Fantastic beaches, rural landscapes and pretty seaside villages make Cornwall a fabulous place to visit. But choosing the right location can be tricky! Find the perfect place for your stay in our guide to the best Cornish towns with accommodation options for every budget
Are you planning a trip to Cornwall and struggling to choose the best place to stay? We have you covered! In this article discover the best towns to stay in Cornwall. Find out about each destination plus popular attractions in the surrounding area to help you decide which is the best place to stay in Cornwall for your travel style and needs.
We have also chosen the best accommodation options including hotels, holiday parks, cottages, guest houses and B&Bs for a range of budgets in each destination.
- Cornwall Overview
- Quick picks – our top accommodation recommendations for Cornwall
- Best places to stay in North Cornwall
- Port Isaac
- Best places to stay along Cornwall’s South East Coast
- Best places to stay in West Cornwall
- Best places to stay in mid Cornwall
- Resources to help you plan your visit to Cornwall
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🏃 Port Isaac – best for walkers
👨👩👧 Bude – best for a quiet family holiday
🏰 Tintagel – best for history lovers
🏄 Newquay – best for surfers, nightlife, families and beaches
🍲 Padstow – best for foodies & harbour views
🚲 St Austell – best for history, cycle trips, restaurants and bars
💑 Fowey – best for couples, water sports and walks along the river
👨👩👧👦 Looe – best for families with small children
💑 Marazion – best for couples seeking a romantic getaway & beautiful views
🖌 St Ives – best for art lovers and first-time visitors to Cornwall
🎑 Penzance – best for view seekers, museums, culture and history
🌊 Falmouth – best for history buffs, boat trips & water sports
🛍 Truro – best for families, history, culture and shopping
💛 💚 💙
Quick picks – our top accommodation recommendations for Cornwall
|Port Isaac||Port Gaverne Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Molls Yard||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Stargazy Inn||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Bude||The Edgcumbe Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|The Falcon Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Sea Jade Guest House||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
|Tintagel||Fontevrault Cottage||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|The Olde Malthouse Inn||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Tintagel Arms Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Newquay||The Headland Hotel & Spa||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|The Lewinnick Lodge||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Tolcarne Beach Colonial Restaurant and Rooms ||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Padstow||The London Inn||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
|The Blenheim||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Atlantic Bay 201||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|St Austell||The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Lodges||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Boscundle Manor||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|The Carlyon Bay Hotel and Spa||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Fowey||The Old Quay House Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|The Galleon Inn||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Fowey Hall||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Looe||The Hannafore Point Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Rivercroft Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Shellseekers Guest House||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
|Marazion||Marazion Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|The Godolphin Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Ebenezer Cottage||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|St Ives||Trevose Harbour House||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Porthminster||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
|Carbis Bay and Spa Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Penzance||The Abbey||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|The Dolphin Tavern||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
|The Dock Inn||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
|Falmouth||St Michaels Resort||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|Poltair Guest House||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
|Greenbank Hotel||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|Truro||The Alverton||CLICK TO BOOK||£££|
|The Old Dairy at Tregavethan||CLICK TO BOOK||££|
|County Arms||CLICK TO BOOK||£|
Best places to stay in North Cornwall
Stunning North Cornwall boasts lots of natural beauty. From the stretching North Cornish Coast, with gorgeous sandy beaches and prime surfing spots, to the rugged and dramatic wilds of Bodmin Moor, the sublime scenery won’t disappoint.
You’ll find charming coastal and inland villages, areas rich with wildlife, photography hotspots, lively towns with plenty of activities, long walking trails, and more. From history and culture to outdoor adventures, culinary experiences, and relaxing days in the sunshine, North Cornwall offers plenty of appeal.
Whether you want to stay in a sleepy setting or right in the heart of the action, there are many terrific choices around North Cornwall.
Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Cornish coast, the small fishing village of Port Isaac simply oozes charm and character. Cute whitewashed homes line the narrow streets that wind down to the pretty harbour. There are plenty of lovely sights to discover as you wander the small streets and watch small fishing boats bobbing on the waves.
