It is no secret that Cornwall is well known for its natural beauty. A county on England’s southwestern tip has some spectacular sights, and it would be a shame to miss them out. Golden beaches that stretch on for miles, legendary castles, lost gardens and the largest indoor rainforest in the world are just some of them. Pretty seaside towns and little hamlets offer beautiful vistas on every corner. But with so many beautiful places to go, where should you start? To help you make the most of it, we have created a list of reasons why you should visit Cornwall. Now it is time for you to see the Cornish coast and discover the best places to visit in Cornwall in England.
Cornwall with its blue waters, incredible scenery, and rich wildlife, will steal your heart.
Gorgeous places to visit in Cornwall
Whether you’re planning a weekend away or a longer break, here are some of the best places to visit in Cornwall.
1. Eden Project
The Eden Project nestled at the bottom of a china clay pit close to St Austell.
When it comes to unique attractions, the Eden Project is impossible to beat. In fact, the Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions. And for a good reason.
Eden’s giant bubble-shaped biomes are not only home to all kinds of plants but also the world’s largest indoor rainforest. These impressive bubbled domes with different ecosystems have different sections with their native plants, insect, and climate. Outside in the gardens, you can explore outdoor trails and adventure activities such as England’s longest and fastest zip-wire, aerial trekking and many others.
Get lost in these beautiful tropical gardens full of plants from all around the world hidden inside giant biomes that look like oversized footballs. You won’t regret it. The highlight is undoubtedly Rainforest Biome, where you can walk among the treetops while feeling the tropical heat. Besides, you will learn about the importance of the rainforest and why they are crucial for our planet.
The Eden project is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Cornwall, and it should be on everyone’s list when visiting this part of England.
Save money by buying a combined ticket for both the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project.
2. Marine Discovery Penzance
If you are searching for marine life, take a boat trip around the Cornish waters to watch wildlife. You won’t regret it. Marine Discovery Penzance offers ocean wildlife tours on a sailing catamaran with passionate naturalists who provide interesting information about wildlife you will spot. Book your unique marine wildlife watching adventure and meet up with various seabirds, seals, and ocean sunfish. And, if lucky, you might even spot a dolphin or a whale!
Sailing the waters with Marine Discovery Penzance is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Cornwall. Not only you will see local marine life, but also you will enjoy a relaxing ride with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Open-air Minack Theatre is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Cornwall.
Are you in search of culture and beautiful views? Then a visit to the Minack Theatre will not disappoint. An open-air amphitheatre carved into the cliffs of Cornwall is, in fact, one of the most spectacular theatre venues in the world. Although it may look like Minack Theatre has been here for thousands of years, it has only about 90 years. This living theatre in a dramatic setting is an architectural masterpiece perched on the rugged cliffs above Porthcurno beach.
Catch a show at the theatre under the stars and watch a live performance with fantastic ocean views. Shows ranging from plays, musicals and also operas are famous between the locals and visitors alike. Hence, book up well in advance during the summer months.
Spending a night watching a show at open-air Minack Theatre is one of the best things to do in Cornwall, no matter what play is on. This extraordinary attraction offers a unique experience and is a must for all theatre lovers.
However, when there is no show on, you can explore the theatre itself. Also, pay attention to extraordinary carvings around the theatre. Do not forget to admire beautiful coastal gardens with sub-tropical plants and breath-taking views of the wild Cornish coast. If lucky, you might spot a dolphin or seal!
4. Lost Gardens of Heligan
It is also worth spending a day exploring the Lost Gardens of Heligan. You can find them just a few miles away from St Austell. Though the Lost Gardens of Heligan are today a popular attraction in Cornwall, they were discovered only by chance not a long time ago. Today you can find a jungle full of sub-tropical plants such as banana trees and ferns in these 200 acre restored gardens. Walkthrough the winding paths, bamboo tunnels and discover a secret grotto and many artworks. While exploring Lost Gardens of Heligan, don’t miss the giant green grass head and the famous sleeping woman hidden in a Cornish jungle.
5. St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall
St Michael’s Mount is similar to Mont Saint-Michel in France.
Cornwall is home to many castles, but if you want to visit only one, choose the most unique of them all. Take a day trip to see the magical St Michael’s Mount situated in the middle of the water. Yes, you read that right! St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island connected to the land at low tide. This tiny rocky island is one of Cornwall’s most iconic sights, and for a good reason.
As soon as the sea uncovers the secret path, walk across the man-made causeway as pilgrim did centuries ago. A short walk will bring you to a beautiful island topped with a historic castle. You can also find a chapel and some tropical gardens with many exotic plants here.
