Romantic breaks in South Cornwall
From the wild, untamed beauty of the Lizard Peninsula to the tangle of tranquil creeks around Falmouth, Cornwall’s south coast is the perfect place for a romantic, get-away-from-it-all break. The region is packed with sheltered bays and hidden coves, meandering waterways and quiet riverside villages, as well as some of the quietest, most remote stretches of coastal path in the entire county. If you’re seeking solitude à deux, here are a few suggestions for romantic breaks in south Cornwall.
A romantic retreat on the Lizard Peninsula
Where to stay
From its pale pink front door to the thatched roof on top, this dinky Coverack cottage for two overlooking the sweeping village is the ultimate spot for a romantic break in south Cornwall. Not only does this bolthole have an enviable elevated village position with incredible views (you’re a minute’s walk from the village, eateries, harbour and beach, too) but it’s stylish, boho-inspired interiors are the last word in indulgence, from the decadent feather-and-lace dressed bedrooms and double ended rolltop bath to the vintage drinks trolley stocked with Cornish tipples.
What to do
For a get-away-from-it-all break, the wildly romantic Lizard Peninsula is hard to beat, and Coverack makes a great base for exploring without the need for a car. Facing east, Coverack is treated to some epic sunrises — it’s worth the effort if you can drag yourself out of bed at first light. Then it’s on to breakfast. If you want to stay local, pick up supplies from Coverack Village Stores, or grab coffee and a breakfast muffin at The Loft. With bellies full, head out for a morning stroll along the coastal path — you can walk for miles in either direction from Coverack (out of season you’ll barely come across another soul). We’d recommend walking north to the beautiful Godrevy Cove for a swim (it’s an hour’s amble), and then continuing on to Porthoustock for lunch at the Five Pilchards Inn, 20 minutes further on. If you’re up for the short detour on your way home, swing by Roskilly’s Ice Cream parlour to sample the best ice cream in Cornwall.
In the afternoon, explore the coastline on a double kayak, dipping in and out of your own tiny secluded coves and admiring the stunning Lizard Peninsula from the water. At the end of the day, make your way to Greenhouse Restaurant, a small organic bistro in nearby St Keverne, or head down to the old lifeboat in the village and grab some local fish and chips to eat on the harbour wall.
A relaxing break on the Helford River
Where to stay
The romantic, tucked-away barn conversion of Howthere Barn is hidden on an ancient farmstead on the Helford River. The mezzanine leads you up to a beautiful platform bedroom, with super-king-sized bed and a romantic freestanding bath. Downstairs, there’s a woodburner for cosy nights in and huge double doors which open onto your private courtyard surrounded by gorgeous gardens.
What to do
Start with breakfast at Flora Cafe at Trelowarren, set in a beautiful cobbled courtyard in the heart of this country estate. The Helford is a magical place and there’s really no better way to spend a day than by lacing up and exploring the river — walking the coastal path that hugs the riverbank, crossing the river on the tiny ferry, finding your own secluded cove and swimming in sheltered pools. You could hire your own rowing boat and paddle your way around the hidden creeks, perhaps venturing along to Frenchman’s Creek on the southern banks (immortalised in Daphne du Maurier’s romantic novel), or admiring the beautiful historic homes and gardens to the north, such as the wonderful Trebah Gardens.
For dinner, book a table at the The Shipwrights Arms, right in the centre of Helford village — grab the table in the window, which looks out across the river; in summer there’s a large terrace jutting out over the water so you can watch people paddling by.
An indulgent stay in Falmouth
Where to stay
Set back behind Gylly Beach, one of Falmouth’s most popular stretches of sand, are four gorgeous apartments for two — the perfect setting for a romantic retreat in south Cornwall. With beautiful sea views, Scandi-inspired interiors and neat bathrooms, they have all been recently renovated and are brilliantly located for a romantic escape in south Cornwall. On the first floor, Sunrise Apartment has a super-king bed and private balcony, whilst the huge windows in Starfish Studio Apartment are perfect for watching the sun rise or the storms roll in. Calming Seashells Apartment has a palette of earthy tones whilst the top floor Ocean Waves Apartment has some of the best views of this stretch of coastal road.
What to do
Start the day with a quick dip — Falmouth has plenty of beaches to chose from but we recommend Castle Beach, with it’s steps into the water, or Gylly, a popular spot for Falmouth dippers. For breakfast, head to award-winning Gylly Beach Cafe (late risers needn’t panic — breakfast is served until 11.30). Falmouth is a vibrant town, packed with brilliant places to eat and drink and things to see and do. Those after a leisurely day will enjoy strolling around Falmouth’s cobbled streets, dipping into art galleries, eating seafood tapas on the waterfront or having a nose around the town’s many independent clothing boutiques. If you’re after something more action-packed, walk south along the coast path to Maenporth (an hour’s stroll) and get out on the water on a paddleboard or kayak.
Finish the day with a Twilight Spa & Dine at St Michael’s Spa, which includes a two-hour session in their herbal Finnish sauna, experience showers, steam rooms and hydrotherapy pool, or treat weary muscles to a couples’ massage, followed by dinner at the spa’s award-winning restaurant, Brasserie on the Bay. Bliss.