Beautiful Cornwall is one of the UK's most popular areas for holidays. Glorious sandy beaches can be found all around the Cornish coast from gentle Cornwall family beaches on the South Cornwall Coast to the great Newquay and North Cornwall Coast surfing beaches. Visit top Cornwall family attractions like the Eden Project and discover the fascinating history of Cornwall Mining and Industrial Heritage. Premier Cornwall art galleries include both the St Ives Tate Gallery and Penlee House in Penzance which holds numerous works by the Newlyn School of artists. The greats of contemporary and realist art are associated with Cornwall including Barbara Hepworth and Walter Langley to name just two.
Outdoor activities in Cornwall are one of the best in the UK. Surfing on the North Cornwall Coast, walking on the South West Coast path around the stunning Lizard and the Far West or inland on the Great Lode Trail exploring Cornwall's mining heritage, scuba diving or fishing trips from Looe Harbour on the East Cornwall coast, touring Cornwall Gardens with the obligatory visit to the Eden Project, tasting local produce and Cornwall food - pop into Rick Stein's at Padstow. Take in Cornwall's literary heritage and visit Daphne du Maurier territory around Fowey, or the John Betjeman centre at Wadebridge, cycle along the family friendly Camel Trail or take the ferry from Penzance to the sublime Isles of Scilly. Pre-historic sites abound in Cornwall - visit standing stones and discover Cornwall's Celtic history in Bodmin Moor. Alternatively tour many of Cornwall's castles, with the best at Launceston, St Mawes and Tintagel with its entertaining King Arthur myths and legends.
Newquay and the Newquay North Cornwall Coast is one of Britain's top spots for surfing holidays in the UK. The Newquay coast running down from Cornwall holiday surfing hotspot Newquay into Cornwall Mining heritage territory around St Agnes, Camborne and Redruth certainly offers a diverse mixture of Cornwall holiday activities. Starting with Newquay, of course, this is one of Cornwall's most popular beach holiday resorts, attracting a range of visitors including surfers, families and stag and hen parties! With its nearby Newquay Airport Newquay is an accessible surfing resort and offers a choice of superb beaches, numerous holiday attractions including Newquay Zoo and plenty of budget accommodation and holiday nightlife. Many of the UK's top surfing competitions are held here at Newquay.
Newquay's evolution into the UK's ultimate surfing and holiday resort, with international surfing competitions held here, is a late 20th century phenomena. Newquay benefits from it's own Newquay Airport making it highly accessible to the home and international crowds pouring in for the surfing competitions. With its 11 golden sandy beaches no less, numerous attractions including Adventure and water parks, Stag and Hen weekend activities, a choice of chic surfer bars, restaurants and surf schools, tons of B&Bs and cheap hotels crammed into the centre and Atlantic rolling waves guaranteeing prime surfing territory for both the experienced and beginner, you have in Newquay a superb British beach and surfing holiday. At the heart of Newquay's appeal are the magnificent 11 beaches which transform into one giant bay at low tide.
The North Cornwall coast down from Newquay towards St Agnes has a much more laid back and cultural flavour. Good surfing beaches can be found down here at Perranporth and St Agnes, as well as a superb choice of folk festivals, particularly the Celtic Festival held annually at Perranporth.
From Bude, moving down the coast to Padstow, Wadebridge and the estuary and nearby surfing hotspots Constantine and Harlyn Bay, you're in outdoor holiday leisure heaven, North Cornwall style. Something for everyone in this area of North Cornwall, with a superb choice of particularly seafood restaurants in chic Padstow (home of the Rick Stein empire), as well as a choice of contemporary art and chic specialist shops. Hook into the family friendly Camel Trail (for walkers and cyclists) taking you through glorious Cornwall estuary country and ancient woodland. Take the kids on a great day out to Crealy Adventure Park near Wadebridge, or enjoy one of the many golf courses and clubs in the region.
Bude is prime North Cornwall Coast surfing territory, less rugged than further down the more distinctive Cornwall coast and with a Devon cream tea flavour. We're talking some of the cleanest beaches in the UK here in Bude, with the superb family beach plus natural made seawater pool when the tides out at Summerleaze and excellent surfing at Crooklets Beach, Bude is perfect for family beach holidays. Padstow is probably one of the most popular and growing holiday location on the North Cornwall Coast. You can see why, it has many flavours! From Rick Stein's seafood restaurants and cafes to the benefits of being both at the heart of the Camel Estuary and the beginning of the new Camel Trail, superb beaches for surfing also feature on the North Cornwall Coast. Crammed with a choice of accommodation, an attractive harbour and the remains of much medieval architecture Padstow is a most attractive North Cornwall holiday base.
The three villages of Tintagel, Boscastle and Crackington Haven (the latter is known for its great surfing beach) are conveniently close together, but all quite distinctive in their flavour. Tintagel proudly proclaims it is the birthplace of King Arthur, and Tintagel pays due homage, although some say it's gone King Arthur crazy. Its Tintagels castle that pulls in the crowds - one of the best of Cornwall's many castles! Wadebridge on Cornwall's North Coast again blends the holiday benefits of superb surfing and family beaches at nearby Polzeath, Rock and Port Isaac with a traditional rural Cornwall flavour. Annual festivals including Wadebridge's Augusts Bank Holiday Folk Festival, and the renowned Royal Cornwall Show. This is John Betjeman country and Wadebridge has its own Betjeman centre.
