places to visit in cornwall

15 Most Stunning Places to Visit in Cornwall United Kingdom

There are so many places to visit in Cornwall it can be pretty overwhelming to plan and make sure you hit all the right spots while you’re there.

Fret not, though, you won’t have to worry too much because we’re here, and we’ll help you with a list of all the best places you should check out while you’re there!

Cornwall is most renowned for its spectacular beaches, and there are undoubtedly many of them. 

Blue waters and golden sands frame this county as the sea surrounds it, and lots of tourist towns have come up around the beach and remain some of the best places to go on a Cornwall holiday.

However, there are many places you can visit inland too.

Experience Cornwall’s history at the world-famous attractions and bask in appreciation for nature with the various adventures you can try in the wilderness.

There is plenty to do and see regardless of whether you’re planning a day trip or a road trip around Cornwall.

15 Best Places To Visit In Cornwall 

1. St Ives

2. Eden Project

3. Tintagel Castle

4. Lost Gardens of Heligan

5. Porthcurno 

6. St Michael’s Mount

7. Port Isaac

8. Polperro

9. Falmouth

10. Newquay

11. Lanhydrock

12. Truro

13. The Isles of Scilly

14. Padstow 

15. Land’s End 

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15 Most Stunning Places to Visit in Cornwall United Kingdom

1. St. Ives  

places to visit in cornwall tintagel castle st ives

One of our top places to visit in Cornwall is St. Ives – a famous tourist town known for its art culture. Artists from all over Europe and UK have graced this town because of its natural beauty and local culture, making it one of the artsiest places in Cornwall. 

Make sure to stop by the Tate Gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Gardens to learn more about the art culture in St. Ives, and after, take a dip at one or both famous beaches there, the Porthminster and the Porthmeor Beach

Another must-do in St. Ives is to indulge in all the delicious food they have to offer – Try the Lakeside Cabin for great breakfasts and the Seafood Cafe for some of the best seafood in town. 

2. Eden Project

places to visit in cornwall eden project

Undoubtedly, the Eden Project is one of the top places to visit in Cornwall, if not in the whole of the UK.

This social enterprise and the educational charity aims to foster relationships with people and nature for the good of all living things, and they’re doing a pretty good job at it too! 

Built with two futuristic biomes that house the world’s largest rainforest, Eden Project also has a Mediterranean climate in one of the domes.

You can find tropical plants such as banana trees, sugar canes, and coffee trees here as well as a waterfall and reproduction homesteads. 

Here, there is something for everyone. For the kids, they have exciting exhibits, a showcase of plants from all around the world, and a sensory garden. 

Admission fees: 

  • Adults :  £28.50 (USD 38.75
  • Children : £15 (USD 20.40)
  • Family :  £75 (USD 102)

3. Tintagel Castle

places to visit in cornwall tintagel castle

Tintagel Castle is located in a small village called Tintagel, and it is one of the most historical places to visit in Cornwall. 

This historic location is on top of the cliffs at North Cornwall, a fortress with prominence for the chieftains in medieval times.

It is also associated with the Arthurian legend that suggests the tower is the birthplace of King Arthur. 

Ruins from Spain and France have been found in the castle, proving prehistoric trades between Cornwall and European countries.

While you’re there, be sure to check out the spectacular waterfall nearby before you leave!

 Admission fees: 

  • Adults :  £18.70 (USD 25
  • Children : £11.20 (USD 15)

4. Lost Gardens of Heligan

places to visit in cornwall lost gardens of heligan

One of the most mysterious estates in England, Heligan, was lost for decades; its history consigned to overgrowth that kept it away from being found until recently.

Lost to time since WW1, this Sleeping Beauty was restored in 1990 to become Europe’s largest garden restoration project. 

Today, this garden of 200 acres is a paradise for explorers, artists, plant lovers, and garden romantics.

It also houses a stunning collection of Camellias and Rhododendrons introduced to the Heligan Garden before the 1920s. 

Admission fees: 

  • Adults :  £18.50 (USD 24.80
  • Children : £8.50 (USD 11.40)
  • Family :  £30 (USD 40.20)

5. Porthcurno

places to visit in cornwall porthcurno

If you’re looking for paradise on earth, look no further than Porthcurno – an award-winning beach to visit when you’re in Cornwall.

If you love beaches, be prepared to be stunned by the spectacular beauty that you will find reflected in the golden sands, crystal blue waters, and high cliffs that shelter you from the sun. 

This town is also known for the esteemed Minack Theater which was built in 1920 – an open-air theater perched on the Cornish cliffs overlooking the sea. 

And while you’re in town, we’d recommend heading to the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum as well to learn how Cornwall was the pioneer in global communications back in the day. 

For a midday snack, check out Porthcurno Beach Cafe for tasty snacks and scones, whereas if you’re looking for a great breakfast or brunch in town, give the Cable Station Inn Cornwall a visit – we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. 

