Anglo/German relations have had their ups and downs over the years as we all know, but it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that as of now they’ve never been better.
This is shown nowhere more than in their affection for all things Cornish which can be traced back to the televising of the books of Rosamunde Pilcher - set in the South West they are one of the German TV company ZDF’s most popular programmes. They give a romantic view of the county that may not seem completely accurate to us, but it’s certainly whetted the appetite of Germans to visit.
German speakers, including Austrians and Swiss, now make up nearly 40% of all overseas visitors. You won’t go far in Cornwall in the summer without hearing a German voice or seeing one of their cars on the roads. They have a list of places to visit, often associated with locations featured in the TV films. Prideaux Place in Padstow is inundated with German speakers each year having featured in the popular “Coming Home” some time ago.
Now, twice as many Germans visit Britain compared to Brits travelling there, with 300,000 choosing to live here and a large number of students studying in our universities. It seems like we’ll be seeing German number plates on the lanes of Cornwall for some time yet!
Niall MacDougall owns and writes for www.urlaubcornwall.de, the most popular German language website for holidays in Cornwall in German speaking Europe. It features selected accommodation, attractions, news and information aimed specifically at this group.