Miles of beautiful sandy beaches, charming coastal towns and popular family attractions, North Cornwall definitely won't disappoint.

A 7 day ITINERARY for north cornwall

North Cornwall is the perfect destination for an all round family holiday with exciting attractions, beautiful beaches and miles of walks and cycling opportunities.

Take to two wheels

Cornwall’s 18 mile Camel Trail is a great way of exploring the county and as a well-marked, largely flat route, it’s great for a fun-filled family day out. The route follows a disused railway linking Padstow, Wadebridge, Bodmin and Wendfordbridge. Split into three sections it hugs the Camel Estuary and heads through a wooded valley before emerging amongst the granite tors of Bodmin moor. Whether you’re feeling energetic enough to take on all 18 miles or you just fancy a leisurely ride along the river bank, there’s no rush so make sure you stop for a cream tea at the Camel Trail Tea Garden, found half way between Bodmin and Wadebride. If you fancy something a little stronger, Camel Valley Vineyard is also found on this stretch of the trail.

Head to the countryside

Leave the coast behind and head deep into the Cornish countryside, Bodmin unearths a fascinating insight into Cornwall’s history. Pack yourselves a picnic and head up on to the moor to discover ancient granite tours, fascinating rock formations, and enchanted forests. Delford Bridge is a pretty spot to stop for a picnic, and a great choice for families as the children can paddle their toes. No trip to Bodmin would be complete without a visit to the mysterious ruins of Bodmin Jail, a five-storey jail house, you’ll have to watch out for the ghosts. For a leisurely afternoon soaking up the Cornish countryside, embark on a 13 mile journey aboard a Bodmin and Wendford heritage steam engine. Round off your day by watching the sun set over the town from Bodmin Beacon, a five minute walk from the town.

Top 5 family attractions

Widemouth Bay to Pentire AONB

Start your day with a decent breakfast and cup of coffee in the pretty village of Crackington Haven before heading on to the coast path and up to Cornwall’s highest cliff top of Pencannow Point. Spend some time making the most of the incredible views and make sure you take some photos. Now head along the South West Coast path to Boscastle, the five mile route takes in the secluded Strangles beach and Pentargon waterfall. For wildlife enthusiasts, keep your eyes peeled for seals, peregrine falcons and puffins along the stretch. Once you reach Boscastle the descent to the harbour will reward you with wonderful views. Spend some time wandering around the pretty village and soaking up the atmosphere in this unspoilt harbour town. Make sure you visit the museum of witchcraft and discover a fascinating collection of memorabilia.

A traditional day on the beach

With Cornwall’s warm climate and long sandy beaches, a traditional bucket and spade day is a must. Bude is one of North Cornwall’s best beach destinations, with several sandy expanses to choose from. Grab your buckets and spades and head to Summerleaze beach; here the tide pulls out to reveal a natural sea pool. For families, this is a lovely addition to a day at the seaside, providing somewhere safe for the kids to splash around in while you relax on the sand. Crooklets beach is a good choice for families too. When the kids get bored of building sandcastles, here you can go rock-pooling instead. If you’ve got your dog with you, there are plenty of year-round dog-friendly beaches in the area such as the romantic Duckpool Cove, Northcott mouth and Sandymouth.

For the thrill-seekers

Get your adrenaline pumping with the Newquay Watersports Centre who cater for everyone! It’s a great opportunity to try something new and to fuel the adrenaline seeker in you! You could try your hand at everything from sea kayaking, coasteering to simply fishing. Some of the activities will take you right from the north coast down to the south, so it’s a good opportunity to experience more of Cornwall’s coastline. Newquay is home to several popular surfing beaches so if you’re keen to get on your board this is the place for you. Crackington Haven, further south is also a great option, as a lovely sheltered cove perfect for riding the waves, and relaxing on the sand. After a long day out on the waves, climbing rocks or relaxing on the beach, head to one of Newquay's top pubs for lively atmosphere and hearty food.

For the foodies

One of the most sought-after destinations in Cornwall, Padstow is a foodie’s dream. There are plenty of fine-dining opportunities from indulging in a delicious lunch at Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant to dinner at Paul Ainsworth’s No.6 where you can enjoy tasty food with a traditional Cornish feel. The great thing about dining in Padstow is that you can enjoy the very best local produce sourced from local fisherman, only a stone’s throw away from the restaurant’s front door. If that's not enough foodie indulgence for you, book a table at award-winning Nathan Outlaw's over in Port Isaac.

Top 5 historic attractions

Top 5 historic houses

The delights of Port Isaac and Tintagel

Set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, these are two spots you can’t possibly miss from your itinerary. Start your day with a relaxing stroll around the picturesque fishing town of Port Isaac and see if you recognise any of the spots in the town from Doc Martin, Poldark and the comedy/crime film of Saving Grace. You could even take a Doc Martin tour to discover hidden paths, historical buildings and various recognisable locations from the drama! Grab a bite to eat at lunchtime in the Edge Restaurant with beautiful views of Port Isaac Bay and Port Gavern, before heading a few miles south to Tintagel. Here you can soak up some history by exploring Tintagel castle, Tintagel Old Post Office and if you’re feeling energetic head up to Glebe Cliff and visit the ancient church of St Materiana’s.

Top beaches to enjoy

  • Lusty Glaze
  • Perranporth
  • Mawgan Porth
  • Harlyn Bay
  • Summerleaze

Discover the coastal magic

Delve into the secrets of the coast and discover some of Cornwall's most beautiful spots.

North Cornwall holidays

Feeling inspired? The North Cornwall coastline is waiting!

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