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13 Incredible Places to Visit in Cornwall

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Explore the most incredible places to visit in Cornwall! From iconic landmarks to hidden coves, discover the beauty of England’s southwest coast now!

places to visit in cornwall

I’m sure everyone says this when they visit Cornwall, but I really could live here one day. For me, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the UK, and that’s saying something.

From the dramatic coastline to picturesque fishing villages, Cornwall has so much to offer. It’s also the attitude to life – everything is much more laid back here. Maybe that has something to do with all the surfers!

cornwall places to visit
I’ve been to Cornwall so many times over the years

I’ve been coming to Cornwall ever since I was a boy, and every time I come back there’s somewhere new to discover. Everyone knows places like Padstow and St Ives, but what of the lesser-known places to visit in Cornwall?

In this blog post I’ll tell you all about some of my favourite spots. Hopefully one or two of these places won’t be on your usual itinerary though. So, if you’re planning a trip to Cornwall soon, then keep on reading. Hopefully this will inspire you to go somewhere a little different.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

lost gardens of heligan
This is what you’ll find wandering around the gardens

I find the Lost Gardens of Heligan fascinating. It’s a bit like stumbling into Alice in Wonderland with these crazy sculptures and displays dotted all over the place.

Despite dating back to the 18th century, the gardens underwent a huge regeneration project in the 1990s breathing fresh life into the estate. Since then, it’s become one of the top places to visit in Cornwall.

From the iconic Mud Maid sculpture to the towering rhododendrons of the Jungle, Heligan is adorned with so many unique features that make every turn an exciting discovery. Also, unlike a lot of the other garden centres I used to be dragged around as a kid, this one is suitable for all ages. In fact, kids will LOVE IT here, especially climbing over the rope bridge.


nicest places in cornwall
Falmouth is a lovely place to visit

Nestled along Cornwall’s stunning coastline, Falmouth is a great place to visit with its maritime charm and vibrant atmosphere. A haven for adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts alike, this coastal gem boasts sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a bustling harbour teeming with colourful boats.

One of the things I love about Falmouth is all the adventure activities you can do here. There’s a really cool via ferrata nearby, you can throw yourself off the cliffs coasteering, or hit the waves and go surfing. That ticks all the boxes for me!

You can also find the National Maritime Museum if you’re looking for something a little more sedate.

If you’re staying in and around Falmouth, then you can find some great Cornish holiday cottages here for the perfect staycation.


where to visit in cornwall
Come on, how quaint is Boscastle?

Tucked away amidst Cornwall’s rugged cliffs, Boscastle is definitely a place you’ll want to add to your Cornwall itinerary.

This picturesque fishing village boasts a dramatic harbour flanked by towering hills – a picture says a thousand words with this one! Even though Boscastle is small, it’s really enjoyable wandering along its winding streets. These are all lined with charming cottages and quaint shops selling local crafts and of course Cornish pasties.

For those Harry Potter fans, there’s the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. Though this place has nothing to do with Harry Potter – its all about the history of magic in Cornwall.

Visit Looe Island

looe island
I bet you didn’t know about Looe Island?

Now Looe Island is one of those places that not everyone’s heard of, but that’s what this blog post is all about! Located off Cornwall’s coastline, this is a little slice of tranquillity.

Accessible only by boat, this sanctuary boasts pristine beaches, lush woodlands, and abundant wildlife. That means it’s a real paradise for all you nature lovers. You can expect to see seals, seabirds, and even dolphins playing around in the waters.

The fact that the whole island is a nature reserve means the wildlife thrives here. This is their island. Because of that, visits can only be made on official, organised trips and access by any other means is not allowed.

Head to St Michael’s Mount

st michaels mount
This is the view of St Michael’s Mount

Perched atop a rocky island off the coast of Cornwall, St Michael’s Mount beckons travellers from afar to come and visit. I always think St Michael’s Mount looks like a castle out of Game of Thrones. The best thing about this place is no CGI is needed; it’s really this beautiful.

Inside the castle itself, you can explore the rich history by wandering around the rooms and seeing the eerie dungeons. Best not to think about what went on down here! There are some lovely gardens outside too.

I know St Michael’s Mount is a very obvious place to visit in Cornwall – it’s in pretty much ever bucket list – but I couldn’t not add it in. This is what cool Cornwall is all about in my eyes. It’s one of those fairy-tale places you have to visit at least once!

Port Isaac

port isaac cornwall
I just love the view of Port Isaac

Port Isaac is a tiny little fishing village somehow carved into the coast of Cornwall.

Despite the fact that you can walk around the place in about five minutes, Port Isaac has a huge reputation with so much going for it.

Port Isaac has become a bit of a foodie destination with the Michelin-starred Restaurant Nathan Outlaw a must. Also, his other restaurant Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen is amazing too and a lot cheaper for those on more of a budget. There are also cute cafes and ice cream shops everywhere.

