10 of the best places to stay in Cornwall

Beaches, Coastal

Heading to Cornwall but not sure where to stay? It quite often depends on what you’re planning to do on your holiday, so we’ve highlighted some of the most popular places to stay in Cornwall to help you out. From forests to miles of craggy granite coasts, sandy beaches, quaint fishing villages, unique architecture, open moors and much much more, Cornwall is as diverse as anywhere else, but uniquely so. Here are just ten of the many places in Cornwall that we think are worth visiting.


If you’re a bit of a foodie, then Padstow will be a great choice for you. While Rick Stein has left his footprint throughout much of Cornwall, in Padstow you will find four of his restaurants to tempt your taste buds. If you’re a keen cyclist, Padstow is also a great place to stay as it is the start and end of the popular Camel Cycle Trail.

Find somewhere to stay in pretty Padstow


One of the most popular holiday destinations in Cornwall, Newquay is where to head if you enjoy a lively atmosphere, busy bars and water sports. It’s a great place to celebrate a special occasion with a group of friends, like a hen or stag do or even a birthday. Newquay also attracts surfers from around the world for the consistent waves and stunning beaches, hosting surfing events and competitions such as the annual Boardmasters Festival. Its famous beaches include Watergate Bay, Great Western Beach and Fistral Beach.

Find a place to stay in Newquay

St Ives

Home to Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden and several smaller galleries, St Ives is the art centre of Cornwall. For art-enthusiasts, St Ives attracts well-known artists, events and exhibitions throughout the year, so you can’t go wrong if you're looking for Cornwall's art scene. Likewise, St Ives is a vibrant and busy seaside town with numerous popular beaches in the area, so if it’s a traditional bucket and spade holiday with your little ones that you are looking for, then St Ives will certainly tick that box too. 

Find your perfect coastal retreat in St Ives


For those who enjoy literary history and like to discover the inspiration behind the works of much-loved authors, Fowey is the place to be. Here you can discover Kenneth Graeme’s inspiration behind his famous tale on the delightful Wind in the Willows River Cruise along the Fowey Estuary. Not only that, but you can follow in the footsteps of the well-loved literary name, Daphne Du Maurier, visit her favourite haunts and see where much of her inspiration came from for her writing. With the medieval and Georgian buildings as a romantic backdrop and the winding streets and natural harbour to explore, Fowey is a wonder choice for couples.

Stay in fabulous Fowey

Port Isaac

Any idea where that popular TV series about bad-tempered Doc Martin is filmed? Well, if you stay in Port Isaac you might recognise some of the town and maybe even some of the places in the area – see if you can find the house that’s used as the outside of Doc Martin’s house and the surgery! Port Isaac is a great holiday destination if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle. Set along beautiful rugged coastline, it’s the perfect spot for walkers with its easy access to the South West Coast Path.

Find your dream holiday in perfect Port Isaac


If shopping is a staple of your holiday, then stay near Truro. On top of your usual high street stores, the bustling town offers a popular farmers’ market on Lemon Quay every Wednesday and Saturday, a pannier market and a fantastic array of independent gifts and jewellery stores. Explore the quaint streets and later relax in one of the many bars, restaurants or coffee shops.

Explore terrific Truro from our cottages


If you want an all-round holiday for the whole family then try Looe - there is simply loads to do. A pretty harbour town, here you can enjoy a bucket-and-spade day out on the sandy beaches, explore the stunning coastline on the South West Coast Path or take a boat trip to nearby Looe Island, a thriving nature reserve. Nearby you also have plenty of family days out in the form of the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary, Seaton Valley Country Park and much more.

Stay at our cottages in lovely Looe


For a little bit of an insight into Cornwall’s rich naval history, in Falmouth you will find the National Maritime Museum which, over time, has been the start and finishing points for many historic voyages. Even if history isn’t your thing, Falmouth is a vibrant, creative and exciting town, often hosting big events such as Falmouth Oyster festival. It’s a great one for families because there are so many children’s attractions nearby, boat trips and National Trust properties and houses and gardens with packed event schedules to accommodate the little ones.

Fall in love with Falmouth with a stay at our cottages


The great thing about Bude is that it is located right on the Cornwall and Devon border, so you will have the best of both worlds during your holiday. You can choose to explore further into Cornwall or pop over the border and explore the rugged North Devon coastline. If you're holidaying with the family, from the little ones right through to Grandma and Grandad, then Bude is a fantastic choice. Packed with shops, restaurants, cafes, family attractions, things to do and sandy beaches, it doesn't get much better than that. 

Find somewhere to stay in beautiful Bude


While much of Cornwall is perfect for a romantic holiday, residing in the shadow of St Michael’s Mount puts Penzance is right up there as one of the first choices for us. St Michael’s Mount is a curious and beautiful island, with a striking castle, stunning views and beautiful scenery. Accessed either by the causeway or by boat from nearby Marazion, it offers the perfect romantic day together. You'll also find the charming fishing village of Mousehole close by, with its pretty harbour and famous annual Christmas light displays.

Discover Penzance and beyond at our Penzance cottages

Need more inspiration?

We know Cornwall inside out and we've got the best advice on where to go and what to do, whether you're a family, bringing a dog, or seeking a romantic escape. Check out these guides for even more Cornwall holiday ideas:

If you've already decided where you're going to spend your next break in Cornwall, find a place to stay from among our collection of Cornwall cottages.

Posted by Ed on 15th February 2018