Recently we were asked to answer some questions for the Ultimate Guide to Cornwall on Campsites.co.uk, which got us thinking about our favourite spots and activities in Cornwall. We’ve shared our answers in full here and would love to hear your thoughts too!
What one thing should be on every Cornwall visitor’s bucket list?
‘Mainland Cornwall’ is jam-packed with raw beauty, but we believe top of everyone’s list should be the Isles of Scilly. This small group of islands, situated 28 miles off Lands End, provides an unmatched landscape, where the air and waters are even clearer. Although there is an abundance of hotels, we find that the best way to see these precious isles is to camp, with our favourite spot being on the west coast of St Agnes (the perfect backdrop for a BBQ on a summer sunset). Saturated in history and rich in wildlife, we guarantee that your short flight or a stomach turning boat trip will be 100% worth it.
We provide a ‘must-dos’ guide to the Isles of Scilly here.
Where’s the best place in Cornwall to take a stunning photograph?
It has to be Kynance Cove – we defy anyone to take a bad photo here! Located near the most Southern Point in the UK (Lizard Point), these crystal blue waters and jagged rocks make for a great shot – even if you’re simply using a camera phone. The keener photographer may even get a snap of a seal, basking shark or dolphin when focused on the ocean; or thrift, birds-foot trefoil or even sea campion when trained on the air.
What’s your favourite off-the-beaten-track thing to do or place to visit in Cornwall?
Although close to the biggest ‘beaten track’ in Cornwall, the A30, the county’s highest peaks are often surpassed by visitors. The two summits, Rough Tor and Brown Willy, provide a perfect mix of challenging walks with supreme views over Bodmin Moor. Best approached by road from the Camelford side, we recommend dedicating an afternoon to explore these lands. Top tip: take a windproof jacket as the top is quite exposed to the elements!
We provide a full guide to walking Brown Willy and Roughtor here.
What’s the biggest misconception visitors to Cornwall have that you wish they didn’t?
That we’re lacking in cultural delights. Many think Cornwall is a sleepy county with lots of natural beauty, quaint fishing villages and little else. What people can often be surprised by is the fact that we actually have a very vibrant scene here for arts and music lovers, to name but a few. Taking the arts in particular, we are spoilt with dynamic spaces, such as The Poly in Falmouth, the Tate in St. Ives, and the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, where people can immerse themselves in local art, performance and film. Our most prolific claim has to be that we’re home to the one and only Kneehigh Theatre, who have gone on to conquer the world! This nomadic theatre company performs in the most beautiful surroundings and always douses Cornwall in magic.
What one place in Cornwall will you never tire of visiting? Why?
The Penrose Estate – home to the Loe Pool and neighbour to the incredibly stunning Loe Bar. Just moments from the historic town of Helston, this estate transports you to another world. The walk wraps the Loe Bar lake, and takes you through the timeless Penrose Manor and estate, and down to one of the best beaches in Cornwall – the Loe Bar. If you want to extend this walk back to the carpark, you can choose a route back through the woods, which offers stunning views of the lake and a great path for mountain bikers or trail runners.
What is Cornwall’s most overrated tourist attraction or town in your opinion? Why?
We suppose Newquay with its stag and hen do culture, especially in the summer and is perhaps overrated by many from north of the border. Tragically, Newquay gets a bad reputation for these visitors, but it’s actually a fantastic place to visit. To the South of the town you have the The Gannel Estuary which is a great spot to see migrating birds, you have some of the UK’s best surfing beaches (Fistral & Towan) in the middle and to the North you have the lovely Lusty Glaze beach before leading out to Porth and Watergate Bay.
What three tips would you give to people visiting Cornwall?
- Sample the extensive coastal path that hugs the county.
The 300 mile stretch of South West Coast path that lines Cornwall from Bude to Torpoint offers every terrain imaginable; from the rough Atlantic-battered coast around Bedruthan Steps; to the tranquility and history-rife Prussia Cove; right through to the soft, golden sands of Sennen Cove.
- Indulge in locally-sourced cuisine
Aside the obvious (world famous Cornish Pasty), Cornwall is famed for its delectable produce. Whether freshly caught seafood is your thing, or a ‘proper’ Cornish cream tea with rich clotted cream tickles your fancy, we guarantee that there will be something mouth-watering for every palate.
- Have a crack at some outdoor activities
Leaving the A30 at Bodmin provides a chance to play on some of the best custom-made bike trails in the UK. Cardinham Woods provides a great backdrop for the keen adventure seeker, whether beginner or more advanced. Also top of the keen thrill-seeker’s list should be sailing on the Helford River, stand up paddleboarding from Falmouth’s Gylly Beach and coasteering off Newquay’s headland.
What do you love most about Cornwall?
The people and way of life in Cornwall make it difficult to leave for many. The overwhelming majority of Cornish citizens are always friendly and ready to help you with any need. This provides a genuine community atmosphere and makes life very enjoyable!
I think it’s fair to say that we’re pretty big fans of Cornwall – we’d love to hear from you if you are too! Please get in touch with your thoughts and photos. If you liked this post you might like the 11 facts about Cornwall infographic that we shared, or our guide to scuba diving in Cornwall!