Complete Guide to What to Do and See in Cornwall

Here is my favourite part of Britain – Cornwall is one of the most popular destinations in the summer in the UK. With its mild climate, stunning scenery, and long stretches of beach, Cornwall is located at the tip of the far west of England and has been one of Britain’s favourite holiday destinations.

I have been visiting Cornwall for the last 10 years, and still have plenty of places to visit, whether on a walk or a short drive. With 400 miles of coastline, Cornwall offers picturesque landscapes, stunning sandy beaches, historic and heritage sites, ports and fishing villages, and amazing coastal walks.

But despite all these beauties, what draws the most attention in Cornwall, besides the beauty of the colours, is its well-preserved medieval past. Walking through Cornwall you can feel at this time so far away and at the same time so conserved in this part of England.

I like to think that you need some spare time to explore it properly, so the best idea is to spend at least a week in Cornish villages and towns, if it is possible, to make the most of it. For this reason, it is quite important to find the right accommodation around, so, look for a Cornwall hotel and spa to have relaxing moments after long strolls in nature.

I never visit it during the summer holidays for obvious reasons, it is always packed. So, if you can make your way to Cornwall during spring or even early autumn, it would be a perfect time to be around. But to be honest, it’s a travel destination to enjoy during all seasons.

With that said, here are my favourite places in Cornwall to visit. This is a quite personal list, and it is all about my travel experiences in the area passing by its villages by car, boat, train, or on foot in different years and seasons of the year. I hope you enjoy it in the same way that the way I love Cornwall too.

Tintagel

If you are familiar with the legends surrounding King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and love history and myths, you probably heard about Tintagel before. Known as the last stronghold of Celtic heritage in England, Tintagel has stunning landscapes and coast walks to join and a lot of landscapes and history to explore.

The famous Tintagel castle is probably the main reason tourists head to this gorgeous part of the UK. So, if you have a bit of time to explore the area on foot, I recommend you to go on a five-mile circular walk on the outside cliffs of Tintagel. Then, pop to some of the cosy cafes around to get a famous and authentic Cornish pasty without any guilty.

I would also recommend joining one of the most picturesque walkings from the Southwest Coast path from Tintagel to Boscatle – another beautiful Cornish village that is worth it to visit. It has stunning viewpoints from the harbour and the rocky valleys around.

Boscastle

This gorgeous Fishman village is another Cornish popular destination that is linked to a devastating flood in 2004, but with the support of its community has a remarkable recovery.

The truth is that this picturesque village has so much to offer to tourists. From cosy cafes and pubs to second-hand shops and a historic harbour. I would recommend you eat some fish and chips while exploring the natural beauty.

Boldmin Moor

I know it is not about stunning sand beauties, but this amazing unspoiled area of Cornwall should be on your list, not only because of its importance to the history of Cornwall and legends related to this. But also, for its infinite miles of extraordinary landscapes, historic buildings, and inviting footpaths.

It’s also one of the most peaceful areas of Cornwall, considering the secluded areas around. Yes, it is possible to enjoy the silence in the Cornish moors. And sometimes, it’s all you need to start your holiday in the right mood.

Of course, it’s also a place to find the iconic pub Jamaica Inn, and I do recommend reading about it. You will find out that this iconic Inn is more than only a popular tourist destination.

Polperro

During another birthday trip to Cornwall, we stayed in the tiny village of Talland Bay, where we had the chance to visit gorgeous and picturesque villages around such as Polperro, another Cornish gem, that is known in the past for being a haven for smugglers.

There is a museum to know more about it. This charming fishing village is made of narrow streets and white buildings to lose yourself in nature and gorgeous views of the harbour.

 

It is situated in a bay surrounded by a beautiful coastline, where I highly recommend taking a boat trip through its harbour to check its stunning natural beaches and cliffs. We have taken a footpath on a long and enjoyable walk from Polperro to Looe – no regrets. It must be done!

