Cornwall is understandably one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. It’s got great weather, beautiful scenery and of course fantastic beaches. With that in mind we decided to look at the ten best things to see and do in Cornwall on your next holiday.
10. Eat a Pasty
Yes the humble Cornish pasty makes its way on our top ten things to do in Cornwall for the simple reason that they are exceptionally delicious and taste much better than you’ll have ever eaten elsewhere. The local bakeries serve real pasties that don’t taste like terrible meat wrapped in fatty pastry and you should definitely try a few.
9. Visit Trebah Gardens
Cornwall’s climate lends itself to beautiful and exotic gardens but Trebah is the best of them all. Trebah is quieter than many of the other gardens but has a broad range of exotic and domestic flora and fauna that makes it a delight – even if you’re not a horticulturalist. Some of the trees are incredibly rare and you can stroll around the gardens for hours before stopping for lunch on the private beach, on the shaded lawns or in the garden café.
8. Standing Stones
Whilst Cornwall has a fairly rich history in its own right we think that the standing stones are by far the best historical curiosity you can explore in the county. Some of the standing stone formations in the county are older than those at Stonehenge and make for a fantastic exploration. There are also a plethora of barrows and ancient forts to explore but the standing stones are simply stunning. Men an Quoit is one of the best and the Merry Maidens is a particular delight. Standing stones litter the countryside and you don’t have to actively seek them out (although they are all marked on OS maps and local maps. They are often in beautiful locations making them well worth exploring.
7. Walk Bodmin Moor
Bodmin Moor is the county’s National Park and is an outstanding area of natural beauty. There are hundreds if not thousands of walking opportunities in the area and beautiful expanses of deserted moorland, thick forest and babbling streams and rivers to explore. The two highest points on the Moor Rough Tor and Brown Willy are the best places to see incredible views and they aren’t too strenuous as a day’s walk (even with kids). The views from the tors and hill tops are simply stunning and this deserted landscape is a natural beauty to behold..
6. Tintagel Castle
Cornwall isn’t replete with castles but Tintagel is absolutely fantastic perched atop a cliff on the North Cornish coast. The castle is largely ruined but its legendary status in the British mythology of Arthur and its stunning location make it a fantastic trip. The paths along, through and round the cliffs are just incredible and on a choppy day you can rally experience the isolation of this castle and its real glory.
5. Visit the Eden project
The Eden project is now one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions and it is incredible. The different domes of the complex represent different geographic areas of the earth – from Deserts to rainforests everything gets a home at Eden. The park is huge with plenty to keep people occupied and it is a great learning experience for old and young alike as they run countless conservation projects and have large talks and displays. They also run shows and concerts in the grounds occasionally which makes a fantastic evening out.
4. Land’s End
In reality this isn’t as exciting as you might think but it is one of those “must see” places for anyone on holiday here and so we include it in our list. The main point of Land’s End is the stunning views out into the Atlantic but there is now a tacky collection of tourist attractions here including some ok museums and some awful kids entertainments.
3. Visit St. Ives
St. Ives is a cultural paradise and widely regarded as the prettiest town in Cornwall. The light here is incredible and the reason the town has become such a haven for the artistic community and a firm favourite for retirement as well. The town is relaxed and quiet with beautiful medieval cobbled streets winding through the hillside town and a gorgeous sheltered harbor providing stunning views. St. Ives cottages are all immaculately kept and make the town what it is – quaint, charming and with very few hints of modernity. While you’re here be sure to visit the St. Ives Tate and see some of the beautiful local and national art on display here.
2. Learn to Surf
You probably should have seen this one coming as Cornwall is widely regarded as the UK’s best surfing spot and it has some fantastic beaches for all levels of skill. If you’re planning a holiday here it’s the perfect time to learn to tame the waves (or fall unceremoniously into the water repeatedly). There are classes run for all levels of skill so it’s fairly easy to learn in a safe and fun environment.
1. Visit St. Michael’s Mount
St. Michael’s mount is our favourite thing to do in Cornwall for its natural and man made beauty. St Michael’s mount is a tiny island set in Mounts bay and it is the site of a castle and stately home that has been occupied for over a thousand years. At low tide you can walk across the causeway to the island and explore the castle, church and beautiful sub-tropical gardens. The views are simply incredible and well worth the trip in themselves.
And that really is the best that Cornwall has to offer. The county is a fantastic place to explore and there are plenty of options from outdoor activities to nature and arts Corrnwall has it all. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay then the seaside towns lining the South and North coast offer great hotels and B&B’s and there are plenty of cottages to rent in Cornwall though our personal favourite way to explore is camping (which is also the cheapest). Whatever you choose to do on your visit have a great time and enjoy yourself – I know you will.