40 Stunning Places To Visit In Cornwall
Looking for the best places to visit in Cornwall? I’ve got you covered!
Cornwall is one of the most beautiful counties in England and has a wealth of attractions to explore. From picturesque fishing villages to stunning beaches and breathtaking scenery, there’s no shortage of things to do in Cornwall.
Whether you are looking for an action-packed holiday or a relaxing break away from it all, Cornwall has something for everyone.
Here I have rounded up some of the best places to visit in Cornwall so that you can make the most out of your trip.
Best Cornwall destinations!
1. Port Isaac
A picturesque fishing village with a traditional harbour, Port Isaac is one of the most popular places to visit in Cornwall.
The village was used as the filming location for the TV series Doc Martin and it’s easy to see why; its narrow streets, old cottages and stunning harbour views make it an idyllic spot.
If you’re lucky you might even get to spot some seals playing in the harbour!
The best things to do in Port Isaac:
– Wander the streets of the traditional fishing village
– Enjoy stunning harbour views
– Visit some of the quaint shops, cafes and pubs
– Spot seals in their natural habitat
– Take a boat tour around the coves
– Try your hand at crabbing
– Take a walking tour of filming locations in Port Isaac
– Listen to the fisherman perform sea shanties in the harbour
2. St Michaels Mount
This iconic island castle is one of the most famous places in Cornwall and it’s not hard to see why.
The castle stands proudly on a granite outcrop surrounded by the sea and is linked to the mainland by a causeway at low tide. Historically, St Michael’s Mount was a Cornish counterpart of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France.
There are plenty of things to do here, from exploring the grounds to learning about the history of the castle.
The best things to do at St Michael’s Mount:
– Explore the castle grounds
– Visit the chapel and museum
– Take a boat tour around the island
– Enjoy delicious local seafood
– Climb up to the top of the mount for stunning views
3. Watergate Bay
This beautiful sandy beach is a must-visit for anyone visiting Cornwall. Watergate Bay is the perfect spot for a day of sunbathing, swimming and surfing. It’s also home to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, so you can enjoy some delicious food after a long day of exploring the beach.
The best things to do in Watergate Bay:
– Visit the sandy beach
– Surf in the waves
– Enjoy a picnic
– Take part in watersports
– Visit Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant
4. St Ives
St Ives is a beautiful seaside town in Cornwall and one of the most popular places in Cornwall.
Its picturesque harbour, cobbled streets and sandy beaches make it the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway.
The town is also home to some amazing art galleries, shops and restaurants, which makes it an ideal destination for art lovers!
The best things to do in St Ives:
– Explore the cobbled streets
– Visit the art galleries
– Browse the independent shops
– Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the town’s many restaurants
– Relax on Porthmeor Beach
– Visit the Barbara Hepworth museum
5. Lands End
Another iconic spot in Cornwall, Land’s End is the most South-Westerly point in England and a popular tourist attraction.
The views here are spectacular and you can also take part in some fun activities such as coasteering.
It’s also home to the famous Lands End signpost which makes for a great photo opportunity!
The best things to do in Land’s End:
– Admire the coastal views
– Climb up to the First and Last House
– Visit the Lands End signpost
– Take part in coasteering
– Enjoy a delicious meal at The Lookout Café
6. Sennen Cove
Sennen Cove is another stunning beach in Cornwall and it’s a great spot for a day of swimming, surfing and sunbathing.
The views here are beautiful and you can also explore the surrounding area on foot or by bike.
Sennen Cove is also home to some amazing local seafood restaurants so make sure to sample the local delicacies while you’re in town.
The best things to do in Sennen Cove:
– Visit the Roundhouse Gallery
– Learn to surf
– Walk the South West Coast Path
– Visit the old coastguard lookout for incredible views
– Search for the RMS Mulheim shipwreck
Truro is the largest (and only!) city in Cornwall and it’s a great spot for exploring the best of this beautiful county.
The centre of Truro has some lovely shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as plenty of Victorian architecture to admire.
It’s also home to Truro Cathedral which was built in the 19th century and is an iconic landmark in the city.
