The postcard perfect towns and wild seascapes of Cornwall tempt thousands of visitors to the county each year, but the idea of the ‘tourist season’ no longer holds true. More and more people are realising that there’s plenty on offer across the county in the off-season, from October to March.

So, if you’re not tied down to the school holiday schedule, why not consider an off-season trip to the picturesque South West county? 

An off-season break in Cornwall can offer visitors all the charms of the county, without the lengthy queues and congested roads. And with the good weather running late into the year, there’s no reason an off-season break should mean giving up your beach trips.

One perk of an off-season stay in Cornwall is the chance to get a more authentic taste of Cornish life. Without the hordes of families rushing around the county in the summer holidays, life returns to a slower pace. 

Whether you’re on a couple’s retreat, a solo adventure or a group getaway, why not adopt the Cornish attitude of doing it dreckly during your stay? There’s no better way to experience a true slice of the Cornish life than staying in one of the many idyllic holiday cottages available. From seaview apartments to townhouses, or even a villa with a hot tub; whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find a luxury coastal escape that suits you. 

If you’re tight on time, there’s no need to miss out on a Cornish escape. Why not treat yourself to a short break in one of our luxury coastal cottages in St Ives and the surrounding areas? From October to March you can book one of our properties for a minimum of three nights, excluding school and Bank Holidays.   

So, you’ve found the perfect accommodation, what next?

If you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top things to do in Cornwall during your off-season visit.

  1. Coastal walks in Cornwall
  2. Gardens in Cornwall
  3. Dog friendly Cornwall
  4. Contemporary art in Cornwall
  5. Visit Tate St. Ives
  6. Spa days in Cornwall
  7. Bottomless brunch in Cornwall
  8. Seafood restaurants in Cornwall
  9. Eat at Kota Porthleven
  10. Try Cornish Produce

Get out and about

Just because the summer has come to an end, it doesn’t mean it’s time to batten down the hatches and hibernate indoors. Cornwall’s rugged coastline comes alive in the off-season. There’s nothing quite like standing on a clifftop as a south-westerly wind whips salt spray against your cheeks from the waves below. 

Cornish Coastal Line on a Sunny Day

1. Coastal walks in Cornwall 

Enjoy a stroll from Sennen to Lands End.

This short walk (approximately 30 minutes) takes you from Sennen beach, across the cliff tops to Land’s End; the most southerly point in the country. From this vantage point experience the stunning views out across the Atlantic and inland across the rugged peninsula. 

Once you reach Land’s End, after snapping a picture under the iconic New York and John O’Groats signpost, why not grab something to eat at the First and Last Inn? And, before you head back, be sure to browse what’s on offer at the West Country Shopping Village. 

2. Gardens in Cornwall

Take in the beauty of one of the many gorgeous gardens in Cornwall. 

From the Lost Gardens of Heligan to Trebah, Tremenheere and beyond, Cornwall has a host of gorgeous gardens to tempt you. Uncover the history of Heligan with a tour of the Lost Gardens, or join one of their Harvest Feast nights this October. 

Or spend an afternoon meandering through the flora and fauna at Trebah. Half-way around the gardens you’ll stumble upon Trebah’s own private beach, used by the US military in 1944 as an embarkation point for the D-Day Landings. We recommend a stop at the beachside Boathouse cafe for a mid-way refreshment. 

For a splash of art alongside your garden trip, head to Tremenheere Sculpture Garden. As you walk through the historic grounds, once belonging to the monks of St Michael’s Mount, you’ll stumble upon artwork by internationally renowned sculptors such as James Turrell RE, Kishio Suga and David Nash RA. 

3. Dog friendly Cornwall

Bring your furry friends.

Dog lovers needn’t leave their four legged pals at home during their off-season stay as Cornwall’s beach restrictions are lifted from the 30th of September through to Easter Sunday. So, when you book one of our pet-friendly luxury retreats, you can treat your pooch to a taste of the Cornish sea air with walks along any of Cornwall’s gorgeous beaches. 

Soak up the culture

It’s no surprise that Cornwall has inspired so many artists over the years. Take a glance at the brilliant blue sea lapping at one of the many incredible Cornish shores and you too may feel moved to pen a sonnet or paint a seascape. 

But, if you’re more of an appreciator of great art rather than producer, then Cornwall has got you covered. 