Bodmin Moor's small size as compared to Devon's Dartmoor National Park makes it more manageable somehow, allowing you to really get to grips with the variety of landscapes, pre-historic sites, copper mining heritage, pretty villages and woodland walks. One of the most popular attractions on Bodmin Moor, made famous by Daphne du Maurier's 1930s novel of the same name - is Jamaica Inn. Its conveniently situated just off the A30 too, and near Colliford Lake Leisure Park which is a good one for the tots!
The South Cornwall area is one of the most popular regions in Cornwall for holidays, and you can see why. South Cornwall is home to some of the best gardens in the UK, including of course the now renowned Eden Project. The Cornish Riviera and St Austell Bay is also tops for Cornwall family holidays, with a choice of beautiful beaches, holiday caravan parks and choice holiday attractions including theme parks and more. Literary heritage abounds too, including South Cornwall's most famous prodigy - Daphne du Maurier who lived in Fowey. Fowey pays due homage to Du Maurier annually with its Daphne du Maurier Festival. South Cornwall's gentle coastline offers a choice of sailing and regattas and a host of great sandy family beaches along St Austell Bay.
Cornwall's capital Truro has one of the best art galleries and museums in Cornwall, plus of course it's iconic cathedral. Move to Maritime centre Falmouth for a youthful vibe, with a chic developing harbour and a real centre for sailing with numerous sailing competitions held here. Both Falmouth and Truro are great for specialist shopping, a choice of stylish restaurants and Falmouth's Art gallery and Maritime museum are must visits! Don't forget St Mawes with its historic castle and numerous pretty cottages. Both the Roseland Peninsula coast and Mounts Bay towards Penzance make superb Cornwall holiday bases, offering a mix of historical, cultural and holiday attractions, plus great family beaches.
Cornwall holidaymakers often miss the beauty of the Lizard and Lizard point, heading instead straight to St Michael's Mount and off to the West and Land's End. Do this and you're missing one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Cornwall! Both the west and east coasts of the Lizard offer a choice of idyllic beaches, particularly on the west at Kynance Cove not far from the point and the Lizard Lighthouse (which offers tours in the summer). Rugged and dramatic landscapes are on the menu on the lower west coast of the Lizard, whilst on the east side discover some magical fishing villages usch as Cadgwith. Scuba Diving is available too around the popular Manacles offshore reef off Manacle Point on the east coast of the Lizard.
West of Cornwall is home to some of Britain's most spectacular beaches and mingles dramatic coastal landscape and ancient Celtic village remains with a superb artistic and cultural scene. The St Ives Tate and centre for the Newlyn School art at Penlee House in Penzance both serve as artistic hubs, but the source of that artistic influence is all around the Far West of Cornwall - in both its dramatic landscape and in its unique light. Check out the Mount's Bay area, Porthcurno Beach and Land's End and Sennen Cove coastal views for the best of the west.
Cornish mining history in West Cornwall features at the fascinating cliff top mining remains at Levant and Geevor Mines. Pretty coastal fishing villages abound - visit Newlyn with its long fishing history and working harbour still near Penzance and adjacent pretty Mousehole, Zennor too, to the west of St Ives is a sublime little coastal village with a renowned folk museum. Penzance is a laid back cultural hub and superb base for exploring the West or for taking boat trips to the Isles of Scilly. St Mary's and the other Scilly Isles are a world apart - a haven for birds and crammed with pre-historic remains, beautiful white sand beaches and lots of opportunities for diving to view ship wrecks and reefs. Beautiful beaches abound in the Far West including Hayle and the Towans (sand dunes), Porthcurno Beach and Sennen Cove - lots of opportunities for good surfing too at St Ives and surrounds. The Far West of Cornwall is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the whole of the UK - love the sea, love the Far West of Cornwall.
Warmed by the Gulf Stream and situated just 28 miles off the Cornwall coast, the Isles of Scilly are a haven indeed for those seeking peace, quiet and stunning natural beauty. Five of the Isles of Scilly are inhabited - St Mary's (the largest Scilly Island), Tresco Bryher, St Agnes and St Martin's. As well as these five larger islands there are over 100 other islands forming part of the cluster. Blessed with a mild climate, the Isles of Scilly are adorned with a range of subtropical plants, and beautiful gardens abound particularly in Tresco.
East Cornwall is an altogether gentle affair of ancient Cornish history, idyllic market towns, Cornish Mining history, moorland and prehistoric remains on Bodmin Moor and towards the coast stunning historic fishing villages such as the ever popular Looe and nearby Polperro. Ancient market town Laucestron was once the capital of old Cornwall, the Royal Mint was located here, and the town is marked by it's historic roots.
Beautiful Looe on the South East Cornwall coast is extremely popular with holiday makers, especially families on a budget. East Cornwall contains beautiful ancient towns and villages, castles and stunning fishing harbours, numerous arts and crafts shops and cosy tearooms. Top family resort Looe is a great spot for scuba diving, fishing or pleasure boat trips. Old Stannary town Liskeard has a well stocked tourist information centre and old markings of its stannary past with the guildhall and marvellous heritage museum which holds considerable information on the area's mining history. There's a few choice attractions nearby too including Carnglaze Slate Caverns, the pretty village of St Neots and the Yarg Cheese Farm.