Welcome to Cornwall, where adventure and relaxation await you. This region is known for its stunning beaches, historic landmarks, charming villages, and natural beauty. There’s no shortage of things to do in Cornwall, making it a top destination for travelers. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the best attractions in Cornwall, providing you with an unforgettable experience.
From exploring historic sites to enjoying adrenaline-pumping activities, there’s something for everyone in Cornwall. Whether you’re traveling solo or with family and friends, there’s no shortage of fun-filled activities to do here. So, let’s dive in and discover the top attractions in Cornwall that will make your trip a memorable one!
Cornwall’s Beautiful Beaches
Cornwall‘s coastline boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the UK, each with its own unique features that make for unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beach with plenty of activities or a secluded cove for a romantic getaway, Cornwall has it all.
Cornwall’s Most Popular Beaches
|Award-winning beach with turquoise waters and white sand
|Renowned surf spot with consistent waves
|Three miles of golden sand and dunes
While these beaches are popular for a reason, there are also many hidden gems to explore along the coastline. For a secluded and peaceful beach experience, consider visiting Kynance Cove or Pedn Vounder Beach.
Beach Activities in Cornwall
Aside from soaking up the sun and enjoying the stunning views, there are plenty of activities to enjoy at Cornwall’s beaches. Surfing and bodyboarding are popular water sports and there are many surf schools along the coast for beginners. For a unique experience, try coasteering – a combination of rock climbing, cliff jumping, and swimming along the coastline. Families can enjoy building sandcastles or playing beach volleyball while nature lovers can explore the rockpools and wildlife.
“Cornwall’s coastline boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the UK, each with its own unique features that make for unforgettable experiences.”
Many beaches also offer food and drink options, from classic fish and chips to trendy beach bars. Some beaches have beach huts for hire or offer beach equipment rental, making it easy to enjoy a day at the beach without packing everything from home.
Cornwall’s Beach Safety
While Cornwall’s beaches are beautiful, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards. Always follow beach safety guidelines and be aware of tide times, currents, and potential hazards like rocks or jellyfish. Lifeguards are present at many beaches during peak season.
With its stunning coastline and variety of beaches, Cornwall is a must-visit destination for beach lovers. Make sure to pack sunscreen and a sense of adventure!
Exploring Historic Landmarks
For those interested in discovering the rich history and cultural heritage of Cornwall, there are plenty of historic landmarks to explore. From ancient ruins to medieval castles, Cornwall has a diverse range of attractions that offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past.
Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites
A major part of Cornwall’s history is its mining industry, which dates back to the Bronze Age. The Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites, which include famous sites such as the iconic engine houses at the heart of the Cornish landscape, provide a unique insight into the region’s mining heritage and its impact on the world.
|Geevor Tin Mine
|Levant Mine and Beam Engine
These sites offer guided tours, interactive displays, and exhibitions that provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Cornish miners.
Tintagel Castle, located on the rugged North Cornwall coast, is steeped in myth and legend. It is believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur and is said to have been the stronghold of his father, the legendary King Uther Pendragon. Today, the castle ruins offer breathtaking views of the coast and the nearby Merlin’s Cave.
“The ruins of Tintagel Castle are simply awe-inspiring. They transport you to another world, evoking the romanticism of Arthurian legend.”
St Michael’s Mount
Perched on top of a tidal island just off the coast of Cornwall, St Michael’s Mount is a must-visit attraction for history buffs. The castle and gardens have been home to the St Aubyn family since the 17th century and are open to the public throughout the year. The journey to the island itself is an unforgettable experience, with visitors able to walk across the ancient causeway at low tide or take a boat at high tide.
Whether you’re interested in the mining history of Cornwall or fascinated by medieval castles and legends of King Arthur, the historic landmarks of Cornwall offer a wealth of experiences for everyone.
Discovering Charming Villages
If you’re looking for a taste of Cornwall’s unique atmosphere and local culture, exploring the charming villages and picturesque towns is a must. From historic fishing communities to quaint countryside hamlets, there’s a wealth of delightful destinations to discover.
One town not to miss is St. Ives, a seaside gem with winding streets lined with independent shops, galleries, and cafes. Its beautiful beaches, ancient granite buildings, and colorful harbor make it a popular destination for visitors seeking a slice of Cornish charm.
|A picturesque fishing port with a bustling foodie scene
|Try the famous fish and chips from Rick Stein’s restaurant
|A quaint coastal village with narrow streets and historic cottages
|Take a ferry up the Fowey River to see stunning views of the village and surrounding countryside
|A charming fishing village with a small harbor and narrow cobbled streets
|Enjoy a traditional Cornish cream tea at one of the local cafes
Cornwall is also home to several picturesque market towns, including Liskeard, which is located on the edge of Bodmin Moor and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Another charming town is Lostwithiel, known for its antique shops and historic architecture.
