Visit Cornwall. For rustic coastlines, turquoise coves, sandy beaches, quaint seaside towns, fish and chips, cream teas, pasties, chic hotels, camping sites galore and its charming West country twang. This is simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cornwall’s finest offerings and a mere handful of reasons why the picturesque corner of our little island is a hotspot for tourists seeking a laid-back British break.
Providing you with your next dose of travel inspiration, we’ve come up with our top 10 reasons (it was a tough job narrowing it down!) to visit Cornwall. Have we missed anything off?
1) You won’t find a better cream tea
It’s practically a crime to visit Cornwall without sampling one of their world-famous cream teas… complete with an indulgent serving of Cornish clotted cream, of course. Unlike the Devonshire method, a traditional Cornish cream tea involves splitting a warm scone in two and spreading each side with strawberry jam first, before topping it with a generous dollop of clotted cream. Don’t get us started on whether it’s pronounced ‘scone’ or ‘scon’!
If savoury is more to your taste, you can’t go wrong with a freshly made Cornish pastie or some top-notch fish and chips. It always tastes better by the seaside!
Jane Duckworth of Jane’s World is a big fan of Cornwall’s food and drink scene, singing praises of the Cornish cheeses and saffron buns:
For me it’s a privilege to call the beautiful peninsula county of Cornwall my birthplace, because there’s such a variety of things to do here. From visiting historical Cornish sites like Botallack Mine which is used by the BBC as a filming location for Poldark or the world famous Eden Project, where a disused clay pit has been cleverly transformed into a plant lovers paradise and where thrill seekers can zip wire across high the biomes!
Visitors to Cornwall are also in for culinary treat as Cornish people truly do take their food and drink seriously. Apart from the delicious and totally unmissable Cornish pasties and Cornish cream teas, it’s also worth looking out for Yarg or Cornish Blue cheese or traditional saffron buns, which can all be washed down with a refreshing glass of local Camel Valley wine or lashings of Sharps Doombar beer. ‘Ansome!
2) There are countless gorgeous boutique hotels
Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday spots in the UK and for good reason. Not only does it have a spectacular coastline and its very own sub-tropical climate, but there are more beautiful boutique hotels, manor houses and B&Bs than you can shake a stick at!
For elegant luxury, Boscundle Manor is the perfect base for exploring the nearby Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The charming manor house hotel is set in five acres of secluded gardens and woodland in St. Austell, and boasts both indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, a croquet lawn, BBQ facilities, a bar lounge and a sunny conservatory to kick back in.
The Lugger Inn on the other hand, is located mere metres from the waterline and offers fabulous views over the cove and port of the fishing town of Portloe. The AA Rosette restaurant situated onsite is an added bonus!
3) The beaches are breathtaking
Whether you dream of wiggling your toes through fine white sand or you prefer your beaches more rugged, with over 400 beaches, the Cornish coast offers a chocolate box variety of options. Varying from expansive stretches of sand sloping into turquoise waters to rocky wave-beaten coves only accessible via kayak, the peninsula coast has something for every nature of holidaymaker, from the radical relaxer to the active adventurer.
Beaches such as Porthcurno and Pedn look as though they’ve been pulled straight from the front of a postcard and have the ability to transport your mind to far-flung exotic destinations with their crystal clear water, grass-topped cliffs and white sand. For a beach with some serious character, Bedruthan Steps, characterised by its granite rocks, definitely has the wow factor.
Beth Sachs of popular food and family blog Jam and Clotted Cream makes great use of the nearby beaches:
Apart from the traditional Cornish cream tea (which goes without saying!), you can’t beat an evening beach BBQ (our local beach is Widemouth near Bude) watching the sun setting with a cheeky glass of Camel Valley fizz in your hand. My idea of heaven!
4) The Eden Project is a must visit
In the heart of Cornwall’s clay mining country, sits the county’s most iconic attraction – The Eden Project. Nestled in a huge crater, the greenhouse complex is made up of two large biomes, homing an impressive collection of plant species from around the globe. Each biome simulates a distinct biosphere, the first being a humid tropical climate featuring a jungle environment, and the other boasting a warm temperate climate, with plant species from the Mediterranean, South Africa and California.
