Discover Cornwall

The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Ruth King on 19th June 2023

As part of our Great British Outdoors series, we're dreaming of the timeless holiday destination of Cornwall. The setting for generations of memories with loved ones, this stunning South West peninsula never fails to delight, whether you’re pining for a holiday walking on white sands, hiking across deserted moorland or feasting on fresh seafood as the sun sets over the sea.

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Things seem to move more slowly in this part of England, where sun-drenched days slip by in a halcyon daze. You can spend your time exploring historic fishing ports peppered with whitewashed cottages, where fleets of boats still bob in the picturesque harbours. Or wander the South West Coast Path to discover ruined tin mines, their chimneys pointing to the heavens – a reminder of this county’s heritage. And as the hub of surfing in the UK, you couldn’t choose a better destination to take to the waves if you like your holidays a little more action-packed. Whatever you choose, we have a superb range of holiday cottages in Cornwall to return to when the day is done. 

Find your base in Cornwall


Coastal Cornwall

Sand, sea and surf

Cornwall has over 400 miles of coastline and nowhere in The Duchy is more than 20 miles away from the sea. To most of us, this fact alone makes Cornwall the ultimate domestic holiday destination. If you like walks, seek out the best coastal walks in Cornwall. The north coast faces out into the Atlantic Ocean and is known for huge waves, towering granite cliffs, quaint coves and fishing villages, and some of the best surfing beaches and breaks in the realm. The gentler, more sheltered south coast is home to some long beaches, famous harbours, and Cornwall's best-loved landmarks like St Michael's Mount. Explore Cornwall by sea and hire a fishing boat for a chartered trip. Reel in your dinner or simply enjoy seeing the county from the water by spotting the birdlife and wildlife. Find out the best surfing beaches in the county. Cornwall's top beaches for rest and play include Sennen Cove, Newquay's Fistral, Perranporth, Seaton, Marazion, Hayle Towans and so many more. 

Best Cornwall beaches

Beaches in Cornwall

Dog-friendly Cornwall

Head to the coast for a holiday with your dog

Treat your four-legged chum to a holiday of a lifetime in Cornwall. There are natural visitor attractions galore that include country trails, sandy beaches, and country parks. Dog-friendly beaches are easy to find and summer restrictions (although present) are in the minority, so your pets have miles of coastline to enjoy. The South West Coast Path opens up the county for discovery taking in the beaches, clifftop walks, trails through old mining country and hidden bays - you never know what you will find over the hill or around the next bend. There are dog-friendly pubs and places to eat all along the coast to take a break on your days out too. Your dog deserves a holiday to remember and Cornwall is the perfect destination for a pet-friendly holiday.

Dog-friendly Cornwall

Dog-friendly Cornwall

Activities in Cornwall 

Explore this epic natural playground 

From sedate activities in the fresh sea air to more adrenaline-pumping pursuits, Cornwall has plenty to offer its visitors. And with 400 miles of epic coastline, it’s no surprise that many of them take place in the water!

Cornwall is synonymous with surfing and is widely regarded as the surfing capital of the UK. With an abundant swell from the Atlantic Ocean and a wave to suit every ability, a surf session should be top of your list on a Cornish holiday. 

From the gently rolling waves in the north to the barrelling reef breaks in the south, Cornwall offers a varied and unforgettable surfing holiday – but there are plenty of other water-based activities to try too. Scale the craggy rocks on the Lizard Peninsula before plunging into the sea on a coasteering trip, try sea fishing by casting your line at popular spots like Mawgan Porth, or spot whales and dolphins off the coast of Penzance.

However, if you’d rather keep your feet on dry land, Cornwall has plenty of things for you to do too. Tee off at one of the many golf courses with incredible coastal views, ride horses across isolated moorland or take to two wheels to ride on the many traffic-free pathways across the county. And it goes without saying, there are so many wonderful walks on offer.

Cornwall's must-try activities

Activities in Cornwall

Food and drink in Cornwall

Sunsets, seafood and cider

Whether you fancy a beach picnic as the sun sets over the sea, or you’re dreaming of a slap-up meal in a Michelin-star restaurant, Cornwall’s food and drink caters for every appetite.

With the pick of the coast and countryside’s best produce, talented Cornish chefs delight in creating delicious meals with a focus on locality and seasonality – so you can delight in eating them! At one end of the spectrum, you have over 40 Michelin-star restaurants and cafes to choose from, and with Cornwall’s coastline in such close proximity, it’s no surprise that fish features heavily on many a dish. 

On the opposite end, you can seek out traditional fare in charming pasty shops, quaint ice cream parlours and cute little cafes – and if you’re indulging in a cream tea, remember: jam first! 

And the local provenance doesn’t stop at the plate, but extends to your glass too. Cornwall is home to Britain’s first tea gardens at Tregothnan, many superb coffee roasters, and several brilliant vineyards and cider producers all ready to quench your thirst on your next Cornwall holiday. 

The Cornwall food and drink guide

Food and drink in Cornwall

Where to stay in Cornwall

From coastal chic to rural retreat

With such a variety of things to do and places to eat out, it’s no surprise that our range of Cornwall cottages are equally as diverse. 

If you’re dreaming of a coastal break, we have a brilliant selection of cottages where you can draw back the curtains to discover a sparkling sea, step out of your front door and onto the sand, and fall asleep to the sound of waves breaking on the shoreline. From traditional fisherman’s cottages in harbour towns like Padstow, Porthleven and Port Isaac to modern homes with sea views near popular beaches such as Bude, St Ives and Newquay, you can find the perfect setting for your dream Cornish coastal break.

Or perhaps you are looking for a holiday where you can roam the Cornish countryside, undisturbed by anyone or anything? Our rural and working farm cottages are the perfect boltholes for a countryside break. Whether you choose a traditional cottage on Bodmin Moor or enjoy the rural splendour of the Tamar Valley, we have plenty of countryside cottages to choose from. 

And if you’re visiting with your dog, your family or a large group, you can choose from our dog-friendly, family-friendly and group accommodation across Cornwall too. 

All Cornwall cottages

Holiday cottages in Cornwall

The Great British Outdoors

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.