Cornwall is a BIG place. It is the UK’s second biggest county behind Yorkshire. It is also very long and thin with many different nooks and crannies to explore. But with a county that is so full of spectacular scenery and wonderful places to visit, where exactly should you stay during your holiday in Cornwall. In this guide I recommend my personal list of the six great places to stay in Cornwall.
Perhaps Cornwall’s best known holiday resort, Newquay is a superb place to base yourself while in Cornwall. There are loads of beaches to explore, including the world famous Fistral Beach. It is a small harbour town with many fine shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs. The sport of surfing dominates this town and the high street is lined with surf shops and surf schools offering to take you out for surfing lessons. Newquay and surrounding villages such as Porth, Crantock, Holywell Bay and Perranporth are great destinations for fantastic self-catering holidays in Cornwall. There is also a wide choice of hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites in and around Newquay, where you can relax and enjoy all that Newquay and the surrounding area has to offer.
This small fishing village in the far west of the country, is one of Cornwall’s best kept secrets. The village has characterful cottages and cobbled streets, nestled around a horseshoe shaped harbour with direct access to the sea. St Michael’s Mount is a prominent landmark visible across Penzance bay. The coast path goes straight through the village and continues along the rocky shore all the way around past Porthcurno to Land’s End. The beaches nearby are generally calm and sheltered from the big swells and westerly winds, which makes the area great for family holidays. There are numerous places to stay in the area including Mousehole cottages, picturesque campsites and seaview hotels. You’ll be spoilt for choice in this Cornish hidden gem.
Bude is located at the upper end of Cornwall near the Devon border and has its own distinct culture and character. Bude itself is a pretty little town situated beside a historic canal and home to several beaches including the immensely popular Summerleaze beach which is packed with holidaymakers in the summer. It’s still old-fashioned in many ways, with a bucket and spade holiday atmosphere mixing with new trendy shops. There are loads of places to visit nearby, and the coastal path near Bude offers some of the best scenery in the county. When looking for places to stay, try and find some self-catering options in the villages outside Bude. Here you will find many Cornwall cottages, lodges and apartments where you can base yourself for an exciting holiday in the area.
This small fishing village near land’s End is about as far as you can go in mainland Britain before dropping off into the sea. This really is a remote, wonderful place to base yourself for a summer holiday; especially if you are here for longer than a week as it justifies the long trip to get here. This is proper old Cornwall, with a thriving fishing community, unspoiled scenery and a pace of life which is a few beats behind the rest of the nation. It really is a place where you can slow down, take in the atmosphere and enjoy a wonderful holiday by the sea without any distractions. Land’s End is just down the road. St Ives and Penzance are also nearby and worth a visit. Again you have a wide choice of cottages, hotels and campsites to choose from for your holiday accommodation options.
This is cultural capital of Cornwall. Set around an extremely pretty fishing harbour, St Ives also has a rich artistic history. In the last century many painters flocked to Cornwall and especially to St Ives because of the wonderful natural light and sea vistas. There are still many fantastic artists based in the town and there are some wonderful galleries where you can admire and perhaps even buy these fantastic works of art. Because of the artistic heritage, the Tate organisation built one of their four major art galleries here. St Ives is a lively place to stay. There is always something going on. I’d recommend staying in one of the sea front hotels, but there are also many guest houses and campsites in or near the town.
Not a natural choice for holidaymakers, but Bodmin and the surrounding villages offer a holiday experience very different to the usual stays on the Cornwall coast. From here you have close access to the wonderful rugged scenery of Bodmin Moor plus walking and mountain biking trails at Cardinham Woods. Plus it’s very close for visits to the Eden project. Campsites, hotels and campsites are quieter and more relaxing here than busy places by the sea.
On Cornwall’s south coast, Falmouth boasts one of the biggest and deepest harbours in the word for big boats and ships. Therefore it has a rich maritime heritage, including working dockyards and old pubs you can imagine being there sine ye olde smuggling days. But the town has been updated with many new cafes, pubs and shops to explore. There are some great beaches nearby, including Swanpool and Gyllanvase beaches. Book your accommodation early, especially in summer as it can get very packed here.