Uncover the history of St Michael’s Mount – it had different roles in the past. This mystical island served as a monastery, medieval castle and also a prison. Learn more about the island’s history, legends, and abbey which was mainly built by Benedictine monks.
St Michael’s Mount is one of the unique places to visit in Cornwall. Make sure you don’t miss it.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Keep your eyes peeled for tide times as the cobbled path disappears when the tide is in. Hence, you can access the island on foot only twice a day. When the island is cut off by the sea at high tide, it is possible to catch a ferry from the beach.
Visiting St Michael’s Mount via a secret path is one of the best things to do in Cornwall. This mystical island lies only a few hundred metres off the coast near Marazion in southwest Cornwall.
6. Learn to surf in Newquay, Cornwall
If your idea of a perfect holiday involves waters activities and excitement, then make your way to Newquay. This lovely town on the north coast of Cornwall is one of the best seaside towns in the United Kingdom. The surfing capital of England attracts surfers and other tourists from around the world.
Try your hand at surfing and hit the waves on one of the famous beaches. Don’t worry if you do not know how to surf – Newquay is one of the best places you can learn to surf in Cornwall. It has plenty of surf schools, and you can also find here beaches that suit surfers of every level. But, bear in mind that the waves here are more powerful than in other areas of Cornwall. Fistral Beach has some of the best waves in the country. In fact, a famous surfing competition takes places here every year. And the best of all? It is free to watch.
7. Tintagel Castle
Another popular tourist attraction in Cornwall is undoubtedly Tintagel Castle surrounded by myths and legends of King Arthur. This Cornish castle sits high on the North Coast overlooking Cornish waters. Though much of it has crumbled, it is still possible to imagine how this legendary castle could look like. The legendary birthplace of King Artur was occupied since Roman times. It was also a residence for Cornwall’s Celtic kings in the past. Therefore, Tintagel Castle is a popular place to visit in Cornwall.
Explore Tintagel’s clifftop castle ruins and cross renovated Tintagel Bridge connecting the nearby island, where you can find more ruins. Don’t forget to meet a life-size bronze statue of King Arthur that stands on the clifftop. Again, look out for wildlife – you might spot a seal playing in the water.
Next, take a walk down to the sandy beach below and visit Merlin’s Cave. Also, learn more about King Arthur at the exhibition in a visitor centre.
Take a coastal path south where you can view Tintagel Castle from afar for free.
8. Port Isaac in Cornwall
It is no surprise that exploring tranquil Port Isaac is one of the popular places to visit in Cornwall during the summer. ©cornwallhideaways
From Tintagel Castle, you want to head to Port Isaac, which is less than 30 minutes away. This tiny fishing village on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall is, actually, too beautiful to miss. Although small in size, Port Isaac dotted with white-washed cottages is a lovely place to visit for a few hours if you are nearby.
Wander through narrow streets and absorb the beautiful seaside views which this Cornish village can offer. Explore the scenic harbour and pier built in the time of Henry VIII. Watch the fishermen bringing their catch of the day and boats bobbing in the waves. Also, during the summer months, you can take scenic trips from the harbour.
Besides, Port Isaac has beautiful coastal walks which offer breath-taking views of the village and the coast. A small single harbour beach is ideal for a picnic in summer. However, the nearby beaches are better for a beach day out.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Navigating the narrow lanes in Port Isaac is tricky, hence use the cark park at the top of the village.
9. Bedruthan Steps
Exploring Bedruthan Steps is another unique thing to do in Cornwall. These massive rocks scattered along the beach on the north coast of Cornwall are beautiful. Legend has it a giant Bedruthan used these granite rocks as stepping stones.
Bedruthan Steps offer fantastic cliff-top views along the coast. During the low tide, the beach with soft sands stretches for over a mile. However, due to the recent rockfalls, it is impossible to access the beach via steps anymore. In reality, you can admire the Bedruthan Steps only from the top while enjoying coast relaxing walks.
10. St Nectan’s Glen in Cornwall
If you are looking for unique attractions in Cornwall, St Nectan’s Glen is one of them. St Nectan’s Glen a tranquil place stretching along both banks of the Trevillet River. This ancient woodland is home to a spectacular 60 foot (18 metres) waterfall that splashes through a hole in the rocks.
GOOD TO KNOW:
While there is no charge for visiting St Nectan’s Glen woodland walk, café and shop, you will have to pay a small fee to visit the waterfall. The money for an entry goes towards conserving and protecting the area.
11. Kynance Cove in Cornwall
Kynance Cove – one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall.
Dip your toes in Kynance Cove, a picturesque cove with red and green serpentine rocks on the Lizard peninsula. This white sandy beach with turquoise waters is, in fact, one of the most photographed beaches in Cornwall.
