Let’s be frank, charming seaside trips are amazing. I mean, at the first sight of sunshine (or dry even dry weather for that matter) us Brits rush to the sea. It’s in our blood! Especially in Cornwall, where there’s a whole heap of pretty seaside towns and coastlines to explore.
If you’ve never had a seaside holiday in England before then you’re in for a beautiful and mouth-watering treat. Most are filled with some of the tastiest fish and chip shops (add a few splashes of vinegar), lots of tearooms and plenty of local pubs (a favourite once the sun starts to set) – with Cornwall being of no exception.
With all the little hamlets, rugged rocks, and the kind of beaches that make you want to stay all day – you won’t want to leave this gorgeous area of England.
Take a look at some of the very best places you should visit on the Cornish coast.
1.) Pop into Port Isaac
Perched on the Atlantic Coast in Cornwall, Port Isaac is a tiny little fishing village that’s just too picturesque to miss.
Pop down to the historic harbour and see the local fisherman bringing in their catch of the day, wander through the tiny little streets and explore the coastal walks that connect with the village itself.
For some of the freshest Cornish seafood, pop into Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen. Their cured brill is amazing!
2.) See St Michael’s Mount
Technically, a tidal island, St. Michael’s Mount is a dramatic place that you have to see. Similar to Mont Saint-Michel it’s a little slice of Cornish history that dates back centuries.
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for some giants too. Legend has it that the island used to be inhabited by a giant called Cormoran, so don’t head into the cave!
3.) Surf at Watergate Bay
Possibly one of my favourite seaside breaks, Watergate Bay is a great little spot to chill out, test your surf skills and enjoy some charming Cornish luxury.
We stayed at the Watergate Bay Hotel when we visited and loved every minute.
Make sure you try their breakfast waffles, relax at the spa and pop over to Newquay and book this incredible 1 on 1 surfing lesson.
You’ll love this place. Plus, Newquay is just down the road.
4.) Relax at St. Ives
One of the things I love most about St. Ives is that it almost feels tropical, especially in summer.
A little larger than some of the other places, St. Ives is a gorgeous town where you can chill out on the sandy beach, work up an appetite on the surf and gorge on some of the best scones (with lashings of clotted cream) in all of England.
I swear, scones just taste better in Cornwall! I’m not sure if it’s the seaside charm, clotted cream or what. Just take my word for it.
5.) See the sunset at Land’s End
Based on the Penwith peninsula, Land’s End is the most westerly point of England. I still have fond memories of my grampy (grandfather) helping me search for America through my binoculars!
There are quite a few cliffs walks you can follow here and it’s lovely in the twilight hours once the sun begins to set.
On a calm day, you can even spot basking sharks and pods of dolphins here.
7.) Visit a Cornish jeweller in Truro
Truro is one of those port towns that you shouldn’t forget. Built around the natural inlets of this area, it’s a lovely place to wander the shorefront, pop into the stunning cathedral and grab yourself some grub at Sams in the City – they have seafood galore.
Oh, don’t forget to visit Canary Blue Jewelry too! They make, hands down, the best Cornish jewels right in the town itself.
Take a look at some of their homemade gold rings and diamonds that Rich (the owner) creates in the town itself. He really is talented.
8.) Hartland Heritage Coast
The Hartland Heritage Coast straddles the very limit of Cornwall and is often a forgotten gem to visit when looking for a seaside break. Wander across the beautiful cliffs, find the sandy beach that actually separates Cornwall from Devon and visit tiny places like Welcombe and Mead (about 100 yards across the border).
Just don’t tell Cornwall!
If hunger calls, then pop into The Old Smithy Inn for a hot pasty or homemade pie.
9.) Gorge on fish and chips at Padstow
One of the best things about Padstow (despite the fact that it’s pretty) is the 7 sandy beaches that are all less than 5 minutes from the town itself. Make sure to grab some of those tasty fish and chips I told you about, too. Chef, Rick Stein’s also has a yummy fish and chip shop in the town (called, Stein’s Fish & Chips, no less). It’s just too tasty to miss.
If you’re looking for something a bit grander, head across to Prideaux Place, a gorgeous place that sits within its own estate. You might even come across some deer too!
10.) Explore Kynance Cove
Perched on the Lizard peninsula, Kynance Cove is a gorgeous spot if you love a white sandy beach and turquoise waters.
At certain times of the day, you’ll be able to ramble down and see some of the caves and rock stacks that make this place so dramatic.
Just be sure to always listen to official and local advice on tides. You don’t want to get stranded when the tide starts to come in.
11.) See the Smuggler’s Harbour of Polperro
This hilly seaside village is one of the prettiest in the region. With the tiny fisherman’s cottages clinging to the hills, it’s as picturesque as you can imagine. Spend a lazy afternoon (or longer) wandering through the village and making sure to stop at all the little Polperro Gallery and The Ship Inn for a classic British pint.
Just like Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, it was a smuggler village, where lots of contraband brandy and sherry would be brought in in the dead of night.
Don’t forget to stop off at Michelle’s Restaurant for some tasty British grub.