For drama and intrigue head to the undeniably breath-taking north coast, where wild Atlantic waves crash onto sheer cliffs and abandoned mines teeter just metres above the shore. This part of Cornwall is steeped in myths and legends and offers some of the most dramatic coastal walks in the UK. Those who take the time to delve a little deeper will be handsomely rewarded with miles of golden beaches, sheltered harbour towns, award-winning eateries and world-class surf.
There is a great selection of golden beaches along the north Cornish coast, many face the full force of the Atlantic, making them home to some of the best surf in the UK. Fistral beach in Newquay is one such hot spot and each August sees the arrival of the Boardmasters Surf Festival, where internationally acclaimed surfers compete for a spot on the World Championship Tour.
If you’re after somewhere a little more sheltered then there are plenty of coves and smaller beaches ripe for exploring. Treyarnon and Porthcothan are perfect for whiling away the hours beach combing and rock pooling whilst Port Isaac beach, nestled in the sheltered harbour is an idyllic spot for families and those wishing to switch off.
Dog walkers will delight in the golden stretch found at Perranporth which at low tide, joins with Penhale Sands to form one of the largest stretches of unbroken sand on the north coast. Continue south and you’ll discover Porthtowan and Chapel Porth, set below the iconic Wheal Coates engine house, both provide dramatic, sweeping views along the coast.
North Cornwall is home to some of the finest eateries in the county and its culinary offering draws visitors from around the world.
Head to Port Isaac to discover Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, exclusively serving a seafood tasting menu whilst in the village itself lies the less formal Fish Kitchen offering small, delicious seafood plates, all cooked to order.
Continue down the coast to pretty Padstow to experience TV Chef Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, offering some of the finest, freshest seafood around. Stroll a little further into the picturesque harbour town and you’ll discover Paul Ainsworth’s No. 6, awarded Michelin stars and AA Rosettes, diners here are treated to sensational seasonal menus packed with Cornish produce.
Watergate Bay is the setting for Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, perched above the beach, diners here are rewarded with outstanding food and views to match. Newquay too holds its own on the foodie stage, a must for seafood lovers is the Fish House at Fistral but if you fancy something a bit different, head to Kahuna, which offers outstanding Thai inspired food and has earned Nathan Outlaw’s seal of approval.
Aside from the natural landscape, that lends itself so wonderfully as a playground, there is plenty to see and do in north Cornwall. Hire a bike and cycle the scenic Camel Trail between Wadebridge and Padstow or explore historic National Trust Houses and Gardens such as Lanhydrock and Trerice.
Families can enjoy a fun day out at Camel Creek adventure park whilst older children, and fun loving adults, will revel in Retallack Resort’s Aqua Park. Animal lovers will enjoy a day at Newquay Zoo – where the focus is very much on conservation and learning – whilst underwater enthusiasts should head to the Blue Reef Aquarium, also in Newquay.
If you’re keen to step off the beaten track then head to Cardinham Woods, walk or cycle along the gorgeous trails, play in the park and refuel with a freshly made cream tea at the fantastic Woods Cafe after.