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Cornwall Travel Guide (including tips, itinerary + map)

Our Cornwall Travel Guide includes recommended places to visit and things to do, accommodation options, tips and more for this beautiful English county. Everything you need to plan your visit and essential reading for any visitor to Cornwall!

Plan your visit to Cornwall

With its stunning coastline, beautiful beaches, castles, historical treasures and quaint towns and villages no wonder Cornwall in England’s south west is one of the top destinations for British holidaymakers.

Cornwall has something to appeal to every age group and is the perfect destination for families, couples, solo travellers.

For walkers, surfers, foodies, beach lovers, history enthusiasts and nature lovers Cornwall is the place to be!

Map of Cornwall

When is the best time to visit Cornwall?

  • The best time to visit Cornwall is in June or September before or after the UK school holiday season when it can be very busy.
  • During July and August, the weather is generally at its best (it is the English summer period and can be notoriously unpredictable) but this is also high season and the roads are busy with visitors heading to the pretty Cornish seaside towns and beaches.
  • This is also the most expensive time of year to visit.
  • Temperatures during the winter months can fluctuate so expect to wrap up to keep warm and dry!

Places to visit & things to do in Cornwall

See the best of Cornwall with our preferred tour partner Meneage Tours

Whether you are arriving in Cornwall by train or would like to take a break from driving so you can sit back and enjoy the scenery without negotiating those country lanes a private tour with Meneage Tours is the perfect option.

⭐️ Click here for more information and experience the extraordinary magic of Cornwall with Meneage Tours

Top attractions in Cornwall include:

Read – Cornwall 7 day road trip itinerary

Land's End - Cornwall Travel Guide

Land’s End

St Michael's Mount Cornwall Travel Guide

Saint Michael’s Mount

Minack Theatre in Cornwall.

Minack Theatre



Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove

Eden Project

The Eden Project

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Seal Sanctuary

Cornwall Seal Sanctuary

Cornwall Travel Guide – Accommodation

There are accommodation options to suit all budgets and travel styles in Cornwall. Click the links below for the best options for your trip.

Tip – Book in advance, particularly during the summer months or you may find accommodation is full.

Find more special stays in my Accommodation Guide for England.

Located on the south coast of Cornwall St Michael's Mount is a popular landmark.
Located on the south coast of Cornwall St Michael’s Mount is a popular landmark

Practical tips for visiting Cornwall

How to get to Cornwall from London

By car

Drive to Cornwall in less than 5 hours from London via the M4.

Click here for directions via google maps.

Tip – Please note that in the summer months, the roads can be very congested so travel overnight or outside peak rush hours to avoid long delays.

By train

There are a number of train routes to take to get to Cornwall from London including the sleeper train service the Night Riviera.

The most popular train route is from London Paddington to Newquay which takes around 5 hours.

Alternatively, take a direct train from Bath (why not stay in Bath for a few days) or Bristol. The London – Bath – Cornwall route is one of our 10 favourite UK train journeys.

Find out more information including train timetables and fares on the

By bus

National Express coaches travel from London to Truro in Cornwall and take around 7 hours. This is the cheapest method of transport but also the slowest!

By air

Fly to Newquay airport from airports around the UK including London Gatwick, Belfast, Aberdeen, and Manchester amongst others.

Take a tour

Cornwall 5-Day Tour with Meneage Tours This 5-day private tour with our preferred tour partners in Cornwall have created a fantastic tour which combines the best that Cornwall has to offer. 

Listen – Podcast Episode #34 Introduction to Cornwall with Doug of Meneage Tours

Read more – Complete guide to transportation in the UK (including planes, trains and automobiles)

Recommended day trips and experiences in Cornwall

Day trips and tours

  • Book a private driver-guided tour with Meneage Tours (mention UK Travel Planning when you book) who offer a variety of themed tour options as well as the ability to design your own bespoke tour.
  • Private Poldark Tour with Pickup Day tour of filming locations featured in the BBC drama Poldark, adapted from the Winston Graham series visiting sites throughout Cornwall.
  • Build Your Own TourMeneage Tours has built a lot of specialist tours for customers over the last few years, including Geneology, Cornish mining history, Railways, Literature, Doc Martin, Poldark, photography…… you want it, they will build it – contact Meneage Tours and create your dream Cornwall adventure today.
Beach in Cornwall - Cornwall Travel Guide


  • Hot Air Balloon Flight Enjoy a Champagne Hot Air Balloon flight over the beautiful countryside of Cornwall. Take in the stunning English scenery as you float effortlessly through the sky.
  • Make Your Own Wedding Rings in Cornwall Experience the processes that go into hand-making rings. as you work on your special unique rings. Choose to make your rings in silver or gold to your own design. 

Tips for visitors to Cornwall

  • Cornwall is always very busy over the summer months. Easter and the holiday weekend at the end of May are also popular months to visit Cornwall. Book accommodation, car hire and attractions ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
  • Don’t miss the wonderful seafood – fish and chip shops are in abundance (Beware of the seagulls – they will try and steal your food and can be very aggressive)
  • Pack jeans and a sweater even during the summer months just in case the weather changes (it can be rainy and windy at any time of year)
  • We recommend hiring a car to get around Cornwall – while you can travel to Cornwall from London by train you will need a car to experience the best of Cornwall. Note that roads can be narrow and single lane. High hedges can also restrict views so drive very carefully.
  • Check tides before heading to the beach – and also pay attention to incoming tides. Pack your swimming costume, sunglasses and sunblock – swim where there are lifeguards. 
  • Check opening times for popular destinations such as the Eden Project. Tintagel and St Michael’s Mount. Also check the weather as this can impact accessibility to some attractions.

Read more10 best things to do (and places to visit) in England’s South West

Traditional English dishes from Cornwall

Traditional foods of Cornwall include the Cornish pasty, Cornish clotted cream served with a scone and jam to make a cream tea, Stargazy Pie, saffron cake, and Cornish yarg (cheese).

Cornish cream tea a Cornwall Travel Guide must do

Books to read about Cornwall

Cornwall Coast Path: South-West Coast Path Part 2
Devon & Cornwall A-Z Road Map
Insight Guides Great Breaks Devon & Cornwall
DK Eyewitness Top 10 Cornwall and Devon

Enjoy your visit to Cornwall

Check out my travel guides for more travel inspiration around England:

Looking for more inspiration for your travels in England? Check out my England Travel Planning Guide which has loads of ideas, tips and resources to plan your itinerary.