North Cornwall is great place for a holiday – whether you’re new to Cornwall or a regular visitor.
Below is an article which appeared in Guardian newspaper featuring the author’s selection of places to stay, eat and visit during a holiday on this dramatic coast. North Cornwall is a fantastic place to visit with its spectacular coastal scenery, sandy beaches and pretty fishing villages to explore. Holiday hotspots include Newquay, Padstow, Polzeath and Bude but there are plenty of lesser known villages and attractions to discover. It’s a really cool place for a holiday. Check out the tips below.
What’s New in North Cornwall
Cornwall’s north coast is all about tough love: it’s sea spray against granite cliffs, trees whipped into strange shapes by winds and sweeping beaches pounded by surf. Thrill-seekers love the wild landscape, and visitors flock to the fishing harbours huddled in its inlets and estuaries; celebrity chefs have also fallen for the area (Jamie Oliver at Watergate Bay, Rick Stein in Padstow). So, for holidays here, bring a surfboard and a sense of adventure.
Bude has been crying out for a funky place to stay, and Tommy Jacks (doubles from £70 B&B), which opened this spring, fits the bill. Downstairs is a bar/aquarium with fish tanks and colourful, educational displays about the Cornish seascape – which makes it great for kids. The restaurant serves local seafood and has plans for a microbrewery. Rooms are simple but you’ll be looking out of the window anyway, as most come with sea views.
The local artwork on display inside the 13 stylish self-catering pads at Sail Lofts(apartments from £759 a week) has impressed so many guests the owners have opened a shop to sell the photographic prints. Each of the open-plan apartments (sleeping between two and seven) comes with a parking space (gold dust in a St Ives summer) and there’s a decent spa on site. Ocean offers views over Porthmeor Beach from the super-kingsize master bedroom; if an in-bath TV is top of your wish list, go for Slipway or Beach.
Hub St Ives (lunch for two about £20), overlooking St Ives’s dinky harbour, is one of those places where lunch tends to slip seamlessly into an all-afternoon craft beer-drinking session. The menu has a strong American feel but the handmade burgers are made from Launceston beef and the pulled pork is smoked on the premises. Order the Slider Tray to sample mini versions of each, along with a hotdog and a beer from the constantly changing stock. This small chain is undergoing speedy expansion, with a new site in Truro planned this summer.
As with all the best fish restaurants, Nathan Outlaw‘s latest venture, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchendinner for two about £70), which opened on Port Isaac’s harbourfront last summer, has a menu dictated by the catch of the day. It serves affordable small plates of seafood so that, as Nathan says: “Anyone can enjoy as few or as many great fish dishes as they like and experience something new.” On our visit, we tried breaded witch sole with courgette chutney and Port Isaac crab on toast, bought fresh from local fisherman Callum and steamed (to retain the flavour) rather than boiled.
A night on the town
The Watering Hole claims to be the UK’s only true beach bar and the location is spectacular: right on the sands at Perranporth. It was left in a precarious position by recent storms – teetering atop a sandbank, people were asked to stay away during March – but it has now reopened and is in celebratory mood: Toploader, the Hoosiers, Billy Ocean and Wheatus are all booked to play gigs on the intimate stage this summer. Sit on the terrace to drink local real ales with your toes in the sand or head inside to dance till you drop.
The “lost church” of Saint Piran was enveloped by Britain’s tallest dunes in the 10th century but is now being dug out of the sands near Perranporth – and you can help with its excavation. Work is currently paused while more funding is secured but phase two is due to start in the autumn, to conserve the church – and open it to visitors. Until then, you can view the site – of what some say is Britain’s oldest Christian building – by walking across the dunes of Gear Sands, towards the tall cross, and then turning right.
The wide beach at Bedruthan Steps, with its freestanding granite rocks and large car parks, is a popular spot at any time of year, but head further north along the sands towards Diggory’s Island and you’ll find an arc of golden beach that few people know about. At high tide you’ll have to walk up and over the Park Head promontory – which makes it even less likely that you’ll have to share these sands with anybody else.
Once upon a time, it was the railway and cheap rents that brought artists to St Ives; today it is the Tate St Ives (admission £7, concessions £4.50). To celebrate its 21st birthday, the seaside gallery has a three-year expansion programme, which will see its exhibition space double in size. Phase one has just opened, with an exhibition, International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915-1965, which will run until 28 September.
• Helen Ochyra travelled as a guest of Visit Cornwall
This article first appeared in the Guardian: read the full post here >
There are some great tips in this article. North Cornwall is a magical place to visit whether you’re on a family holiday, a romantic weekend away or going on a surfing adventure with mates. It’s a beautiful part of Cornwall with plenty to see and do, and keep you coming back for years and years. Hopefully the above article will have given you a taste for what North Cornwall has to offer. On this website we aim to bring you more hidden gems like this so you can get the most out of a visit to North Cornwall.