A guide to some of the best Cornish beauty spots

Posted on 24th August 2017

It will not be news to you that Cornwall is regarded as one of the most beautiful areas of the UK. From golden beaches to rolling countryside, the scenic highlights of the country’s westernmost point has made it the destination of choice for countless visitors over the years.

 Bude beach

Image Credit: Giuseppe Milo

In this article, we will take a closer look at a handful of the county’s most stunning locations – some you will be familiar with, others you may not – with the help of the local experts who are fortunate enough to live and work at them.

Take a few minutes to read through some of the places listed below, and find some inspiration for where to visit when you next stay at one of our cottages on the Cornish coast.

Windmill Farm Nature Reserve, The Lizard

Marsh fritillary butterfly at Windmill Farm

Image Credit: Amy Lewis

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust manages more than 50 nature reserves across the county, so are better placed than most to advise us about where visitors can spot some beautiful flora and fauna.

We could spend ages discussing the many different highlights that can be found throughout the Trust’s reserves but, for the time being, we have decided to focus on just one site: Windmill Farm on the Lizard peninsula. Here’s what the Trust had to say about this peaceful and enchanting place:

“Windmill Farm is owned jointly by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Cornwall Birdwatching and Preservation Society and is situated on the Lizard Peninsula, the UK’s most southerly point. This 210 acre reserve is home to an array of habitats, including wet and dry heaths, hay meadows, pasture, wetland, ponds, and arable land. The mix of habitats means the site is home to a huge variety of plant, bird and invertebrate species.

Short-eared owl at Windmill fam

Image Credit: Dan Murphy

“A boardwalk takes you through a lush area of wet woodland which is home to speckled wood butterflies, wrens, and willow warblers. Specially created ponds have been made to provide warm and sheltered conditions for dragonflies and damselflies; 17 species are regularly recorded here, newts and rare stonewarts have also benefitted.

“The rare small pearl bordered butterfly fritillary can be found on the farm at this time of year. This delightful butterfly, which feeds on marsh violets, normally plays second fiddle to the rarer marsh fritillary on the nature reserve, however, the latter have now flown and are found in larvae state.

“Windmill Farm has great visitor access with a large car park and well defined paths across the nature reserve, with the route regularly punctuated with directional arrows.

“Regretfully, dogs are not permitted due to the protected status.”

 

St Agnes

 Wheal Coates tin mine

Image Credit: Chris Lucas

Beauty spots, of course, do not just have to consist of wide open spaces and abundant wildlife. Much of Cornwall’s appeal can also be attributed to its dozens of historic villages and towns. One such example is the village of St Agnes between Redruth and Newquay, which benefits from being a vibrant community surrounded by some extraordinary coastline.

We spoke to the team at St Agnes’s official website about what makes it such a special place to live, and which locations visitors should seek out if they have a day or two to spare:

“Tucked into a stunning and unspoilt spot on the north Cornish coast, St Agnes sits in both a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a World Heritage Site.

“Our compact little village has a thriving and creative local community which supports lots of independent shops and businesses. Add beautiful, dog-friendly beaches, world-class pubs and restaurants, and access to some of the county’s most stunning coast paths and walks, and it’s not hard to see why we’re so proud of whaere we live.

Porthtowan beach

Image Credit: Janet Ramsden

“The wider area encompasses the sandy Blue Flag beach of Porthtowan, a hit with surfers and swimmers, and from the top of the St Agnes Beacon you can see for miles around. The National Trust-owned Wheal Coates evokes the mining heritage of our past and from here on a clear day you can see right across the sea to St Ives. In late summer swathes of purple and yellow cover the coast path in a blanket of heather and gorse, and on a warm September evening there is no better place to be.

“And for those fans of Ross Poldark, Winston Graham lived just down the road and used the whole Parish as the inspiration for his Poldark series of books, dubbing it ‘Poldark Country’.”

Bodmin

Eastern edge of Bodmin moor

Image Credit: Sagesolar

Although the town of Bodmin itself is one of the busiest in all of Cornwall, it is (like so much of the county) just a stone’s throw away from some truly spectacular scenery. What’s more, Bodmin – which preceded Truro as Cornwall’s county town – is a truly historic location that, unsurprisingly, features a number of exciting attractions celebrating its rich and fascinating past.

