This beautiful region in the southwest of England has a lot of amazing things that
make it stand out from other regions. We’ve written a guide to the best things to
see and do in Cornwall.
Here’s a look at what makes Cornwall so special– and why everyone should visit.
Places to Visit in Cornwall
The best thing about going on holiday is being able to enjoy yourself and having
some time away from your busy schedule at home! For many of us, it also means
exploring new places, and Cornwall certainly has a wealth of visitor attractions.
Favourite places to visit in Cornwall include St Ives, The Eden Project and the
Lost Gardens of Heligan. Here are some of our recommendations for must-see
Falmouth is a great place to start your exploration of Cornwall. It’s located on the
south coast and is well known for its maritime heritage, with a busy port that has
been in use for over 500 years. The town is also home to some lovely beaches,
including Gyllyngvase and Swanpool.
Falmouth has a number of cultural attractions, including the National Maritime
Museum, which features exhibitions on maritime history. Fal-Y-Bont ar Gof (The
Stable House), built in 1801 and located near the town centre, is also worth
checking out for its architecture.
Falmouth hosts many events throughout the year that are popular with both
locals and visitors. These include Seafood Festivals every August/September
where you can sample delicious seafood dishes from local restaurants; Falmouth
Arts Week each October with dozens of art exhibitions across various venues
around town; Cornwall Film Festival held in November featuring screenings at
Falmouth’s very own cinema as well as other locations such as Pendennis Castle.
Falmouth is also great for outdoor activities, such as walking, cycling and sailing.
There are plenty of trails to follow around the town and coastline, and local
companies offer bike hire and sailing lessons.
St Ives is a popular seaside town in West Cornwall, known for its art galleries,
beaches and restaurants. It’s a great place to visit if you love beautiful views and
The beaches are stunning, and Porthinster in particular is great for swimming.
Porthmeor is the surfer’s beach, while Bamaluz is dog-friendly all year round. Get
a different perspective of St Ives’ beaches by taking a hike along the cliffs. St Ives
is also a very popular destination for surfing, paddle-boarding and kayaking.
Tate St Ives is one of the most-visited attractions in Cornwall. It’s home to a fine
collection of modern and contemporary Cornish art, and has a programme of
temporary exhibitions. And the view from the cafe is stunning…
Located in the heart of Cornwall, is a popular seaside town that offers stunning
beaches, attractions, and plenty of things to do.
No visit to Newquay is complete without a stop at Fistral Beach. This
world-famous beach is known for its perfect waves and great surfing conditions.
It's also home to a number of bars and restaurants, making it the perfect spot to
spend a day or evening.
If surfing isn't your thing, there are plenty of other beaches in Newquay to choose
from. Towan Beach is a great option for families, with its gentle waves and wide
sandbanks. Watergate Bay is another popular spot, known for its dramatic cliffs
and stunning views.
Newquay also has plenty of attractions to keep you busy. The Blue Reef
Aquarium is a great place to learn about marine life, while Newquay Zoo is home
to over 400 animals from around the world. Adrenaline seekers will love checking
out the Extreme Academy, which offers activities like coasteering, kayaking, and
We may be biased, but our local St Austell is a welcoming town that has a lot to
offer visitors. Start your visit by exploring the town centre. There are plenty of
independent shops and cafes to visit. It’s also home to the St Austell Brewery.
Take a tour to see how their beers are made.
If you prefer to relax outdoors rather than shop, there are a number of beautiful
green spaces in St Austell, including Victoria Gardens, Porthpean Downs, St
Austell Common and St Blazey Park. Porthpean Downs is a stunning coastal
heathland: perfect for long walks down by the sea.
Speaking of the sea, St Austell also has a number of great beaches to choose
from. Pentewan Beach is a family favourite, while Charlestown Harbour Beach is
perfect if you're after some peace and quiet away from the crowds.
And of course, there’s the Eden Project, the world-class ecological attraction.
Explore the incredible biomes, which are filled with plants from around the world.
Eden is a must-see when visiting Cornwall, and should definitely make it onto
your list of things to do in St Austell.
