17 Finest Locations to Go to in Cornwall: Sights and Prettiest Locations


Cornwall is attractive – particularly when the solar is shining and also you’re having fun with a superbly chilled beer or wine on a pub’s terrace overlooking the glistening ocean. Nonetheless, the most effective locations to go to in Cornwall aren’t simply restricted to the coast, and Cornwall’s points of interest span Tudor castles, prehistoric ruins, seal sanctuaries and futuristic botanic gardens.

In fact, in the summertime months, us Brits make a beeline for Cornwall’s finest seashores, which means crowds and better costs are a given. Nonetheless, out of season, the scenic South West England shorelines – particularly alongside the Lizard Peninsula – are simply as inviting, albeit extra for rambling than sunbathing.

With a captivating historical past associated to the UNESCO-listed previous mining websites, a wealthy and storied tradition due to the Cornish language and the area’s unbiased previous, and people stunning golden sands, Cornwall’s appeal is infectious regardless of the place or whenever you go to.

Whether or not you’re planning an extended weekend or an prolonged trip, listed below are among the finest locations to go to in Cornwall to get you began.

Most of the finest locations to go to in Cornwall are fairly coastal villages

The place to remain in Cornwall and different FAQs

Cornwall presents quite a lot of lodging choices starting from small B&Bs to lavish citadel stays. Cottages and vacation houses are widespread choices, with corporations similar to Elements Holidays offering an area and specialist different to Airbnb.

Selecting the place to remain will rely if you need a quaint city (Penzance), a coastal retreat (The Lizard), an remoted village (Mousehole) or a bigger hub like Truro. For extra concepts, see my information on the place to remain in Cornwall.

Why must you go to Cornwall, England?

Cornwall is among the prettiest areas of England with an fascinating historical past because of the mining and nationwide minority language. Nonetheless, the primary motive to go to is for browsing, sand, seafood and the dramatic shoreline.

When is the most effective time to go to Cornwall?

For the climate alone, summer time is the most effective time to go to Cornwall. Nonetheless, within the peak summer time months of July and August, and likewise UK faculty holidays, the area turns into busier. I recommend visiting in spring for wild-flower-lined trails or late September for a extra peaceable, but hopefully nonetheless sunny, seashore break.

What number of days is sufficient for Cornwall?

Cornwall is good as each an extended weekend break or a one-week highway or seashore journey – it actually is dependent upon how a lot time you’ve got. With a automobile, you can ‘tick off’ among the fundamental points of interest in three days, however you’ll wish to take it slower for a seashore vacation.

What’s the most scenic a part of Cornwall?

The area’s coast is actually the star. Personally, I discover essentially the most scenic a part of Cornwall to be the Lizard Peninsula, particularly spots similar to Kynance Cove.

The place is the prettiest place in Cornwall?

Mevagissey, Port Isaac and Polperro are a few of Cornwall’s prettiest villages. St Ives is the prettiest city, whereas the prettiest seashores embody Kynance and Porthcurno.

What are the most effective locations to go to in Cornwall?

Should you solely have time for a brief go to, then don’t miss Tintagel Citadel, St Ives, St Michael’s Mount and The Eden Challenge. These 4 points of interest are among the high locations to go to in Cornwall. Nonetheless, it’s a area finest explored slowly so to see many extra locations on this checklist.

Port Isaac and Tintagel Citadel

Snuggled round a small harbour in North Cornwall, Port Isaac is your typical dreamy coastal village and probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall for first time guests. A cluster of white-fronted houses atop a low-slung cliff, the village seems to be down on the pocket-sized seashore and bobbing fishing boats beneath.

Port Issac’s historical past is tied to fishing – an business that peaked right here within the early nineteenth century – and fortunately, because of the protected standing of the harbour, the fishing village has remained quaint and historic, even when the business is much less distinguished.

Additional north, round a 30-minute drive alongside the coast, is among the most famed Cornwall points of interest, Tintagel Citadel. Nonetheless, the easiest way to reach is by following the Cornish Coastal Path, which hyperlinks the 2 places collectively. This 10-mile stretch takes in dramatic rock formations and lesser-visited seashores. It’s notably spectacular in spring when the wildflowers arrive.

Whereas not a lot stays of the citadel itself, the legend of King Arthur and the dramatic footbridge between two dramatically-rising cliffs make this spot unbeatable. Being one of the widespread points of interest in Cornwall, it would be best to ebook your tickets prematurely, particularly throughout holidays or weekends.

Saint Michael's Mount
Saint Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount

Maybe you’ve heard of Mont St Michel, the Abbey-crowned island which is a well-liked weekend break in France. Nicely, do you know Cornwall has its personal ‘little sister’ to this famed location?

