Unforgettable Things to do in Cornwall 2024: A Local Guide
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Discover Things To Do and See in Cornwall 2024: A Guide to Coastal Beauty and Hidden Gems

Cornwall Beach Nestled at the end of England’s south west peninsula, the county of Cornwall is famed for its charming beaches, historical gems and captivating landscapes that are waiting to be explored.

Cornwall in a nutshell:

Population: The population of Cornwall is 568,210, making it the 40th largest county in England (by population).

Size: 3,563 square kilometres

Number of beaches: Over 400 beaches

Tourism numbers: Over 5 million visitors in 2022

Where to stay in Cornwall

People at Bude Campsite

We have a number of Cornish campsites ideally situated for discovering the very best parts of the beautiful county. Whether you’re with your partner, friends, familydog or going solo, Cornwall has something for everyone.

Our popular Cornish campsites include:


Sennen Cove



Cornwall travel information

Cornwall Map

Cornwall has a varied transportation system, including buses and trains. In more rural areas, public transport may be more limited so if you are not intending on driving, ensure you research transportation options beforehand.

Getting to Cornwall

Driving: If you’re planning on driving to Cornwall by car, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

Common routes to Cornwall include the M5 motorway from the north and the A30 from the east.

The A30 is the main road that runs through Cornwall and connects with the M5 in Exeter.

Approximate driving times include:

  • London to Cornwall: 4 to 6 hours
  • Bristol to Cornwall: 3 to 5 hours
  • Birmingham to Cornwall: 4 to 6 hours
  • Manchester to Cornwall: 6 to 8 hours
  • Cardiff to Cornwall: 5 to 6 hours
  • Exeter to Cornwall: 1.5 to 2.5 hours
  • Plymouth to Cornwall: 1 to 2 hours

Train: The main train stations in Cornwall include Truro, Penzance and St Austell. Plan your journey on Trainline.

You can get an overnight sleep train direct from London known as the “Night Riviera” that runs from London Paddington in the late evening to Cornwall in the early morning.

Other train journeys to Cornwall include:

Bristol to Cornwall: Great Western Railway (GWR) operates train services from Bristol Temple Meads to Truro or Penzance.

Exeter to Cornwall: Catch a train from Exeter to St David’s to Truro or Penzance.

Birmingham to Cornwall: GWR offers services from Birmingham New Street to Cornwall, with a connection to destinations Truro and Penzance.

Manchester to Cornwall: While there is no direct train from Manchester to Cornwall, you can travel with a change at a connecting train station, such as Birmingham New Street or Bristol Temple Meads.

Coach: The National Express runs frequent services to Newquay and Camborne.

Bike: You can bring your bike with you on your train ride (although you may need to reserve a spot in advance) or cycle to Cornwall via the National Cycle Network Route 3 (NCN 3). It runs from Bristol to Land's End in Cornwall.

Travelling around Cornwall

To travel around Cornwall you have  plenty of transport options, including car, bus, train and bicycle.

Towns & villages to visit in Cornwall


Cornwall is well-known for its stunning towns and villages with beautiful landscapes and historic sites. Here are some towns and villages in Cornwall we think are worth the visit:

1. St Ives

St Ives is the jewel in Cornwall’s crown, boasting sun-kissed shores, a scenic harbour and a charming seaside town with a collection of eclectic shops and well-loved restaurants and bars. Make sure to check out The Cornish Deli, a spot that sells yummy Cornish pasties.

2. Padstow

Situated on the beautiful Cornish north coast, Padstow is one of Cornwall’s finest treasures. Boasting a pretty harbour and endless sandy beaches, you won’t be shy of things to do while visiting. After a stroll around Padstow town, enjoy a pit-stop at Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips, an iconic chippy that all the locals love.

3. Truro

Discover Truro, Cornwall’s charming little city, famed for its stunning gothic architecture and remarkable cathedral. Visit the Royal Cornwall Museum which celebrates Cornish innovation and creativity in science and art. Pay a visit to Lemon Street Market, a popular shopping destination that contains shops, cafes and a spectacular art gallery.

4. Falmouth

Enjoy a trip to Falmouth, a quaint seaside town based on the south coast of Cornwall. Alongside beautiful beaches, Falmouth has a number of great days out you and the family can enjoy. Explore the Swanpool Nature Reserve, a large fresh and salt water lagoon that is home to bountiful wildlife.

5. Fowey

Located near the mouth of River Fowey and classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, explore the quaint cornish town of Fowey. With a mix of trendy cafés and charming old-fisherman cottages, this town is the perfect destination for a weekend away.

6. Tintagel

Famous for being home to the legendary Tintagel Castle and associated with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This village also has awe-inspiring coastal views that people from all over come to see.

7. Boscastle Harbour Village

Boscastle is a picturesque village and fishing port just a few miles from Tintagel and Bude. The village is home to the Museum of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which explores British magical practice from ancient times to the present day.

8. St Austell

When in Cornwall, don’t miss out on a trip to St Austell - a place with magnificent coastal scenery, historical ruins, intriguing museums and mouth watering cuisine. When there, check out St Austell Brewery, a thriving pub estate across the South West that brews some of the nation's most beloved pints.

9. Charlestown

Located about a mile outside of St Austell, Charlestown is a small village nestled on the South Coast of Cornwall. It is known for its Georgian architecture and historical harbour and has been featured in popular TV series including ‘Poldark’. See more popular TV & Film Locations in the UK

10. Mousehole

A beautiful fishing harbour village with a collection of charming cottages. It is well-known for its enchanting Christmas lights display.

The best places to eat in Cornwall

Cornish Pasty

Cornwall is well known for its delicious cuisine, particularly its seafood and Cornish pasties! Here are some recommended places to eat in Cornwall:

1. Sarah’s Pasty shop, Looe

If you’re visiting Cornwall you need to indulge in a Cornish pasty at Sarah’s Pasty Shop, a family run business that is well-loved by tourists and locals alike.