6. St. Michael’s Mount

places to visit in cornwall st micheals mount

A fan favourite – St. Michael’s Mount in Marazion is one of the prettiest places to visit in Cornwall, not only for its stunning view but also for how dramatic it is on its own. 

This iconic landmark is the English twin of the French Monastery, Mont-Saint-Michel, guarded by the National Trust, which only allows accessibility on certain days of the month. 

St. Michael’s Mount provides a small slice of Cornish history that you must experience when you’re in Cornwall.

Check out the nearby village by the harbor, vistas by the Cornish shore, and the small, quaint coffee shops for a quick bite during your journey for an experience you won’t forget. 

Admission fees: 

  • Adults :  £14 (USD 18.80
  • Children : £7 (USD 9.40)
  • Family :  £21 (USD 28.15)

7. Port Isaac

places to stay in cornwall port isaac

Port Isaac is a Cornish harbor that resembles a quaint, picturesque Italian village – and it has been since the 14th century, so if you enjoy history and architecture, this is the best place to go in Cornwall for you. 

This location will also appeal to fans of the TV series Doc Martin – you can even participate in a Doc Martin-themed walking tour

This seaside village is one of the most traditional fishing villages in the county, well preserved with historic architecture and authentic cobbled streets – perfect to learn more about Cornish fishing culture.

If you plan to see some stunning viewpoints in Port Isaac, we’d recommend taking a hike up the South West Coast Path as well. 

8. Polperro

places to stay in cornwall polperro

Polperro is an idyllic old fishing village with beautiful little cottages and narrow streets in Cornwall. It is definitely among the best places to visit in Cornwall for couples. 

Like a picture out of a postcard, many houses here are covered with a profusion of flowers in the summer.

The roads are so narrow cars are practically banned on the streets – making it ideal for exploring Polperro on foot.

This village was famous for smuggling activities during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

All the locals were involved in smuggling and had conspired to hide the duty-free goods from the excise men. Seems pretty notorious for an old fishing village, don’t you agree? 

Various shops sell paintings, jewelry, pottery, and many more souvenirs you can bring home to your loved ones.

In addition to this, they also have many galleries and arts and craft exhibitions in the area – if you’re interested, you should check out the Arts Festival that takes place in Polperro every year in June. 

9. Falmouth

falmouth united kingdom

Home to the world’s third-largest natural harbor, Falmouth has some of the best views in Cornwall.

The sea is never too far away here, and its town is the ultimate gateway to all the beauty this town holds by its coastlines, secret coves, and the unspoiled creeks by the River Fal. 

However, this town is most known for the Pendennis Castle – the historic castle built by Henry VIII to protect the River Fal and Cornwall from foreign invasion and an essential site in the Civil War. 

This castle was opened to the public in 1957 and has been a tourist attraction ever since. This castle is also a great activity to do when it rains in Cornwall

Admission fees: 

  • Adults :  £12.20 (USD 16.60
  • Children : £7.30 (USD 9.90)

10. Newquay

newquay places to visit

Newquay is one of the best places to visit in Cornwall because there’s something for every type of traveller in this town – lovely beaches, great surfing sites, exciting nightlife, and lots to do and see nearby. 

This town is close to many main attractions in Cornwall; you could plan a day trip to attractions like Falmouth, St. Ives, or Tintagel Castle without worrying about travel time and distances. The local airport is also located in Newquay. 

If you enjoy surfing (or watching people surf), you could make your way to Fistral Beach, a mecca for surfers everywhere.

If you don’t have your gear with you, don’t worry – many places offer equipment rental and beginner lessons in the area, so you won’t have to worry about carrying any of your own. 

11. Lanhydrock

lanydrock

One of the top places to visit in Cornwall, Lanhydrock, is a Victorian country house built in the early 17th century with beautiful gardens cared for by the National Trust. 

Previously destroyed in a fire in 1881, the house is presented today in late High Victorian style, and the inside offers a fascinating glimpse of how a Victorian home is run. It’s like being on the set of Downton Abbey

The beautiful gardens lined with flowers of different colours, riverside walks, and the tasteful interiors furnished with antiques are a rare glimpse of Victorian life in Cornwall, one that you should experience while you’re there. 

Admission fees: 

  • Adults : £17 (USD 23.12
  • Children : £8.50 (USD 11.56)

12. Truro

truro cathedral

Being the only city in Cornwall, Truro is renowned for its stunning architecture featuring Georgian and Gothic styles and its ancient, cobbled, and narrow streets. Cornwall’s county town center is for administration, retail, and leisure.

Home to the only Cathedral in the county, it also boasts many other exciting attractions like the Royal Museum of Cornwall and the Hall of Cornwall, making it one of the top places to visit in Cornwall. 

