"We're all traveling through time together every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride."

-From the movie About Time 

Cornwall is a popular British vacation spot saturated with gorgeous beaches, castles and local treasures. Many books, movies and television shows have been inspired or set in this southwestern English county. 

The Abou t Time House 

The charm of a Cornish gem 

Story by: Lane Stafford 

Down a tiny, winding road, a ways down and on the right, on the southern coast of St. Austell, sits the Porthpean House, also called the Big, Beautiful Beach House. As the name suggests, the property is dreamlike with breathtaking views of a small beach, rich history and an unforgettable charm.


The house was built in 1792, but fell into the hands of Petherick family nearly 150 years ago. Martin Petherick, the current owner of the property, doesn’t live there, but instead rents it out for vacations, weddings and as a filming location.  

“The views over St. Austell Bay are spectacular, and when the sun pours in the house, it’s beautifully lit,” Petherick said. “At night you can hear the sea swishing away.”


Some people may recognize the home and its ocean views from the British romantic comedy, About Time. The movie tells the story of a young, time-traveling man’s journey to find love.


Petherick says that parts of his own upbringing can be found throughout the movie. For example, many pieces of furniture and décor that belong to the family can be spotted in the film including brass beds, giant wardrobes and quirky paintings. There are more than a dozen rooms in the house full of other family treasures and special memories including a charcoal drawing of Petherick’s father and hand sculpted statues of other family members.  


Bill Nighy’s character, who was also capable of time travel, explains in the film that he has read every book he owns twice. The character's obsession with reading was inspired by Petherick’s father’s personal passion and the home’s beautiful library.


The property not only features the iconic house, but also a guest lodge and a luscious garden.


“The south coast of Cornwall has a wonderful climate for growing shrubs and trees such as camellias,” Petherick said. “We have over 250 different varieties, as well as rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias.”


Each flowering plant in the garden receives a significant name such as Jupiter, Cinnamon Cindy or Miss Universe. As spring arrives the garden becomes increasingly colorful and furthers the enchanting setting of the property, filling the air with the scent of the many flowers residing on the property alongside the salty ocean breeze.  


The house sleeps up to 21 people while the lodge sleeps up to 6. The property is situated on a small cliff just above the beach and isn’t far from surrounding attractions, pubs and restaurants.  


The house and guest lodge are available for rental all year long. Whether a traveler is looking for a weekend getaway, wedding venue or inspiration for their next work of art, the Porthpean House is a Cornish gem.

Photo by: Mary Kathryn Carpenter
Photo by: Mary Kathryn Carpenter

Photo by: Lane Stafford
Photo by: Lane Stafford

Photo by: Nicole Morales
Photo by: Nicole Morales

Photo by: Mary Kathryn Carpenter
Photo by: Mary Kathryn Carpenter


The Garden

Story by: Sam MacDonald 

Driving down the winding roads of Cornwall, old taverns and castles can be spotted along the road and in the distance. However, over a certain hill, a bubble-like form appears, looking as though some celestial toddler got ahold of a bubble wand and left the suds from his afternoon of play sitting on the hills.


It’s so out of place in the countryside, glistening in the South England sunshine. The honeycomb pattern of the biomes resembles that of a beehive creating a metaphor about nature and nature preservation.


The Eden Project, started in 1995 by Tim Smit and open to the public in 2001, is a conservation effort focused on educating the general populous about nature and the effect humans have on it.


“The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world,” said Simon Davies, Eden Project media relations assistant.


Consisting of two biomes, one showcasing the rainforest climate and the other a mediterranean climate, Eden Project transports  its visitors to a different world. The two biomes, made up of 230 miles of scaffolding, attract a plethora of visitors every year, bringing in over a million in 2017.


Eden Project, a former china clay pit, now has more than 30 acres of gardens.

To visit the Eden project in Cornwall, go to


Admission for adults is £28.50, students are £23.50, children aged 5-16 are £15 and children under 5 are free.

“We have nearly 2 million plants at the Eden Project, made up of over 5,000 varieties of plant,” Davies said.


The surrounding landscape has been completely transformed into beautiful stretches of gardens with winding pathways and art installations, providing a home for plants capable of surviving in England’s climate.


In addition to the gardens, Eden Project has what it calls the Invisible Worlds exhibit. This attraction teaches its visitors about all things too small for the eye to see and how they connect to the larger world around us.

In the future, visitors won’t have to travel to Cornwall specifically to experience all Eden Project has to offer. Eden Project, which is funded mainly through donations, specifically from The Millennium Commission and government loans, has plans to build more gardens around the world, including three projects in China and one in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. There are also plans to add more gardens around the United Kingdom, specifically Northern Ireland and Morecambe, Lancashire.


The project in Qingdao, China will be the first international Eden outpost completed. It will be built on land formerly used for salt production. The purpose of the Qingdao Eden Project will be to illustrate the necessity and role of water in the ecosystem by using two rivers which meet at the location of the new project.

Eden Pro jec  t 

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