Cornwall is a place carved out with the prettiest coves, stunning secret beaches, and picture postcard fishing villages. Whether you prefer a slower pace when you travel or love to get stuck in at the deep end by taking part in sports and activities, it’s well worth adding to the itinerary list for those planning a European trip. With British Airways, Cornwall Airport Newquay can be reached from the likes of Amsterdam, Berlin and Madrid, though some connecting flights are required. Give them a call to plan a strategic stopover or explore your Britrail Pass options and start planning a Cornwallian visit full of magic, adventure and Vitamin Sea.
For the perfect meal with a view | With superb fresh seafood and traditional contributions such as scones and clotted cream, Cornwall has always had plenty to offer when it comes to culinary delicacies. However, in recent years, the place has become something of a foodie hotspot with the opening of Rick Stein’s restaurant in Padstow encouraging other revered chefs to set up shop. For those with a food passion, it’s easy to plan a visit entirely around food with everything from fishing trips and cookery lessons on offer.
Strategically placed beach coffee shops offer the perfect place to take stock and make plans just a stone’s throw from the sea. Treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea at a hilltop hotel and watch the comings and goings in the quaint towns and villages below. For fine dining, a dinner reservation at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac is a must. Enjoy the tasting menu complete with ocean view or book yourself onto one of the select number of tables at the Kitchen Bar to watch the talented team at work.
For a truly magical moment | From stories of smugglers and pirates to legends of King Arthur, the Cornish coastline is steeped in history, mystery and myths. Make plenty of time to soak up some of the magic by scheduling a visit to St Michael’s Mount. This former medieval monastery is reached by crossing a causeway at low tide. Tales that date back as long ago as 495AD tell how St Michael, the patron saint of fisherman, guided those in danger safely from peril. The mount is also said to have been home to Cormoran the giant and is central to the story of Jack the Giant Killer. It’s important to time a visit here well to ensure safe crossing, though you’re also promised a stunning view with dinner at Marazion’s Mount Haven hotel, opposite.
For breathtaking beach photos | The Cornish Coast is awash with quintessential British seaside towns should you feel inspired to reach for your bucket and spade. The ever-popular St Ives is just one tourist favourite. If you yearn for something a little quieter and less well trodden, somewhere you can put your camera to the test without too many other tourists in shot, Lantic Bay is a great spot. This South Coast beach can be difficult to find and does require a bit of a hike. Check out this guide from Visit Cornwall for directions. Put in the effort to search out this ‘secret beach’ and you’ll be richly rewarded. On a summer’s day its swathe of pebbles and sand looks far more exotic than it’s geographic location would suggest.
For picture postcard prettiness | The fishing villages of Cornwall are truly the epitome of picture postcard prettiness. A collage of cobbled streets, painted stone cottages and colourful boats, they’re often very small but perfectly formed. Port Isaac is perhaps the most well-known and often gets very busy as a result. The filming here of British TV series, Doc Martin, has boosted its popularity and of course, the aforementioned presence of the Nathan Outlaw Restaurant means it’s sought out by foodies too. If you head along, try to plan for the crowds or opt for a less busy time to give you a better chance to explore unhindered by traffic. Less busy is the port of Newlyn, close to Penzance, the southern-most town of the British mainland.
From the Sea | It’s all well and good asserting how beautiful the Cornish coast is, but the truth is sometimes you need to take a step back to appreciate a place at its best. For Cornwall, this is best done from the sea. This gives you the opportunity to look back at all the gorgeous places on land. Newquay is Britain’s surf capital and along with hosting the National Surf Championships and its own surf and music festival, Boardmaster, it’s home to a number of surf schools catering to complete beginners and those with more advanced skills. Book in for classes for your chance to see the stunning Cornish coast at its finest.
If you’re in the midst of planning an upscale European adventure, dip into recent post 3 Gems in Europe for an Idyllic Holiday for further inspiration.