Explore Cornwall, where history and natural beauty intertwine. There’s something for everyone here, from ancient history to rugged cliffs and stunning vast beaches.
Experience the unique Minack Theatre, set against dramatic cliffs, and end your journey at the stunning Land’s End. Visit St. Michael’s Mount and the Eden Project, marvel at the cliffside ruins of Tintagel Castle, and stroll through charming fishing villages like Mousehole and Port Isaac.
Explore our guides to the most popular holiday destinations in Cornwall.
If you’re looking for a coastal town that has it all, look no further than Newquay. This seaside town in Cornwall is known for its dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches and pounding surf. It’s also a great place to enjoy some of the best seafood in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an action-packed holiday, Newquay has something for everyone! In this guide, we will explore everything that this vibrant town has to offer.
Falmouth is a vibrant town in Cornwall situated on a harbour with stunning beaches and many things to see and do around the area.
The impressive harbour is home to a vast amount of ships and activities. The town is surrounded by some stunning beaches all with their own individual charm and beauty.
The town itself is a bustling hub of different bars and restaurants as well as shops. There are some fantastic accommodation options in Falmouth and it is certainly a must-see place if you are visiting Cornwall.
A firm favourite with locals and visitors St Ives is a beautiful beach and harbour where tourists flock to enjoy the fabulous views and the harbour. The town sits directly above the harbour and is famous for not just the harbour but the gallery and museum too. St Ives is also well positioned on the north coast and is not too far from many other attractions such as Land’s End and the Minack Theatre. St Ives is also known for its Art culture and its branch of the Tate Gallery. In 2010, a BBC Four film, The Art of Cornwall, presented by James Fox said that the St Ives artists “went on to produce some of the most exhilarating art of the twentieth century…for a few dazzling years this place was as famous as Paris, as exciting as New York and infinitely more progressive than London.”
In more recent years St Ives has been awarded Best Seaside Town by the Guardian in 2007 and Best Seaside Town by The British Travel Awards both in 2010 and 2011. This absolute gem of a town is a must see when in Cornwall. The population of St Ives is around 11,000 but this rises dramatically in the summer months.
Truro is the capital of Cornwall and its only city. The Cathedral in the city centre dominates the skyline and is a must-see if you are visiting. Truro has a busy shopping culture and you can spend all day on the high streets exploring the stores. As well as this Truro offers a lively nightlife with plenty of fantastic restaurants and bars to keep you busy all night long. There are also other attractions such as the Hall for Cornwall and the Museum.
In North Cornwall Bude is a very popular seaside town, winning many tourist awards over the years. Bude sits on the mouth of the river Neet. Bude’s coast faces Bude Bay in the Celtic Sea. Some times referred to as Bude Haven there are many beaches to explore all along the coastline here and a large selection of accommodation to choose from.
The main tourist hub of the West of Cornwall near Land’s End, Penzance is well located to enjoy some of the best places to visit in West Cornwall such as St Michaels Mount, The Minack Theatre and Porthcurno Beach as seen in Poldark. Penzance sits on the water and offers a vast array of shops, restaurants and bars. Water sports and boat trips are also a huge feature of the area.
Padstow, famous for its harbour, Rick Sein, fresh dining and gorgeous beach has something for the whole family.
Rick Stein has a seafood restaurant and a take away here as well as a shop which tourists love to sample some of his famous fish and chips.
The harbour is a fantastic place with a great atmosphere to explore throughout the day or night, with lots of little shops in the narrow streets surrounding the harbour to explore.
There is a beach called St Georges Cove just half a mile away from the harbour as well and so much coastline to explore around the town.
One of the biggest towns in Cornwall and a great location to visit the South Coast, St Austell was once a huge player in the China Clay industry and you can see all around the town there are piles of slag, sometimes referred to as the Cornish Alps. St Austell is the gateway to Charlestown and is close to Mevagissey. It also the home of the world famous Eden project which is situated just outside the town. There are plenty of shops in the town centre and some fantastic accommodation listings in the area.
The gateway to the Lizard Peninsula and the Helford River, Helston is the most southerly town in Cornwall. Helston is the home to Flambards Theme Park a fantastic day out for the whole family. You will also find Culdrose Airfield, the Seal Sanctuary and some fantastic places to eat in Helston. You will also find Kynance cove near Helston which is one of the most famous beaches in Cornwall and used on the series Poldark.
