Visiting Cornwall: What to see and do
If you want to spend a (hopefully) sunny week surrounded by glorious beaches and stunning coastline, you need to look no further than Cornwall. But considering how long it takes to get there, it’s worth knowing where to go.
St Ives and Land’s End
St Ives has long been a haven for artists. Nestled among such evocative scenery, it’s no surprise that the small fishing town is home to a community of painters and quaint local galleries. Indeed, its reputation is so great that it is also home to the Tate St Ives, which holds regular exhibitions of internationally renowned artists. Also worth a visit is the Barbara Hepworth Museum, which offers beautiful sculptures within an outstanding setting. You can stay in any number of beautiful hotels, and if you want to travel further afield Land’s End, the most westerly point of England, is easy to reach for dramatic cliffs.
Penzance, Marazion and St Michael’s Mount
One of the largest settlements of the county, Penzance is strategically positioned in an accessible location; this is where the train arrives from London. Other points of interest nearby are Minack Theatre, an open-air stage perched on the cliffs; the cute and charming fishing port Mousehole; and also Marazion, and a lovely sea town on the shore of Mount’s Bay. In Marazion you can visit the tidal island of St Michael’s Mount, which is the Cornish correlative of the French Mont Saint-Michel, and its castle; at the heart of the latter lie the church and priory built for the same religious order (Benedictine) of the Norman abbey.
Newquay, Padstow and Port Isaac
For anyone seeking more action, Newquay is a surfer’s paradise – especially Fistral beach, renowned for its perfect waves – and accommodation is easy to seek with websites such as Stay In Cornwall. Not far from here there are some picturesque fishing villages such as Padstow and Port Isaac, both of which house great chefs. While iconic TV chef Rick Stein and Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth both run reputable restaurants in Padstow, Port Isaac is graced by Nathan Outlaws, which offers two-Michelin-starred seafood as fresh as it comes. Around Port Isaac you’ll be able to enjoy wonderful walks along the scenic coastline.
Falmouth and the Eden Project
Falmouth has a famous natural harbour, the perfect place to pick up a pasty, as well as the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. If you venture up to Pendennis point you will find a well-preserved and atmospheric 16th-century castle. It’s also not far from the Eden Project, which boasts huge tropical greenhouses as well as seasonal gardens and art installations. Your ticket can be used for a year, so if you can’t see it all in a day, you can easily come back later. If that’s not enough, there’s also a zip wire over the gardens- naturally.
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