Let's face it: everyone deserves a break from work once in a while, even if it's just a small one.
And if you're planning on getting away from it all, good for you! But do you already have plans where or how you want to spend this holiday?
Yes, this is where many people have problems as a good itinerary is essential to enjoy a holiday. Without it, you might as well spend all that time at home doing everyday things.
You wouldn't want to do that right now would you? That's why you should read this guide where we've covered a detailed week-long itinerary for visiting Cornwall.
But why exactly should you visit Cornwall and what are the different things you can do there? Well, these are some of the questions we have addressed here. So keep reading to find out more!
What's in this manual? show
Where is Cornwall located?
For those of you who haven't visited Cornwall (yet), let's see where it is. This English county is located in the southwest corner of mainland Britain.
Geographically, it is an elongated peninsula surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on three sides: west, south and north. To the east it borders the English county of Devon.
How to get to Cornwall
Cornwall's towns and cities are well connected to the rest of England by rail, road and air. This county is about 230 miles from London, which means it will take you about five hours if you travel by road.
But if you want to save some time, you can take the train from the capital. And those who live further afield can get here by plane, landing at Cornwall Newquay Airport.
Why go to Cornwall?
Now let's answer one of the biggest questions: why go to Cornwall when there are so many other places to go? Well, we can give you several reasons why you should visit this province.
1. Virgin Beaches
For starters, Cornwall has a long coastline, meaning there are countless beaches and seaside resorts dotted around the county. Not only that, you will also find great beach culture and everything that goes with it. Due to this aspect, it attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world every year.
2. Beautiful landscapes
As well as the beaches, Cornwall has beautiful scenery that is perfect for a peaceful holiday. There are plenty of rolling grassy plains and moors where peace and quiet can be found. There are also quaint towns, farmlands and gardens for you to explore.
3. Rich history
Cornwall also has a rich heritage, making it an attractive destination for those fascinated by history. It might even bring out your inner historian, even if you're not much into history!
4. Comfortable climate
In addition to the above aspects, Cornwall has a temperate climate characterized by mild winter temperatures and cool, breezy summers. Extreme weather conditions are rare here, making it a favorable tourist destination. Similarly, the sky remains clear and sunny for most of the year, which is a marked departure from the drab, overcast weather prevalent in the rest of England.
A detailed itinerary for your week-long trip to Cornwall
As you can see from this discussion above, Cornwall has something to offer for just about everyone. Therefore, it is the perfect destination for both casual tourists and hardcore travelers. Plus, the accessibility options and favorable weather give you more reasons to visit this province during your week-long trip.
But now we come to the most important question: what should your Cornish itinerary look like? That's exactly what we've discussed in this section. Below is a brief summary of a typical Cornish itinerary:
- Day 1:Walk along Bodmin Moor, visit Charlestown harbor and museum
- Step 2:Visit Tintagel Castle, explore the fishing villages around Port Isaac and Boscastle
- Day 3:Take a trip to Newquay beach
- Day 4:Visit the Eden Project
- Step 5:Take a trip to the Lizard Peninsula, visit St. Michael's Mount
- 6e:Visit the Geevor Tin Mine Museum, Mousehole and Land's End
- Day 7:Take a walk along the coast
Of course, this is just a suggested itinerary - there are plenty of other places in Cornwall that could be included in this seven-day itinerary. In that case, you need to change the above itinerary accordingly.
To be honest, if you want to explore all of Cornwall you need more than seven days. However, the plan we have proposed is ideal when everything is considered. It covers all the popular destinations that can be visited in a week. In the sections below, we've covered some of the key locations in more detail.
1. Bodmin Moor
Spanning approximately 80 square miles, Bodmin Moor is famous throughout the UK for its lush, grassy landscape, which is dotted with numerous granite outcrops.
Also known as 'towers', these outcroppings are beautiful to look at and provide excellent photo opportunities. After walking for a while, you can rest in the shadow of these towers and take some pictures while you are at it.
There are about a thousand of these tors in the wasteland. The tallest is Brown Willy, standing at 1,368 feet. Trust us, the view you get from the top is quite remarkable.
