Guide to Cornwall Holidays UK

At the tip of the British Isles and home to Lands End, the UK’s most southerly point, Cornwall has a lot to offer for a family holiday.

The northern half of the county is said to be savagely beautiful compared to the more sheltered and flatter southern half; both halves playing an important role in both past and present local prosperity. Travelling across the county you will see abandoned chimney stacks and engine houses that mark its industrial past. Before the industry fell into decline in the 1870s, Cornwall was producing around two thirds of the world’s total output of tin and copper.

The Cornish Pasty, derived from the all-encompassing meal that wives prepared their miner husbands each day, that included their main course and pudding within one pastry shell that had a thick wedge along one side to allow miners to eat it without getting their dirty hands on their food.

The many Fishing villages dotted along the coast mark this county’s love of seafood, epitomised by the fishing port of Padstow, which was in turn made famous by Rick Stein, who opened his restaurant here in the 1970s.

Between the Cornish cliffs, amongst the many bays that line the rugged coastline are some of the UK’s best surf beaches. Newquay possibly the most famous of surf resort of them all is a very popular year-round resort for many. Its beaches at Fistral, Holywell Bay and Perran hosting a number of surfing competitions. For non-surfing families try Towan, Tolcarne and Lusty Glaze beaches. I Spy Camping has a number of family holiday parks in Newquay for you to choose from.

Here are our Top 7 places to visit in Cornwall:

  • 1. Padstow
  • 2. Boscastle
  • 3. Eden Project
  • 4. Lanhydrock
  • 5. Penzance & St Michael’s Mount
  • 6. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
  • 7. Porthcurno & the Minack Theatre

Others places to explore in North Cornwall include Tintagel Castle, Port Isaac and Bedruthan Steps. And especially for children, you have Blue Reef Aquarium and the Zoo both close to Newquay.

Southern Cornwall

The southern half of Cornwall is just as rich in interest as the north, but here the coastline is peppered with secluded settlements and river estuaries. Here the Eden Project is the major attraction, pulling in thousands of visitors every year.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan offers you an alternative (or accompaniment) to the domed high-tech garden. Lost for over 70 years and neglected for even longer, the gardens dating back to Victorian times have been salvaged to appeal to both kids and adults alike. The attraction open year-round holds, amongst other sections, Italian gardens, a productive kitchen garden and a sub-tropical garden.

Thinking of taking your bikes? Try our cycle route from Portheath to Truro The route begins from Portheath harbour and ends in Truro, Cornwall’s capital, some 17 miles later. The cycle route includes steep hills, so if you have children, you may want to take your time and walk up them.

The path is mainly on gravel, so make sure you have the right tyres fitted. The route from coast to coast is well signposted and mostly goes along the old railway lines. Beginning at Tramway Road, follow the path and the signposts carefully through the Cornish countryside, you will pass near Redruth, St Day and on to the Carnon Downs, then to Devoran and then on to tackle the steep hills before entering Truro.

To complete our bitesize guide to Cornwall, we have put together a day’s driving route to explore western Cornwall. Starting from Truro, head towards St Ives via Redruth and Portreath, the coast road to St Ives has spectacular views across to the sea. A blue sea and the golden sandy beaches of St Ives awaits you. From here continue along the coast road to St Just and on to Lands End and the beautifully positioned outdoor Minack Theatre.

Head north to Penzance and views across to St Michael’s Mount, before heading east to Porthleven, and towards Lizard Point, a great stopping point for the afternoon to get fresh sea air and great views of a deep turquoise sea crashing against the rocks. The journey ends a little further north at Pendennis Castle near Falmouth.

For more information on where to stay, please use this link to find campsites in the South West or this one to find caravan holidays in Cornwall.

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