North Coast resort Bude is known for its beaches and coastline. Bude has
something to offer everyone, whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway or an
action-packed holiday. Some of our favourite Bude beaches include Crooklets
Beach, Widemouth Bay, and Summerleaze Beach.
Truro is a vibrant and lively little city that’s perfect for a day trip or weekend
getaway. There are plenty of things to see and do in Truro, from shopping and
dining to exploring the natural beauty of Cornwall.
Be sure to check out the regular Truro Farmers' Market, which sells a fantastic
array of fresh produce and artisan goods. The city centre is dominated by the
Cathedral, which is open to visitors. The Royal Cornwall Museum is a great place
to spend an afternoon, and try to catch a show at the newly refurbished Hall For
Away from the city, there are several trails by Truro river, and you can even hire a
kayak or canoe for an adventure on the water.
Hayle is a great place to visit if you're looking for a seaside town with plenty of
activities to keep you busy.
Hayle's main beach, Hayle Towans, stretches for over three miles, with sand
dunes and rock pools to explore. If you're looking for something a bit more
secluded, then Gwithian Beach (at the east of the town) is perfect.
The town itself is a lively place, with independent shops and lots of places to dine
or grab some street food (a pasty from Philps is an essential part of a trip to
Hayle). There’s a small and friendly lido on Memorial Walk in the summer.
Outside town, Hayle Estuary RSPB nature reserve provides an idyllic location full
of birds such as Oyster Catchers, Curlews and Sandpipers. If you love our
feathered friends, Paradise Park, a wildlife sanctuary and play park, is a must-visit
place, especially for families.
Attractions to Visit in Cornwall
The Eden Project:
The Eden Project is one of Cornwall's most popular tourist destinations. Discover
more about the wonderful world of plants in the biomes, wander around the lush
outdoor gardens, and enjoy some fabulous Cornish food from a choice of
The Lost Gardens of Heligan:
These romantic gardens were once overgrown and abandoned, but have since
been restored to their former glory. Today, you can explore 200 acres of
sub-tropical planting, woodland, and even the old kitchen gardens.
The Minack Theatre:
This unique theatre is carved into the cliffs overlooking Porthcurno Beach. Try to
catch a show here during the summer - but if you can’t, you can still visit the
theatre and cafe.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall:
The Falmouth museum tells the story of Cornwall's maritime heritage. Exhibits
include ships, paintings, and artefacts from Cornwall's naval history.
Pendennis Castle was built in the 16th century to protect Cornwall from naval
attacks. Today, the castle is a well-known Cornwall landmark and a popular
tourist destination. Its companion fortress, St Mawes, is also English Heritage
and open to visitors.
There are many legends surrounding King Arthur. One of the most famous tales
involves his conception at Tintagel Castle. Although there isn't much left of the
Norman castle, you can tour the ruins and walk across the castle's vertiginous
St. Michael's Mount:
This iconic tidal island is just off the coast of Cornwall, in Marazion. It’s home to
a village community and the spectacular medieval castle. Check the tide times
before you visit, as you may need to travel by boat.
Cornwall is well-known for its spectacular views. Trevose Head is a wonderfully
dramatic spot, complete with Victorian lighthouse and stunning coastal outlook.
St Agnes Beacon is another viewpoint to visit.
The South West Coast Path
This coastal path stretches 630 miles from Poole in Dorset to Minehead, and
some of the most impressive sections are in Cornwall. Try and walk at least a
mile or two along the path during your stay, for beautiful sea views and the
chance to see plenty of wildlife.
The best beaches to visit in Cornwall
Cornwall has some amazing beaches, and we could recommend dozens! Try
these 5 beautiful beaches during your Cornish holiday.
The sand here at this Cornwall beach is golden and silky smooth, and you can
see why it’s such a popular spot among families. If you love surfing, then this
Cornish surf spot will be perfect for you as the waves are fairly consistent all year
round. There are a few shops nearby if you fancy grabbing some snacks or
souvenirs from your trip to Cornwall.