The night on Bodmin Moor also feels quite spooky and adventurous. And if you like stargazing, you'll love it here. That's because the night sky here is incredibly clear and free of light pollution. Thanks to all these aspects, a day of walking on Bodmin Moor is more than worth it!
2. Visserssteden in Cornwall
Fishing is an integral part of Cornwall's culture and economy. That is why you will find a large number of picturesque fishing villages throughout the region. However, there are a few that you should definitely visit on your trip.
Charlestown is one of those towns not to be missed when visiting Cornwall. This small fishing village, located near the South Cornwall town of St. Austell, was settled sometime in the 18th century. It has a harbor that was once used as an important trade and export center. There is also a fascinating shipwreck treasure museum here that you must visit.
Another city that you should definitely visit is Port Isaac, located on the north coast of Cornwall. At first glance it may seem a bit busier than other towns in the province, but it has a picturesque natural harbor and stunning coastal views to die for! You can also walk the Southwest Coast Path if you want to exercise your legs.
Boscastle is another small town on the north coast. This city is especially popular for its natural harbour, which exudes a fascinating atmosphere.
The last town we'll talk about here is Mousehole, which is near Penzance, on the South West part of the Cornish coast. This town has been an important fishing town since its foundation in the 14th century. In this sense, the scenic beauty, the local shops and the pale sandy beach are something you should definitely experience.
3. Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle is the perfect destination for those fascinated by castles and historical legends. Located on the north coast of Cornwall in the village of Tintagel, it is believed to be closely linked to the legend of King Arthur.
There are a number of poems and writings from the Victorian era that reinforce this fact. All these aspects give a mystical look to this medieval castle.
Even if you don't believe the legends it's worth a visit as the views all around are great too. There is a minimum entry fee unless you are a member of English Heritage, the organization that maintains the castle. In that case, your participation is completely free.
4. Eden Project
The Eden Project is one of Cornwall's leading ecotourism attractions. It consists of a series of overlapping geodesic domes that form two giant enclosures covering an area of about four hectares.
The larger enclosure houses a small-scale, expansive tropical biome, while the smaller enclosure houses a temperate biome. You will find a wide variety of tropical and temperate plants and an artificial waterfall, really a feast for the eyes! Plus, there are plenty of activities and other attractions here that will keep you and your family entertained throughout the day.
5. The Lizard Peninsula
Traveling to the southern part of the county, you will come across the iconic Lizard Peninsula and the Lizard Heritage coastal area. This area has several beautiful beaches and coves, as well as hiking trails and picturesque coastal walks, which should satisfy the nature lover in you.
When visiting the Lizard Peninsula, Lizard Point should not be missed as it is the most popular tourist attraction in this region. It is the southernmost point of mainland Britain and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
You can also visit the Lizard Wireless Station at Bass Point and the Marconi Center while you're here. If you want to know more about the history of wireless transmissions and radio, these places will certainly interest you.
6. Mount St. Michael, Marazion
Heading north from the Lizard Peninsula will bring you to the town of Marazion, from where you can visit St. Michael's Mount. This island is accessible at low tide via a granite road.
It houses a beautiful castle and a church from the Middle Ages. In fact, it was built by the same order of monks responsible for developing France's iconic Mont St. Michel church and abbey. Even the names are the same which further proves this aspect.
In addition to the island, you can visit the sandy beach of Marazion, a very popular destination among tourists.
7. Mines of Cornwall
Mining activities are an important part of Cornish culture as well as fishing. And while most of the mines are closed today, they have been converted into museums to showcase Cornwall's rich mining heritage.
In fact, the entire mining landscape of Cornwall and Devon has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are more than 2,000 such mines in this area, most of them related to tin mining.
However, the largest and most popular is the Geevor Tin Mine and Museum, which is located in the St. Just mining district. If you are interested in learning more about the mining culture in Cornwall then you must visit this place.
8. Lands End
Land's End is another popular tourist attraction in Cornwall and is the most westerly point in England. In our opinion, a trip to Cornwall doesn't feel complete without a visit to Land's End and Lizard Point, which we've reviewed previously.
Land's End is a few miles from the town of Penzance and is a relatively busy tourist spot. After all, it offers breathtaking views of the coast and the majestic Atlantic Ocean, which is why tourists flock here. So if you don't mind some people watching you can head here straight after a visit to Geevor or Mousehole tin mine.
