8 unmissable holiday experiences in Cornwall


Conjure up an image of Cornwall and you’re guaranteed to think of the glorious beaches perfect for picnics, bathing in the warmth of the sunshine and splashing around in the crystal-clear waters. Perhaps you’ve visited a few times before or are still to take that much desired trip, or maybe you’ve a trip planned for this summertime. Still to decide what you want to do when you arrive? Fear not, we’ve compiled a list of unmissable experiences for your Cornish holiday.

A trip to the Minack Theatre

A magical evening spent at the Minack Theatre is truly one of a kind. With panoramic views of the breathtaking coastline and the unique experience of watching an open-air performance whilst perched on the cliffs, the Minack is not to be missed. Bring a picnic of gourmet local produce from the nearby Polgoon Vineyard and Orchard to snack on throughout the evening.

Find that perfect beach cocktail spot

What better way to finish off a busy day of exploring than by unwinding with a cooling cocktail on the beach? Take your pick from the delightful collection of Cornwall’s beach bars and restaurants for that refreshing drink, from the pretty Porthmeor Beach Café to the bustling Watering Hole in Perranporth and the secluded haven of Lusty Glaze Restaurant.

Visit St Michael’s Mount

Steeped in history and the inspiration for many a storyteller, St Michael’s Mount is a magical place to spend the day exploring. Stroll to the island over the cobbled causeway during low tide or catch a short boat ride if it’s high tide. Explore the gardens and castle and wander through the village to see how the thirty islanders live day to day. Finish the afternoon by stopping off in the local restaurant to enjoy a Cornish cream tea and watch island life go by.

Walk with wildlife

Put on your walking boots and discover the joys of the South West Coast Path, with its varied, but always beautiful, landscape. Test your fitness in one of the more challenging but breath-taking (quite literally!) walks, or opt for an easier and more laid-back stroll, perfect for admiring the countryside, wildlife and snapping a few photographs. And don’t forget to stop off for a well-earned coffee and slice of cake in a local café.

Enjoy the local delicacies

You’re quite simply spoilt for choice for culinary delights in Cornwall. Not only do you have the more traditional options of a pasty or cream tea, there are plenty of options for a fine dining experience. Many world-renowned Chefs own restaurants in Cornwall, with delicious and seasonal dishes sourced locally, including Nathan Outlaw in the idyllic Porth Isaac and the social enterprise of Fifteen Cornwall by Jamie Oliver in Watergate Bay. Not to mention, Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and Paul Ainsworth No 6 in Padstow. Finish off the day exploring St Michaels Mount with a visit to Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in Marazion and take an afternoon to experience the wonderful Hidden Hut in Porthcurnick.

Go on a boat trip

Set sail and delight in the salty sea air with a boat trip to the picturesque village of St Mawes from Falmouth, venture across the Camel Estuary from Padstow to the upmarket fishing village of Rock and visit the inspiration for Wind in the Willows with a boat trip along the Fowey River.

Explore the Helford

Spend a day or two exploring the idyllic Helford estuary, with its charming woodland, secluded creeks and conservation areas filled with an abundance of nature and wildlife. Go on a kayaking adventure or take a cruise down the Helford River, visit the sub-tropical gardens and savour the dreamy scenery and peaceful surroundings.

Find your favourite Cornish beach

With Caribbean blue waters and soft white sand, Porthminster Beach is part of the glittering stretch of St Ives Bay, with views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for Virginia Woolfe’s ‘To The Lighthouse’. Venture to the Lizard to see the spectacular turquoise waters of Kynance Cove, visit England’s most westerly point to set your sights on Sennen Cove, and explore the beautiful Constantine Bay Beach set in an Area on Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are hundreds to choose from!

Simon Tregoning is the Chairman at Classic Cottages. Classic Cottages have an exclusive portfolio of places to stay, handpicked in the best locations from the tip of far west Cornwall across the south of England and over on the Isle of Wight.

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Comments (3)

  1. Liz says:

    I became interested, perhaps fascinated, by the Cornwall Coastal Path, a couple of years ago after I had I read a remarkable book – The Salt Path. It tells the story of a couple who have lost their home who decide to walk the Coastal Path. The husband is suffering from a serious illness and struggles for every step of the way.

    The book is a wonderful description of the landscape and is incredibly evocative, even the blackberries taste salty.

    It is a totally inspiring book as the couple walk themselves to mental well-being and, despite the doctor’s diagnosis, the husband’s health improves.

    Taking on the Salt Path is an epic undertaking and few of us have the time for such a life-changing challenge but it would be great to walk sections of it.

  2. Janet Gordon says:

    Cornwall is definitely on the up. So many of my friends are spending a week or two there this summer. Once you’ve left the M5 it is still quite a drive to the far west though it’s definitely worth it for the spectacular and rugged coastline.

    I think I’d opt for a self-catering Cottage over a Hotel as there’s so much great food sourced from Cornwall. Part of the fun of a holiday is shopping for yourself and then trying the local delicacies. Though with the great selection of restaurants available in Cornwall there would definitely be a couple of meals out too.

    • Ellen says:

      The Poldark factor has definitely got to be a contributory factor in the rise and rise of Cornwall. Beaming beautiful Cornwall scenery, through wide-screen TVs, into people’s lounges on dark Sunday evening was always going to be a great advertisement for the county. No surprise then that people were going to want to head west in search of those stunning locations.

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