2. The Beach Hut, Watergate Bay

Located directly on the shores of Watergate Bay, The Beach Hut is a lively restaurant that welcomes guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner whilst hosting a beautiful view.

3. Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Padstow

Discover the charm of a Michelin-starred restaurant nestled in a delightful Georgian townhouse at the center of Padstow, serving modern British cuisine that highlights the best of locally sourced Cornish ingredients.

4. Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow has been going strong for nearly 50 years. Today, The Seafood Restaurant's menu still embodies Rick's original vision – a celebration of high-quality fish and shellfish, prepared in a straightforward manner.

5. Appleton’s Bar & Restaurant, Fowey

Embark on a culinary journey at this lovely restaurant and bar in Fowey, Cornwall.

6. Coombeshead Farm, Launceston

Situated across 66 acres of beautiful woodland, meadows and oak-lined streams, Coombeshead Farm is the ultimate spot. A guesthouse, bakery and working farm, it offers a serene escape in the heart of Cornwall’s countryside.

7. The Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick

Nestled along the coastal path near Portscatho on the secluded Roseland Peninsula, the Hidden Hut is a unique destination to enjoy freshly prepared food against the salty sea air.

8. The Old Quay House, Fowey

This restaurant offers a fine dining experience with a diverse menu. It is well-known for its creative dishes and waterfront setting.

Cornish beaches

Golden sandy beach at Porthcurno Cornwall

Cornwall is famously known for its incredible coastline and stunning beaches. Cornish beaches are popular for coastal walks, surfing, sunbathing and swimming. See a selection of our favourite beaches in Cornwall.

1. Porthmeor Beach

Porthmeor Beach is a captivating stretch of golden sand framed by impressive cliffs. It has an assortment of rockpools, offering a delightful experience for beachgoers.

2. Crackington Haven Beach

Crackington Haven Beach, nestled within a stunning shingle cove, is embraced by stunning cliffs. When the tide retreats, the beach unveils rockpools and a picturesque expanse of golden sand, inviting you to feel the soft sand beneath your toes.

3. Sandymouth Beach

Explore this serene haven located in North Cornwall. It is renowned for its tranquil atmosphere and enchanting surroundings, offering a sense of magic with the presence of its waterfall. 

4. Sennen Cove Beach

Sennen Cove Beach, on Cornwall's westernmost coast near Land's End, offers a splendid sandy stretch for leisurely strolls and paddling. Seafront shops and a charming harbor add allure. Despite peak season crowds, the beach's size guarantees a quiet corner for those seeking a peaceful escape.

5. Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay is a pretty and popular beach located on the north coast of Cornwall, England. Situated approximately two miles north of Newquay, Watergate Bay is known for its expansive sandy shoreline, impressive cliffs, and stunning sea views.

Fun days out in Cornwall

Eden Project

Cornwall offers a wide range of enjoyable activities for visitors to enjoy.

1. Eden Project

The most famous gardens in Cornwall, the Eden Project is an exciting day out for the whole family. The garden boasts a variety of attractions including garden exhibitions, one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests showcasing waterfalls and jungles and delightful sensory gardens where you can immerse yourself in an olive and lemon fragrance that graces the Mediterranean Biome.

2. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Embark on a magical journey at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Explore the secrets of these once unknown and unseen gardens, that are now Europe’s greatest restoration project. browse the magical gardens, woodland walks and farmland. Learn about exotic fruits, old-school Victorian growing methods and the art of crop rotation.

3. Pendennis Castle

Uncover Pendennis Castle, an impressive fortress built by Henry VIII to defend England against invasion. Situated on a headland overlooking sea views and the lively town of Falmouth, the castle is a painter's paradise.

4. Minack Theatre

Visit The Minack, an impressive outdoor theatre, situated atop the cliffs of Cornwall and known for its unique backdrop for performances.

5. Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Dive into the fin-tastic world of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, located in the charming village of Gweek and part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Get up close and personal with adorable marine animals and learn all about their individual stories.

6. Bodmin Moor

Step into the wild world of Bodmin Moor, whilst it may look empty and obselete, there’s plenty to discover. Think twisted trees, eerie mining ruins and over 5,000 years of human activity that has left its mark on the site. There are ancient spots from way back during the Bronze Age and Neolithic times. One of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the moor is home to two of Cornwall’s highest hills, Rough Tor and Brown Willy.

7. Adrenalin Quarry

Are you up for an adventure? The Adrenalin Quarry near Liskeard in Cornwall promises a fun day out for thrill-seekers of all ages. A 50m high, 490m long zip wire suspended over a massive disused quarry reaching speeds of up to 40mph. The excitement doesn’t stop there, there’s also a giant swing, coasteering and more.

8. Jamaica Inn 

Dine at Cornwall’s most famous smugglers inn made world-famous by Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn Novel. It is said to be a haunted building, with the shadow of a man dressed in a green cloak - spooky!

9. Heartlands

Discover Heartlands, a 19-acre Cornish Mining World Heritage Site which includes botanical gardens and interactive exhibitions.

10. Hailes Abbey

Founded in the lush Cotswolds countryside, Hailes Abbey was once an important monastery and now is made up of tranquil ruins you can walk around. Visit the museum where you can pick up one of the free audio guides and let the narrator take you round the abbey and learn stories of the monks who worshipped at the abbey for nearly three centuries.

Cornwall roadtrips

Experience Cornwall the right way on a road trip round the stunning county. Check out our ultimate itinerary for having the best Cornwall road trip exploring the beautiful coastlines, stunning countryside and sandy beaches.

What's on in Cornwall

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