After Land's End you can visit Cape Cornwall or one of the nearby sandy beaches. You can also explore the small seaside town of Sennen Cove, which is just as impressive.
9. Beaches of Cornwall
When it comes to beaches, you are literally spoiled for choice in Cornwall. There are plenty of spectacular beaches scattered along the Cornish coast, each with its own charm.
However, if you want to visit the best beaches in Cornwall, you must visit Newquay in North Cornwall. There are a number of glamorous beaches here, including Fistral Beach, Watergate Bay, Tolcarne Beach and many more. Here you can take part in a variety of water sports and experience Cornwall's thriving beach culture first hand.
Aside from Newquay you can visit the beaches of Perranporth and St Ives Bay if you have time. In these places you will come across some famous beaches such as Perran Sands, Porthmeor Beach and Gwithian Beach.
You will also find excellent beaches on the south coast such as Porthcurno Beach, Praa Sands and others. In short, Cornwall is the perfect destination for beach lovers.
10. Walks in Cornwall
In addition to the beaches, Cornwall also offers a wealth of walking opportunities for tourists. Both on the coast and inland you will find hiking trails where you can take a relaxing walk or a multi-day hike.
On that note, you should definitely consider walking along the South-West Coastal Path, which is arguably the longest and best walking route in the UK. It is approximately 630 miles long and covers the coastline of four different counties: Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. This means it runs along the Cornish coast, making it a must for walkers.
Of course you can't cover the entire trail in seven days, so you can go hiking in one of the smallest sections of this coastal path. Trust us: the views you'll see as you hike the trail will take your breath away!
How to get around Cornwall?
Now that the route has been decided, it's time to answer another important question: how can you get around the county? Well, there are a few approaches you can take here such as driving, taking public transportation or guided tours.
But if you want our opinion, we recommend driving yourself. A Cornish itinerary offers the highest degree of flexibility and freedom, which is not possible if you choose other means of transport. Riding in your private vehicle, you can include many other places in the itinerary besides those mentioned above.
However, if you want to travel on a budget, you can opt for public transportation such as buses, trains, and taxis. While not as flexible as driving on your own, you can visit all the above places by bus or train. If you wish, you can even visit some other places using public transport, such as Falmouth, Lanhydrock, Lost Gardens of Heligan and others.
Finally, you have guided tours where a professional tour operator takes you to a number of fixed places. Such tours are cheap and convenient because you don't have to do or plan anything yourself. That said, it's not as flexible as the previous two methods.
So that was our itinerary for a week in Cornwall. It covers some of the major tourist spots in the most efficient and economical way, making it the ideal plan for a seven-day visit.
In that context, you don't have to worry too much about accommodation as most of these places have good accommodation facilities available in different price ranges.
That said, the ideal time to plan a trip to Cornwall would be in the late spring and summer months. This is how you experience Cornwall in all its glory!
However, if you want to avoid the crowds, you can also go there in autumn and winter. Just be sure to dress appropriately and grab a Cornish pasty as it can get a little chilly and windy at times.
Over by author
James is a writer who is a self-confessed cookware and coffee nerd and a big believer in Sundays, good butter and hot sourdough.
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How Long Should I Visit Cornwall For? We'd recommend visiting Cornwall for at least three days, such as over a long weekend. However, a better amount of time would be around a week which would give you more time to see more of Cornwall's highlights.Where is best to base yourself in Cornwall? ›
Located on the northern coast of Cornwall, Newquay is known for its two gorgeous beaches, excellent surfing conditions and great restaurants. It is an incredibly popular place for those to base themselves in Cornwall and has a lot to offer visitors.What should I pack for a week in Cornwall? ›
- Sunglasses. One of the key essentials all year round. ...
- A variety of clothing options. A waterproof jacket, warm jumper, flip flops, board shorts – you can never be too prepared. ...
- Sun cream. ...
- Wellies or walking boots. ...
- Camera. ...
- A good book. ...
- Water sport equipment. ...
Good Question! A Cornwall Road Trip is perfect for travellers on a tight time scale because you can explore this incredibly scenic part of the world in just 2 hours. There will be plenty of attractions and towns you will want to stop by on your Cornwall Road Trip so this will break up your drive time nicely.