First imagined as a pilgrimage web site and initially owned by France’s Mont St Michel, Benedictine monks constructed the primary church right here in 1135. Later the island grew to become a fortress earlier than turning into one of the widespread Cornwall points of interest. 

Accessed from the city of Marazion, a typically barely submerged brick causeway hyperlinks the mainland with the island. Whereas St Michael’s Mount doesn’t have fairly the identical degree of grandeur as its French counterpart, the medieval citadel atop – now a household house – provides one thing particular, making it probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall.

A man walks on Coverack Beach on the Lizard Peninsula
Coverack on the Lizard Peninsula

The Lizard Peninsula

The Lizard Peninsula is one in all my favorite stretches of coast in the entire nation, second solely to the Jurassic Coast in my house area of Dorset.

Located in south Cornwall – Lizard Level claims the title of essentially the most south-westerly level on the mainland – the entire peninsula has that get-away-from-it-all vibe. Certainly, there are two belongings you’ll wish to carry right here: strolling sneakers and a digital camera.

Because of restricted highway entry, little improvement and swathes of unadulterated verdant-backed coast, it retains all of the appeal of a time passed by. Idyllic villages similar to Coverack and Cadgwith are the right locations to cease for a fish and chips lunch, whereas turquoise-lapped coves like Kynance Cove are among the best possible locations to go to in Cornwall for a dip.

If you’d like a Cornwall vacation with a calming vibe, you would possibly wish to contemplate staying on the peninsula fairly than in one of many bigger cities. Ebook a seashore keep in Porthleven for a correct bolthole expertise. It’s one of the dreamy spots on the Cornwall coast, and your morning espresso will style even higher with these breezy sea views.

Sea views at Chy an Mor cottage in Porthleven © Aspect Holidays
Sea views at Chy an Mor cottage in Porthleven © Elements Holidays


Cornwall is a spot you often go to for the coast and quaint villages. Nonetheless, if you need museums and concrete comforts, head to Truro, the area’s solely metropolis.

Whereas the cathedral towers above the whole lot else and is value a go to, town nonetheless retains a laid-back Cornish vibe. There are many unbiased pubs and occasional outlets – Lemon Road Market is a gem – and it’s a superb base or place to select up provides, particularly from the recent produce market.

The primary motive to go to Truro is for the extra important cultural choices than elsewhere. Head to the Royal Cornish Museum, the place you’ll be able to study extra concerning the area’s historical past and a little bit concerning the Cornish language. Go to the Victorian cathedral – uncommon for its three spires. And even attempt to catch a present on the Corridor for Cornwall, a preferred efficiency venue.

A view across St Ives, one of the best places to visit in Cornwall
A view throughout St Ives

St Ives

For hundreds of years St Ives has been one of the widespread locations in Cornwall for a UK staycation, and the second you lay eyes on the expansive seashores – notably spectacular at low tide – you’ll see why.

For many individuals, that is the most effective place to go to in Cornwall, because it has loads. There are quite a few breathtaking seashores, each in and a brief stroll from the city. Small cobbled streets hyperlink cute corners, seaside pubs, fish and chip outlets and, in fact, pasty makers collectively.

Then, you’ve got boat journeys to identify dolphins or see the Godrevy Lighthouse up shut. You’ll additionally discover the attractive Tregenna Citadel shut by, the place my cousin acquired married – a really stunning expertise! 

Should you’re looking for a dreamy Cornwall base, you’ll be able to’t go improper right here. Go for one in all St Ives’ unique vacation cottages to hire and also you’ll have the whole lot you want in your doorstep. This does imply it’s widespread in summer time, however it’s a gorgeous vacation spot year-round.

Even after I went for a fast getaway in January it was a delight; the costs and near-empty streets made the low season go to – even with the marginally gray skies – a worthwhile trade-off. 

The domes of the Eden Project, regarded as one of the best places to visit in Cornwall
The Eden Challenge

The Eden Challenge

Since opening in 2001, the Eden Challenge – a set of enclosed botanic gardens – has established itself as probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall for these with a curious thoughts and a ardour for unique crops.

Beloved by each adults and children, the expansive house is house to putting exhibitions, interactive experiences, and plant species from world wide which may be discovered within the biodome-enclosed gardens.

Whereas it should price you to enter The Eden Challenge, I’d say it’s value it – particularly as you can simply spend greater than half a day taking all of it in.

The Kings Arms, Marazion, a traditional British pub
The Kings Arms, Marazion, a standard British pub


For many years Newquay has been topped as England’s surf capital, making it probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall to experience the waves or study to surf. Nonetheless, there are a lot extra causes so as to add a cease in Newquay to your itinerary.

