Cornwall is a destination with something for everyone. From sandy beaches and giant cliffs to beautiful mountains and grand castles, there’s something to delight every type of traveler in Cornwall. So, where should you begin? To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the region’s 10 best places to visit.
- Feel like you’re on a TV Set in Port Isaac
- Go island hopping in Scilly
- Follow King Arthur’s footsteps in North Cornwall
- Full steam ahead in Bodmin
- Be a lighthouse keeper for the day
- Have an underwater adventure in Falmouth
- Castle hunting on the South Coast
- See shipwrecks on dry land at the shipwreck museum
- Beachin’ it in Fistral Beach
- Appreciate wildlife on Looe Island
Feel like you’re on a TV Set in Port Isaac
Are you a fan of the show Doc Martin? Here’s your chance to see the real Portwenn in the seaside village of Port Isaac. Visit the places where Martin Clunes and the rest of the cast shot their scenes, from Doc’s quaint stone cottage to his favorite village pub. Not a fan of the show? There’s still lots to love about Port Isaac’s idyllic coastal scenery and traditional cobble-stoned charm.
Go island hopping in Scilly
The UK might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of island paradises, but a trip to Scilly might change that. The Scilly Isles in the Duchy of Cornwall are where tropical island charms meet rustic European vibes. Make your way to Hugh Town on St Mary’s island and get a feel for island life. Stroll the harbor areas and enjoy relaxing scenes of boats and ships bobbing on the quiet waters. Soak up the sun on the white sandy beaches of St Martin’s island or explore bronze age ruins on the island of St Agnes.
Follow King Arthur’s footsteps in North Cornwall
Do you have what it takes to pull Excalibur out of its stone? If you want to find out, you’ll first have to head to North Cornwall, where you can visit the actual places where King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table once ruled. This mythical quest will have you imagining gallant knights riding by with swords and shields once you set foot on Bodmin Moor. You might even hear metals clashing once you get to Slaughterbridge. Don’t worry if you don’t find Excalibur. The enchantment of the journey is simply so alluring that you’d want to keep coming back again and again.
Full steam ahead in Bodmin
One of the coolest things you can do in Cornwall is to take a ride in a heritage steam engine in Bodmin. This is the ultimate experience for railway buffs, as the Bodmin steam engine is authentically vintage, inside and out. Travel from Bodmin to Boscarne Junction or take a round trip through the rolling green of the Cornish countryside.
Be a lighthouse keeper for the day
Think you have what it takes to man an authentic lighthouse? Try your hand at the commandeering the Lizard Lighthouse at Lizard Point in Cornwall, also known as the most southerly point in Britain. Here you’ll learn about the ins and outs of operating a lighthouse, take a crash course in semaphore and morse code, and enjoy some of Cornwall’s most spectacular coastal views.
Have an underwater adventure in Falmouth
Fans of diving will fall in love with Falmouth. Falmouth Bay is bursting with beautiful marine life, making it a prime destination for divers. Feed your underwater fascination by getting up close and personal with sea creatures, coral reef, and even shipwrecks dating back to World War I. If you’re not into scuba diving, try your hand at snorkeling instead.
Castle hunting on the South Coast
You can’t take a trip to the UK without exploring some castles. Luckily, Cornwall isn’t short of fascinating historic castles. The South Coast has some spectacular castles that are rich in history and come with jaw dropping views, like St. Mawes Castle which sits by a cliff overlooking the sea. Another castle you shouldn’t miss is St. Catherine’s Castle, which boasts a stunning view of the River Fowey flowing into the Atlantic Ocean in the background.
See shipwrecks on dry land at the shipwreck museum
If you’re someone who finds shipwrecks fascinating, then head over to the Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Charlestown. This museum houses a huge collection of shipwrecked relics — 8000 relics from over 150 wrecks, to be precise. You’ll see anchors, cannon balls, pirate doubloons and more. When you’re done, stroll through the charming maritime village of Charlestown itself, which still has a working fishing harbor.
Beachin’ it in Fistral Beach
Take advantage of Cornwall’s superb coastline by heading down to Fistral Beach for a healthy dose of sand and sea. It’s the perfect destination for every type of beachgoer. Are you a surfer? You’ll be thrilled by the size of the waves. Sunbather? Put on your suit and bask in the sand for the perfect tan. Water wader? The clear blue hues of the ocean are just calling you for a swim.
Appreciate wildlife on Looe Island
If you enjoy spotting wild birds in their natural habitat, head down to Looe Island for an avian adventure. The island is home to nesting birds such as cormorants and oystercatchers. If you’re very lucky, you might also spy some seals splashing offshore. This rustic, isolated island is also home to a quaint church and a small but fascinating museum, where you can learn all about life on Looe.