Driving for hours outside of London to reach the sea can seem crazy for just a weekend. But as soon as you get that first glance of waves crashing over a craggy cliff, you’ll be hooked on vacations by the English coastline. Cornwall is a special place – there are beautiful villages packed with tasty fish and chip shops, seemingly untouched by the outside world. This region has incredible castles, spectacular views and even a little surfing… so it was only logical for me to stay for the weekend and find things to do in Cornwall, England.
Along the drive
It’d be a shame to first not check out Devon on your way into Cornwall. This sets the family up for adventures right off the bat, especially in the Dartmoor National Park. A grassy, rocky landscape goes on for miles that’s cut by curved roads of onlookers. If lucky, your crew can make a pit stop in the middle and have a walk through the unfenced areas that are home to tons of animals – including domestic sheep, cows, and some wild ponies. Watch the little ones, as the cattle especially are a lot larger up close! But most mind their own business so people can hike through the pastures with ease.
Pick a perfect spot
The Cornwall region is small but diverse in its offerings, so choose ahead of time where you’d like to set up base. Along the southern and inland areas are more for the camping families who like the outdoors, while the northern coast tends to draw in more backpackers and hostel-goers. Everywhere are charming B&Bs and boutique hotels that provide a touch of elegance along the simple countryside. We chose the small fishing village of Gorran Haven where the Llawnroc Hotel is located near the beach. With this luxury hotel overlooking the beach, it’s sure to impress any guest!
Things to do in Cornwall, England; Time to Explore
If you are not tired of driving, almost all places to visit in Cornwall within an hour. For instance, both kids and adults will love the Tintagel Castle, about an hour from Gorran Haven. This was the place where King Arthur was born, and parts of the castle still stand proud on a jagged cliff today. Be extra careful when exploring this area, as the stairs to the castle are extremely steep. But everyone from grandmas to shaggy dogs made the trek and were rewarded with panoramic views of the castle and ocean below. Some say one of the caves in the cliffs used to be Merlin the wizard’s special lair.
Close by is the surf town of Newquay, perfect for lunch and some splash time. Even in the fall, there were plenty of brave surfers out tackling the waves, but this town is most popular in the summer. Kids can take lessons through the professional schools’ stations at the beaches. Many souvenir shops have fun little trinkets to snag and often have an adjoining ice cream shop where you can try some Cornish flavors. Speaking of Cornish specialties, this is also an area for the famous Cornish pasty. Kids will love they can take their lunch with them while they walk, as these pocket-sized pastries were used by tradesmen for a quick and hot meal. Nowadays they are still popular in two varieties – cheese and onion and steak ale. Truscotts has one of the best reputations for homemade Cornish pasties in town.
Find things to do in Cornwall, England and feel wonderfully satisfied and connected to nature with a leisurely and relaxing vacation in this southernmost seaside region. Famed for its unique culture, Cornwall is even considered as its own country by some people. After all, they do have their own language! With London often being the main destination for the majority of tourists in England (and for good reason), any big city can feel congested at times, so Cornwall was the perfect getaway. In the future, I look forward to spending a little bit more time relaxing by the waves and taking in the scenery!
Have more time to spend in Cornwall? Check out some of these amazing places for yourself!
- Admire the architecture at Pendennis Castle
- Experience the thrill at Flambards Theme Park
- Learn about the environment at the Eden Project
- Show some love to the animals at Paradise Park and JungleBarn
- Gaze at the beauty that The Lizard has to offer
- Grab some popcorn (or a pasty) and watch a performance at the Minack Theatre
And of course, for the foodies out there!
- If you’ve already had a taste of Truscotts, treat yourself to another one over at Philps!
- You can’t leave Cornwall without trying the classic clotted cream from Rodda’s
- Enjoy the scenery while having a cheeky drink with Tarquin’s Cornish Gin
- Have a taste of the one and only Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall
- Take advantage of all the fresh seafood at The Seafood Restaurant
- If you’d like to experience some very fine dining, head over to the only Cornish restaurant with two Michelin stars – Restaurant Nathan Outlaw! Enjoy some of the finest seafood while watching the waves hit the Cornish coastline.
While Cornwall is famous for its pasties and clotted cream, the beaches in this beautiful county also (unsurprisingly) attract millions of tourists each year! So, don’t forget to relish Cornwall’s delicacies while taking in some of the most breathtaking views! You surely can’t leave England without visiting this famed county!
Have you been to Cornwall, England? What is your most memorable experience in Cornwall?
Thanks to Room Auction for connecting us with the Llawnroc Hotel! For another great option in the area, feel free to have a look at this luxury spa in Cornwall too.