The best things to do in Truro:
– Visit Truro Cathedral
– Explore Victoria Gardens
– Wander around the cobbled streets
– Shop at Lemon Street Market
– Enjoy a meal at one of the city’s many restaurants
8. Hartland Heritage Coast
The Hartland Heritage Coast is a spectacular stretch of coastline in Cornwall and it’s a great spot for exploring some of the county’s most beautiful beaches.
You can also visit some nearby towns such as Bude, which has many shops, cafes and restaurants to explore.
Make sure to take the time to admire the stunning views of the North Atlantic Ocean while you’re here, too!
The best things to do in Hartland Heritage Coast:
– Wander the cliffs
– Go Rock Pooling
– Take a walk along the South West Coast Path
Padstow is a stunning coastal town in Cornwall and it’s home to many excellent restaurants, shops and pubs.
It’s also the starting point of the famous Camel Trail which is great for cycling or walking. If you’re looking for some amazing local seafood then Padstow is definitely the place for you – It has five Michelin-star restaurants to choose from!
The best things to do in Padstow:
– Grab lunch at Rick Stein’s fish and chip shop
– Visit the National Lobster Hatchery
– Cycle the Camel Trail
10. Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove is a stunning beach in Cornwall and it’s home to some incredible rock formations. It is one of the most beautiful places in Cornwall.
It’s also a great spot for wildlife spotting as the area is home to seals, dolphins and even basking sharks!
To get the best views of Kynance Cove, make sure to take the time to climb the 500 steps up to the nearby headland.
The best things to do in Kynance Cove:
– Admire the striking rock formations
– Climb up to the headland for incredible views
– Go wildlife spotting
– Enjoy a picnic on the beach
Nestled in the hills of the coastal area, this alluring village is brimming with charm. As you meander through its alleyways, be sure to take a peek at the quaint fisherman’s cottages that line each winding road – it truly looks like something out of a dream!
You can enjoy a leisurely walk through the quaint village, taking in all its beauty and charm. Don’t forget to stop by Polperro Gallery to find something unique or The Ship Inn for a classic British pint!
The best things to do in Polperro:
– Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the village
– Visit the Polperro Gallery
– Stop by The Ship Inn for a pint
– Learn about its history as a smugglers village
Newquay is a popular destination for tourists in Cornwall and it’s the perfect spot for a beach holiday.
There are plenty of beaches to choose from, as well as plenty of shops, restaurants and pubs.
The area is also famous for its surfing culture so make sure to take some time to check out the local scene!
The best things to do in Newquay:
– Go surfing
– Visit the Blue Reef Aquarium
– Check out Fistral Beach and watch the pro surfers
– Enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in town.
– Dance the night away at one of Newquay’s many bars and clubs
13. St Austell
St Austell is a charming town in Cornwall and it’s the perfect spot for exploring some of the county’s most beautiful countryside. Take a walk through the streets to admire some of St Austell’s stunning Georgian architecture, then take some time to explore the charming harbour.
The best things to do in St Austell:
– Admire the Georgian architecture
– Explore the quaint harbour
– Visit one of the many local pubs
– See a show at The Regal Theatre.
Penzance is a stunning coastal town in Cornwall and it’s the perfect spot for those looking to explore some of the county’s most beautiful scenery.
Take a stroll down the Penzance promenade and admire the stunning views of St Michael’s Mount across the water, then take some time to explore its many shops and galleries.
The best things to do in Penzance:
– Admire the views of St Michael’s Mount from Marizion beach
– Explore Penzance’s galleries
– Take a boat ride around the harbour
- – Enjoy a meal at one of its many pubs and restaurants.
– Swim in the Art Deco style outdoor Lido
Falmouth is a vibrant and bustling town in Cornwall, with plenty to see and do. Take a stroll along the waterfront and admire Falmouth’s harbour, which is the third deepest natural harbour in the world, or explore its many restaurants, pubs and galleries.
Don’t forget to take a boat trip around the bay so you can get an up-close view of the dolphins that are often spotted here.
The best things to do in Falmouth:
– Explore Pendennis Castle
– Visit the National Maritime museum
– Take a boat trip around the bay
– Visit the quirky Beerwold books pub
Bude is a coastal town and civil parish in north Cornwall. Bude is famous for its two seafronts, which feature a canal, beaches and cliffs.
