Who is Cornwall? Anna Clark, the founder of 'The Cornish Life'
This week we had the honour of sitting down and chatting to Anna Clark the founder of The Cornish Life, one of Cornwall's hottest lifestyle blogs to talk about her favourite Instagrammable spots in Cornwall plus how she finds her own travel inspiration.
Hey Anna! Thanks for taking the time out to chat to us. Why don't you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Where do I start? I'm a freelance website designer, working with small businesses in Cornwall and further afield, but I write a lifestyle blog about Cornwall called The Cornish Life too. On a typical day I will do my client work in the morning, then spend my afternoons exploring, taking photos or blogging about places and brands here in Cornwall; it's a great mix of all the things I love to do!
So you're an expert when it comes to the best places to visit in Cornwall? Where are your top 5 places to photograph in Cornwall?
Cornwall is an extremely photogenic place, so it's pretty hard to pick a top 5! But here goes:
- Helford river;
It looks like somewhere from the mediterranean with its sub-tropical climate, tall towering trees and pebble beaches.
Godrevy beach & lighthouse;
It's a beautiful landmark of Cornwall, and one of my favourite beaches to sit and watch the sunset with a bbq and good friends!
- St. Michael's Mount;
Okay so this is probably the top of the list, actually! One of the UK's most famous landmarks, this island castle is incredible to see in Mount's Bay - evening or day time.
I don't think anyone would disagree when I say that Porthcurno is a ridiculously picturesque beach; with its crystal clear waters and soft white sand.
- Bedruthan steps;
These incredible rock stacks make for awesome photos - especially at sunset.
Nice choice! If you were visiting Cornwall for the first time, where would you head to first?
This is such a great question and something I've never thought about before! I think I would probably head to Falmouth, because it simply has everything - a variety of beaches, a harbour town feel, nearby countryside walks, Cornish boutiques and independent cafes, and even a castle to explore too.
We absolutely love your blog. What made you want to start blogging?
I'd been reading blogs for a few years before I started The Cornish Life in 2015; I've always loved writing and I knew I wanted my own space to document my travels, adventures and thoughts so I decided to start a blog. I had just moved back to Cornwall to start a job and was rediscovering the county as an adult (I hadn't really appreciated it when I was a teenager growing up) and I figured I could share my passion for this place with my writing and also develop my photography skills along the way (a big hobby of mine!).
I was working as a Marketing Assistant at the time which was definitely useful as I had the skills to promote my posts online and get seen by people. Now The Cornish Life has grown and become a resource for people looking to visit Cornwall (or even move here!) and I'm so glad I get to help people with my posts.
The Cornish Life is certainly a great place to find travel inspiration – where do you get your own inspiration from?
For my blog I'm pretty much inspired by my surroundings and by the awesome variety of local brands and businesses we have here who I want to promote! As a small business owner myself it's great that I have the ability to do that with for others with my blog.
For travel inspiration, I read a lot of blogs myself - Hand Luggage Only is my go-to when it comes to travel! I think they must have travelled to pretty much every country and made just about every list/tips post you can think of. But I also regularly use Pinterest and spot places in photos that I want to visit; in fact, last September, I went on a solo trip to Portugal, specifically to see the rock stacks and Benagil caves in Lagos that I had seen a photo of on Pinterest!
What’s your favourite/worst thing about being a blogger?
There are so many great things about blogging, whether it's meeting new people, getting to visit and review amazing places or working with brands that you love (I recently did a collaboration with Barbour, which was super exciting!). However my favourite thing is probably getting emails and messages from people telling me that my blog has helped them in their decision to move to Cornwall, often paired with really moving stories. It's amazing to think I've had a hand in someone's huge life decision!
The worst thing is, and I'm sure every other blogger out there will agree, that many people (brands/companies/PRs included) don't understand the value of bloggers and the time and effort that goes into each post. For me, this is a part-time job and I've worked really hard to get it to where it is now, so it is really disheartening when - particularly larger - brands expect me to work for free or for very little. Sadly the industry is still quite undervalued!
We’ve recently noticed that you’ve started a clothing range – tell us a little about that?
For ages I've wanted to start a new project that would combine my design skills with my marketing skills, and allow me to promote Cornwall in yet another way - with clothing! I launched South Coast Lifestyle this June and I'm really excited to keep working on it over the next few months and keep it growing.
The clothes are a subtle shout-out to coastal living and Cornish vibes, in the same hipster/surf-style that I love and wear myself. I didn't want any tacky slogans or Cornish flag designs, and just wanted to keep it simple. There are currently tops, t-shirts and tanks for men and women in stock!
It looks like you love to use social media too - what are your thoughts on the Instagram world?
I love Instagram and I run both my own account for The Cornish Life (@annac42) and the South Coast Lifestyle account (@scoastlifestyle). I've enjoyed building a following but I can see that so many people get really obsessed with it and bloggers/influencers in particular seem to stress over the numbers a lot!
I get it, Instagram can be a lucrative business in itself if you have enough followers! But I personally just see it as a tool to reach people and promote my blog and business, or even as a mini-bog, and I try not to get too addicted to it. I do definitely admit to portraying a highly filtered version of my life on there, though, as most people do! It's certainly not so 'Instant' anymore but I'm enjoying doing more spontaneous and personal/less filtered posts on my Instagram stories lately as well.
To check out more from Anna, head over to The Cornish Life.