Cornish Staycation ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ

My first Cornish staycation and what a gorgeous county it is.  Around every corner is a beautiful beach or a pretty little fishing village, just waiting to be discovered, so here are 17 things to see in Cornwall!

1. Menacuddle Waterfall and Well

This is a short but very peaceful walk around a lovely waterfall and pond.  There is also a very old well that dates back to the 14th century.  Now it just looks like a tiny building, but it did used to be a well!

Cornish staycation

2. Mousehole

Cornwall is full of cute little fishing villages and I was keen to see one, but for me, this one stood out because of its lovely name.  To my disappointment, it is actually pronounced Mouzel, not mouse hole but it is still an absolutely beautiful village.

There is a lovely little harbour with a small beach next to it and at Christmas, this harbour features an amazing light display.  There are 2 gift shops, very aptly named ‘Cat and Mouse’ and ‘The Mousehole’ and a very popular dairy with lovely Cornish ice cream and queues stretching down the street.

Top Tip: If you visit in summer, try an ice cream. You won’t regret it!

Cornish Staycation
Cornish staycation

3. Land’s End

This has always been on my list to visit along with John O’ Groats in Scotland.

You can take pictures of the sign from a few feet away, but if you want your photograph taken with the sign then it costs ยฃ7.95.

There is a good view of the sea and if it is a clear day, you can see across to the Isles of Scilly.

There are several other family attractions at the site, such as a Shaun the Sheep Experience, 4D film experience, Arthur’s Quest and Greeb farm.  There is a also an exhibition (free) about all the people who have made the journey all the way from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

Don’t forget to have a quick browse in the shop before leaving!

Top Tip: Wrap up warmly as it’s windy and cold!

Cornish staycation

4. Porthcurno (and Minack open air theatre)

I think that this is the prettiest beach I saw on the Cornish South Coast.  the sand is golden, the sea a lovely blue and it is sheltered from the wind.

When you want to stretch your legs, you can take a walk up the cliff path (wear trainers!)  There are some amazing views looking down into the bay and along the coast.

Once at the top of the cliff, there is a short and a long walk that you can do.  The short walk is about 5 minutes and will take you over the cliff so that you are opposite the bay and are able to see a bit of the Minack Open Air Theatre.

Top Tip: If you visit in summer, why not book tickets to a play at the Minack Theatre? A experience like no other!

Cornish Staycation

5. Penzance

This is quite a large sea front town complete with pubs, restaurants, shops, great views and a geo thermal swimming pool.  Sounds good doesn’t it?!

Once in Penzance, i’d suggest heading to Rowe’s Cornish Bakery, which does great Cornish pastys.  When in Cornwall!  Or if you’re after something a bit more substantial, why not head to a pub along the sea front and enjoy some fresh fish and chips along with that great view?

Now if you’re after a quirky pub with a bit of history, you could either visit the Admiral Benbow, which is where part of Treasure Island is set, or the Lamp and Whistle, which has a ceiling covered in pictures!

Right on the front, overlooking the sea is a swimming pool, but not just any pool, it is Britain’s only geothermal pool

Top Tip: Book the pool well in advance as it fills up quickly and there are also adult only slots.

cornish staycation
The Admiral Benbow

6. St. Michael’s Mount

This is a National Trust rocky island, crowned with a medieval church and castle.

Depending on your preference you either walk across the causeway once the tide is out to visit the island or have a relaxing break with a glass of something cold in your hand at The Godolphin, which has a great view of the Mount and is also a good place to watch the sunset from.

Top Tip: Keep an eye on the tide or you’ll get stuck on the island and have to paddle back.  The sea can get quite cold!

Cornish Staycation
Cornish staycation
Image by Kenwyn

7. Tintagel Castle

Set high on the rugged and beautiful North Cornish coast is the ruined Tintagel Castle, home to King Arthur.  Even though it is all in ruins, there are signs with plenty of information and by using a bit of imagination, you can picture what it used to be like.

Top Tip: Tickets need to be booked in advance and on a windy day, don’t get blown down the cliff!

Cornish staycation

8.  Trebarwith Strand and Polzeath beach

Trebarwith Strand is best visited when the tide is out but even with the tide in, it is still a beach like no other, as seen in the picture below.

Polzeath is another beautiful beach and if you want to surf, then this is the place to go.  Take a wetsuit with you as it can be a bit chilly.  Polzeath’s little sister beach, New Polzeath is located to the right of the bay and is a good location for swimming away from surfboards!

I first read about Polzeath beach when I was about 7 years old, in a Famous Five book by Enid Blyton.  It was nice to be able to put a place to the name.

Cornish Staycation
Trebarwith Strand
Cornish Staycation
Polzeath Beach

9. Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor

This is now just a glorified service station but it still has a mysterious history.

The Inn comes complete with a smuggling museum and murder mystery nights.  It was first built in 1750 as a coaching inn but it seemed that some travellers were less respectable than others.  This was because the Inn was used to hide smuggled goods, mainly brandy and tea.  It is said that some of the smuggled goods were rum from Jamaica, which is how the Inn got its name.

