Cornwall is famous for its beautiful coastline, with over 300 miles of dunes, cliffs, coves and beaches. Add to this an impressive food scene, buzzing culture and dozens of pretty villages to explore and you’ve got the perfect staycation. Planning a summer sojourn there? We’ve teamed up with Stay In Cornwall to bring you a guide to the perennially popular Cornish county…
Eat at some of the region’s best foodie hotspots
Cornish cream teas, fresh-from-the-harbour seafood, the mighty Cornish pasty – Cornwall is a foodie’s paradise. The region is home to many Michelin-starred restaurants from chefs like Paul Ainsworth, Nathan Outlaw and Jamie Oliver. Rick Stein also has eight restaurants across the county, as well as a number of delis, bistros and fish and chip shops.
While visiting Cornwall, a trip to a local farmers’ market is a must – you’ll find some of the biggest in Camborne, Falmouth and Helston. Delicious local produce is guaranteed, alongside all sorts of crafty goods and homemade gifts.
Visit an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Cornwall is home to an impressive 12 designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so if you’re partial to great view you’ll be spoilt for choice. Eleven of the AONBs are found along the Cornish coastline, best experienced on a long walk down The South West Coast Path. There are all sorts of hidden beaches and coves to check out along the way, and a series of dramatic cliffs line the coast, making for idyllic viewing platforms. Alternatively, experience 360 vistas from the sky by hopping aboard one of the Aerosaurus Balloons, which offer champagne hot air balloon flights across the region.
Go to the beach
If you’re more into chilling than walking, relax and soak up the sunshine at some of the most picturesque beaches in the UK. With their turquoise waters, golden sands and sub-tropical plants, Cornwall’s beaches have a Mediterranean feel about them, particularly during the summer season. They’re also renowned for being some of the best surfing beaches in the whole of Europe, with plenty of opportunities for other water sports too such as bodyboarding, sailing and coasteering.
Attend a festival
No matter what the season, there’s always something going on in Cornwall – whether it’s a music festival, a food festival or a sporting event. Foodies will love The Falmouth Oyster Festival and the Newlyn Fish Festival, while Boardmasters in Newquay is a surfer’s paradise. After something more traditional? The Royal Cornwall Show in Wadebridge is the county’s biggest annual agricultural event, while the Obby Oss in Padstow is one of the oldest surviving festivals in the UK. For the green-fingered, Helston Flora Stay sees the streets of the old market town filled with flowers, greenery and jolly revellers.
Visit one of Cornwall’s iconic attractions
The Eden Project is arguably the most famous tourist attraction in Cornwall, and for good reason. Often dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World, it’s a dramatic garden housed inside tropical biomes, nestled in a crater surrounded by breath-taking scenery. During the summer, the spectacular sights are accompanied by a stellar music line up at festival Eden Sessions – this year featuring the likes of Liam Gallagher, Kylie Minogue and Snow Patrol.
For a family day out, take the kids to see some animals at Newquay Zoo, Paradise Park or the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, where rescued animals live in replicas of their natural environment without risk of destruction.
Get some culture
Delve into Cornwall’s rich history at one of its great museums. The Royal Cornwall Museum, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and Charlestown Shipwreck Centre are some of the best. There are also landmarks dotted around the county, including Tintagel Castle with its intriguing links to King Arthur, the Minack Theatre – one of the world’s most famous outdoor theatres – and the Cornish Mining World Heritage sites.