The town has several tourist attractions including the beachfront promenade, various shops and restaurants as well as plenty of outdoor activities such as golf courses, tennis courts, surfing and walking trails.
Bude is a great place to visit in Cornwall, with its stunning scenery and plenty of attractions to keep you entertained.
The best things to do in Bude:
– Explore the North Cornwall Heritage Coast
– Play a round of golf at Bude and North Cornwall Golf Club
– Go Surfing on Summerleaze Beach
– Enjoy picturesque views from Compass Point
– Take a stroll along the beachfront promenade
– Visit Bude Sea Pool for swimming, kayaking and rock pooling
17. Bodmin Moor
Bodmin Moor is a large expanse of granite moorland in Cornwall. The area offers incredible views, varied wildlife and spectacular landscapes.
There are plenty of things to do on Bodmin Moor, from exploring the ancient sites and monuments to taking long hikes through the stunning scenery.
The best things to do in Bodmin:
– Visit Lanhydrock House
– Spend a night at the haunted Bodmin Jail
– Visit the historic Jamaica Inn
Tintagel is a village in north Cornwall near the border with Devon. It’s best known for its castle ruins and beautiful coastal scenery.
The area has plenty of attractions to explore, including King Arthur’s Castle, Merlin’s Cave and Tintagel Old Post Office – which is now a museum.
The best things to do in Tintagel:
– Explore the ruins of Tintagel Castle and learn about the legend of King Arthur
– Walk along the South West Coast Path
– Visit Merlin’s Cave
– Discover hidden gems at Tintagel Old Post Office
Mevagissey is a small fishing village in south Cornwall. The harbour area has plenty of great restaurants, pubs and shops with unique gifts to take home as souvenirs.
The best things to do in Mevagissey:
– Relax at East Wharf Beach
– Enjoy traditional food at the pubs
– Visit the Mevagissey Museum
– Take a boat trip to nearby islands
– Visit the small harbour aquarium
Redruth is a small town in Cornwall with plenty of charm and character. The city has several attractions to explore, including the Redruth Heritage Museum and the historic Tolgus Tin Streams.
The best things to do in Redruth:
– Explore Poldark Mine
– Visit the King Edward Mine
– Tour the Redruth Heritage Museum
– Explore the Tolgus Tin Streams
– Enjoy a day at Carn Brea Leisure Centre
– Go shopping in town
This picturesque fishing village on the North Coast of Cornwall is a must-see. It’s full of narrow cobbled streets and 16th century cottages, so it’s easy to imagine yourself as part of a different era in history.
Be sure to visit the old harbour which is home to small fishing boats and the popular Valency Valley, a beautiful area of woodland walks and dramatic scenery. Don’t forget to check out The Museum Of Witchcraft and Magic, which is full of unique artefacts connected with witchcraft through the ages. It’s an ideal spot for those who love exploring culture and history.
The best things to do in Boscastle:
– Take a walk around the harbour
– Visit the Valency Valley
– Explore The Museum Of Witchcraft and Magic
– Enjoy a picnic in one of the nearby parks
– Try some traditional Cornish cuisine
This bustling seaside town on the South East of Cornwall is full of charm and character.
Looe has two halves, East and West, which are divided by a bridge over the River Looe. Head to the East side for some stunning beaches or take a stroll around Hannafore beach on the West side.
It’s easy to find activities such as fishing, kayaking or boat trips. There are also plenty of pubs and restaurants serving up delicious Cornish dishes to try.
The best things to do in Looe:
– Spend the day on East Looe beach
– Take a boat trip
– Visit Hannafore beach
– Have a meal in one of the pubs or restaurants
– Go kayaking
23. St Agnes Head
This unspoilt stretch of coastline, situated on the North Coast of Cornwall is a fantastic spot for a day out.
It’s home to some spectacular views and a wealth of plant and animal life. St Agnes Head is part of the Cornwall Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is full of rugged cliffs, sandy coves, wildflowers and rolling hills.
It’s ideal for walkers and nature lovers, as well as being popular with surfers.
