Quirky Cornish holiday destinations
The iconic Cornish seaside towns and villages are a thing of beauty, with a bubbling atmosphere, exceptional amenities and plenty to keep everyone of all ages entertained. For many, however, a visit to Cornwall is synonymous with golden beaches, tranquil creeks and hidden gems – and these are our favourite, slightly less typical Cornish destinations.
The ancient farmstead of Kestle Barton sits amongst lush gardens and countryside above the Helford River. Wander over a stream and through woodland to reach Helford Village – a simple village with a (wonderful) pub and restaurant, The Shipwrights, excellent cafe, village shop and sailing club. Discover Frenchman’s Creek, the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s novel, amongst other quiet riverside beaches. Kestle Barton itself is home to an art gallery open throughout the summer, and alongside winding roads you’ll discover a plethora of farm shops and roadside stalls. A beautiful place to discover.
We did mention this little hamlet just a stone’s throw from Port Isaac in the ‘Classic destinations’ blog post too – but hear us out. Port Isaac is obviously much loved by residents and visitors – home to Doc Martin and the Fisherman’s Friends, the village has retained its authenticity whilst welcoming showstopping restaurants such as Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen. Because of this, the village is a hive of activity in the summer rather than a tranquil base in the countryside. However, if you just wander the five minutes east, down the hill, this sense of tranquillity is restored. You have arrived at Port Gaverne. With just a pub (albeit an award-winning one) and a beach cafe, a sheltered cove and a watersports company, the hustle and bustle of Port Isaac feels a world away.
Those who visit Gwithian fall in love, and often end up returning year after year. The dog-friendly dunes, the sweeping golden sands and the excellent surf creates a winning formula for any beach holiday – and whether you choose to embrace the seaside lifestyle by staying in a traditional wooden beach chalet or would prefer an intimate house set away from the beach, Gwithian is our speciality. Stroll to the Jam Pot Cafe for a bacon roll before taking to the waves with a board or to the dunes with the dog – and, once the tide is out, Gwithian beach connects with Upton Towans Beach and Mexico Towans to form a three mile stretch of sand. Mexico Towans and Upton Towans are dog-friendly all year round too – so dog walking isn’t just for the cooler months. Whatever time of year you visit, you can find a hidden patch in the dunes or on the sand to relax in peace and quiet!
These North Coast locations are situated near Newquay, with Holywell to the west, Lusty Glaze to the east and Mawgan Porth just to the east of Lusty Glaze. These three are on here because, despite their proximity to the lively Newquay, they seem to reside in their own bubble of serenity. Holywell Bay is a small village, with a massive beach backed by sweeping dunes. Its two pubs, surf school and local shop provide all the amenities you need for a beach holiday, and the National Trust land surrounding the Bay makes for stunning dog walks and coastal strolls.
Lusty Glaze is a mere ten minute stroll into Newquay, however, this private beach is full of hidden surprises. It is home to an adventure centre with abseiling, tight-rope walking, beach games and surf lessons, but is beautifully juxtaposed with a laid-back bar and restaurant, offering incredible live music ‘Sundowner Sessions’ throughout the summer, as well as relaxed acoustic (and free!) live music all year round.
Mawgan Porth is about a ten minute drive to Newquay, but it has some amazing shops, restaurants and cafes of its own. Enjoy sunset seafood, adrenaline-fuelled surf lessons as well as excellent beachy dog-walking all year round.
These three offer slightly more remote, tranquil side of Newquay – but are often overlooked in favour of the surf town!