At low tide, you can walk along the beach. Also, you can explore some of the caves which make this place so beautiful. Besides, it is the best time to swim and enjoy some water activities, because the sea is not rough. Once here, make sure you have enough time for a relaxing walk – Kynance is also a mecca for naturalists.
Kynance Cove is a gorgeous place to visit in Cornwall.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Make sure you keep an eye on tides – you don’t want to get stranded in one of the caves.
12. Land’s End
When it comes to must-sees of Cornwall, Land’s End is hard to miss. Land’s End is the most westerly point of Cornwall and mainland England and, therefore, it is a famous attraction. There is an iconic signpost giving distances to faraway places. You will also find here the first or last house, where you can buy some souvenirs.
Land’s End offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged coastline, and therefore, it is one of the gorgeous places to visit in Cornwall. From here, you can watch the sun sink below the horizon while listening to the tranquil sound of the sea. Besides, you can walk down the coast, enjoy the fresh air and see the nearby Isles of Scilly. Don’t forget your binoculars, you can see not only stunning views but also wildlife.
It is easy to see why Polperro is one of the popular places to visit in Cornwall.
You likely want to visit Polperro on your trip to south Cornwall. This hilly seaside village with ancient cottages and narrow streets is, in fact, beautiful. Wander through traffic-free streets and admire fisherman’s cottages covered with flowers. Get yourself fish and chips and enjoy stunning views of the protected fishing harbour with colourful boats.
Those who would like to cool down during the warm days can visit a small sandy beach at low tide. You can find it just outside the harbour wall. Alternatively, you can enjoy your seaside getaway in nearby Talland Bay beach or Lansallos Beach, which are Cornwall’s secret treasures.
Exploring Polperro village while admiring beautiful views of the harbour is one of the popular things to do in Cornwall.
Polperro was a smuggler’s hub in the past. Today it is a quaint old Cornish fishing village with shops selling souvenirs and paintings. You can also find nearby the Monkey Sanctuary and Polperro Model village, where you can learn more about the myths and legends surrounding this pretty Cornish village.
14. St Ives in Cornwall
No trip to Cornwall would be complete without a visit to St Ives. Charming St Ives is one of the most popular destinations in Cornwall – and it is easy to see why. An idyllic seaside town with a thriving harbour, excellent restaurants is also home to artist studios and independent galleries. Stroll through cobbled streets with an ice cream in your hand while the seagulls circle over your head. Take an art class, or simply watch the waves slamming into the rocks.
St Ives is famous for its beautiful beaches, which are some of the best in Cornwall. If you are lucky enough to spend here a day or two, make sure you have enough time to chill out on one of its iconic beaches. Porthmeor beach is a surfers paradise, but you can find nearby beaches where you can try everything from swimming to paddle boarding and windsurfing.
This beautiful coastal town is an ideal travel destination for families and couples looking to soak up the sun and food. Therefore, St Ives is one of the best places to visit in Cornwall in England.
15. Try delicious Cornish pastry in Cornwall
You can’t take a trip to Cornwall without sampling some of the local cuisines. Cornish pastry is something of a speciality here – it is even protected legally. The authentic Cornish pastry comes in many varieties. There are many fabulous bakers out there, and of course, everyone has their personal favourite. Try the iconic meat and vegetable version or one of many delicious vegetarian options.
16. Lizard Point, Cornwall
Walking around the Lizard Peninsula is one of the best things to do in Cornwall.
More active souls can enjoy a relaxing walk from Kynance Cove to the Lizard Point. A scenic path with beautiful coastal views brings you to the southernmost point of mainland UK. This weather-beaten part of the land is relatively undeveloped, so you can enjoy its natural beauty.
The Cornish coastal walk around the Lizard Point offers dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, the Lizard Point is famous for its wildlife. Look out for the seals in the cove, or if you visit in May and June, you might even spot gentle basking sharks.
Basking shark needs half-ton of plankton to fill its stomach. Its liver has the size of a car, but the brain is no bigger than an apple.
17. Mullion Cove, Cornwall
Just a short car drive from the Lizard Point, you will find another beautiful place to visit in Cornwall – Mullion Cove. This small sandy beach with turquoise waters might be covered at high tide. But when the tide goes out, pretty pebbly sand reveals. Besides, Mullion Cove has a picturesque working harbour with sea walls which shelters small fishing boats from powerful storms. There are also many pleasant walks along the cliffs with spectacular views.
6 Unique Places To Visit In Cornwall
- Eden Project
- Minack Theatre
- St Michael’s Mount
- Bedruthan Steps
- St Nectan’s Glen
- Tintagel Castle
Have you been to Cornwall in England? What was your favourite thing to do there? Let us know in the comments below 🙂
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