Whether you’re strolling along the coast or wandering through the countryside, Cornwall’s villages and towns are sure to enchant you with their unique character and warmth.
Outdoor Adventures in Cornwall
For those seeking a thrill, Cornwall offers a range of exciting outdoor activities. From surfing to coasteering, visitors are sure to find something to get their adrenaline pumping. Here are some of the top adventure sports in Cornwall:
With its long coastline, Cornwall is a surfer’s paradise. Some of the most popular spots include Fistral Beach in Newquay, Perranporth Beach, and Sennen Cove. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of surf schools and rental shops to choose from.
Coasteering is a fun and adventurous activity that involves climbing, jumping, and swimming along the rocky coastline. Cornwall’s rugged cliffs and clear waters make it the perfect place for coasteering. Recommended spots include Port Gaverne, Lusty Glaze, and Treyarnon Bay.
Explore Cornwall’s coastline from a different perspective with a kayaking adventure. Glide through tranquil waters and discover hidden coves and secret beaches. Popular kayaking spots include St. Ives Bay, Fowey Estuary, and the Helford River.
Experience the beautiful landscapes of Cornwall on two wheels. With a variety of cycling trails for all levels of experience, visitors can explore the countryside, coastal paths, and picturesque villages. The Camel Trail is a popular route that takes in the stunning scenery of the Camel Estuary.
Cornwall has some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the UK, and hiking is a great way to explore them. From the rugged coastlines to the rolling hills of Bodmin Moor, there are plenty of trails to suit all abilities. The South West Coast Path is a must-do for any hiking enthusiast, offering stunning views of the coastline.
With so many outdoor adventures to choose from, Cornwall is the perfect destination for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
If you’re looking for fun things to do with your family in Cornwall, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of our top recommendations:
Cornwall’s Crealy Great Adventure Park
If you’re travelling with young kids, Cornwall’s Crealy Great Adventure Park is a must-visit destination. With over 40 rides and attractions, there’s something for everyone here. Kids can meet friendly farm animals, splash around in the waterpark, and enjoy thrilling rides like the Tidal Wave Log Flume and the Twister Rollercoaster.
|Tredinnick, Wadebridge, PL27 7RA
Flambards Theme Park
Flambards Theme Park is another great option for families in Cornwall. With indoor and outdoor attractions, it’s the perfect place to start your day, regardless of the weather. The park features thrill rides, family rides, and attractions themed around different eras and cultures throughout history. Don’t miss the Cornwall Eye, which provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
|Clodgey Ln, Helston TR13 0QA
Paradise Park is a wildlife sanctuary and bird park located in Hayle, Cornwall. It’s home to over 1,000 exotic birds and animals, including penguins, flamingos, and red pandas. Visitors can participate in bird and animal feedings and watch live shows featuring birds of prey. There’s also a play area for kids, an indoor soft play, and a cafe serving lunch and snacks.
|16 Trelissick Rd, Hayle TR27 4HB
These are just a few of the many family-friendly attractions in Cornwall. With so much to see and do, you’re sure to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.
Exploring Cornwall’s Culinary Scene
Cornwall’s culinary scene is a food lover’s paradise, boasting an abundance of fresh local produce and traditional delicacies. From fresh seafood to indulgent cream teas, there is something for everyone to savor. Here are some of the must-try dishes and recommended dining options to explore:
Cornish pasties are a savory pastry filled with beef, potatoes, turnips, onions, and seasoning, traditionally crimped on one side. This dish is a staple of Cornish cuisine and can be found in many bakeries and cafes throughout the region. Try one freshly baked from a local bakery, or grab one to go for a picnic on the beach.
Indulge in a traditional Cornish cream tea consisting of freshly baked scones, locally produced clotted cream, and strawberry jam. This quintessentially British treat is best enjoyed with a cup of tea while taking in Cornwall’s stunning scenery.
Cornwall’s coastal location means that the seafood on offer is some of the freshest in the country. Be sure to try the famous fish and chips, or sample some of the region’s other seafood delights such as crab, lobster, and mussels. Many restaurants offer a “catch of the day” option, so you know you’re getting the freshest possible seafood.
Recommended Dining Options
For a fine dining experience, head to The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, run by renowned chef Rick Stein. The menu features an extensive seafood selection and showcases the best of local Cornish produce. Another highly recommended option is The Gurnard’s Head in Zennor, offering a rustic and seasonal menu, with an emphasis on local ingredients.
“Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a taste of the local cuisine, Cornwall’s culinary scene has something for everyone. Don’t skip out on trying the iconic Cornish pasties or indulging in a cream tea. And for a memorable dining experience, be sure to check out one of our recommended restaurants.”
