Hi Alicia, you say you want to keep cost down on your trip to Cornwall, so if you stayed away from the tourist towns you will save money on your trip, St Ives will be full and expensive in summer time, and you will probably end up somewhere up the top of the town, (steep hill) I live in Hayle and the price of accommodation is cheaper than St Ives, Hayle is not as pretty as St ives but we do have 3 miles of beaches, it is on the main line trains for Penzance, Truro if you want to go to Falmouth and it is flat no hills
Take a look at some of my photos a lot of them are in cornwall, if you need anymore info give us a P/M and i will try and help, cheers ps the oggies are a lot better in Hayle
It sounds as though you have been getting fantastic advice regarding the UK.
For my two cents worth, I found travelling in Europe very easy by train. The costs are reasonable, travel stops/destinations are easy to follow and your destination is usually in the centre of town, if your tickets is pre-purchased you can turn up a short time before departure, tis easy to get up and stretch your legs. For a longer trip ie, france to italy, travel overnight and save on accommodation costs that day.
Plane is faster by comparison but means turning up at the airport hours ahead and airports tend to be on the outskirts of town, meaning further travel and more time to/from the city centre. Planes can be good for longer trips but trains are great for long, intermediate or short travel lengths - especially when you're not sure of your way around.
Personally I am not a fan of buses and probably the wrong person to ask there - I like to be able to move around, they are affected by weather, accidents and traffic. In cities, it is sometimes hard to know when to get off and usually for me, the language barrier has been a problem.
Good luck with your planning; do a heap of research and it will all come together - the info is out there its just a matter of tracking it down.
Elkins has given you good advice. Certainly it's possible to do the trip you're suggesting using buses (and there's a train between St Ives and Penzance). Land's end is a waste of time, so though you'll probably feel compelled to go there you should go and see some of the amazing things around it too. I went to a performance at the Minack Theatre earlier this year and it was a fantastic experience, and the beaches at Sennen and near to Porthcurno are great. Mousehole certainly is a pretty little town too - it is touristy, but certainly worth it, particularly if you have a connection to it. I actually enjoyed Penzance and Newlyn too, a bit rougher around the edges but with some real character.
One extra thing - if you're travelling down from London I'd really recommend getting the Night Riviera sleeper train, it's a great way to arrive in Cornwall.
Thank you all so much for all your advice.
I am wondering though, what is the weather like in June and September?
As the peak season is not when we want to travel. We want to either go before hand or after the peak.
If any one has any hotel recommendations in France, Italy or UK they would be greatly appreciated. We don't want anything cheap and nasty, just something clean and tidy with friendly, helpful staff, and in a good location (ie within walking distance of attractions).
Rob - is the night riviera expensive? (i know everyone's ideas of expensive are different, but in terms of value for money) i havent had a chance to google it yet, but it sounds like a really great way to travel.
Rena - i don't do buses either. I get quite motion sick, and trains seem to be a good option for me. Are there any rail passes you can recommend?
Also, has anyone been to the Eden Project? I want to know if its as good as i've heard.
Night Riviera starts at under £100 for 2 people one way, if you book fairly well in advance. Remember that it saves you a hotel night.
The weather in the UK is always a gamble, but you're fairly likely to get some nice days in June (June has been sunnier than July and August over the past few years) and September usually isn't too bad either.
Alicia, rob is right, if you book 3 months advavce you can get your twin berth and train ticket (single) for £69, but as soon as the cheap tickets all go you are looking at £162, i am not a big fan of the night riviera, i have used it 3/4 times and never had a good sleep yet, i think its only just under 5 hours from Reading to the far west of cornwall and its a lovely journey too good of a trip to try and sleep through!!!!!
As for the weather you will have to put a pin into the calendar and hope for the best, April has been the best month down here up to now, you take your choice, June and most of July is better because you have the longer light evenings plus the schools have not broke up, end of July/ Aug are busy with the schools now on holiday for 6 weeks, Sep is a nice month as the schools are all back and its not as busy, the down side is that its starting to get dark around 7-30,
I have just rode into Penzance tonight at 5-30 and the 7 mile trip into Penzance was bumper to bumper both ways as today its been overcast and damp all day so everybody takes to the car in search of somewhere to see and do, i would try to give July,Aug a miss, hope there is something here that will help????