Cornwall is the ninth largest county in the United Kingdom, so there’s a lot to see here. It’s also England’s most coastal county, with the sea on all but the eastern side of the county, so many of its best places to visit are around the coast. We’ve tasked ourselves with the job of picking the top places to visit in Cornwall, so read on to see what we recommend!
- The Eden Project, St Austell
- Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives
- Tate St Ives
- Newlyn Art Gallery
- Morrab Gardens, Penzance
- Minack Open Air Theatre, Porthcurno
- Lizard Point
- Fistral Beach, Newquay
- Padstow’s Restaurants
- Bodmin Moor
- Jamaica Inn, Bolventor
The Eden Project, St Austell
This is the most visited attraction in Cornwall, with around one million visitors per year. However, while you might encounter the crowds here, this really is a unique place, where Mediterranean gardens and tropical rainforests are re-created in enormous steel domes.
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives
The celebrated sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth lived and worked at Trewyn Studio for 26 years until she tragically died there in a fire in 1975. Her former studio, and the surrounding gardens, are now a superb museum showcasing her very best works.
Cornwall is the ninth largest county in the United Kingdom, so there’s a lot to see here. It’s also England’s most coastal county, with the sea on all but the eastern side of the county, so many of its best places to visit are around the coast.
Tate St Ives
This branch of the famous Tate Galleries has a large collection of works by modern artists, as well as paintings and sculptures by some of the many artists who came to work in this part of Cornwall.
You can purchase one ticket to visit both the Hepworth Museum and the Tate.
Newlyn Art Gallery
For a slightly different art experience to the Tate, why not also come here to see a fine collection of works by the artists of the Newlyn School.
This gallery has sites in both Newlyn and Penzance.
Morrab Gardens, Penzance
In the exceptionally mild climate of the far southwest of England, you can grow things that just wouldn’t be possible in other parts of the UK. These gardens are really just a public park, where you can walk in free of charge, but here you can see hydrangeas, fuschias, agapanthus, palm trees and much more, alongside some impressive fountains.
Just over the road is another sub-tropical garden, which also houses Penlee House Gallery – another showcase of the Newlyn School’s work.
With its narrow, cobbled streets down to the harbour, this is perhaps the archetypal Cormish coastal village. Outside the tourist season, it’s also noted for its Christmas harbour lights display.
Minack Open Air Theatre, Porthcurno
As with so many places in Cornwall, there’s nowhere quite like the Minack. One of the best places to visit in Cornwall. Here you sit on an open concrete terrace and watch the play taking place on the stage below. However, no matter how good the performance, the actors won’t be able to hold your attention if the dolphins are putting on a show in the sea right behind them!
This is perhaps the purists’ alternative to over-hyped Lands End. Firstly, Lands End isn’t actually the southernmost point in England – merely the most south-westerly – and additionally, the theme park style of the Lands End visitor attractions isn’t to everyone’s taste.
Instead, you can come to the National Trust nature reserve at the Lizard, set amongst soaring cliffs and white sand beaches and, for one moment at least, be the most southerly person in the UK.
Fistral Beach, Newquay
Amongst the surfing community, Fistral isn’t just one of the top locations to visit in Cornwall or in the UK – many would say it’s one of the best places for surfing in the world. Many people come here to take their first tentative steps amongst the waves, and several major surfing competitions are also held here.
The north Cornwall town of Padstow is famous for its high-quality restaurants. Renowned chef Rick Stein is its most famous resident, and he and his wife Jill own several eateries in the town, including the long-established The Seafood Restaurant, where you can watch the chefs preparing your langoustines and oysters.
Also well worth a visit here are Mahe Cookery School, where you can select the Chef’s Table option and watch your eight-course meal being prepared; The Cracking Crab, which also does superb steaks as well as seafood; and Mediterranean restaurant The Olive Tree.
The entire Cornish coast lies on the South West Coast Path, which is the UK’s longest National Trail, and there’s certainly plenty of spectacular coastal scenery on offer.
For proper hill walking in Cornwall though, head for Bodmin Moor. This atmospheric granite moorland rises to 420 metres above sea level – the highest point in Cornwall – and is dotted with stone circles and other Bronze Age historical sites.
Jamaica Inn, Bolventor
In the heart of Bodmin Moor lies this 18th century coaching inn, made famous by Daphne Du Maurier’s novel of the same name. When staying at the inn, she went for a ride on the moor, and initially got lost in the fog, before being guided back to the pub, where she was inspired to write her famous tale of smuggling and murder.
All in all, Cornwall offers plenty of fun things to do, as a beautiful and historic place. Remember, to ensure you make the most of your stay, be sure to browse our serviced apartments in Cornwall. They offer the utmost comfort and a ‘home away from home’ feel whilst you are away from yours.