Being one of many bigger cities within the area, you’ll discover many wonderful eating places and ample lodging. As such, Newquay makes for a good base. Simply take into account in summer time, the inhabitants of 20,000 can multiply some 5 occasions.

Whether or not you’re staying right here or visiting for the day, it’s properly value exploring the city and surrounding areas. If chasing swell isn’t your factor, then fret not, for there are a lot extra journey actions, similar to coasteering experiences alongside the low-slung but dramatic cliffs.

Different Cornwall points of interest in Newquay embody the family-friendly Zoo, dazzling Fistral Seaside, and a few Nationwide Belief manor homes barely inland. By night time, particularly in summer time, there’s additionally some pretty first rate nightlife right here, another excuse it’s a superb Cornwall base.

The Minack Theatre is one of Cornwall's top attractions
The Minack Theatre

Minack Theatre

Distinctive and engaging, the Minack Theatre is one in all my favorite locations to go to in England and definitely one of many extra uncommon of Cornwall’s points of interest.

Practically 100 years in the past, Rowena Cade set about to create one thing extraordinary. Chiselling the theatre into the cliff face herself, the Minack Theatre was born, bringing a novel spectacle to the south coast of Cornwall.

What makes the Minack so particular is the backdrop of the ocean and the ocean breeze all through the open-air performances in the summertime months. Even when there isn’t a present scheduled throughout your go to, you’ll be able to nonetheless go to the theatre throughout the day. It’s a surprise, each for the ingenious design but additionally the magnificent setting.

Bodmin Moor

Whereas most guests to Cornwall will take pleasure in their treks and rambles alongside the coast, a particular point out is reserved for inland Bodmin Moor.

An unlimited moorland in northeast Cornwall, Bodmin is a wild place which shall be of specific curiosity to these considering geological historical past. What makes Bodmin stand out as probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall, although, is its historical past.

Amongst the granite slabs and barren pastures, you could find an abundance of historical monuments. In reality, the placement is famous as probably the greatest locations in all of Europe for Neolithic and Bronze Age websites. King Arthur’s Corridor, a megalithic ceremonial web site, is among the most well-known.

Mevagissey near Saint Austell
Mevagissey close to Saint Austell

St Austell and Mevagissey

These two cute spots not removed from the Devon border may be simply mixed, as Mevagissey is only a 20-minute drive or bus from St Austell’s practice station.

An previous market city, St Austell has performed a vital position within the area’s mining and China Clay industries. You’ll nonetheless spot reminders of the city’s historic significance, such because the bygone Cornwall Coliseum. These days, it’s the gateway to a few of Cornwall’s finest points of interest, and residential to the St Austell brewing firm, which you’ll go to for each a tour and a pint.

Coastal Mevagissey, nevertheless, is the postcard-perfect Cornish village. It’s probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall to devour recent seafood in a wooden-clad pub, with the colorful houses and boats across the harbour being the cherry on high.

Coastal trails in Cornwall
Costal trails in Cornwall

Land’s Finish

This Cornwall landmark has lengthy been a spot of myths and legend – even the traditional Greeks adored this spot and named it ‘Belerion’, which means the place of the solar. This historical past, and the spectacular vistas, have ensured that Land’s Finish has firmly cemented its place as probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall.

These days, it’s grow to be a little bit too ‘theme park’ for my liking. Nonetheless, there isn’t any denying it’s a magical spot to benefit from the sundown with a chilly one. Pop into the Seventeenth-century pub for a pint and myths of seafaring pirate historical past, or take the youngsters to one of many child-friendly points of interest.

Simply remember that it’s not the most affordable place to go to in Cornwall. Between the automobile park, points of interest and higher-priced meals and ice lotions for a household, the prices can rapidly add up.

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Cornwall is house to loads of seals, and on some seashores – similar to Padstow Harbour and Mutton Cove – you’ll see them basking on the sand or jetties. Sadly, some seals grow to be injured as a consequence of fishing boats or different illnesses and are handled on the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.

Whereas it’s all the time finest to see wildlife within the wild fairly than captivity, this spot isn’t one in all your typical Cornwall points of interest like a zoo as the first function is rehabilitation fairly than leisure.

So, whereas it’s nice to go to and admire the seal’s and pups’ therapeutic, it’s even higher to know that when they’re sturdy and wholesome once more, they are going to return to the wild to take pleasure in life in nature.

The Lost Gardens of Helligan are one of the best places to visit in Cornwall
The Misplaced Gardens of Helligan

The Misplaced Gardens of Heligan

Near Mevagissey you’ll discover The Misplaced Gardens of Heligan, one thing of a hidden gem in Europe. Even in the event you’re not a ‘backyard particular person’, chances are you’ll discover your curiosity piqued by one in all Cornwall’s finest points of interest, particularly whenever you study its story.