Famous for Bodmin Jail and set amongst the dramatic landscape of Bodmin Moor, this town and surrounding areas are set in beautiful countryside. The Camel trail also goes as far as Bodmin, this is a great track to cycle or walk for the whole family. The Moors speak for themselves and offer the most fantastic space for all sorts of activities.
Liskeard is an old market town which is situated in the South East of Cornwall. You are not too far from Plymouth or Bodmin so very well positioned to explore bot areas. Liskeard is also at the head of the Looe Valley so again well placed to visit the coastline all around Looe. The town itself has many shops both locally owned and some chain stores so you can get a good selection of shops if shopping is on your list of things to do. There is beautiful countryside all around Liskeard too, great for walking and cycling.
Fowey is a small town well placed on the mouth of the river Fowey. It is used as a cargo port and is a bustling port even today. The town itself is beautiful and you can walk all the way along the side of the river and look out to sea whilst exploring the town. There are some fantastic places to eat and drink in Fowey and the views are incredible, you can sit so close to the water that you may get splashed.
Perranporth is a great little town not too far from Truro or Newquay. The beach is vast and boasts a pub and restaurant actually on the beach. There are plenty of water sports available and the town has some lovely little shops to explore. Perranporth is also home the festivals Bands in the Sands and Tunes in the Dunes as well as some other incredible live music. Great for families and dogs as they are welcome in most places.
Just around the corner from St Ives, Hayle boasts 3 miles of golden sandy beaches. Hayle is a cargo port and small town but there is also a nature reserve on the edge of the estuary. This is a great place to spot birds and if this is your thing you can expect to see avocets, ospreys and a host of wading birds. You can even dine right by the river edge and watch birds as you do.
Famous for the Camel Trail, Wadebridge is 5 miles up from Padstow and straddles the River Camel, you can hire bikes to ride up the trail or walk. It is a very popular trail. The town itself is full of shops and restaurants and bars and has a charming high street. There are plenty of accommodation choices in and around the area and you are in a great spot to be close to Padstow and the beautiful coastline all around.
Nestled in the heart of Cornwall’s North Coast, Boscastle is a holidaymaker’s dream. Its enchanting natural harbour, crowned by an Elizabethan quay, is lined with picturesque stone cottages, boutique shops, and inviting tea-rooms perfect for a relaxing afternoon. The National Trust preserves much of the surrounding land, offering visitors a plethora of scenic walks. From the lush fields of Forrabury Stitches to the historic churches of Minster and St Juliots, immortalized by Thomas Hardy, there’s a sight for every traveler.
The town’s harbour, protected by two stone walls from 1584, stands as a testament to Boscastle’s rich history. Once a bustling trade hub, it’s now a serene spot that remains untouched by time. As the only harbour within 20 miles, its unique charm makes it a must-visit. Ready for an adventure? The coastal path starts right in Boscastle, leading you through landscapes protected by the National Trust. And while the town’s heritage is steeped in trade, today it welcomes holidaymakers, making tourism its heartbeat. Come, explore, and fall in love with Boscastle’s magic.
World famous for its myth and legend. Tintagel is on the North Coast of Cornwall and is the location of Tintagel Castle, and the ancient water falls. This dramatic coastline and castle are linked with the legend of King Arthur. Tintagel town has some great places to eat, drink and stay.
Callington is a historic market town in the East of Cornwall easily accessible from Plymouth and Launceston. The town sits at the foot of Kit Hill which is famous for its mine heritage. The town is small but charming and is a lovely place for a day out if you are staying in that area of Cornwall.
Mevagissey is a small village set around a working harbour on the South Coast in Cornwall. The town has a small population of around 2000 but this increases dramatically during the summer months as the village is a very popular tourist destination. The main trade there is tourism now even though the harbour is working and fish are still caught and shipped internationally. There is a reason that this picture-perfect village in Cornwall is so popular as it is stunning and unspoilt. The streets are narrow and some of the buildings date back several hundred years. There are quaint tea shops and bakeries and traditional pubs to visit when you spend time in the village.
Situated on the Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall and famous for the Torpoint Ferry which crosses the River and takes you to Plymouth. The ferry transports cars across the water which is great for commuting or for tourists. You can also get a small boat if you want to be ferried across on foot. Torpoint is also close to the charming villages of Cawsand and Kinsand.
Redruth was the hub of the mining industry many years ago, it is at the heart of the heritage site now and you can visit some of the mining landmarks whilst in Cornwall. Redruth is next to Camborne and together they form the largest urbanisation area in Cornwall. There are also 3 beaches nearby Porthtowan, Chapel Porth and Portreath Beach.