4. Contemporary art in Cornwall

Check out Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange.

Set across two sites, in Newlyn and Penzance, the galleries hold exhibitions of contemporary art by local, national and international artists. The two galleries also offer a programme of events to support the exhibitions. Upcoming exhibitions include A Tale of Mother’s Bones; a collection of paintings and drawings paired with psychoanalytic interpretation. 

the tate front entrance in st iives

5. Visit Tate St. Ives

Take in classic works by famous artists at the Tate St Ives.

The iconic white building, designed to resemble the gasworks which formerly occupied the site, holds a fantastic permanent collection by artists including Mondrian and Turner as well as members of the St Ives School. 

Well worth a visit for any art lover, a ticket to the Tate St Ives also includes entry to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and sculpture garden just a short walk away. 

Art loving visitors to Cornwall in the off-season should be sure to check out Otobong Nkanga’s first UK museum exhibition at the Tate. Running from September 2019 to January 2020, the multimedia artist’s work includes tapestries, drawings, photography and performance pieces. 

Treat yourself

While Cornwall boasts some great outdoor pursuits, the county also has plenty to offer for those visitors who want a little more pampering during their stay. 

6. Spa days in Cornwall

Unwind with a relaxing day at a St. Ives Spa.

If you’re the type of person who loves nothing more than to be massaged, masked and manicured into a pampered bliss, you’ll be spoilt for choice for stellar spas to visit during your off-season stay in Cornwall. Treat yourself to a stay in one of our luxury St. Ives cottages and you’ll bag complimentary access to the facilities at the St. Ives Harbour Hotel Spa and C Bay Spa at Carbis Bay Hotel.

bartende pouring gin in a bowl glass

7. Bottomless brunch in Cornwall

Indulge in a boozy brunch at the Greenbank Hotel.

If spas aren’t your thing, why not treat yourself to a bottomless gin brunch at the Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth. Spend a couple of hours enjoying the panoramic views across Falmouth harbour while sinking unlimited orange and rosemary, pink strawberry, pink grapefruit and tarragon or Greenbank’s own spiced gin. And to accompany all that gin choose from a delectable menu of brunch dishes, including waffles and Eggs Benedict. 

While self catering accommodation offers you flexibility and a wallet friendly option, there’s no chance anyone visiting Cornwall could make it through their stay without being tempted by the countless incredible food options across the county.

Beyond the obvious pasty and cream tea offerings, why not try out one or two (or more) of Cornwall’s top eateries?

Indulge in Cornish cuisine

8. Seafood restaurants in Cornwall

Try the catch of the day at the Rum and Crab Shack.

This place does what it says on the tin; specialising in rums from around the globe, this St Ives restaurant pairs great rum with great crab. For the land lovers among you, there’s also a great selection of seafood-free offerings including burgers and the Hog’s mac ‘n’ cheese. But for a Mexican twist on your crustaceans, we’d recommend the crab tacos. Pair with a Dead Man’s Grip cocktail for ultimate indulgence. 

9.  Eat at Kota Porthleven

Sample a ‘Great British Menu’ at Kota.

Run by Great British Menu contestant and the 2019 Trencherman’s Guide ‘Chef of the Year’ Jude Kereama, Kota offers exquisite food in an idyllic setting. Overlooking Porthleven harbour the restaurant’s understated exterior conceals a warm and welcoming setting, perfect for an indulgent holiday evening. 

plate of cornish cream on a wooden table

10. Try Cornish Produce

Grab a taste of Cornwall at Slice.

Slice of Cornwall, a cafe set in the grounds of the Homestead Gardens near Redruth, has developed a reputation amongst Cornish locals for its great food and generous portion sizes.

With a changing seasonal menu and an emphasis on local, sustainable produce, Slice is the perfect place to visit for a moreish brunch, a hearty lunch or a classic Cornish cream tea. Catering to a range of dietary requirements, Slice is also great for any vegetarian and vegan visitors to Cornwall or those with allergies. Open Thursday to Sunday each week in the off-season, a meal at Slice is not to miss. 

Whether you’re here for a short break or an extended holiday, whatever your budget and however active you plan on being, Cornwall has plenty to offer its visitors in the off-season. 

So, what are you waiting for? Book your luxury Cornish retreat now!

By: Tony Townsend On:11th January 2020

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