Vibrant Art and Culture
Cornwall is not only known for its stunning natural landscapes and historic landmarks but also its vibrant art and cultural scene. From the contemporary art galleries to the annual festivals, there are plenty of ways to experience the rich cultural heritage of Cornwall.
If you’re an art lover, Cornwall is the perfect place for you. With its picturesque views and vibrant art scene, the region has a plethora of contemporary art galleries and exhibitions. The Tate St. Ives stands out as a significant attraction, showcasing modern art by local and international artists. The Newlyn Art Gallery and the Penlee House Gallery and Museum are also worth visiting for their impressive collections of work.
Cultural Events and Festivals
Cornwall’s cultural calendar is packed with events and festivals throughout the year. The St. Ives September Festival is a popular event that attracts visitors from across the globe. The festival showcases a wide range of music, theater, and art performances. Other notable festivals include the Falmouth Oyster Festival celebrating the region’s seafood traditions and the Lowender Peran festival that celebrates Cornwall’s Celtic heritage.
Traditional Cornish Music and Dance
Traditional Cornish music and dance are an integral part of the region’s cultural heritage. From the Golowan Festival to the Obby Oss Festival, there are plenty of opportunities to experience authentic Cornish music and dance. If you’re interested in learning more about Cornish music and dance, the Cornish Music Project offers workshops and classes throughout the year.
With its rich cultural heritage, Cornwall is a must-visit destination for art and culture enthusiasts. Whether you’re an art lover or interested in learning more about the region’s history, there is something for everyone in Cornwall.
Enjoying Cornwall’s Natural Wonders
From dramatic coastlines to rolling hills and lush forests, Cornwall boasts some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or an outdoor adventure, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this stunning region.
With over 250 miles of coastline, Cornwall is a haven for coastal walks. The South West Coast Path is a great option for those seeking a challenge, offering stunning views of rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and quaint fishing villages. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful beaches of St Ives Bay, or explore the wild beauty of Bodmin Moor.
Cornwall is renowned for its beautiful beaches, with something to suit every taste. Surfing enthusiasts will love Fistral Beach, known for its big waves and lively atmosphere, while families will enjoy the soft sands and shallow waters of Porthminster Beach. For a more secluded spot, head to Kynance Cove, with its crystal-clear waters and rugged rock formations.
Cornwall is home to a rich diversity of wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and basking sharks. Take a boat trip from Falmouth or Penzance for a chance to see these magnificent creatures up close. Alternatively, head to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, where you can learn about the region’s marine life and even adopt a seal!
Gardens and Parks
Cornwall is well-known for its stunning gardens and parks, which are renowned for their exotic flora and fauna. The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a must-visit, with their restored Victorian gardens and sub-tropical jungle. Meanwhile, the Eden Project is a world-famous attraction, featuring giant biomes with plants from around the world.
Natural Heritage Sites
Cornwall is home to several designated sites of natural heritage, including the rugged coastline of the Lizard Peninsula and the stunning landscape of the Tamar Valley. These areas are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching.
With so much natural beauty to explore, Cornwall is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape into the great outdoors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you’re planning a trip to Cornwall, it’s important to have all the information you need to make the most of your visit. Here are some common questions that visitors ask:
When is the best time to visit Cornwall?
While Cornwall is beautiful year-round, the best time to visit is in the summer months from June to August when the weather is warm and sunny. However, be prepared for crowds during this time as it is the peak tourist season.
What are the must-visit attractions in Cornwall?
There are so many amazing attractions in Cornwall, but some of the must-visit ones include St. Michael’s Mount, the Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, and the Minack Theatre.
What is the local cuisine like in Cornwall?
Cornwall is known for its fresh seafood, pasties, and cream teas. Be sure to try some of the local delicacies while you’re here!
What are some family-friendly attractions in Cornwall?
There are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Cornwall, such as the Blue Reef Aquarium, Flambards Theme Park, and the Camel Creek Adventure Park.
What is the best way to get around Cornwall?
The best way to get around Cornwall is by car or public transportation. There are plenty of buses and trains that connect major towns and cities, but having a car gives you more flexibility to explore the region.
What should I pack for a trip to Cornwall?
Be sure to pack clothing for all types of weather, as the weather in Cornwall can be unpredictable. It’s also a good idea to bring comfortable shoes for walking and hiking, sunscreen, and a rain jacket.
Are there any outdoor activities in Cornwall?
Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities in Cornwall such as surfing, kayaking, hiking, and cycling. Be sure to check the weather forecast before planning any outdoor activities.
What are some of the cultural events in Cornwall?
There are many cultural events in Cornwall throughout the year, such as the Falmouth Oyster Festival, the Golowan Festival, and the Royal Cornwall Show.
What are some travel tips for visiting Cornwall?
Be sure to book accommodations and attractions in advance, especially during peak tourist season. Also, be respectful of the local environment and community, and take care to leave the region as you found it.