There are many quaint shops, galleries, and cafes to enjoy, and you can take a walk along the slender Squeezy Belly Alley to experience one of the narrowest streets in Great Britain. You may recognize some spots—the village is used as a filming location for the TV shows Doc Martin and Poldark.
Tip – If you are a fan of Doc Martin we recommend this guided walking tour of film locations used in the show – with plenty of photo opportunities along the way!
Port Isaac is a terrific place for people who like to be out and about walking; the mile-long coastal path between the village and the nearby hamlet of Port Gaverne is particularly enchanting.
Walk across the clifftops and soak up the vistas. Once you reach Port Gaverne you can relax on the beach or have a go at activities like paddle boarding and kayaking.
Another great walk runs from Port Isaac to Port Quin. Following the Cornish Coastal Path, the three-mile route offers more picturesque views along the undulating track.
You can book various boat trips from the harbour, with excursions—like fishing expeditions and sightseeing trips—to suit diverse tastes.
Alternatively, spend pleasant moments strolling along the beach and peering into rock pools to spot small marine creatures. And, if you want a day to bask on the sands or hit the surf, the popular beaches of Polzeath, Daymer Bay, and Rock Beach are close to hand.
Stay in Port Isaac if you love the idea of a traditional village setting with great walks on your doorstep. And, it’s just a short distance from the towns of Camelford and Wadebridge.
Charming 17th-century inn with traditional features.
Beautiful one bedroom apartment in a central location.
Superb location and great value for money. Perfect for families.
Sitting along Cornwall’s north coast, Bude manages to retain a charming Cornish ambience while having all the facilities and amenities you need for a great stay. Everything about Bude is enticingly laid back, from the beaches to the nightlife.
Spend idyllic days relaxing on long sandy beaches, swimming in the refreshing waters, building sandcastles, and enjoying ice creams. Some of Bude’s best beaches include Black Rock Beach, Sandymouth Beach, Crooklets Beach, and Duckpool. Visit the popular Summerleaze Beach and let little ones paddle in the safe and beautiful sea pool.
Bude’s coastline offers a wealth of exciting water-based activities too, such as kayaking and sea fishing. Alternatively, check out some of the surfing hotspots to ride the waves. Instruction and rentals are available at several local beaches.
If you prefer to remain on dry land, soak up the views with a walk along the scenic coastline. Bude offers access to the South West Coast Path, and your walks can be as leisurely or as exhilarating as you choose. Spot nature, discover unusual rock formations, and find the perfect picnicking spot for a lovely al fresco lunch.
Let kids have fun and burn off excess energy at Bude Haven Recreation Ground. There are activities for the whole family to enjoy, such as crazy golf, table tennis, squash, bowls, pool, and tennis. The indoor activities are particularly great if you want to escape the weather.
Other top things to do in Bude include boat rides along the canal, souvenir hunting in independent stores, and discovering the history and art at Bude Heritage Centre. Bude’s location at the eastern edge of Cornwall means you can also easily explore destinations around the neighbouring county of Devon.
Bude is a top place to stay for families looking for a convenient base with enough to keep everyone entertained and a laid-back vibe. It’s also great for couples who want a relaxing getaway.
Stay in North Cornwall’s village of Tintagel to immerse yourself in local legends and lore. The atmospheric ruins of the splendid Norman-era Tintagel Castle stand proudly on the rugged coastline, conjuring up images of King Arthur, Lancelot, and other mythical characters from Arthurian tales.
Visiting the spectacular castle is an absolute must when in this part of the county. Once you’ve explored the mainland section, cross the sturdy bridge to discover the historic gems on Tintagel Island. The island is home to the main part of Tintagel Castle as well as the remains of an older Celtic monastery.
Good to know – Tintagel Castle is looked after by English Heritage. Members enter for free though must still book in advance due to restrictions. Not a member of English Heritage?
With more time to enjoy Tintagel, you can find the ultimate spots for the best views of the dramatic castle in all its glory—check out Tintagel Head and walk the coastal paths for great vistas.
