back to Elizabethan times and a harbour filled with fishing and sailing vessels of all shapes and sizes. It also hosts the Daphne du Maurier festival of literature and arts in May. Holiday cottages in Fowey range from thatched cottages to luxury self-catering near Fowey with a log fire.