Firstly, the gardens are huge, protecting greater than 200 acres whenever you embody the woodlands. Suspended bridges and moss-covered statues dot the gardens, which, till round 30 years in the past, had been being reclaimed by the weather.

Whereas the Heligan property’s historical past dates again to the thirteenth century, the gardens had been landscaped and planted within the 18th century. Then, round 1915 and the beginning of WWI, the gardens had been forgotten and ‘misplaced’. Fortunately, following restoration works and the passionate work of horticulturalists, Heligan has practically been restored to its former glory.

The Egyptian House in Penzance is one of the more unique Cornwall attractions
The Egyptian Home, Penzance


This city in west Cornwall is probably most well-known for its pirate previous, highlighted within the opera The Pirates of Penzance, courting to the times of Queen Victoria. But, whereas the real-life pirates are lengthy gone, the city retains loads of different causes to go to.

With a lot to see and do, from galleries and gardens to museums and the open-air lido, Penzance has established itself as probably the greatest locations to go to in Cornwall. Of specific curiosity is the Egyptian Home, a listed constructing with an fascinating facade. Penlee Home, house to some wonderful work from the close by artwork faculty’s alumni, can be value a go to.

Whereas Penzance is a well-liked base in Cornwall, due to the numerous facilities, I’d recommend reserving a cottage close to the harbour. This fashion, you’ll be able to have the most effective of each worlds; a waterfront view with all the advantages of being in a city.

Padstow and Bedruthan Steps 

On Cornwall’s north coast, two of the most effective locations to go to in Cornwall may be simply mixed. Both by a 20-minute drive or an roughly 17-mile path across the Trevose Headland. Whereas it’s one of many longest stretches of the South West Coast Path, the unimaginable surroundings makes it properly value rising early for.

In Padstow, you’ll discover a tranquil coastal city fronted by a still-working fishing port. These common catches guarantee it’s the go-to for recent seafood dishes served by celebrities. Each Rick Stein and Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth have eating places right here.

On the path’s finish, Bedruthan Steps Seaside awaits one of the breathtaking in Cornwall. Nonetheless, the actual magic is discovered alongside the trail, with sheltered coves and rocky vistas aplenty. If this lengthy stretch is an excessive amount of, the turquoise waters of Porthcothan Seaside are simply as splendid. From Padstow, it’s round 13 miles a technique thus far, or there’s a round six-mile route from Bedruthan.

Pendennis Castle is one of the best places to visit in Cornwall
Pendennis Citadel in Falmouth


Life in Falmouth – like a lot of Cornwall – is all concerning the sea. Nonetheless, on this coastal city, it’s taken a little bit additional due to the Nationwide Maritime Museum.

Inside this spectacular house, you’ll discover loads of tales of Cornwall’s seafaring previous and full-size replicas and actual boats from days passed by. Sadly, the ticket costs are a little bit steep, in my view, as London’s outpost is free, however they do enable entrance for one full 12 months.

Close by, you’ll additionally discover the Tudor Pendennis Citadel, one in all Cornwall’s finest points of interest. Henry VIII constructed this fortification to defend the nation from the French, and far of the unique construction – primarily the preserve – nonetheless stands at the moment. You possibly can stroll the intensive grounds, full with historic cannons, go to the museum, and study extra concerning the outposts’ position in WWII.

Save this pin of the best places to visit in Cornwall. This guide covers the most famous Cornwall attractions, prettiest villages, and awesome coastal stops.
Pin it: Finest locations to go to in Cornwall

Isles of Scilly

Welcome to arguably the most effective islands to go to within the UK, the Isles of Scilly. This (usually) sun-kissed archipelago of some 50 isles is breathtaking, incomes it the title of essentially the most magical place to go to in Cornwall.

To reach, you’ll must take a brief flight or ferry – the latter being my private tip. Not solely is it much less carbon intensive than flying, however the brief journey presents nice views of the coast and may usually be cheaper.

The primary bonus of constructing the marginally additional journey is that looking for out quieter seashores than the mainland is a a lot simpler activity. The sands are a beautiful salt-like white and on a sunny day, the waters sparkle and grow to be virtually Caribbean-like (in the event you squint). Whereas solely a handful of the islands are inhabited, many extra may be visited, making island hopping very a lot a welcome deal with.

Should you’ve made it this far south, you’ve possible lined all of Cornwall’s finest locations to go to and earned your self one other celebratory fish and chips on the seashore! Subsequent up, it’s time to find among the different finest locations in South West England!

*Article produced in partnership with Elements Holidays, written from my very own experiences travelling by means of Cornwall

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