Memories in Cornwall: Then and Now

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Tintagel landscape

Enya Nwaegbe is an English with Creative Writing undergraduate at Falmouth University. In this article, she relates on her first experiences of Cornwall from when she was a child to what it’s like to live here now as a student completing her degree.

The first time I ever stepped foot in Cornwall I was either nine or ten years of age. I remember being really excited to go away on holiday with my family to a new place.

We stayed in a cottage that backed onto rolling hills and from the window you could see the horses grazing and galloping around in their field. I remember it was the summer before I started school again.

Previously, we had lived in London and never visited Cornwall; it was always Sussex, Devon or France. However we moved out of London to a place called Farnham and I started at a new school in May. It was so peaceful.

Having been on holiday in many different places my parents wanted to see more of England and so we came to Cornwall. During this holiday we visited the Eden Project, and I remember complaining about the humidity in one of the giant domes.  I am used to the heat, but not so much as to humidity. Apart from this, it was an amazing day out.

Some years later my family holidayed on the Devon and Cornwall border. I was probably around eleven to twelve years of age. We were actually staying in a cottage in Devon, but on one of the days we decided to cross the border and go to Tintagel, said to be the site of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Tintagel Castle is a beautiful place; very picturesque and very Romanticised in its ruins with Camelot Castle not too far away. Located on the peninsular of Tintagel Island, it oozes charm and beauty, but being eleven or twelve I failed to recognise its true beauty at the time. It isn’t until I look back on photos now of that holiday that I realise just what a magical place it really is.

I have never understood why Cornwall sees itself as a different country until I decided I wanted to study at Falmouth University.

I drove from Farnham, Surrey all the way to Cornwall and I have to say that when crossing the Tamar Bridge you really do get a sense that you are crossing into a different country. I can’t quite explain it, but it is there, like an invisible non-molecular line.

I never noticed this before when I was younger. It was only when I was older and driving down for my interview at Falmouth University that I realised it was there. I really don’t know how to describe the feeling I get when I go across the Tamar Bridge. If you go to Cornwall and you cross the bridge you will understand what I am talking about.

Being a student at Falmouth University is amazing. The campus feels like home to me and it is a lovely place to live, work and study.

Cornwall is surrounded by the ocean. This is probably the main reason I chose to study in Cornwall – I love the sea. I guess it is because my zodiac sign is Pieces and we really love the water.

Someday, I hope to visit Newquay and St. Ives, along with many other picturesque and quaint little villages that Cornwall has to offer.