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Romantic breaks in West Cornwall

West Cornwall has, arguably, the most diverse and wildest landscape in the county. From the dramatic moorland to epic surf beaches and pint-sized fishing villages, West Cornwall is also home to some of Cornwall’s popular places, such as St Michael’s Mount and arty St Ives. And with a smattering of top foodie destinations and exciting things to see and do, it’s easy to see why this part of Cornwall is a favourite for couples seeking a romantic break in West Cornwall.

An arty escape in St Ives

Where to stay

This stylish former sea captain’s house set at the top of town on one of St Ives’ most desirable roads has far-reaching views across the town and out to sea from the south facing living room. Full of thoughtful details like the stack of boardgames, the outside seating to the front is a wonderful spot for a morning coffee or sundowner. You’re moments from the harbour, beaches, boutiques, galleries and restaurants, too, making it the perfect pad for couples who want to make the most of everything St Ives has to offer.

Bedroom at Captain's Rest Self Catering dog-friendly apartment St Ives by Forever Cornwall

What to do

With six beautiful sandy beaches within walking distance of the town, romantic hand-in-hand strolls are the order of the day in St Ives, so begin the day with a walk along Porthmeor Beach before the crowds arrive, popping into Porthmeor Cafe afterwards for one of their legendary ‘build your own breakfasts’ out on the sunny terrace.

Porthminster Beach, St. Ives

St Ives is stuffed with galleries but if you want to head away from the crowds we suggest calling in at the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden — the artist’s former residence — a small, intimate, reflective space with beautiful views over the bay. If you’re in the mood for an action-packed afternoon, sign up for a couples’ paddleboarding session and explore the coastline on a SUP. As the day comes to an end, watch the sun set aboard a boat on a Twilight Adventure trip around the bay, spotting seals, dolphins, and maybe even a minke whale, before taking your place on the terrace and tucking into award-winning seafood at the fabulous Porthminster Cafe.

A history-inspired retreat in Mount’s Bay

Where to stay

What could be more romantic than staying in your own wing of an 18th-century castle? With an elevated position on one of Cornwall’s most beautiful stretches of coastline, North Wing near Marazion is a delightful and utterly romantic bolthole for two, with a super-king master bedroom, luxurious double ended bath, formal gardens as well as your own private space, with the coastal path running just in front.

View outside of holiday apartment near Perranuthnoe - North Wing Apartment Forever Cornwall

What to do

Mount’s Bay is Cornwall’s largest bay and has panoramic ocean views from dramatic cliff tops, pristine sandy beaches and unspoilt fishing villages. You’ll find some of Cornwall’s most beautiful coastal towns and villages in this area, including Penzance, Mousehole and Marazion, Cornwall’s oldest town. Start your day in Penzance with a potter around the indies in this arty little town, dropping into Penzance’s Artist’s Residence for a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon, wander across the causeway to the fairytale island of St Michael’s Mount to explore the subtropical gardens surrounding the castle, visit the art gallery or enjoy afternoon tea at the Harbour Loft at the top. If you want to get out on the water, how about a Paddle and Picnic — you’ll be taken off to explore the coastline on a SUP with a feast waiting for you on the sand on your return. In the evening, head westwards to Mousehole and Newlyn, enjoying supper on the harbourside at Argoe in Newlyn before strolling along the waterfront and catching an arthouse flick at the Newlyn Filmhouse.

A lazy stay in Hayle Towans

Where to stay

Wedged into the cliff above Hayle Towans beach on Cornwall’s west coast, the stunning Chalet Thiseldo (“This’ll do”) is the ultimate beachside retreat, an architect-designed pad with beautiful interiors, a private sun terrace and exceptional attention to detail everywhere, plus it’s only a stone’s throw from the epic Hayle Towans beach. You’re moments from the tiny Cove Cafe, too.

What to do

This stretch of coast is renowned for its surf, so if you’ve chosen this spot for a romantic retreat, chances are you’re keen to test the waters, too. There are several watersports outlets in Hayle, offering not just surfing but paddleboarding, coasteering, kitesurfing and kayaking, too. For lunch, head into Hayle for a pasty — this small town has two of the best pasty makers in Cornwall — and wander down to the beach for an afternoon on the sand. Along this three-mile stretch of sand there are caves to explore — you can even walk all the way to St Ives and hop on the little train back again.

Behind the dunes, the wonderful Hayle Estuary RSPB is home to masses of birdlife so take some binoculars along for a relaxing afternoon birdwatching. For dinner, grab a table at the Rockpool in Gwithian, before booking a couples’ massage with Home Spa Cornwall, who will travel to your holiday cottage to pamper you both with a range a treatments, from deep tissue to hot stone massage.

A romantic getaway in Gwithian

Outside view of Dune Lodge large holiday accommodation in dunes at Gwithian

Where to stay

Overlooking miles of wild, grassy sand dunes, Dune Lodge is a very unique and special place — a contemporary, glass-fronted pad with sliding doors onto your private balcony which overlooks miles of grassy dunes and the sea beyond. Inside, you’ll find a king-size bed with en suite shower room, a woodburner for cosy nights in, high vaulted ceilings and all the latest mod cons. What’s more, your only a few sandy paces from the Sunset Surf Cafe.

What to do

Ease into the day and watch the sun rise with a beach yoga session before grabbing a breakfast muffin and coffee at the relaxed Godrevy Cafe at the north end of the beach. Gwithian is one of Cornwall’s favourite surf spots so if you’ve had an inkling to give the sport a go, now’s your chance. The brilliant team at Global Boarders is one of the best in the business, and they’ll have you popping up on your board in no time — you can opt for private couples’ tuition if you’d rather.

Gwithian Global Boarders Cornwall gwithian surfing

You’re spoilt for choice of places to grab some lunch around here, but we’d highly recommend the Hungry Horsebox Co., right on the sand on Gwithian beach (it’s worth checking out their supper feasts if you’re here in the summer). Time for a walk? Wander across Godrevy Point to Mutton Cove and peer carefully over the cliff edge, where you should be able to spot herds of seals taking shelter on the beach down below. There’s no better way to end a day on this coast that a sunset barbecue on the dunes. Pick up supplies from Trevaskis Farm Shop a couple of miles up the road, pour yourselves a sundowner and watch the sun sink into the sea.

Thinking about a romantic break in Cornwall this year? Have a look at our romantic cottages for couples.