Eden’s Project

It was from here that we had the chance to visit the must-see Eden’s Project as well. The experience of visiting this iconic biome was quite special, and I am glad we did it during a random day of the week out of the season, where we practically had the entire place to ourselves.

If you are in the area, I highly recommend picking a day to drive to the Eden’s Project and learn more about our ecosystem and educate ourselves about future eco- practices.

Looe

You probably already noticed, but Cornwall is 80% surrounded by water. It has the most beautiful beaches on the UK’s coast and it also has amazing hidden gems such as Looe. This coastal town is 20 miles from Plymouth.

It’s a great place for walking too, with its local businesses to try glorious food, and lovely restaurants facing its harbour.

You can choose to lay down on the sandy beaches or join a guided walk on the Looe islands. It was in Looe that I spent one of my birthdays, celebrating the date by eating local food, and drinking in its quirky pubs.

Fowley

Fowley is a quiet fish village that can be visited by boat, and it is a great place to spend a day or a weekend. There is quite a lot to do around the Fowley estuary. We visited Fowley taking part in the Southwest Cost Path coming from Perranuthnoe.

Those of you who are keen on walking will find the area overflowing with routes, but you can also enjoy exploring the estuary and surrounding countryside. There are nice pubs and cafés and local shops spread on the island, and the secluded beaches around Fowley are all must-visit spots.

Mousehole

 

Another picturesque fishing village in the south of Cornwall is also a quite popular spot for tourists. Its tiny harbour mouth provides stunning views from the village and sea.

Mousehole was a historic fishing mark back in the 13th century. Its narrow streets and alleys, and cosy cafés and pubs give the feeling of being back in time in Cornish history, especially when you are familiar with the story of the Stargazing pie.

Marazion

 

Here is one of my favourite spots in Cornwall. Placed on the shore of Mount’s Bay, Marazion is another popular tourist destination in the area. Especially for its proximity to Penzance, and its famous causeway stretch that leads to the stunning Saints Michael Mount.

The castle situated offshore is one of the most popular attractions of Cornwall. I would recommend visiting Saint Michael Mount in the morning to make the most of Marazion beaches during the rest of the day, and maybe ending up your visit with some drinks in the Godolphin Arms overlooking the beach in front of the Mount.

Perranuthnoe

Here is probably my favourite part of Cornwall. Perranuthnoe is probably not the most popular Cornish popular holiday spot, and that is what makes it more interesting.

Please, keep it like this. I understand the buzz around other towns around, but the village of Perranuthnoe preserves the sense of community that makes Cornwall a special place to be any time of the year.

 

It is probably quite busy in the summer, but during our visit in April on our first glamping holiday, it was quite interesting to go for a morning walking to the villages nearby and enjoy breakfast in the cafés with gorgeous seaside views.

Some days, we had the beach just for us and bumped into locals now and then, and we had also plenty of time to learn about the local history too.

 St Ives

Together with Newquay, maybe this is the most popular tourist point in Cornwall. The truth is that St Ives is a gorgeous Cornish village to spend a day out by the seaside. And that was exactly what we did. It’s a (fairly) small place that you can explore in one day. However, it’s packed with tourists all the time. So, you may find it a bit hard to enjoy it properly.

Its beautiful harbour and amazing footpaths around makes it a quite lovely region to explore on foot. It is also the perfect spot to have a fish and ship in front of the sea too.

Land’s End

If you read till this point, you probably already noticed that I would be the person to explore Cornwall and the UK from top to bottom one day, and I will. So, I had been to the Lizard Point at the Land’s End – the most westerly point in the mainland that is in western Cornwall. And I think you should visit this stunning spot too.

As you can imagine, the views from this legendary Cornish destination are breathtaking. We had a chance to visit it on a quite gorgeous sunny day, which made it more spectacular and special.

Land’s End is not just the endpoint of this country, it has a fabulous, beautiful coastal landscape, cliff-top trails, lovely local businesses, and the right excuse to have a Cornish pantry in this unique location.

 

 

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Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.