Cornwall is synonymous with having some of the best beaches in the UK and being located in the most southwesterly point in the country gives this special county an air of privacy and seclusion that is often missing from the densely populated British Isles.

Ideal for the perfect all-natural getaway, we put together a week itinerary so you can focus on the fun and less on the stress of planning.

Plymouth to Looe

Looe, Hannafore Beach

Looe, Hannafore Beach

Not only is Looe one of the furthest easterly points of Cornwall, making it an ideal location to begin your Cornish adventure, it is also just 20 miles from Plymouth, opening up the rest of UK to this great route.

Looe is a small fishing port, with the namesake river running directly through the centre; making a clear division between the two town centres with the backdrop of the steep-sided valleys.  With a population of just over 5,000, you’ll feel like you have this coastal gem all to yourself to enjoy its diverse beaches, which all have an emphasis on conserving the untouched wildlife.

Looe to St Austell

Mud Maiden, St Austell

Mud Maiden, St Austell via flickr user jojo 77

St Austell is one of the biggest towns in Cornwall, which granted, doesn’t say too much for such a small county. But it is definitely reflected in the sheer amount of things to do in this quaint town which is even referred to as the Cornish Riviera! From castles, beaches and unique gardens in the depths of the woods, to ancient pilgrimage trails and fishing.

  • Price of trip: Trains from Looe to St Austell from £6
  • Duration: Just over 1 hour
  • Must-see attractions: The Eden Project, though not technically located in St Austell, is just a short bus ride from the town. This eco-centre mimics the conditions found in the Mediterranean and in the Rainforest creating a hospitable environment for foreign species and plants. Another highlight of St Austell The Lost Gardens of Heligan; one of the more famous botanical gardens in the UK with ancient sculptures littered around the wild woods that were created by a local artist at the end of the 19th century.
  • Recommended stay: 1 night

St Austell to Newquay

Newquay

Newquay is famous for being a surfer’s haven, so come summer, surfers from all over the UK flock to this small seaside town in their masses and as a consequence there are many bars and clubs catering for that demographic. Though there is, admittedly, a great deal of attractions for young people, Newquay is full of gardens, zoos and luxury spas; making the town enjoyable for all.

  • Price of trip: Trains from St Austell to Newquay from £4
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Must-see Attractions: Of the many beaches in Newquay, one of the finest is Fistral Beach; there, you can surf – novices and experts alike, relax, swim or even take advantage of the plethora of bars and restaurants within walking distance of the beach.
  • Recommended stay: If you’re a surfing enthusiast, a couple of days could easily be spent this at this coastal delight; however, for the sake of this route, 1 night should be sufficient.

Newquay to Truro

Truro 2

Said to be the place of inspiration for the aforementioned hit BBC drama, Poldark, Truro is Cornwall’s only city. Though, it may not be the cosmopolitan centre you might expect from a capital, the Georgian architecture that can be seen on every corner more than makeup for this, particularly on Lemon St and Walsingham Place.

  • Price of trip: Trains from Newquay to Truro from £5
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Must-see Attractions: The Gothic Cathedral, which was revived at the beginning of the 20th century, is definitely one of the highlights of the city.
  • Recommended stay: The main attractions can be frequented in one day.

Truro to Falmouth

falmouth

Falmouth is the personification of charming, with hardly a chain in sight and littered with delightful independent stores and cafes. Additionally, it is home to one of the best-known liberal arts universities in the country and therefore, has an extremely laid back but intellectual atmosphere.

  • Price of trip: Trains from Truro to Falmouth from £3
  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Must-see Attractions: A walk down any of the hidden cobbled streets of Falmouth will present you with an array of fine places to eat; best of which is a small walk out of the centre towards the Penryn campus of the University. Provedore offers everything from hearty breakfasts, delicious tapas to home blended espresso.
  • Recommended stay: 1 day

Falmouth to St Ives

St Ives

St Ives, located on the coast of the Celtic sea, was at the forefront of Cornwall’s art scene on the 1920s and 30s and this artistic flair can still be felt today with its numerous galleries, including one of 4 Tate museums in the UK, and craft shops sprawled around the small town.

The combination of quirky slate roofs and never-ending little streets with the beach within spitting distance makes St Ives a real gem on the Cornish coast. And for the adrenaline junkies out there, St Ives offers some great spots for surfing and coasteering. With it’s rugged and dramatic coastline, Cornwall is one the best places in the country to try the exciting sport of coasteering. We recommend one of the county’s top providers Kernow Coasteering.

  • Price of trip: Trains from Falmouth to St Ives from £9
  • Duration: 1 hour and a half
  • Must-see Attractions: A short journey from St Ives is Minacks Theatre, a world-famous open-air theatre where the minimalist set consists of the backdrop to the ocean and is surrounded by sub-tropical gardens. The productions consist of dramas, musicals and operas and the summer season is currently well underway!
  • Recommended stay: 1 day

St Ives to Penzance

Men-An-Tol standing stones

Men an Tol

Penzance, located in the far west of Cornwall and facing the English Channel, is a small market town just 9 miles from Land’s End; referred to as the “Place of the Sun”. Land’s End has long since been a place of inspiration due to, arguably, some of the most spectacular views the UK has to offer. Penzance is full to the brim with art galleries, unique gardens, with particular reference to Morab Gardens and a boat trip to the Scilly Isles is only 2 hours away and is not only extremely beautiful but home to, possibly, the wittiest police department in the UK

  • Price of trip: Trains from St Ives to Penzance from £4
  • Duration: Under half an hour
  • Must-see Attractions: Penzance is littered with ancient relics including Lanyion Quoit, located just north-west of Penzance, which is a collection of megalithic tombs that date back to the early Neolithic period. Similarly, Men an Tol which, according to folklore, is home to a fairy guardian who can make miraculous cures.
  • Recommended stay: 1 night

 

To find out more about each of the destinations included within this post or for more ideas and inspiration on the top places to stay, sights to see and things to do in Cornwall, visit We are Cornwall.

 

Erin Mullen

Erin's originally from the UK and currently living in Berlin which is gently soothing her impending quarter life crisis! She loves cycling and all things veggie!