You can also discover the two tunnels below Tintagel Island. Go down onto the beach and step into the biggest tunnel, known as Merlin’s Cave—stories say that the famous wizard still roams through the cavern, his voice sometimes ringing through the air.
The looming Condolden Barrow is also steeped in history, with accounts of important figures buried here long ago. Tintagel offers easy access to other nearby legend-surrounding destinations, such as Dozmary Pool (the supposed final resting place of Excalibur, the magical sword) and Camelford, with its connections to Camelot.
In the village, you’ll find a good selection of places to eat and shop for a comfortable stay. You can also visit the small local church and the quaint 14th-century Old Post Office. And, if you want to just take a breather and have some good old-fashioned fun, how about a fun game of crazy football golf, set among rolling green fields?
Beautiful holiday home with 3 bedrooms located 750 yards from Tintagel Castle.
Perfect accommodation for couples. Excellent and reasonably priced food available in the restaurant. Pet friendly.
Good location with free parking, friendly staff and good food. Modern decor throughout.
One of the most popular destinations in Cornwall, Newquay is known as the UK’s capital of surfing. Surfers from near and far flock here to try to conquer the waves, especially in the autumn and winter months when the swells are at their biggest.
Never surfed before but fancy a go? No problem—there are many surf schools, instructors, and rental shops. Fistral Beach is THE surfing hotspot, with sand dunes and high cliffs providing a beautiful backdrop. Each August the beach hosts the awesome surf competitions of the Boardmasters Festival, while over on Watergate Bay you’ll find live music pumping from the stages.
Newquay’s long, clean sandy beaches appeal to everyone, with groups of friends, families, and couples all finding plenty to keep them busy. Swim in the sea, soak up the sunshine, stroll along the shore, play beach games … the possibilities are endless.
The town boasts a great selection of family attractions, such as Newquay Zoo, Blue Reef Aquarium, and Dairyland Farm Park. Take little ones on a ride on the nostalgic Lappa Valley Steam Railway or the cool Newquay Land Train. Older kids can have a thrilling time at Concrete Waves skate park.
Trenance Cottages and Trerice Manor a National Trust owned Elizabethan manor house with fine interiors and delightful gardens are perfect if you want to inject a little heritage and culture into your stay.
There are many top-notch places to eat and drink around Newquay and, thanks to its roots as a traditional fishing community, you can get some of the freshest and tastiest fish in chips in the country!
Be sure to pop into a café to savour a delicious cream tea too, complete with lashings of fresh cream and jam. Hop between the lively bars in the evening for a taste of Newquay’s vibrant nightlife.
Newquay has accommodations to suit everyone, and it’s the perfect place to stay for families, surf enthusiasts, night owls, and beach bums. In short, it’s a fabulous all-round destination! Let your hair down at Watergate Bay Hotel, which features three restaurants, a kid’s club, a large infinity pool, fitness and wellness facilities, and more.
Stylish Victorian hotel with spa and sea-view terraces.
Boutique hotel with stunning Atlantic views
Bed & breakfast located on the beach
Located on the River Camel Estuary in North Cornwall, Padstow has long been a popular vacation spot. There are many places to stay, as well as an abundance of places to eat, drink, and shop. You’ll even find a couple of cool cookery schools if you fancy learning some new culinary skills while on holiday.
A fabulous destination for foodies, Padstow is home to several restaurants owned by celebrity chefs. Rick Stein has several eateries around town, including the original Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and Rick Stein’s Café. Special occasion? Treat yourself to a fancy meal at Paul Ainsworth at No 6—the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Padstow.
Many more restaurants and shops line the attractive harbour. Once you’ve satisfied your appetite and admired the glorious harbour views, board the ferry to the nearby village of Rock. The scenic ride takes around ten minutes and services are frequent.
Alternatively, catch a boat ride into the sea to spot a range of marine wildlife. Sightings of seals, dolphins, and basking sharks are possible, along with crabs, lobsters, and corals. The waters are teeming with fish, including the unusual-looking and heavy Oceanic Sunfish.
