There are lots of reasons to love Cornwall, from its beautiful landscape to its quirky festivals (not forgetting Cornwall’s famous food and drink!). Here are a few of our favourite things about our beautiful home.
Kernow often feels like a different country, and arguably, with its own language, stories and culture, it is. Places like St Michael’s Mount and Tintagel Castle give us glimpses into Cornwall’s heritage, while a trip around the tin coast takes you through centuries of Cornwall’s mining history.
Discover prehistoric Cornwall in the far west or on Bodmin Moor, while old harbour villages like Mevagissey tell the tales of our ancient fishing and trading industries.
This is probably one of the reasons you’re here! We have 422 miles of coastline in our county, and this is beautifully varied. There’s the lush, bucolic feel around the Roseland, which contrasts with the wilder cliffs towards Land’s End. The long sandy beaches of the North Coast bring another feel completely.
Inland, we have moors, forests and rolling hills, dotted with ancient sites and old villages. There are a lot of different landscapes, all within easy reach of The Cornwall.
Where do we start? We have the iconic eco attraction, the Eden Project along with its fascinating sister, The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Charlestown’s Shipwreck Treasure Museum and Bodmin Jail have both had major revamps recently, and are definitely worth checking out.
Head for Falmouth to explore the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and Pendennis Castle. Further west, there’s Tate St Ives and the incredible Minack Theatre, hewn from the cliffs.
Then of course, there are all the subtropical gardens, wildlife centres, theme parks, galleries… Where do you start?
We have a fabulous natural larder here in Cornwall, and we’re lucky to be able to source so many Cornish ingredients for our restaurants at The Cornwall. It’s wonderful to be able to buy freshly landed fish, or vegetables that have been grown on our doorstep. There’s even a vineyard nearby, the famous Camel Valley!
And then there’s our version of street food. Don’t leave Cornwall before you’ve tried a famous Cornish pasty, indulged in a locally made ice cream, or eaten fish and chips by the sea. Treat yourself to a classic Cornish cream tea, and try to catch at least one farmers’ market for the best picnic food anywhere.
The beaches, woods and wide open spaces of Cornwall are the perfect places for kids to be, well, kids. Every day finishes with salt on your skin and sand in your hair, along with an enormous appetite for ice cream. There’s nothing better.
There are also lots of family-friendly attractions in Cornwall, such as Lappa Valley and Dairyland Farm Park. Meet the animals at Newquay Zoo, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and Paradise Park in Hayle. For older kids, try the extreme activities at Hangloose Adventure (in The Eden Project) or take a surfing lesson at Newquay.
Cornwall is the centre of the UK’s surfing scene, with Newquay’s legendary Fistral Bay at its heart. There are surf spots for all levels in Cornwall, and complete beginners can book lessons in places like Newquay, Bude, Sennen and St Ives.
Experienced surfers head for Constantine Bay, Praa Sands, Porthleven and Hayle’s Godrevy. Sennen, Porthmeor in St Ives and Crooklets in Bude are great mixed ability spots. You can hire boards and wetsuits on most of the surfing beaches.
Whether you love a buckets-and-spades beach or prefer a quiet rocky cove, you’ll find your perfect seaside spot here in Cornwall. Our local beaches, Porthpean and Pentewan, have a lovely Mediterranean feel. Harlyn Bay near Padstow is popular with families (and it’s dog-friendly), or try one of Newquay’s many beaches, each with its own character.
Which are the beautiful beaches that you see on posters and social media ads for Cornwall holidays? These are usually Kynance Cove on the Lizard, Porthminster in St Ives and Porthcurno in the far west. They always seem to have clear azure waters and golden sands, even on duller days.
Cornwall’s unique light and beautiful landscapes have attracted artists for generations, from the social realism of the Newlyn School to the post-war modernists around St Ives. As well as Tate St Ives, you can find out more about Cornwall’s artistic heritage at Falmouth Art Gallery, Penlee House Museum & Gallery (Penzance) and Newlyn Art Gallery.
Of course, you can always pick up your sketch pad or brushes yourself. Call at the fabulous Truro Arts Company for materials (or to book yourself onto a workshop…).
There are lots of festivals and events happening in Cornwall throughout the year. Diverse highlights include the legendary Boardmasters surfing and music festival, Padtow’s May Day and the rather more refined Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature.
There are celebrations of food, music, the arts and the sea. Very Cornish-sounding events include sea shanty and oyster festivals, as well as regattas in Fowey and Falmouth. If you love music, you can take your pick of gig venues from the Eden Sessions to the refurbished Hall For Cornwall.
Find out more in our blog about events in Cornwall.
Honestly, we are! The Cornish culture is naturally friendly and welcoming, as it is among many old seafaring communities. You’ll leave Cornwall having had so many conversations with people in shops and pubs. Genuine Cornish hospitality is about friendship and food - and what could possibly be more inviting than that?
And we haven’t even mentioned the excellent walking, stunning sunsets and boating adventures! We hope we’ve given you an insight into why we love Cornwall so much, and we hope to see you down here one day.
Find out more about staying in The Cornwall.