Jamaica Inn is also well known for being the setting of the book by author Daphne du Maurier.  The book was based on the Inn after du Maurier went on a late night horse ride and became lost.  She spent the night in room 3 of the Inn.  It is also said that the local rector entertained her with storied about ghosts and smuggling!  I am nearly half way through the book and really enjoying it.  Definitely a good read! It is also fun to drive through parts of Bodmin Moor and admire the wild scenery.

Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

10. Cornish Cream Tea

Your stay in Cornwall cannot be complete without sampling a proper Cornish Cream Tea.

I visited the Cowslip Cafe, which is just outside Launceston and the cream tea is superb!

There is a choice of gluten free scones, fruit or plain scones, strawberry or blackberry jam and of course, clotted cream.  It comes with a pot of tea of your choice and a pot of chamomile tea was the perfect finishing touch for my cream tea.

Cornish Cream Tea

11. Mevagissey

This is another gorgeous little fishing village with winding cobbled streets, gift shops, a working harbour and colourful boats. There are, of course, plenty of fish restaurants as this village used to be the centre of Cornwall’s pilchard fishery.

The name is derived from two saints: St Meva and St Issy and the first record for this village was in 1313.

Each year, at the end of June, Mevagissey celebrates Feast Week, which includes live music, parades, dancing, exhibitions, demonstrations and lots of fish dishes to try. Don’t miss out!

Top Tip: Book a fishing tour or if that isn’t your thing, take the ferry across to Fowey

Cornish Staycation

12. Bedruthan Steps

Unfortunately, this beach has been closed due to a bad cliff fall in the Autumn of 2019 but it is lovely to walk along along the coast path and to view the giant rock stacks, known as the Steps.

Top Tip: Wrap up and this section of the coast can become very windy!

Bedruthan Steps

13. Round Houses in Veryan

These are traditional houses that have been around since the 13th century. 5 can be found in Veryan: 2 pairs that stand at each end of the village and one in the centre. There were originally built by Reverend Jeremiah Twist for his daughters, because in a round house, there are no corners for the devil to hide in! A cross has also been added to the roof for extra protection.

Top Tip: Please be respectful if you take pictures as these are peoples houses

Cornwall

14. St Ives

This is a gorgeous, arty, fishing town and has been voted the best family holiday destination by Coast Magazine and features in TripAdvisor’s list of 10 best European beaches.

There are narrow and twisting cobbled streets, lovely pubs that are right on the sea front, independent shops and a gorgeous view when you walk to the top of St Ives. Porthmeor beach is very good for surfing!

Top Tip: Try some Cornish fudge, it’s yummy!

St Ives

15. Crackington Haven

This is a gorgeous little coastal village on the North Cornish coast with a shingle cove, golden sand and decent waves for surfers.

There are walks along the cliff top with beautiful views looking down into the cove and over the sea across to Bude.

After your walk, surf or a day on the beach you might want some form of sustenance, so why not try the Coombe Barton Inn just across the road from the beach? There is beach cafe below it selling ice creams but if you walk up the steps you can enjoy a gin and tonic with lovely views or a meal if you’re hungry!

Top Tip: Wear trainers or sturdy boots if doing the cliff walk as some of the paths can be quite rocky!

Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall
Overlooking Crackington Haven

16. Widemouth Bay and Black Rock Beach

On a lovely sunny day this is the perfect place to go. Located on the North Cornish Coast it boasts a 2 mile stretch of golden sand, cliff top walks and perfect waves so dig out those surf and body boards!

Part of the beach is dog friendly and there are ice cream stands, a cafe and even a small go-cart track for the little ones!

Top Tip: Bring a wet suit (or hire one at the beach) as even on a bright sunny day in June, the sea is cold!!

Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall
Toffee Fudge

17. Cardinham Woods

If it’s adventure you’re after or just a peaceful stroll then head on over to Cardinham woods.

There are 4 different walks available with the shortest being 1.5 miles, medium lengths at 2.5 and 2.7 miles and the longest and 4 miles. Some of the walking loops include quite steep bits but all the while you’re walking there is beautiful scenery for you to admire. It’s also a great place to take the dog for a walk and there’s even a stream for them to play in!

For the adventure part there are 2 different mountain bike trails, both approximately 8 miles long but 1 is moderate difficulty and the other difficult! The moderate trail (The Bodmin Beast) would be suitable for cyclists in good health with moderate off-road biking skills and basic mountain bikes. The difficult trail (Hell’s Teeth and Dialled-in Dave) is good for experiences mountain bikers who have good off-road biking skills and good mountain bikes. There are some challenging climbs!

Top Tip: Wear trainers or good walking boots for the walking trails and bring a helmet if you plan to cycle!

Cornish Staycation
Cornish Staycation
Cornish Staycation

Transport:

We took the car as I’m not sure how accessible everything is by public transport and uber doesn’t exist there.  Having a car was great but those twisting and turning country roads can be a bit much after a while. 

Parking can be a problem in the high season as the car parks fill up quickly, so arrive early! A lot of the pay and display places don’t accept card so make sure you have cash with you.  There are a few places where it is possible to park on the road, but again, get there early! 

I would suggest driving down through South Cornwall and finishing in the North.

For other staycation ideas, have a look at my posts on North Wales and Edinburgh.

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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