13. Isles Of Scilly

isles of scilly

The Isles of Scilly is unlike any other place you will find in the UK but is undoubtedly one of the prettiest places in Cornwall. Exceptionally beautiful, unspoiled, and uncrowded, these islands lie just off the coast of Cornwall, but they seem worlds apart. 

It is impossible not to fall in love with the Isles of Scilly. Dazzling white beaches that sparkle in the sun, shallow turquoise waters, palm trees, and exotic flowers growing in the hedgerow, this is the place made of dreams. 

There are plenty of things to do here – try your hands on bird-watching, sailing, kayaking, or even swimming with the seals!

If you’re looking to head to the beach, there are five main islands you can head to, but we highly recommend St. Mary’s island or St. Martin’s – considered to be one of the most beautiful of all the islands for some time in the sun. 

14. Padstow 

padstow

Padstow is a haven for food enthusiasts, and if you are too, you will be thrilled at what you’ll find (and eat) here!

It’s not hard to find good food in this town as many restaurants are connected to the fishing ports resulting in the best, freshest seafood you can imagine being served. 

Besides good food, you’re also in for some good views in Padstow.

Take a walk along the coastal paths to enjoy some alone time by the beach or head to family-friendly beaches like Tregirls, St. George’s Cove, and Hawker’s Cove. 

On the other hand, Prideaux Place is a gorgeous Elizabethian house that overlooks Padstow and has tours that take you on a tour of the house itself, the lovely gardens, and a teddy bear collection. 

15. Land’s End 

lands end

Last but not least, Land’s End – England’s most westerly point based on the Penwith peninsula. Land’s End is an excellent place to go in Cornwall for amazing, stunning sunset views set beyond the ocean that seems to stretch infinitely without end. 

Quaint but busy, there seems to be something going on everywhere you turn at Land’s End. Try storm-watching at the Longships Lighthouse or take a picture at the famous Signpost that has been a tourist attraction for years.

Not forgetting, the West Country Shopping Village, the First and Last House, and Penwith House on this beautiful cliff setting offer great souvenirs, gifts, and tasty treats from this corner of the British Isles for those who enjoy a little shopping now and then. 

When Is The Best Time To Visit Cornwall? 

When the temperatures are high, summer (July – August) is the best time to visit Cornwall, and the weather is excellent. The average temperature in Cornwall at this time is around 19 ºC (66 ºF) with roughly 7 hours of sunlight a day. 

However, suppose you’re on a budget. In that case, we recommend traveling during wintertime as it will not only be less crowded, but the prices tend to be much lower too, especially between November and February. May, June, and September are good months to visit Cornwall for a more budget-friendly trip.

How To Get Around Cornwall?

This depends on how you intend to travel in the first place. If you plan to fly into Cornwall, then the nearest airport is in Newquay, where you will most likely need to hop on a bus, train, or even rent a car to travel within the region itself. 

However, if you are heading to Cornwall from a major city like London, it will be easier as it is only 4.5 hours away from London.

Most travellers would prefer to make a day trip back and forth, but we’d recommend spending the night for your safety as their journey to, and fro can be rather tiring. 

 What Is The Prettiest Place In Cornwall?

  • Kynance Cove for some quiet time in the sun and gorgeous blue waters
  • Marazion for a great view of St. Michael’s Mount
  • Polperro for enchanting cottages and gorgeous harbour

Which part of Cornwall is best?

The best parts of Cornwall are Penzance for the culture and history, Newquay for the best beaches to surf at, and St. Ives for the local art, galleries, and coastal walks.

Truro and Bodmin are also some of the best parts of Cornwall, especially for the shopping in Truro and the beautiful countryside and historic landmarks in Bodmin.

What Is The Best Town To Stay In Cornwall?

Cornwall comprises many towns with beautiful views, stunning beaches, unique landscapes, and fantastic history – you’ll be spoiled for choice! These are our top picks for the ten best towns to stay in Cornwall for your next staycation in the UK:

  • St. Ives 
  • Padstow
  • Falmouth
  • Penzance
  • Looe
  • Polperro
  • Newquay
  • Truro
  • Bodmin 
  • St. Austell

Where Is Popular In Cornwall?

In Cornwall, Newquay is the most popular tourist town in the county. If you’re wondering where to go for a fun, exciting holiday vibe in Cornwall, this is the place for you! It is home to a host of jaw-dropping beaches suitable for everyone, including the popular spot for surfing, Fistral Beach. 

Conclusion

There’s no denying that Cornwall is a spectacular place. All the best places in Cornwall include the prettiest villages, towns, local and world-famous attractions that will surely pique your interest so be sure to see as many places as you can while you’re there! 

We hope this comprehensive guide has helped you plan your trip and make the best of all the best places to visit in Cornwall. Enjoy!

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