The Camel Estuary is a top place for birdwatching buffs, with species like herons, oystercatchers, ducks, grebes, and wigeons present during different seasons.
Want to work off some of the delicious meals you’ve enjoyed in Padstow? Cycle along the Camel Trail! The 18-mile-long track follows a disused railway line, and you can enjoy some of the finest views in North Cornwall. If walking is more your thing, set out along one of the coastal pathways.
Other attractions to visit during your stay in Padstow include the gorgeous Elizabethan mansion of Prideaux Place and the National Lobster Hatchery. If you’re visiting with kids, the award-winning Camel Creek Adventure Park is just a short drive away.
Cosy pub and restaurant with comfortable accommodation
2 bedroomed holiday home
Delightful, cosy cabin on an award-winning holiday park
Best places to stay along Cornwall’s South East Coast
Sometimes referred to as the “Cornish Riviera”, Cornwall’s south east coast is a haven for beach lovers. Bask on some of the area’s most popular beaches and discover those that are a bit more hidden and away from the typical tourist trail.
The craggy coastline is dotted with charming fishing villages, and you can dine on tasty local produce and fresh seafood in a large selection of enticing cafes and restaurants.
The area also boasts a number of terrific walking trails, each providing amazing views, opportunities to spot nature, and unique features. The south east coast of Cornwall is a magnet for people who love spending time outdoors.
One of the largest towns in Cornwall, St Austell is an attractive old market town with a rich architectural and agricultural past.
With a mixture of historic attractions, excellent walking and cycling paths, trendy bars that are bursting with atmosphere, and relaxing gardens, St Austell caters to a wide range of tastes. It offers a convenient base for people wanting to visit some of Cornwall’s headline attractions while staying in an upbeat town with a diverse selection of activities and amenities at their fingertips.
Visit the famous Eden Project, the largest indoor rainforest in the world! See a huge variety of flora inside the gigantic domes, and marvel at waterfalls and nature-inspired art. Head up into the treetops for a thrilling saunter along the canopy walkway for a different view of the jungle!
The Lost Gardens of Heligan is another top Cornwall attraction close to St Austell. Abandoned for many years but now lovingly restored to how they were in their heyday, the beautiful gardens date as far back as the mid-1700s. The themed gardens, lakes, woodlands, and children’s farm are sure to keep you busy for hours!
Jump in the saddle to explore the scenic Pentewan Valley Trail, which traces the tracks of the old Pentewan railway. The mostly flat track winds through nature-rich woodlands, with sections that pass close to the river.
Fun fact: the old railway line was used to carry china clay from the hills near St Austell to Pentewan’s harbour. If you’re keen to know more about this aspect of local history, visit the China Clay Museum at Wheal Martyn—you can reach it along the Green Corridor Trail. The sought-after clay is only found in a few places in the world, including Cornwall’s very own China Clay Mountains.
Spend fun-filled evenings touring the town’s lively pubs, where you can unwind in beer gardens or mingle in traditional lounges.
Stunning 19th-century manor house with a luxurious spa, a gym and infinity pool.
Set in 2 acres of grounds with heated indoor swimming pool, bar and a spa.
Perched on the rugged cliffs of St Austell with beautiful views. Stylish decor, spa facilities and fabulous location.
Situated on the South Cornwall coast and next to the Fowey Estuary, it may come as little surprise to learn that Fowey offers an array of exciting water activities. Both the sea and the river are playgrounds for water lovers, with harbour cruises, fishing trips, kayaking, paddleboarding, and boat rides along the river just a few of the options. Fans of water sports will certainly love Fowey!
Get active in the great outdoors with brisk coastal walks and leisurely river walks. Even more action awaits you in the surrounding countryside, with horse riding, golfing, and nature spotting in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
For something a bit different to the norm when staying in Fowey, visit Lescrow Farm to meet the Bird Lady of Fowey … and her owls!
