MAKING THE MOVE: CORNWALL FROM THE CAPITAL
PUBLISHED: 12:58 11 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:42 30 August 2017
Hollyoaks actor Craig Russell chats about making the move from London to Falmouth in Cornwall with his young family.
The lure of Cornwall is strong – with many people choosing the lifestyle for their family over a career in the capital.
As an actor Craig Russell has worked extensively in film and television in the past 20 years in dramas and feature films as well as in commercials and soap operas, which includes a regular role in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.
Craig is also the creator and writer (and star) behind the award-winning comedy web series Grave Danger with Dave Granger which has attracted more than million viewers worldwide. But his latest project – having a baby with wife Kate Edney has brought the young family to Falmouth.
My best mate and I used to come down here every summer camping and walking the coastal path,’ remembers Craig. We covered from Newquay to St Austell and aim to eventually make it to the Tamar. Then in 2005 I came down to do a play and ended up meeting my wife (former actress Kate Edney) who is from Penryn and that obviously cemented my love affair with the county!’
The couple married in Cornwall in 2011 and the move from London – via North Kent - was prompted when their son Teddy was born in September last year. Craig says they decided to go for it!’
Living as close as we do to Kate’s parents means that Teddy gets to see them regularly and the area is wonderful for families with lots going on,’ he says. Falmouth was a great town when I first came here 10 years ago but now it’s absolutely fantastic. Living here feels like you’re on holiday every day.
Obviously the climate, the fantastic local produce and the fact you’re surrounded by the sea are huge pluses but it’s more than that. Exciting new companies and businesses are springing up everywhere and the towns, villages and beaches are going from strength to strength. On a more human level, my father came to stay recently and he couldn’t get over how friendly people were in the street! I think the warmth he received wherever we went will stay with him for a long time.’
Craig has several projects in development which include a BBC series for children and he has recently produced his first feature film, sci fi comedy drama Canaries, which stars a host of TV names and was shot on location in the UK and the US.
He says the move to Cornwall away from the South East hub has made him more picky about the roles he chooses.
When an audition or meeting comes up I have to justify that very expensive and never-on-time train journey or the 12-hour round trip in the car. Obviously the internet is a huge help. I’m currently developing a children’s series with the BBC and rather than travel to Manchester for meetings I can do it on Skype or by email.’
For the couple – the success has come, like for many young families in seeing the happiness of their child.
Seeing Teddy grow up in a safe, thriving environment in a county with a strong positive identity surrounded by family and friends is enough for me,’ Craig says. I’m the only one in the family who has to travel for work and, as I don’t mind doing so, it works.’
So what advice would he offer for others thinking of making the move? Move for the right reasons,’ he adds. It was mainly about family for us and everything else is a bonus. Whatever your reason just give it 100% and wherever you live support that community and get involved.’
Favourite flavour of Cornwall
Tough one! I’ve always been a fan of the pasty and in my opinion you’d be hard pushed to find a better one than Rowes. I’d have one every day if I could. Same goes for a pint of Tribute or Betty Stoggs. When people come to stay, a local ale is one of the first things I introduce them to - unless they’re here first thing in the morning.
I occasionally treat myself to a Fal Oyster from the guys at Arwenack, the fishmongers in town - now that is the taste of the sea. Or the nose, depending on who you listen to.’
We’re spoiled for choice here in Falmouth as we have Castle, Gyllyngvase, Swanpool and Maenporth to choose from. If I had to pick I’d say Swanpool. It’s the closest, the facilities are really good and I swim there most days.’
I put Teddy in the baby rucksack recently and we walked from Swanpool round to the Ferryboat Inn. Having covered most of the Cornish Coastal path I feel qualified enough to say that stretch takes some beating.’
Favourite place to eat
Falmouth really has become an exciting foodie town with dozens of places to choose from. Personally I’m a big fan of the chip so Harbour Lights is the place for me. Picnic is spot on for a cream tea or cake and if it’s proper coffee you’re after get Tom at Espressini to make you one. The guy’s a genius.’