While St Ives is one of the county’s prettiest and most popular seaside towns, there’s plenty more places to visit in Cornwall – from a vibrant city brimming with culture to quaint fishing villages tumbling to the edge of the ocean. Break away from the beach into cosmopolitan Truro, where you can shop ‘til you drop, checkout the Royal Cornwall Museum and pause in trendy cafés – all in the shadow of the magnificent cathedral. And whether or not you’re a fully-fledged gastronome make sure you visit the foodie mecca of Padstow, where Rick Stein is no longer the only celebrity chef in town.
With a plethora of divine dining spots to choose from in Padstow, no doubt you’ll need to work up an appetite. Stroll along the coast path to Hawkers Cove, hop on the ferry to Rock or cycle along The Camel Trail to Wadebridge – a charming market town that’s making its own mark on the foodie map with a growing number of much-lauded eateries amidst a line-up of independent shops and boutiques.
Another colourful town with an alternative high street is harbour-side Penzance, where you can browse some of Cornwall’s finest galleries, delve into local craft shops and dip into cool little street cafés with a backdrop to the majestic Mounts Bay. Hug edge of the bay past the bustling port of Newlyn (where much of Cornwall’s seafood is landed) and discover a more intimate cluster of galleries and cafés huddled around Mousehole’s picturesque fishing harbour. There are plenty of indoor activities and attractions for rainy days in Cornwall too.
Unsurprisingly it’s the traditional seaside towns and villages with their pearly coves that are some of the best places to visit in Cornwall. Soak up the seafaring heritage, buckets full of culture and the buzzing music and art scenes of maritime Falmouth and Fowey, or stand beneath Porthleven’s iconic clock tower and watch surfers take on the gnarly waves before tucking into a seafood feast by the fishing harbour. Explore the wild terrain of the Lizard Peninsula and pause in the tiny hamlet of Cadgwith to dip your toes in the sea and dine on daily catch, then stand on the southerly tip of England and climb the tower of the Lizard Lighthouse.
From St Ives strike out along the rugged coast to Zennor, made famous by DH Lawrence and tales of legendary mermaids, then follow the coast road to the golden, wave-lashed sands of Sennen. When you finally reach Land’s End you’ll find its raw beauty has been diluted by the addition a family theme-park, but whether or not you’re reeled in by the commercial attractions, it’s worth standing on the westerly tip of the UK and feeling the mighty force of the Atlantic. Beyond here the only land before America is the paradise archipelago of the Isles of Scilly, which is worth at least a day trip if you really want to get away from it all and experience sub-tropical island life.