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Bell’s Cornwall Chimes

Malcolm Bell - Head of Tourism (Truro) With Truro Cathedral in the back ground
Malcolm Bell - Head of Tourism (Truro) With Truro Cathedral in the back ground

Friday, May 30, 2014
9:00 AM

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No I am not asking you to dress up, have hair extensions and dye your curly locks in some kind of Boy George 1980s tribute festival, it is more about the wealth of culture on offer right on our doorstep. 
We all know how wonderful Cornwall is, not only those of us who live here, but also the four to five million people a year that visit our precious Duchy. We also know that we have a spectacular coastline and amazing beaches that truly are world-class.

In my day job, as head of Visit Cornwall, we use this iconic imagery of the coast and beaches as our star assets to turn heads and get people interested in visiting or revisiting Cornwall. However, we should not close our eyes to everything else the Duchy has to offer, as there is a lot more to Cornwall than just spectacular coastline and wonderful beaches. We also have a great culture scene encompassing music, theatres, arts and galleries, to name but a few.

How many of us fail to recognise, let alone partake in our cultural delights and thus fail to make the most of what else Cornwall has to offer. Yes, there is, of course, the history, the heritage and our world-class UNESCO mining sites all of which we should explore and enjoy: it is the DNA of Cornwall and gives us a very special character. We should also, however, enjoy the other side of Cornwall as we have amazing galleries all across the county, combined with great artist studios and potteries. We have visitors that travel the world to see the Leech Pottery, the Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth studio, alongside our own amazing award-winning galleries such as Penlee, Newlyn and Falmouth. It would take all of us a good year of day’s-out to visit and appreciate them all - and then we would all want to return to them again the following year. There is our theatres from the Hall for Cornwall, Miracle, Kneehigh and never-to-be-missed the Minack Theatre, with its worldwide reputation and stunning location. This year the Kneehigh Theatre have an Asylum season next to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, I would defy anyone not to enjoy a visit to Heligan, followed by supper and a Kneehigh production – what a memorable day/evening out for everyone. Our music scene is vibrant with many rising artists and bands, as well as key festivals such as Board Masters and the great Looe Music festival. We truly have a smorgasbord of cultural delights. One of the best ways to enjoy our vibrant and varied cultural scene is to attend the staggering array of festivals and events that occur throughout the year, not just the food and drink events, which are amazing and a must for all locals and our visitors alike, but as many of the others, details of which which can be found in a great leaflet called Feast of Festivals. The Feast team has worked very hard to assemble a great programme of events right across Cornwall, which sits well beside the key festivals and events such as Golowan in Penzance, Fowey Music and Words and Port Elliott in the South East.

While on the topic of festivals and events, it would be remiss of me not to highlight the Tall Ships Festival in Falmouth at the end of August. This will certainly be an event not to miss: not just the parade of sail on the Sunday, but all four days there will be music, food and drink, children’s activities and one of the greatest photographic opportunities for the keen, as well as the not so keen photographer. Don’t forget to instagram, tweet, google+ and facebook those great images to friends near and far and help me sell Cornwall!

So let’s all get out there and soak up the great culture on offer in Cornwall alongside our great coast, heritage, areas of outstanding natural beauty, Bodmin Moor and,of course, our beaches.

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