The best things to do in St Agnes Head:
– Take a coastal walk
– Look for wildflowers
– Enjoy sunset views
– Explore the ruins of old tin mines
This beautiful coastal village, situated on the west coast of Cornwall is home to some stunning scenery and an array of attractions.
Porthcurno beach is one of the most stunning beaches in the area and is a great place for swimming, sunbathing or simply taking in the views.
Be sure to visit The Minack Theatre, an open-air theatre built into the cliffs with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s a great spot for performances and also offers a number of walks.
The best things to do in Porthcurno:
– Visit the Minnack theatre
– Take a coastal walk
– Enjoy the sunset views
– Go swimming or sunbathing
– Explore the nearby village of Porthgwarra
25. The Lizard Peninsula
The Lizard Peninsula is home to some of the most stunning coastal scenery in Cornwall.
The area is known for its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and beautiful coves, as well as its rich history and culture.
It’s also a popular spot for walkers and birdwatchers, with plenty of paths leading through secluded coves and along the coast.
For those looking to explore further afield, there are also plenty of quaint villages and towns to visit.
The best things to do in the Lizard Peninsula:
– Take a coastal walk
– Enjoy the views
– Explore the nearby villages
– Visit Kynance cove
26. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are situated on the South Coast of Cornwall and offer a unique experience.
The gardens date back to the 19th century and have been restored to their former glory, with over 200 acres of lush green foliage, rare plants and hidden valleys. There’s also plenty of wildlife to spot, with otters, badgers and foxes all calling the gardens home. It’s a great place to explore and relax in tranquil surroundings.
The best things to do in the lost gardens of Heligan:
– Explore the garden
– Spot wildlife
– Take a tour
– Enjoy lunch
27. Eden Project
The Eden Project is a unique attraction and a must see in Cornwall!
Situated near St Austell, this enormous greenhouse showcases the world’s largest rainforest in captivity and features over 3,000 species of plants from around the world. It’s a great place to explore and learn about plants, as well as enjoy some spectacular views of the surrounding area.
There are also plenty of activities and events to take part in throughout the year.
The best things to do in the Eden Project:
– Explore the indoor rainforest
– Take a guided tour
– Go ziplining over the Eden Project
– Participate in one of their many activities or events
Situated on the South Coast of Cornwall, Mousehole is a small fishing village that has been a popular destination since the 16th century.
It’s home to some stunning views along its beautiful harbour and boasts an array of quaint shops, galleries and cafes.
It’s also a great spot for some fresh seafood, with plenty of restaurants serving up the catch of the day.
The best things to do in Mousehole:
– Take a stroll along the harbour
– Enjoy the views
– Visit one of the many galleries
– Go out for some fresh seafood
– Go kayaking
29. Godrevy Lighthouse
Godrevy lighthouse is perched on a small rocky island situated off the coast of Cornwall. The nearby headland is renowned for its stunning landscape and golden beach.
It’s a great spot for surfing, wild swimming or simply taking in the views.
There are also plenty of walking trails to explore. It’s one of the best places in Cornwall to watch the sunset.
The best things to do in Godrevy:
– Spot the local seal colony
– Wild swim in the natural tidal pools
– Watch the sunset
30. Widemouth Bay
Widemouth Bay is a large sandy beach situated on the North Coast of Cornwall. It’s an ideal spot for surfing, with plenty of waves and some good beginner areas. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink along the beachfront, as well as shops and galleries in nearby towns.
For those looking for a more relaxed beach experience, Widemouth Bay is the perfect spot!
The best things to do in Widemouth Bay:
– Go surfing
– Relax on the golden sands
– Visit nearby towns
– Enjoy lunch at one of the many beachfront cafes
Perranporth is a popular destination situated on the North Coast of Cornwall. The town has some excellent beaches, perfect for swimming and surfing, as well as plenty of shops and restaurants.
Perranporth’s beach bar is also one of the best spots to hear live music in Cornwall.
The best things to do in Perranporth:
– Watch the sunset from the Watering Hole beach bar
– Enjoy some of the best seafood in Cornwall
– Listen to live music
Zennor is a picturesque rural village situated on the North Coast of Cornwall.
It’s home to some of the most striking landscapes in Cornwall.
