One of the perks of the job (well, studentship) is that every now and then, I get to pack up a suitcase and go on a journey somewhere in the South West.

My PhD looks at children's eating behaviour and we are currently trying to develop an app that will help children to eat more healthily, simply by playing a very basic game. The results from previous experiments have been promising and so, as you can imagine, there's a lot of interest amongst schools and weight management services who want to try and use this game to help the children in their care to eat more healthily.

Over the summer, I was given the opportunity to head down to Cornwall to speak to some health professionals about using the app in their clinics. Our meeting was scheduled for a Monday morning but when I looked at the train times it was clear that I would have to get a train from Exeter at 4am in order to arrive on time! Luckily, we had some money left from a grant that was specifically allocated to help us to improve the outreach of our research and so I was able to use it for a hotel on the Sunday night.

And so, an impromptu mini-break to Cornwall was born.

We stayed in the pretty little town of Portreath for the night (which I could never work out how to pronounce - Port-wreath? Port-reet?). The nearest train station was Redruth and we actually ended up walking from the station to the coast after it became clear that a two-hour wait for the next bus to Portreath was not going to be fun considering that the entire town of Redruth was closed for Sunday!

On arriving in Portreath, we had a quick fish and chips by the beach, dropped our bags off at our hotel and set off for a ramble along the South West Coast Path (which you will know I am obsessed with if you've seen any of my other posts about the SWCP!)

The Cornish coastline is quite unlike any other in the UK, with its dramatic rock formations and delightfully clear, blue waters. On a sunny day, it resembles a tropical paradise. On a stormy day, it becomes an evocative and moody scene of drama.

Our walk took place on one of those glorious sunny days. We took the AA 50 Walks in Cornwall guide with us and followed a route that would take us along the coast for a few miles before looping back across the land to reach Portreath once more.

(A shorter version of the walk can be found online here; we continued on to Deadman's Cove before looping back through Tehidy Country Park).

As we followed the coast path up and out of Portreath, we frequently peered over the imposing cliff edges to gape at the rock formations below, seemingly teetering on the lip of oblivion.

(Although we always left a few metres for safety, just in case the cliffs gave way. Hardcore nature enthusiasts, obviously.)

Below us, seabirds circled the air currents and the waves crashed, seemingly in slow motion, against the shores and rocks below.

Soon, the path began to dip back towards the surf before rising up again to its former heights.

On a warmer day I would have happily gone right down to the shore for a swim in those gorgeously crystalline waters. Whoever knew the UK had seas that were bright, turquoise and clear, rather than muddy grey and silted?

Believe it or not these are the best pictures I got of Michele, who stuck his arse out every time I tried to take a photo of him...

And proceeded to try and lick my face whenever I tried to take a photo of the two of us together. The selfie camera on my phone is so bad anyway, I don't know why I bothered...

All too soon, the coastal portion of our walk came to an end and we began to loop back towards Portreath via Tehidy Country Park. After a short stroll along country lanes, we were back on soft, muddy tracks. These passed beneath a canopy of trees, some of which were impressively old and gnarled with great expanses of branches and roots.

Upon arriving back in our room at Portreath, we were rather tired.

We stayed at the Portreath Arms, which had actually been the cheapest room available in the area on and it's safe to say that we completely lucked out.

Our room was gloriously comfy and relaxing, in muted grey tones with a subtle nautical theme. We had a shared bathroom just outside on the corridor but we were only sharing with one other room and we didn't see our fellow guests at all!

The dining room downstairs was decorated similarly and the menu boasted a range of dishes, from pub classics and local fish to interesting sounding specials. Michele had the smoked haddock chowder in a bread bowl which was sooo yummy (he hardly let me steal any at all!). Meanwhile, I had the three cheese soufflé with asparagus, which was deliciously cheesy yet light.

In short, our second trip to Cornwall was infinitely more successful than our first (which never appeared on this blog as I had food poisoning and was therefore confined to bed for the entire time, boo).

I'd love to go back properly for a long weekend and explore more of this wonderful coastline.