Cornwall destination guide | VisitBritain

Cornwall Destination Guide

Get to know Cornwall with our destination guide

It’s no wonder this is one of the favourite regions in the UK for visitors. Covering the furthest South West toe of the country, Cornwall has a diverse terrain of coast, moors, and countryside. The landscape lends itself to days on pristine beaches, scenic hikes, and exciting water sports.

You’ll find lots of fascinating castles, houses, and gardens to visit, or you can simply explore attractive seaside towns and tuck into high-quality food in cosy pubs and celebrity-chef restaurants.

Top attractions

Cornwall’s stunning coastline is at once its main attraction and a stunning backdrop. You can see two very different gardens with the hi-tech biomes at the Eden Project and the jungly paths of The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Walk across the sea causeway to iconic St Michael's Mount – just watch the tide! And be sure to catch a Shakespeare play at the cliff-side Minack Theatre.

Arts and culture

Cornwall, with its beautiful light and landscapes, has been the natural home to artists since the 19th century and you’ll find galleries, studios, and workshops everywhere.

A favourite artists’ haunt is St. Ives, home to its own branch of the Tate gallery, as well as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Shopping

If strolling, browsing and shopping are your holiday activities of choice, Cornwall will keep you happy. Antiques, vintage homeware, pottery, art and crafts, and delicious local foods are all there to be perused.

You can wander independent shops and boutiques to your heart’s content in charming towns and fishing villages like Trebetherick, Falmouth, and Fowey.

Eating and drinking

Foodies are in heaven in Cornwall, with celebrity chefs flocking to open up restaurants and take advantage of the fresh catch of the day. There’s Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Watergate Bay, Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and his Café in Padstow; also in Padstow is Paul Ainsworth at No.6, and Rojano's In The Square; and in Rock you’ll find Nathan Outlaw.

Oh and don’t forget to try the regional specialities: tuck into a meat-and-potato filled Cornish pasty and put a big dollop of Cornish clotted cream on your scone.

For families

Cornwall is a favourite family holiday destination with safe, sandy beaches and plenty of attractions, and cosy Cornwall cottages to keep everyone happy.

Discover the legends of King Arthur at Tintagel Castle, perched dramatically on the coast. Beaches with all the facilities you could need are at Newquay, Bude, and Looe.

Castles, cathedrals, and museums will keep you busy in Truro, Falmouth, and Penzance. And everyone will be excited with a trip to the very westernmost point of England at Land’s End.

Sport

It’s all about taking advantage of the coastline in Cornwall – whether it’s hiking with sea views or getting into the water itself.

The county’s crashing Atlantic shores offer excellent surfing, with Newquay at the centre of the surfer scene.

Coasteering is the latest – and coolest – of extreme sports: clamber high along rugged cliffs, then jump off! Swim in rock pools and discover caves. You’ll get a whole new perspective of the landscape.

History and heritage

There are historic sites and fascinating stories everywhere you turn in Cornwall – ancient fishing villages where little seems to have changed for hundreds of years, looming castles just begging to be explored, and gothic cathedrals and writers’ hideaways.

The county’s past as a prolific tin mining region left the landscape dotted with preserved mining buildings and machinery and is now a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hidden gems

For a change of scenery, head inland to explore beautiful Bodmin Moor. Not only is this windswept landscape populated with rocky tors and trickling streams to trek past, but there are lots of places to visit too.

Discover historical villages, 15th-century art-filled churches, sites of Arthurian legends and inspiration for English author Daphne de Maurier in the form of the isolated Jamaica Inn.

Buy before you fly!

To make your trip to Cornwall easier, you can buy tickets to attractions, travel passes, and much more at our online shop, and avoid the queues! For more great offers, go to the VisitBritain Shop.

See Cornwall on a map on the VisitBritain LoveWall!


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The Eden Project

The largest indoor rainforest in the world, and one of the UK's most popular attractions

The Eden Project
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