Couples can enjoy romantic hand-in-hand strolls around the handsome historic town. Explore narrow streets and discover medieval buildings. There are lots of photo opportunities! Learn more about the town’s past and people at Fowey Museum. A little outside of the town centre, climb the uneven steps up to St. Catherine’s Castle to wander around the ruins and appreciate the coastal views.
Fowey was home to Daphne Du Maurier, an esteemed novelist, and you can see where she used to live at Ferryside. Once a workshop, it is still owned by Du Maurier’s family today. She later lived in the grand Menabilly estate, which sits on the nearby Gribben Peninsula. Literary fans will be especially interested in the fact that Menabilly was the inspiration behind Mandalay in the book Rebecca.
It’s easy to explore Cornwall’s southeast corner when you stay in Fowey: Polruan, Lostwithiel, Polperro, Lansallos, and Lantic Bay are just a few ideas to get you started.
Lovely Looe is an ideal place to stay for a family seaside holiday. There are plenty of things to keep people of all ages happy, from the smallest of children to the grandparents (or even great-grandparents!).
Spend idyllic days on the sandy beaches, where little kids can paddle safely in the calm, shallow waters and explore tidal pools. Play football, Frisbee, beach bowls, and volleyball on the sands, and see who can build the most impressive sandcastle. There’s a good choice of shops and cafes right next to the sands for total convenience.
As well as the main beaches of Looe Beach and Hannafore Beach, plan to visit other nearby seaside gems like Seaton Beach, Talland Bay Beach, and Millendreath Beach.
Go fishing or crabbing, watch the boats coming and going in the harbour, and sink your teeth into fresh fish and seafood in Looe’s top-quality restaurants.
Active families can enjoy brilliant days walking, either along the coast or in the countryside. The South West Coast Path passes through Looe, and you can amble alongside the rivers.
There are lots of opportunities for children and adults alike to be enchanted by wondrous nature. Take a boat trip to Looe Island, home to grey seals and rare flora and fauna. Coming face to face with rescued primates at The Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary is usually a huge hit with kids.
Even more animal encounters await you at Porfell Wildlife Sanctuary, home to lemurs, meerkats, zebras, monkeys, birds, tortoises, and more. There are sure to be plenty of squeals of joy when your little ones meet creatures like ducks, rabbits, and donkeys on the Children’s Farm.
Other attractions around Looe include the Sardine Factory Heritage Centre, where you can learn all about the area’s maritime past, and Looe Museum. The museum tells fascinating tales of smuggling in times gone by, and has interesting collections related to Looe’s heritage. Your family is sure to make many marvellous memories when you stay in Looe.
Dog friendly hotel with stunning sea front views
Located overlooking the Looe river, bridge, harbour and wooded valley
Ideal for a short break – fabulous location & views
Best places to stay in West Cornwall
Heading through the county, West Cornwall has many amazing sandy beaches and secluded coves along its stunning and dramatic coastline. Poking into the Atlantic Ocean, you have the fabulous option of visiting both the north and south coasts with ease.
As you travel further into Cornwall, you’ll likely notice that the landscapes become more rugged and there’s a greater air of remoteness.
Follow picturesque coastal walking paths and explore historic mining landscapes. There are diverse attractions to cater to all interests. Of course, no visit to West Cornwall is complete without standing at Land’s End—the most westerly point in all of England.
The pretty town of Marazion is one of Cornwall’s oldest towns. An old market town, Marazion is home to cosy pubs, cute accommodations, and a good selection of shops that are perfect for browsing. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and the town is pretty quiet in the evenings once the day-trippers have departed.
An ideal place for a romantic Cornish stay, Marazion has two main beaches, perfect for days in the sun and romantic strolls with your loved one. Relax on the sands Marazion Beach and admire the striking views of St. Michael’s Mount, and soak up the atmosphere of the secluded and picture-perfect Prussia Cove.
