Made famous on screen by the likes of TV’s Poldark, Doc Martin and Wycliffe, Cornwall has a beauty that can only be fully appreciated in real life. This slender county, jutting out to form England’s most south westerly point, boasts 275 miles of coastline that varies from the rugged cliffs of the Atlantic facing north coast to the calmer sheltered bays of the south, overlooking the English Channel.
Cornwall is a gem of a holiday spot, offering something for everyone. Famous as a surfing destination, there’s also sailing, cycling, sea fishing and diving on offer, not to mention the South West Coast Path to explore. Or, for those whose idea of a holiday is slightly less active, there are dozens of beaches in Cornwall where you can while away a sunny day. Many of these are dog friendly.
If natural beauty is your thing, visit one of the county’s many impressive Mediterranean style gardens, such as Trebah, with its secluded pebble beach, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the National Trust’s Trelissick, and the world famous Eden Project.
And for culture vultures, there’s a range of museums celebrating Cornwall’s maritime and mining heritage, renowned and artist run galleries including the Tate St Ives, famous landmarks such as St Michael’s Mount, and the must-see open air Minack Theatre, cut dramatically from the cliffs at Porthcurno, where you can watch the sun go down as you enjoy a rendition of Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.
All that exploring will give you a hearty appetite, which will stand you in good stead for all the foodie treats Cornwall has to offer. No Cornish holiday would be complete without at least one pasty, a good old fashioned cream tea, and as many ice creams as you can manage. But gourmet cooking is available too, with chefs such as Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and, of course, Rick Stein all having restaurants in the area. Dedicated foodies can even hone their skills at one of the county’s growing number of cookery schools.
Cornwall’s mild climate is part of its ongoing attraction, so there’s no need to wait until high summer to come and visit. Whatever the time of year, there’s always plenty to see and do, and Cartwheel Holidays’ members will be ready to greet you with a friendly Cornish welcome. There’s a huge range of accommodation to choose from, including classic slate and stone cottages, converted barns and even your very own tipi in a hidden valley.
Magical countryside and breathtaking coastal views, wonderful towns and villages to explore – there is so much to see and do during your holidays in Cornwall, whether you’re here for a short break, a long weekend, or a family summer holiday.
There are many small fishing towns and villages along the coast that make for the perfect place to while away a day in the sunshine on your holidays in Cornwall. Try Mevagissey with its picturesque shops and galleries hidden down narrow lanes, Mousehole with its safe sheltered beach, or Polperro with its notorious smuggling history, which you can learn all about in the local museum.
For something a little more lively, head to Penzance, with its shopping quarter consisting of a mix of high street and independent stores. Once you’re shopped out, take a walk on the wide promenade for views out across the water to St Michael’s Mount, and see if you can spot any dolphins following the boats into the fishing port at neighbouring Newlyn.
Art lovers have plenty of choice when it comes indulging their passion on holiday in Cornwall, but make sure to put St Ives firmly at the top of their ‘to visit’ list. This coastal town was a hotspot for artists like Alfred Wallace and Barbara Hepworth during the war years, and today still attracts many painters and sculptors with its exceptional light and bohemian atmosphere. The Tate St Ives is, of course, a good place to start, but don’t forget to explore all the smaller galleries and independent studios in the area too.
Newquay is renowned as a destination for surfers, located on the blustery Atlantic north coast with nine sandy beaches – including the popular Fistral Beach – and some impressive waves. The town is also known for its lively nightlife, making it a great spot for those who want to enjoy a drink and a dance once the sun goes down.
If some of the towns and villages you visit on your holidays in Cornwall look familiar, it may well be that you’ve seen them on TV. The recent series of Poldark, for example, was filmed at locations including Charlestown, Porthgwarra and Padstow, while fans of Doc Martin should definitely visit Port Isaac – aka Port Wenn – even if it’s just to take a selfie outside the Doc’s surgery.
And that’s just a start – from Bodmin to Boscastle, Falmouth to Fowey, Launceston to Lostwithiel, there are so many towns and villages to explore on your holidays in Cornwall that you’ll just want to keep coming back.