Every cloud has a silver lining and during the drib drab winter months in England, the further South I go the  happier I am. This year is a case in point; with the country expecting a decidedly soggy Christmas, a winter in Cornwall sounds especially appealing. The reason why I had decided to visit Cornwall has everything to do with my new mantra of the importance of exploring your own backyard.

Winter in Cornwall is still as beautiful as during the summer months. Sure the beaches don’t contain the thousands of tourists and the wind has a cold edge, but for all of that there is a beauty to the county; the small fishing boats that have been pulled up out of the surf for the season, the dappled sunlight breaking through the clouds or simply having a nice cup of warm coffee.

Second homes and rental cottages normally lie empty during the winter months meaning that prices drop and bargains can be had. With the coast never more than an hour away by car and plenty of coastal walks there is also plenty to explore if you winter in Cornwall. The isolation also makes for a great family holiday or a nice romantic retreat.

In the winter it is only the bravest of the brave who are willing to dip themselves in the cold English Channel. Most surfers, including me, pack away their boards for the winter months, but the blustery winds and empty seas offer the chance for others to practice their extreme sports.

Watching the kite surfers jump from the waves, and cut long wakes across the waters, I realised how much fun kite surfing could be. However, knowing that there’s bound to be a steep learning curve, with inevitable falls I think I’ll take up this sport in warmer waters.