Probably the most photographed beach in Cornwall, National Trust-managed
Kynance has silver sands and a welcoming azure sea. It’s situated on the Lizard
Peninsula, and Kynance’s cliffs have colourful seams of the area’s sunique
Harlyn Bay Cornwall
Rockpools, dunes and golden sand: this beach near Padstow has everything you
need. It’s a great family favourite, and as a real bonus for many visitors, it allows
dogs all year round. There’s also lifeguard cover in the summer. In the winter, it’s
one of the best places for a windswept walk.
This is the beautiful beach you can see from The Minack Theatre. No matter
what the weather is doing, the sea is always turquoise, and the fine sand is
always white. Walk up the cliff path for a cream tea at the theatre.
Best-known for being the entrance to St Michael’s Mount’s causeway, Marazion
beach is lovely in its own right. Its (usually) calm waters and facilities make it a
great choice for families, and there are lots of lovely places to eat in the town.
The best walks in Cornwall
There are plenty of walks to choose from in Cornwall, whether you're looking for a
short, easy stroll or something more challenging.
Pentewan Valley Trail
Pentewan Valley Trail is perfect for those who want a gentle walk with plenty of
beautiful sights to enjoy. The trail follows the river Pentewan, and there are
several points where you can stop to admire the scenery.
Eden Project to Bugle Walk
If you're looking for a scenic Cornwall walk to add to your list, the Eden Project to
Bugle walk is definitely one worth checking out. The walk is around six miles long
and takes you through some of Cornwall's most beautiful countryside. You'll get
to see everything from rolling hills to tree-covered mountains. If you're lucky, you
might even get to spot some wild ponies or cows along the way.
Par to Polkerris Walk
This is one of Cornwall’s best coastal walks. This walk takes you across an area
that was once used by smugglers, to visit hidden coves and spots with stunning
The walk starts at Par Beach and follows the coast to Polkerris, a small fishing
village. The route is easy to follow, with only a few hills to climb. The walk is
around six miles long and should take around three hours to complete.
Par Beach to Eden Project Walk
The walk starts at Par Beach and takes you through the Pentewan Valley to the
world-famous Eden Project. The walk is around six miles long and should take
around three hours to complete.
The walk is mostly easy, apart from one steep hill towards the end. However, this
route is a good option if you want a Cornwall walk that's relatively flat.
Par to Polperro Walk
The route takes you through some of Cornwall's most beautiful countryside, and
you'll get to see everything from rolling hills to Cornwall's tallest cliffs. If you're
lucky, you might even get to see Cornwall ponies or seals on your Cornwall walk!
Best places for cycling in Cornwall
If you're a cycling fan, Cornwall is home to some of Britain's most beautiful biking
trails and hills.
St Mellion Trails
This Cornwall bike trail takes cyclists through some of the county’s most scenic
spots, including woodland and farmland. It also features several different routes
with varying levels of difficulty, so it caters for everyone from beginners to
experts. You can choose between an 18km route with 600m elevation gain or
40km with 1500m elevation gain if you want a more challenging ride when
cycling in Cornwall.
The Camel Trail Cycle Route
This much-loved cycling trail is a wonderful Cornwall bike trail for families and
cyclists of all abilities. The trail follows the Camel Trail, which used to be part of
Cornwall’s old railway network. The largely flat and linear cycle route takes you
from Padstow to Wenford Bridge or vice versa, and it's definitely one worth
checking out if you're looking for biking trails in Cornwall that are family-friendly.
The Lizard Peninsula Cycle Route
If you want a challenging bike ride with gorgeous views, this Cornish cycle route
is a must-do. The route covers around 18 miles and features many steep climbs
as well as sharp descents through the beautiful Cornish countryside.
There are plenty of great places for cycling in Cornwall and these are just a few of
our favourites. Whether you're looking for an easy ride or a more challenging
route, we're sure you'll find something to suit your needs here. So what are you
waiting for? Get out there and start cycling in Cornwall today!
We hope this has given you a few ideas about what to do in Cornwall! There’s so
much to see and visit in our beautiful county, and we’re sure that you’ll come to
love Cornwall as much as we do,