Top 12 Places To Visit On The Stunning Coast Of Cornwall in 2021
12 best places to visit along the gorgeous cornish coast for a great day out.
The Cornish Coast takes the British seaside to a completely different level. The views compete with the finest coastlines in Italy, but with the rugged cliffs and sparkling sea, it would be hard to find any place more unique. Cornwall is more than just scenery and exceptional landscapes. It has its very own character filled with history, mystery and traditions.
From bustling historical towns filled with places to try the delicious local food to the magnificent beaches and coves, there is something to please everyone.
Here are some of the most gorgeous places to visit in Cornwall.
Best for Beach Vibes - Beautiful coastal walks
Here on the North Cornwall Coast, you can experience the spectacular views of Watergate Bay. The area is field with never ending bays and beach, with plenty to do and the big town of Newquay not far away if you need supplies or entertainment.
Watergate bay gives visitors the chance to enjoy two miles of golden sands at the beach where the Atlantic waves giving ideal conditions for surfing. You can even try your hand at kitesurfing on the long expanses of sand. Children can build sandcastles and the swimming is safe in allocated areas.
A perfect seaside experience for the whole family.
St Ives town is larger than some of the smaller seaside villages in Cornwall, but has a unique traditional feel and is said to date from the 5th century. The iconic harbour is bustling with atmosphere and old tradition and you can spend time watching the trawlermen at work. I love the gorgeous beaches of the area with their turquoise waters and white sands.
The town itself is full of traditional fayre and you will be able to treat yourself to a proper Cornish Cream Tea with heaps of clotted cream and jam or a tasty fish and chips by the water. Just watch out for the Seagulls.
Looking at this cove from the coastal path has to be one of the most stunning views in Cornwall. Set on the Lizard Peninsular, the jewelled sea against the white sand littered with rocks formations is simply breathtaking.
When the tide is out you can go down and explore the caves and rocks that look so dramatic. Get there early and experience the peace and quiet of swimming away from the crowds.
Kynance cove has become a little busier recently due to its beauty, causing it to be published on social media sites such as instagram, but we would recommend a visit to this stunning bay. The scenery is stunning and it makes a great place to visit all year around, so why not visit it out of season which will also help avoid the crowds.
For parking for the area visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kynance-cove
Hartland Heritage Coast
This coastal stretch of 60 miles straddles the border of Cornwall into Devon. The region is filled with cliffs and winding paths that lead down to forgotten coves. This area makes for some great walks along the never ending coastline, take in those views!
Walking along this heritage coast you will find a waterfall, sandy beaches and ravines all waiting to be discovered. You can picture the smugglers and shipwrecks at the Heritage Coast Exhibition in Bude or simply enjoy the Atlantic waves on one of the many surfer’s beaches.
Best for Harbours - Cornish history
This 14th century vibrant little fishing village is on the North Atlantic Coast of Cornwall. You may recognise it as the setting for the tv series 'Doc Martin’. You can understand why it was chosen. The harbour is so picturesque surrounded by houses built into the surrounding hills.
You can watch the fishermen bringing in their catch or wander the narrow cobbled streets. The whitewashed cottages with traditional slate roofs remind you this village has been here for centuries.
There is a lovely walk up onto the coastal path giving panoramic views. It is better to leave your car in one of the car parks up here and explore the village on foot.
Port Isaac is also where the sea shanty singing group the fisherman's friends started and on certain dates throughout the year, you can still hear them singing live around the town.
Immerse yourself in smuggler’s tales in this pretty village in South Cornwall. The harbour is filled with different boats for fishing and pleasure. You can book a trip around the coast.
Around the harbour are streets built into the hills and filled with traditional cottages often covered in colourful flowers. With cars being banned you have the chance to explore the winding paths on foot. You can spend many hours discovering the galleries, shops and eateries which do not spoil the quaint feel of Polperro.
Stop for a pint in The Ship Inn and fill up with hearty pub grub by a fire in the winter or in the beer garden in the summer.
Best for Iconic Views - Spectacular visits
St Michael’s Mount
This tidal island is one of the most famous landmarks in Cornwall. It has a 14th-century castle as well as its own harbour and gardens.
The giant crag rises majestically from the sea topped by the castle. It is a romantic sight but once there you can explore shops and restaurants.
It is open to visitors in the summer months and can only be accessed by boat or by the famous causeway. It boasts fabulous views across Mounts Bay to Lands End and The Lizard.
Be sure to take your camera to this one and make sure you plan your trip well as you can only walk across a few hours either side of low tide, otherwise you can capture a boat taxi across during set times.
Lands End is famous for being the most westerly point in England. The views here are magnificent whether you want to see a sunset or a storm.
It is a great spot to walk along the coastal path or simply pose by the iconic sign and look for America.
Be sure to take your camera here the famous sea stack arch can be photographed from the headland, the area is full of dramatic rock formation to see.
You can also visit lands ends tourist attractions for a great day out for the family
Towanroath mine shaft at wheal coates
Towanroath mine shaft is a beautiful and very scenic location to visit on the north cornish coast, you can visit the old mine workings of wheal coates and bath yourself in the old mining history of cornwall.
continue further down the cliff to find the National trust restores Towanroath mine shaft which lies in a stunning location looking across the beautiful cornish coast.
This locations is a real must visit for anyone wanting to take in a scenic view, get a bit of exercise and emerge yourself in a bit of local history.
For parking see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wheal-coates
Best for Food and Shopping - Relax and Enjoy
This is the most southerly city in England. Built at the port of the river Truro, the city is actually not very old only dating back to around 1800, however the city is still full of interesting and dramatic architecture including its impressive Gothic Cathedral dominating the skyline.
The streets are a must visit and encompass a warren of independent retailers selling everything from jewellery, clothes, art and books. making Truro a lovely place to wander around and explore.
Truro continues its artisanal vibe with the array of cafés that line the streets just waiting for you to drop in for coffee or food. You will also find markets and gardens to enjoy.
Padstow has everything which is why in the summer it can be a real tourist trap. As well as a bustling heart of shops and restaurants, it has seven sandy beaches to choose from.
You can see one of our photographic prints from the area, with the RNLI lifeboat station at Sebastien Coell Photography
A seaside trip would not be complete without fish and chips. Here in Padstow, you will be really spoilt. Rick Stein, famous for his seafood restaurant, also has his very own fish and chip shop. I can testify from personal experience that his batter recipe produces the finest tasting flaky fish with a crispy exterior. A nice sprinkle of salt and vinegar, sitting on a bench watching the trawlermen in the harbour has to be just about one of the best seaside eating experiences.
What are your favorite places to visit in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments.
You might find our blog on The Best Coastal Walks in Cornwall 2021 useful
Meet the Author:
I am a Devon based photographer, who enjoys travel, hiking, rugby and photographing the beautiful world in which we live in, I see photography as a creative expression upon visiting beautiful places. Each picture often tells a story.
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Sebastien Coell Photography