There’s much more to the Eden Project than simply the plant life, however, as there are endless activities to get stuck into around the centre. You could even go as far as saying it’s an adrenaline junkie’s playground! Join a radical adventure day and dive into exciting new activities, including zooming along England’s longest and fastest zip wire, taking on Britain’s first 360 swing, braving the 20m cliff swing, launching yourself from the Big Air (a stuntman-like jump from a 12m platform) and enjoying a heart-stopping 33ft controlled fall over a cliff!
5) It’s a hotspot for water sports
The surf in Cornwall is the best you’ll find in the UK and there are dozens of fantastic surfing hotspots scattered along the North coast, such as Trevone Bay in Padstow, Porthleven near Helston and Perranporth beach in Perranporth. Fistral Beach in Newquay is famous for hosting the annual Boardmasters festival and is incredibly popular with tourists and locals alike, thanks to its host of bars and restaurants.
The fun doesn’t end with surfing either, as there are tonnes of watersports centres offering numerous fun activities, such as stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and jet skiing. The world is your oyster!
6) It’s home to lots of marine wildlife
If you’re a big nature lover, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the local marine wildlife including seals, dolphins and whales, which can often be spotted from the shores of Cornwall. The best way to witness the animals in action is by boat, so join a dolphin and whale watching trip or a sealife safari for your best chance of catching them in their natural habitat. RIB boat rides are also a fantastic way to explore more of the rugged Cornwall coast.
7) Coastal walks are the ultimate stressbuster
There’s no better way to clear your mind than with a coastal walk, and with 269 miles of coastline, Cornwall is a ramblers paradise! On a sunny day, you’ll feel as though you’ve just arrived in paradise, as you glance out over blue sea and even bluer skies. So pop on some walking shoes and explore the steep wave-carved cliffs, sandy beaches, leafy footpaths, fishing villages and historic remains left behind at the water’s edge. Of course, most walking routes pass by a few pubs, so there are plenty of opportunities for a pit stop or two.
Looking for something a little more adventurous? A day of coasteering is sure to get the adrenaline pumping! Travel through natural rock pools, caves and gullies, and soak in the incredible sights by traversing and swimming along the coastline.
Anna Clark, the personality behind The Cornish Life is a huge fan of her home county’s breathtaking coastline:
My favourite thing about Cornwall is how spoilt for choice we are on our coastline! Every section is different, from the rugged wild cliffs on Penwith, to the jungle-like riverbanks on the Helford river, or the soft sandy dunes around St. Ives Bay or near Newquay. It makes every day trip so unique and it’s basically impossible to get bored of the ocean here.
8) It’s a glamper’s paradise
For those who love to immerse themselves in nature, glamping is a fantastic way to enjoy a camping experience by the coast, without being deprived of creature comforts. As the perfect hybrid between traditional camping and hotel accommodation, these specially-designed glamping units are furnished with cosy beds and cooking facilities, while maintaining their authentic countryside setting.
Whether visiting as a family, couple or group of friends, there are various options to decide between, from classic camping pods or yurts, to uniquely designed hobbit huts, complete with comfy futon beds and foldable tables. Many venues are dog-friendly too, meaning your four-legged companion needn’t miss out on the fun!
9) They make great beer
If you’re partial to a pint of the cold stuff, Cornwall’s definitely your place! Boasting more breweries per head than anywhere else in the UK, some could argue it is the beer capital of the nation. Sharp’s, for example, is one of the county’s most thriving beer companies, having become one of the fastest-growing breweries in the UK, since its founding in 1994. Quirky individually run breweries are cropping up all over the place, putting lesser known beers hot on the heels of the established brands.
The Padstow Brewing Company is an award-winning microbrewery that opens their doors to guests who want to learn all about the art of beer brewing. You can even roll up your sleeves and brew your very own beer while you’re there, so head over for a day of boiling, mashing, adding hops, fermenting, pitching yeast and more!
10) There are tonnes of castles and old ruins to explore
Cornwall is a county steeped in history, so whether you’re a history buff, an explorer or a keen photographer, there are countless old ruins, castles, hill forts, abandoned mines and other relics that are well worth tracking down. One particularly notable site is the medieval ruin located in the village of Tintagel, which is world famous for being the alleged birthplace of King Arthur.
Fans of Poldark will recognise sites such as the abandoned buildings at Botallack, which provided the setting for the Poldark family mines, while the world’s best preserved historic harbour in Charlestown is represented as Poldark’s Truro-Falmouth mining port in the hit show.
Of course, Cornwall has far much more to offer than just these 10 points, but we hope they’re enough to convince you to pay a visit to this beautiful part of the country!