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8 May 2014

Nine reasons why Cornwall could be a country

With the recent recognition of Cornish folk as a distinct ethnic group we’ve had more and more people visiting the Valley on short breaks in Cornwall asking us questions about Cornwall.

Often we’ve found ourselves being asked whether Cornwall could be a country in its own right.

While we don’t think Cornwall needs to be a separate country form the rest of the UK, it did get us thinking.

So here are nine reasons why Cornwall would make a great country (which are also reasons why it’s a great county).

The Cornish “national” anthem already exists

The Duchy already has a song recognised as its unofficial anthem – called “Trelawney”, or in English “Song of the Western men”.

Also, because he comes from round there, we reckon there could be an Aphex Twin remix of it and it would sound like this.

Cornwall would be difficult to invade

Cornwall is cut off from the rest of Britain by the River Tamar, which marks the border with Devon.

If there were ever to be a war between Cornwall and the rest of the country it would make a fantastic defensive front line – although as things are it’s simply a pretty marker to let you know you’re entering the county!

Cornwall has its own national sport

It’s not rugby, despite the fact the Cornish Pirates, Redruth and Launceston are great teams who many people watch, and it’s not gig racing, despite the fact hundreds of people take part in the sport.

It’s also not one sport, since Cornwall’s has two “national” sports which aren’t found anywhere else in the world.

The sports are special forms of hurling and wrestling.

Both make spectacular and fun spectator sports and are watched by thousands of people on holiday in Cornwall every year.

Cornish hurling, or Hyrlîan, is a form of medieval football which is played with a small silver ball.

King Arthur was born in Cornwall

If legend is to be believed King Arthur would have called Cornwall home during the middle ages.

In modern times a cottage industry has sprung up around the legend, with hundreds of Arthurian businesses based around the tourist attraction that is Tintagel Castle.

Cornwall has a greater population than Malta

With more people in Cornwall than there are in Malta, Iceland, Luxembourg and the Vatican why shouldn’t it be a country?

But at the same time, Cornwall’s relatively low (and importantly, sparse) population means the county is a peaceful and quiet place to visit.

It’s larger than Andorra

As well as being more populous than Malta Cornwall is bigger than Andorra, at 3,563 square kilometres.

That means there’s plenty of the county to explore on holiday!

It has the best beaches in Britain

Since Cornish beaches are among the best in Britain for surfing and enjoying the sun, and have a 100 per cent pass mark for water quality with the Marine Conservation Society, why share?

If the county were a country it could keep those beaches to itself – but as a county everyone in Britain has the right to do that and you can all visit a Cornish beach on holiday.

A visit to Cornwall would mean a new stamp on your passport

On average there are more than 4m domestic tourism trips made to Cornwall every year.

If the county was a country everyone could still enjoy a visit to Cornwall, but would get a stamp in their passport to remember it by!

The county has it’s own language

And it’s older than English!

The Cornish language – Kernowek – predates English, but is thought to have stopped being used regularly sometime around 700AD.

Dolly Pentreath was the last fluent native speaker of Cornish, and she died around a thousand years later in 1777. In 2009 Cornish was declared “extinct” by the UN, only to be declared alive and kicking a year later.

Now the language serves as a reminder that Cornwall is a fiercely independent yet welcoming place to visit on holiday.

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