Cornwall’s Classic Holiday Destinations

Cornwall has so many places to discover and explore off the beaten track, alongside its seaside towns that are celebrated as some of the best and most beautiful places in the county. These towns have attracted visitors for a number of years, and as first-class restaurants have popped up and activity business have thrived, the beaches and narrow streets have retained their authentic charm. These are our top picks of Cornwall’s most celebrated seaside towns – and whether you stay in them or choose to visit for a day, they are so worth experiencing.


Port Isaac

This charming fishing village is a beauty to visit whatever time of year. Home to the Fisherman’s Friends, catch them performing charity gigs on the harbour on sunny summer evenings or cosy up in Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen on stormy winter nights enjoying fresh Cornish seafood. Doc Martin fans will enjoy wandering the cobbled streets and spotting signpost locations of Portwenn (Fern Cottage and the School House are usual favourites!). Wander down the hill to quiet Port Gaverne, the hamlet attached/next door to Port Isaac and experience fabulous dining at both Pilchards and Port Gaverne Hotel and Restaurant, or get a wetsuit on and go coasteering in the sheltered Port Gaverne cove with Cornish Rock Tors. This little cove also has a sandy, dog-friendly beach when the tide is out – as well as plenty of rockpools to explore.

Port Isaac is an idyllic Cornish holiday destination, where the authentic Cornish life can be not only seen but experienced first hand.


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Lusty Glaze Beach

This North Coast town is one of the world’s best surfing destinations, with competitions in the water happening all year round. The big waves aren’t the only attraction of Newquay though – with award-winning restaurants, a multitude of beaches and plenty to do on your doorstep, it’s an amazing destination for families. Having undergone a transformation recently, the Stag/Hen-do culture that it was once associated with is dying away, being replaced with fine dining restaurants, cutting edge businesses and grassroots cafes and bars that has all been made possible thanks to the buckets of community spirit that is present in Newquay. Enjoy Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen at Watergate Bay, or the Sundowner Sessions at Lusty Glaze. Take to the seas with Cornish Wave, or experience exotic and well cared-for animals at Blue Reef Aquarium and Newquay Zoo – whatever the weather, whatever the age group, Newquay is a wonderful place to be.

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St Ives

Perhaps the most picturesque town in the UK, St Ives and it’s sandy harbour is often the image that springs to mind for anyone thinking ‘Cornish summer holiday’. With discreet, white sand beaches that are perfect for surfing and sun-seeking, a working harbour lined with excellent restaurants commanding views of the turquoise waters, St Ives is just stunning. On clear evenings watch the skies turn red as the sun sets over the ocean, and as the clouds roll in watch the waves break out across St Ives Bay. Explore the multitude of art galleries, jewellery shops and eateries, or take to the coastal footpaths which lead out to rugged cliffs with Poldark-esque views.

St Ives Collage

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Mount’s Bay

This destination is a bit of an umbrella title, encompassing Marazion, Penzance, Newlyn and Mousehole. These four towns and villages all sit along the horseshoe-shaped Mount’s Bay, overlooking the impressive St Michael’s Mount. From harbourside seafood bars to unassuming yet utterly exquisite restaurants, shops showcasing works by local makers, beaches and boat trips, there is something for everyone in and around Mount’s Bay. Explore working harbours and authentic fishing villages, vibrant towns and the stunning Jubilee Pool – a geothermal heated outdoor pool, opening Summer 2019.

Mounts Bay

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