The team at Bodmin Live, the town’s official tourism website, were on hand to tell us more about the many highlights of this unique and charming destination:

“Centrally located in the heart of Cornwall, Bodmin is equal distance from the North and South Coasts (approximately 35 minutes’ drive in either direction) and on the fringe of the beautiful landscape of Bodmin Moor.

Cardinham Woods

Image Credit: Martin Brigden

“With six attractions all within walking distance of the Town Centre – The Courtroom Experience, The Jail, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, Bodmin and Wenford Railway, The Town Museum and St Petroc’s Church, there is something for everyone.

“Bodmin is also a cycling hub with the National Cycle Network’s Route 3 going through the town, along with the trails at Cardinham Woods which are suitable for the more adventurous and Lanhydrock’s more family friendly routes. The Camel Trail can be accessed on the edge of town too. Most of these trails are suitable for walkers, as is the Bodmin Beacon Nature Reserve, a magical place for people and wildlife.”

 

The Tamar Valley

View of Calstock from Cotehele House

Image Credit: Mark Seymour

Just on the fringes of Bodmin Moor is the Tamar Valley – another beautiful area which benefits from showcasing some of the finest landscapes both Cornwall and its neighbouring county of Devon has to offer.

We were able to get the thoughts of John Marshall, Chairman of the Tamar Valley Tourism Association, whose website – www.welovethetamarvalley.co.uk – exists to promote this wonderfully unspoilt and sometimes overlooked region:

“The Tamar Valley in one of the hidden gems of Cornwall. It spans the border of Cornwall and Devon and is bypassed by most travellers which makes it all the more pleasurable.

“There are a number of National Trust houses all set in an area of natural beauty, stunning gardens to visit, riverside pubs, lovely villages, miles of walking and one of the country’s best mountain biking trails. The Tamar Valley is so beautiful that it is easy to forget that it was once a major centre of mining – until you see the ruins of ancient tin and copper mines – and there is so much industrial history to explore, with the area being awarded World Heritage status for the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape.

View of Dartmoor near Tavistock

Image Credit: David Sivyer

“Places not to be missed are:

 

  • Cotehele House – An unspoilt medieval house (managed by the National Trust). Also, Cotehele Quay with the historic barge “The Shamrock”

 

  • The Garden House – A stunning garden regarded by many as the best in England

 

  • Launceston – The ancient capital of Cornwall with its ruined Norman Castle, steam railway, historic church and medieval gateway and streets

 

  • Calstock – A lovely village by the river where you can buy the best ice cream in Cornwall.”

 

Best walks in Cornwall

Posted on 23rd May 2017

Lush green fields, moody moorland and over 290 miles of coastline make Cornwall the perfect place to get back to nature. While you can drive to many beauty spots and attractions, the best way to appreciate the county is on foot.

 Best walks in Cornwall - Tintagel

We are currently mid-way through National Walking Month and to celebrate, we have put together a list of the best walks in Cornwall.

Coastal Walks in Cornwall

When presented with a 296-mile coast path, the difficulty is not finding a walk, but choosing one. To help you choose, here are some of our favourites.

Porthleven – Lizard Point

14 miles

Along the Lizard peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall is a 14-mile walk that commences in the picturesque fishing village of Porthleven. Weave your way past pretty Cornish cottages before reaching a pebbled beach. From here, the coast path will take you to The Loe – the largest body of fresh water in Cornwall.

In the shadow of the Church Cove Dunes, you find yourself walking through the remote coastal community of Gunwalloe before you head onto Halzephron Cove. Translated to ‘Cliff of Hell’ in Cornish, local legend has it that a freak wave claims the life of someone on Porthleven sands every seven years.

 Cornish coast path

This walk will take you to the most southerly corner of Britain, as you step into Kynance Cove. With arches, stone stacks, towering cliffs and a dramatic view, this is certainly the highlight of the walk, before concluding your journey at Lizard Point.