Watch diverse species of birds on Marazion Marsh, peek inside colourful art galleries, and learn more about the town’s history and culture in Marazion Museum. Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is just outside the town, with eye-catching artworks in fragrant flower-filled gardens. Couples are sure to love exploring the pretty gardens and stealing sweet kisses in hidden nooks.
Of course, Marazion’s headline attraction is the evocative St. Michael’s Mount, where you’re sure to make many magical memories with your love. Walk across the causeway at low tide to explore the atmospheric castle and serene gardens.
The spectacular castle is steeped in legends of old and is brimming with beautiful artefacts and art. Stroll through the village and around the harbour and appreciate the amazing views. It’s like something right out of a fairytale!
Lively St Ives is one of the best places to stay in Cornwall for first-time visitors. The popular seaside resort enjoys a terrific location on the north coast of West Cornwall and is ideally situated for getting out and about to explore surrounding areas and beyond.
While home to a large selection of amenities and facilities, beautiful St Ives still retains an air of a traditional coastal community. Narrow cobblestone streets wind through the heart of the town and you can visit the fishing harbour to watch the day’s catch being unloaded.
There’s plenty to do in the award-winning town, and there are four brilliant beaches within walking distance of the town centre. Porthmeor Beach has a long stretch of yellow sands and is a surfing hotspot in the winter. Other awesome beaches include Porthminster Beach, Bamaluz Beach, and Porthgwidden Beach.
Art lovers will be in their element, with the incredible Tate St Ives gallery, the world-famous Barbara Hepworth Museum, and a myriad of independent galleries to inspire creativity.
Travel back in time with a visit to the mysterious Merry Harvesters Stone Circle. The Tiny St. Nicholas Chapel, close to St Ives Head, is also well worth a quick visit.
Walking enthusiasts will also be happy, with many scenic coastal walks to enjoy. Walk to Carbis Bay, follow stretches of the South West Coast Path, and be in awe of the nature, views, and landscapes.
You can also walk along the coastal paths to the most westerly point in Britain! Many people, however, opt to hop behind the wheel and take a scenic drive to the iconic Land’s End instead.
There are boat trips aplenty, including excursions to Seal Island, where you can observe cute grey seals bobbing in the sea and sunning themselves on the rocks. Fishing and sightseeing trips are also popular.
Read more – 10 best things to do in St Ives
Although Land’s End is the most westerly point in Cornwall (and England), Penzance has the accolade of being the county’s most westerly town. Surrounded by areas of outstanding natural beauty, Penzance has a long association with smugglers and bandits. Don’t worry—you won’t run into any pirates today!
Stroll around town and admire the handsome Georgian buildings along Chapel Street (the oldest road in Penzance), and soak up the vistas from the elegant Victorian promenade. Egyptian House is one of the most striking and unusual pieces of architecture in Penzance. Constructed in the 1830s, it was built in an Egyptian Revival style. Today, it is a grade I listed building.
Take a dip in the historic Jubilee Pool. Built in the 1930s to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V, the Art Deco gem is the biggest seawater lido in the UK.
And, for even more history, there are ancient sites, such as Lanyon Quoit and the Merry Maidens stone circle, within easy reach of town—see fascinating remains from the Stone Age and Bronze Age.
Art and culture fans will find plenty to keep them busy too. There are many art galleries to catch your eye, cafes where you can rest up with a Cornish pasty, ice cream, or refreshing drink, and the interesting Penlee House Gallery and Museum.
If you love glorious gardens, Penzance won’t displease you. Walk through rare flora in Morrab Gardens, enjoy art and nature in Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, and be dazzled by vibrant blooms, tinkling waterfalls, and towering trees in the extensive Trengwainton Gardens.
If you stay in Penzance you’re also just a ten-minute drive from many more cool places in West Cornwall. Plan days out in Marazion, home to the stunning St. Michael’s Mount, the quaint village of Mousehole, Porthcurno, and the striking Minack Theatre.
7 bedroom holiday home perfect for groups or families
Great location for the town and Isles of Scilly ferry
Friendly staff. Excellent location.