There’s a fantastic coastal path to explore, as well as some great surfing spots nearby.
For those looking for something more relaxing, the village also has plenty of pubs and restaurants.
The best things to do in Zennor:
– Explore the coastal path
– Learn about the legend of the Mermaid of Zennor
– Explore the nearby tin mines
– Lookout for wild ponies
33. St Just
St Just is a charming market town situated on the South West Coast of Cornwall. It’s home to some stunning views and is renowned for its vibrant art culture.
The nearby cliffs provide plenty of opportunities for coastal walking and there are some excellent spots for surfing further along the coast.
There are also plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants.
The best things to do in St Just:
– Visit the great art galleries
– Explore the coastal path
– Visit Cape Cornwall
Porthleven is a quaint fishing village situated on the south coast of Cornwall. As one of the few working harbours in the area, Porthleven is well known for its fishing fleet and vibrant atmosphere.
There are plenty of things to do here – from visiting the popular harbourside Fishmarket Restaurant to exploring the nearby beaches. You can also take a trip along the South West Coast Path, which offers stunning views of Mount’s Bay and the Lizard Peninsula.
The best things to do in Porthleven:
– Explore the nearby beaches
– Visit the Fishmarket Restaurant
– Take a walk along the South West Coast Path
– Visit nearby Mount’s Bay and Lizard Peninsula
– Watch fishing boats depart from Porthleven Harbour
Launceston is a beautiful town located on the northern edge of Cornwall. It’s renowned for its medieval castle and attractive Georgian architecture, which together make it one of the most picturesque places to visit in Cornwall.
The best things to do in Launceston include:
– Visit Launceston Castle
– Explore the town’s Georgian architecture
– Visit the English Spirit Distillery
Located on the north coast of Cornwall, Porthtowan is a secluded and picturesque seaside village with a fantastic beach. It’s one of the best beaches in Cornwall for surfing.
This area is full of attractions, such as the Blue Flag beach and nearby Trevaunance Cove.
The best things to do in Porthtowan:
– Explore the Blue Flag beach
– Visit Trevaunance Cove
– Take a boat trip or surf lesson
– Enjoy stunning views at St Agnes Beacon
Portreath is a small village located on the north coast of Cornwall. It’s surrounded by miles of stunning coastline and is well known for its picturesque harbour, it’s a great place to watch the waves come crashing in on a stormy day!
The best things to do in Portreath:
– Visit Portreath Harbour
– Search for Lady Basset’s Baths
– Go surfing
– Watch the waves breaking at the mouth of the harbour
Hayle is a bustling town situated in west Cornwall and is one of the best places to stay in Cornwall. It’s home to miles of sandy beaches, a working harbour and some fantastic shops and cafes.
The nearby estuary is also a great spot for bird watching as it’s home to a variety of rare species.
The best things to do in Hayle:
– Paddleboard in Hayle Estuary
– Eat a traditional cornish pasty from Philps Bakery – the best in Cornwall!
– Watch the sunset over St Ives bay
– Stroll the three miles of sandy beach
– Go Paragliding
Helston is a lively market town located on the south coast of Cornwall.
It’s known for its famous Floral Dance festivities, which take place every May Day.
The town itself has plenty to offer in terms of culture, with a number of art galleries and museums.
There are also some great shops, pubs and restaurants.
The best things to do in Helston:
– Visit one of the art galleries
– Explore the nearby Lizard Peninsula
– Attend the Floral Dance festivities
– Stroll along Market Strand
40. Isles of Scilly
Just a short ferry ride or helicopter flight away from mainland Cornwall are the Isles of Scilly.
This magnificent archipelago is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Britain, as well as traditional thatched cottages and an abundance of wildlife.
The best things to do in the Isles of Scilly:
– Visit St Mary’s Island
– Explore Tresco Abbey Garden
– Take a boat trip around the islands
– Watch seals, dolphins and other wildlife
– Relax on one of the many beaches
Final Thoughts: 40 Best Places To Visit In Cornwall
I hope that this guide has convinced you to visit Cornwall.
These are just some of the best places to visit in Cornwall, and there’s so much more for you to explore. From stunning beaches to quaint villages, Cornwall has plenty of attractions to offer!
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