Perranporth – St Agnes

3.5 miles 

The walk from Perranporth to St Agnes offers some of the finest cliff-top views on our list. The mostly flat path takes you through the rich mining history of the area, with beautiful foliage and birdlife.

For anyone with a dog staying at a coastal cottage in Cornwall, this walk has dog-friendly beaches and pubs offering you stunning vantage points of the northern coast.

At just under four miles, you can either begin your journey at Droskyn Point, or explore Perranporth’s beach with its impressive cliff formations which are sure to inspire the photographer within. Heading west towards the Point, the mining heritage of the area comes into view. Relics of the industry which was the life-blood of the area still stand with an eerie beauty.

Further along the walk you get the chance to explore the interconnecting paths and trails above the cliffs once used by smugglers and pirates, before continuing on to an old war airfield.

You will then head towards Trevallas Cove, a quiet and rugged gem in Cornwall’s crown and onto the steep climb of Blue Hills to St Agnes.

Sennen – Lamorna

11.7 miles

The south of Cornwall is a landscape like few others in the country. Blue seas seem to blend into the sky at the start of this coastal walk which will take you long high cliffs and windswept moors.

Though influenced heavily by a booming tourist market, Land’s End is still a lovely place to start a walk. The rugged coastline can reveal the Isles of Scilly on a clear day as well as The Irish Lady – an offshore islet named after the sole survivor of a wreck that happened there. Local fishermen still claim that they have sighted a woman clinging onto the rocks, despite her dying many years ago.

 Sennen coastal path

As you walk along the headland you may be fortunate enough to catch a sighting of dolphins, seals or even basking sharks. The peaceful Porth Chapel Beach offers an idyllic rest stop and a great photo opportunity.

It continues on along to the famous Minack Theatre – built into the granite cliffs to host summer shows. Further along you will be faced with the 80-ton granite boulder, Logan Rock, perched on the cliffs south of Treen. The climax of the walk takes you through fairy-tale woodland past St Loy and into the picturesque hamlet of Lamorna. 

Walks with a view in Cornwall

Whitsand Battery – Rame Head

2 miles

This short walk is a regularly overlooked by keen ramblers and holidaymakers. Stretching the whole way from Polperro to Maker Heights in the east, the Whitsand Battery to Rame Head walk is a surprisingly challenging trek. But for your effort, you will be rewarded with stunning views.

For any walker seeking points of interest to stop and admire, the bay here has two Napoleonic forts (Palmerston’s Follies) with a number of shacks along the way. Cafes pop up along the route to help you refuel and save you from potentially rushing a naturally beautiful walk. The breathtaking views on offer across Plymouth, the Yealm Estuary and the Mewstone make it well worth the effort.

Rinsey

2.8 miles

Rinsey is a coastal walk occasionally winding inland, depending on which route you take. Explore the area’s rich mining heritage on this spectacular route. The views are unmissable on a visit to Cornwall

Rinsey coastal walk

Three old engine houses hold the esteemed World Heritage status on this route, where rare plants line the paths. Look out to sea to spot Bishop Rock in the Scilly Isles. From the cliffs you may be fortunate enough to see dolphins playing in the bays, while inland, ponies can be found grazing. If you continue on towards Penzance the views of St Michael’s Mount are striking. 

Best pub walks in Cornwall

Blisland – Newton Downs

4.3 miles

The little cluster of granite houses in the village of Blisland gravitate around its namesake pub, the Blisland Inn, and the pretty village green. Situated on the legendary hills of Bodmin Moor, this area is steeped in mystery.

Here you can fully engage with the history and tradition of the people who lived here hundreds of years ago with a comfortable four and a half mile circular walk. Starting at the pub, the route passes a medieval church before reaching Lavethan Valley. Admire the rugged landscape of the Trehudreth Downs and Newton Downs before returning to the pub for a hearty meal and a pint of local ale

St. Keverne – Porthallow

5 miles

Set back from the Lizard coastline, St Keverne is a tight-knit community that as stood for centuries. The village revolves around the square and its two pubs, one of which, The White Hart, is the start and finish to this walk.