Best places to stay in mid Cornwall
Mid Cornwall refers to the central section of Cornwall’s southern coast, as well as places further inland. The rolling countryside of the Roseland Heritage Coast area is sublime, and the sheltered coastline boasts many attractive beaches, walking paths, amazing viewpoints, and rugged stretches.
The Helford and Fal Rivers bring even more diversity to the terrain, and you’ll find places that bear testament to the county’s industrial past.
A great place for a holiday, Mid Cornwall has traditional fishing villages, river valley villages, and buzzing towns. There are historic sites, pretty gardens, cultural hotspots, and more.
You can get to know the county’s capital and only city—Truro—and it’s not too far to take day trips to the Lizard Peninsula.
The large Cornish town of Falmouth is an all-round great vacation destination, with plenty to cater to diverse interests. Located on the banks of the River Fal and close to the coast, the town is an excellent base for anyone who loves water sports and boat trips.
Additionally, Falmouth is home to one of the largest natural harbours around the globe! Falmouth’s traditional roots as a fishing town are still easy to see, though the large student population helps to create a youthful and lively ambience.
The town centre is partly pedestrianised, and most places of interest are on relatively flat roads. This makes it easy to explore by foot. Do be warned, though, that away from the main tourist sights the streets can be pretty steep!
Thanks to the town’s walkability and train station, Falmouth is a top destination for travellers who don’t have their own private transport.
History buffs can pass pleasant hours roaming around the expansive ruins of Pendennis Castle. The huge fortress is just one of two defensive structures established in Falmouth by King Henry XIII; the other (which you can also visit) is St. Mawes Castle.
The award-winning Trebah Gardens is another top attraction to visit when in Falmouth. Covering 25 acres, the spectacular gardens feature colorful blossoms from around the world. The gardens change with the seasons, but are always incredibly photogenic.
Soak up the views and learn more about marine life at the Helford River Estuary, located between Falmouth Bay and the Lizard Peninsula. Sunbathe on pristine beaches like Maenporth, Swanpool, and Gyllyngvase. Visit the National Maritime Museum. Walk along parts of the South West Coast Path. There are truly so many reasons to stay in Falmouth!
Award-winning restaurant, luxury spa and a Health Club
Guest house 13-minute walk from Pendennis Castle
Panoramic views and traditional charm.
Truro is the capital of Cornwall and the county’s only city. It is also the most southerly city in mainland Great Britain. It was a major player during the tin-mining era. Today, it has many choices when it comes to places to eat, drink, sleep, and play.
The main shopping hub for all of Cornwall, it’s a top destination for shopaholics. You won’t just find typical chain stores here, though—you can spend hours window shopping (and buying!) in the great selection of small traditional shops, independent outlets, and quirky stores that lie hidden away in the charming back streets and alleyways. Don’t miss Lemon Street Market on your days of retail therapy.
Truro is rich in history and culture too, with highlights including the magnificent Gothic Revival cathedral, the Royal Cornwall Museum, Victoria Gardens, Tregothnan House, and Trelissick Garden. You’ll notice as you meander around the city streets that many of the older buildings are made from granite.
The whole family are sure to enjoy a ride on the quaint Lappa Valley Steam Railway, and the pleasure cruises along the River Fal are also popular with people of all ages. Boat trips pass woodlands and farmlands, and it’s common to spot a variety of bird species.
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm is another fabulous family-friendly attraction. The first cider mill in Cornwall, it offers tastings and cider-making history for the adults, while younger visitors can meet the farmyard animals and go on trailer rides.
Despite the city setting, Truro is just a stone’s throw from some absolutely stunning scenery. Take time to head out into the countryside to discover the natural treasures of the Roseland Peninsula.
Resources to help you plan your visit to Cornwall
- Cornwall Travel Guide – everything you need to know to plan your trip to Cornwall
- Dorset and Jurassic Coast Travel Guide everything you need to know to plan your trip to Dorset & the Jurassic Coast
- Devon Travel Guide – everything you need to know to plan your trip to Devon
- Where to stay in Devon – location and accommodation guide