Cornwall Pictures, England

Polperro village, South West Coast Path, Cornwall, England. Jean Melis

Polperro, a traditional Cornish fishing village near St Austell and the Eden Project, with the South West Coast Path running thru it.  Photo by Jean Melis.

Why travel to Cornwall?

North Cornwall is a rugged, weather-beaten coast, home to King Arthur, smugglers and wreckers originally, but now the province of surfers taking advantage of lengthy beaches and consistent Atlantic surf, while in the summertime young party people wreck themselves around quaint pubs and locals smuggle their rage home. Newquay pictures.

South Cornwall is more suited to families, with its quaint fishing villages, serrated coastline, rocky coves, comfortable sand and shallow, calmer waters. The bugcrew regard Porthcurno beach as Britain’s best, followed by Dorset’s Studland. Also in the south see St Ives, Penzance, St Michael’s Mount + Marazion, Kynance Cove.

Lands End aerial photo by

Aerial photo of Land’s End courtesy of  farwestcornwall.

Cornwall things to do

Cornwall is an excellent holiday destination with plenty of things to do, fine, family-friendly beaches on its south coast and terrific Atlantic surf and wild nights on the north coast.

Cliff paths and inshore trails (including around the Eden Project area) are a delight for walkers or mountain bikers while the indented rocky coastline and some rivers (for example the Fowey) attract kayaks and dinghy sailors. Hire is readily available in summertime.

Eden Project, Cornwall

The Eden Project, one of Cornwall’s best attractions.

Now that Land’s End’s lovely landscape has been permitted to coalesce into a squalid mass of low-life, crass commercialism in what should be a serene and meditative location (you can probably thank Cornwall County Council for that mercenary mess)  the spectacularly ambitious but successful Eden Project close to St Austell is probably the county’s best sight apart from the beaches, featuring exotic plant species from all over the world, including the ever-popular cannabis plants (though the term hemp is preferred).

Fistral beach pano, Newquay, Cornwall

Fistral beach, Cornwall’s premier surf beach, Newquay, North Cornwall.

Porthcurno aerial view, with coast path. Tom-Corser

Two of Cornwall’s best features rolled into one: Porthcurno beach and the South West Coast Path. Photo by Tom Corser.


Beware the typical Cornish ‘B’ road, it’s not for the faint-hearted! Large cars or caravans will find access generally limited. Cornwall has the narrowest roads of all England.


– One of England’s best traffic free bike and hike trails is Cornwall’s Camel Trail near Padstow built over a dead railway track and providing 18 miles (34 kms) of safe, flat, picturesque cycling, through coastal scenes and inland woods – a great family bike route.

The Clay Trails around the Eden Project are three lovely bike only routes through heathland, lakes, white clay peaks, classic valleys and wildlife woods.

Padstow, cornwall. Olaf Tausch

Padstow life. Photo by Olaf Tausch.

Padstow is an historic fishing village on the north coast of Cornwall, recently much favoured as a second-home habitat for affluent Londoners, so it’s now pricey and lively in the summertime and pricey but decidedly quiet in the winter.
Still, it’s attractive, close to some great beaches (particularly Polzeath), bike and hike tracks and and provides superb eating at one of the several establishments owned by chef Rick Stein, if you have a fat wallet. In fact Stein owns so much property in the town that it is sometimes known as Padstein.


– The South West Coast Path runs though Cornwall and a favourite section is the lush 75 miles running from Plymouth to Falmouth, wandering along clifftops and overnighting in charming little towns such as Fowey and Mevagissy, with easy side trips to the Lost Gardens of Heligan or the Eden Project (2-7 days).

– The Saints Way is another popular Cornish hike, but this time 30 miles curling though the centre of the county from pretty Padstow (north Cornwall) across to Fowey (south), following in the steps of Celtic pilgrims. (2-3 days)

– North Cornwall Coast Path, a dramatic 57 mile trek from Hartland to Padstow, taking in this wild, windy and historic area, spending nights in pleasant little weather-beaten fishing villages and towns such as Tintagel (King Arthur’s Camelot according to legend). (2-6 days).

St Ives harbour, cornwall

St Ives town with its multiple beaches and quite restrained atmosphere, is on the cusp between North and South Cornwall. There’s not a lot to do but the streets are neither paved with puke nor copulating teenagers and the beaches are superb.