A five mile walk takes you through unspoilt woodland and valleys snaking down to the shingle coves on the coast. You begin by taking the footpath from the church which is opposite of the square and head towards Porthoustock. The South West Coast Path leads you over fields and meadows towards Porthallow, with detours coaxing you to Porthkerris.

Image Credit: Ed Webster Tim Green Tim Green

The best sights in Cornwall

Posted on 03rd August 2014

Cornwall is a beautiful and stunning county that boasts glorious beaches, dramatic scenery and a number of attractions that pull in millions of holidaymakers every year.

There are a number of Cornwall attractions that just have to be visited during a vacation in the county, but one thing that Cornwall is renowned for is its beautiful sights and scenery.

So if you are staying in one of the great value Cornwall coastal cottages and you and your family are nature lovers in search of some of the best sights in the county, then follow this guide of where to go this summer.

Golitha Falls

If you get out your Cornwall map and search the southeast section of Bodmin Moor you will find the village of St Cleer.

Just over a mile from St Cleer is the beautiful Golitha Falls, which is a collection of booming waterfalls.

The area is renowned by many locals as the prettiest spot on Bodmin Moor, with the area not only home to some beautiful waterfalls, but pretty woodlands as well.

You are able to swim in the waterfall’s pools, but if you have children you should keep a close eye on them as the rocks can get very slippery.

Image Credits: DAVE (flickr.com)

St Michael’s Mount at sunset

Cornwall attractions don’t come much bigger than St Michael’s Mount as it is one of THE places to visit in Cornwall.

If you want to escape the hordes of people that visit St Michael’s Mount during the day, then you should head to the area before sunset.

By doing this on a nice day, you and your family or friends will also get to see the sun set over the waters of Mount’s Bay – a real spectacle that will make you want to come back the next evening.

If the tide is out, you should look to walk across the cobbled causeway that links St Michael’s Mount to the small Cornish town of Marazion.

Image Credits: Wapster (flickr.com)

St Ives beaches

There are plenty of coastal holiday cottages to rent in Cornwall and if you are staying in one of the holiday cottages near St Ives then you just have to visit this seaside resort.

There are plenty of things to do in St Ives, such as visit the Tate St Ives or walk around the town’s cobbled streets, but one of the best pastimes to enjoy is to sit down with a portion of the town’s famous fish and chips, looking out over the St Ives beaches.

One of the best sights in the county is the view when looking out from St Ives at the surrounding coastline and over the town’s beaches – it really is beautiful.

Image Credits: Robert Pittman

 Geevor Tin Mine

The Geevor Tin Mine is one of the most popular attractions in Cornwall as not only does the tin mine, which shutdown in 1990, offer visitors an insight into the life of miners in Cornwall, it also gives visitors great views of the Cornish coastline and countryside.

The image of Geevor Tin Mine in the sunshine with the sea in the background really is just like seeing a postcard of Cornwall.

Image Credits: Ben Sutherland (flickr.com)

Campaign hopes to lure Germans to Cornwall

Posted on 02nd July 2014

A new tourism campaign is hoped to entice more German tourists than ever to visit Cornwall, who are flocking in search of scenery shown in popular TV shows in the country.

The Duchy remains a gem of a holiday destination, and with the beautiful scenery combined with the dramatic coastlines and charming towns & villages, it’s easy to see why so many people look to enjoy coastal cottage breaks in Cornwall throughout the year.

The new campaign aims to harness the interest bought about through the television adaptations of books by Rosamunde Pilcher, shows which have been enjoyed by Germans since the 1980s. It is a joint initiative between Visit Cornwall, Visit England, Newquay Airport and Germanwings – an airline which provides a direct route from Dusseldorf to Newquay. The campaign will run across multiple media platforms in Germany until mid-July.

It is thought that the beautiful scenery described in the books and seen in the TV shows will be a huge lure for German tourists, with chief of tourism Malcolm Bell comparing it to the same effect as that of the Jamaica Inn and Doc Martin.

When speaking about the new campaign, Mr Bell said, “German tourists don’t come here on a Rosamunde Pilcher pilgrimage, they come here to see beautiful fishing villages, a fantastic coastline and gorgeous scenery.”

Image Credit: Graeme Churchard (Flickr.com)