5 million people visit Cornwall each year, eager to explore the glorious coastline, breathtaking beaches and idyllic harbour towns. There’s always plenty of things to do in Cornwall from action-packed water sports adventures, to a day wandering around the counties many galleries and museums.
Whether you’re looking for a new holiday destination or just want to find some new hidden gems read on to discover 10 reasons to visit Cornwall.
With over 250 miles of coast and over 300 beautiful beaches, you are spoilt for choice when you visit Cornwall. Cornwall’s north coast is lined with beautiful cliffs and long golden beaches that face out to the Atlantic Coast, creating a surfer’s paradise with spots such as Fistral Beach and Porthmeor. The south coast of Cornwall is known as the Cornish Riviera, and provides more sheltered offerings than its north coast counterpart. The award-winning Gyllyngvase beach and Porthpean beach offer great options for families.
The traditional Cornish pasty is thought to date back as early at the 14th century and cemented itself into Cornish history when it became a safe and efficient way to feed the minors. Men would take a pasty to work use the plaited edge to hold the pasty and safely eat without consuming the toxic arsenic dust. The crust was then discarded. Nowadays the Cornish pasty is more popular than ever with hundreds of small, independent bakeries scattering the counties towns and villages, each with their own unique recipes.
The south west coastal path, that runs along the entirety of the Cornish coastline, provides ample opportunities for breathtaking seaside walks. Cornwall is also home to a whopping 12 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty from the Penwith Peninsula to Bodmin Moor, allowing people to explore Cornwall’s landscape for any years to come.
The uniquely mild climate has paved the way to an abundance of wonderful gardens in Cornwall featuring both Mediterranean and sub-tropical planting that is not seen anywhere else in the United Kingdom. The Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is a perfect example of this, with unique jungle planting creating an all-year round experience in the heart of West cornwall. Discover more Cornish gardens here.
Cornwall is famous for its delicious clotted cream and its exquisite Cornish cream teas. There’s a host of wonderful independent cafés baking fresh homemade scones every day and it’s a must-do with every visit! Whatever you do, make sure to eat it the Cornish way – jam first!
The popularity of Poldark has had an enormous effect on the Cornish economy and more and more fans of the programme are choosing to visit Cornwall each year. The BBC drama adaption of the Winston Graham book series films many of its scenes in Cornwall, so why not talk a tour around some of Ross Poldark’s favourite haunts? Our favourite spots include Penberth village, Charlestown, Porthgwarra cove, Porthcurno beach, Botallack mines and Kynance Cove.
Cornwall has a dynamic food and drink scene with an eclectic mix of contemporary British cuisine with international influences. The range of artisanal food and drink products being developed and made in Cornwall is also rapidly growing. The range of Cornish gins had increased exponentially in the past 3 years and there’s a growing number of delicious teas, preserves, soft drinks and chocolates on the market.
At the heart of Cornwall lies it’s beautiful, unspoiled, fishing villages. One of our favourite villages is Mousehole. Tucked away just outside of Penzance, Mousehole has everything you’d want from a small Cornish port – fisherman’s cottages, quaint cafés and a historic harbour wrapping around a sandy beach. If you have the time we also recommend exploring Mullion, Polperro and Mevagissey. For those who are a fan of the ITV series Doc Martin, we suggest heading to Port Issac, where the series was filmed. Further north you will find Boscastle, a beautiful riverside fishing port, just a few 15 miles south of Bude. We recommend a visit to the Harbour Light Tea Garden whilst you’re there.
Being home to popular surfing town, Newquay, as well as a host of beaches that are great for surfing, it’s easy to see why Cornwall attracts thousands of surfers each year. Boardmasters is a popular music and surf festival and takes places on Watergate Bay and Fistral beach in August every year.
Cornwall is a hub for the creative arts, and is home to Tate St Ives, one of only four Tate Galleries in the UK. The gallery has recently undergone a huge £20 million renovation and expansion and reopened in 2018 after being closed for 2 years. The county is also home to some wonderful performance venues such as the Hall for Cornwall in Truro and the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno.
St Ives Penzance is a carefully curated directory and blog sharing the best places to eat, where to stay and things to do in Cornwall. We’re here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s the perfect nearby lunch spot, family friendly things to do in Cornwall, or a luxury hotel for a weekend away. We’re passionate about Cornwall and all it has to offer, so we’re supporting local businesses and sharing the best of the best.