I’d really recommend walking around the headland. The walk back to Port Isaacs is just stunning – I actually think this is one of the best viewpoints in the UK!


visiting bedruthan steps
For me, this is one of the best views in Cornwall

I’m saying this now, Bedruthan Steps is one of my favourite places in all of the United Kingdom.

There’s just something about the rocks and the cliffs protruding out of the sea that captures the imagination like nowhere else. They’re like the 12 Apostles in Australia, but you know, only British.

When I was walking along Bedruthan Steps beach, I couldn’t help thinking of pirates who must’ve used this area as a smuggles cove. This place feels like it’s straight out of Treasure Island and I love that air of magic and mystery.

This is a real highlight on any trip to Cornwall, so next time you’re in the south-west of England make sure you add Bedruthan Steps to your list of places to visit.

Kynance Cove

beautiful views in cornwall
Yes, this really is in England

When it comes to natural beauty in Cornwall, it’s hard to beat Kynance Cove. Turquoise waters with golden sand beaches are framed by towering cliffs that hold secrets of the past. At times it feels more like Greece than England!

There are two things to do at Kynance Cove – enjoy a coastal walk or chill on the beach. Both are absolutely amazing in their own right.

Personally, I think the Kynance to Lizard Point coastal walk is one of the best around. Lizard Point is the southernmost tip of mainland Britain, and the walk is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Along the way, walkers traverse rugged cliffs adorned with heather and wildflowers, enjoying panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the dramatic coastline below.

The Minack Theatre

minack theatre
This is the Minack Theatre overlooking the ocean

I’ve already talked about the views looking like Greece. Well, this is another site that wouldn’t be out of place in any ancient agora. 

Despite the fact it looks thousands of years old, the Minack Theatre was only built in the 1920s. The theatre officially opened in 1932 with a production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Since then, it has continued to grow and evolve, becoming one of the most iconic and beloved outdoor theatres in the world.

If you’re travelling around Cornwall, then make sure you check out the Minack Theatre performances to see what’s on. It really is an experience like no other!

Watergate Bay

places to visit in cornwall with dogs

This is another very popular place to visit in Cornwall, but it’s also one of the best beaches around so I just had to add it to this list.

The beach at Watergate Bay is massive. It goes on for miles and miles. This means it’s perfect for all the beach activities – taking your dog for a walk, building sandcastles, or just catching some rays with a good book. If you’re looking for a good dog friendly holiday, then it definitely ticks that box.

This is another really good surfing spot too, particularly for kite surfing. There are loads of places nearby where you can rent a board for a few hours. Obviously if you’re going kite surfing, it’s best you have a lesson first!

I really like Watergate Bay though. The hype is definitely worth it when it comes to this place.

Mousehole Harbour

mousehole harbour
This is the picturesque harbour at Mousehole

Mousehole Harbour is a really charming spot. Then again, I would say that because it’s another fantastic place for a coasteering adventure.

If you’ve never been coasteering before it’s basically scrambling over rocks and throwing yourself off cliffs into the dark waters below. It actually sounds a lot scarier than it is. For me, the hardest thing about coasteering in the UK is the cold water, but with a thick wetsuit and life jacket it isn’t too bad. It does mean you get bragging rights with all your mates though.

Launceston Castle

launceston castle
Come on, this is a pretty cool spot for a castle, isn’t it?

I am a sucker for a castle. Always have been, always will be. Well, Launceston Castle is a real beaut. Proudly standing atop a hill, Launceston Castle overlooks the little town below.

Built soon after the Norman Conquest, the castle boasts a rich history spanning over 900 years. It witnessed key moments in England’s medieval past, including conflicts and royal visits, adding layers of intrigue to its ancient walls.

From informative displays to interactive exhibits, the castle provides a captivating journey through time for visitors of all ages. Guided tours and audio guides offer insights into the castle’s history and significance, enriching the visitor experience.

Launceston Castle stands proudly atop a mound in Cornwall, a timeless sentinel overlooking the town below. Here’s what makes it special:

Crantock Beach

crantock beach
I just love this section of Cornwall

I remember coming to Crantock Beach when I was 20 and just being blown away by how stunning it was. That day, we sat sinking pint after pint of Rattler cider just enjoying all the views. Fast forward and I’ve had that same day there a fair few times now!

Surfers flock to Crantock Bay to ride its consistent waves, making it a popular spot for both beginners and experienced surfers alike.

Also, this is one for the little ones. At low tide, the beach reveals an abundance of fascinating rock pools teeming with crabs, so you can go crabbing or just discover what other creatures you can find lurking in the water.

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13 Incredible Places to Visit in Cornwall

About the Author

  • Macca Sherifi

    Macca Sherifi is the founder of the multiple award-winning blogs An Adventurous World and the Great British Bucket List. Every month he inspires over 200,000 avid readers to travel the world.

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