Best place to stay in Cornwall? With a wide range of breathtaking locations and holiday accommodations, you can easily find the best place to stay on the Cornish Coast that caters to your preferences and needs.
Are you looking for the perfect place to stay in Cornwall for your next holiday? You can opt for a nice hotel in Newquay, a delightful self-catering retreat in St Ives, or a pet-friendly vacation home in Bude. The options are endless and you are sure to find your ideal accommodation in Cornwall.
If you prioritize culture during your getaways, consider staying in Truro or St Ives for a truly immersive experience. If you just want to unwind and relax, a welcoming cottage in Port Isaac or Tintagel may be just what you need.
From quaint fishing villages along the rugged coastline to idyllic towns and villages dotted across the open moorland, this guide will help you find the best place to stay in Cornwall.
With so many fantastic options, you’ll be spoiled for choice. But hurry, so many people are opting for UK staycations in the county these days that accommodations are fully booked from May until October!
What is the best part of Cornwall to stay in?
The best part of Cornwall to stay in depends on your personal preferences and the type of holiday you are looking for.
If you are looking for a beach holiday, then Newquay or St Ives might be a good choice, as they are both famous for their stunning beaches and surf culture.
If you are interested in history and culture, then the town of Falmouth might be a good choice, as it has a rich maritime heritage and is home to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
For a more relaxed, rural experience, the villages of Fowey, Mousehole, and Padstow are popular destinations, known for their picturesque harbor, fishing boats, and delicious seafood.
If you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors, then the Bodmin Moor area might be a good choice, as it is a beautiful and rugged landscape that offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, and horse riding.
Ultimately, the best part of Cornwall to stay in will depend on what you’re looking for in a holiday, so it’s worth considering your interests and priorities when making your decision.
Where should I stay in Cornwall for the first time?
If you’re visiting Cornwall for the first time, there are several places that would make for a great base. Here are a few options to consider:
- St Ives: This picturesque seaside town is known for its stunning beaches and artsy vibe. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the coastal scenery.
- Penzance: This town is located at the tip of the Cornish peninsula and is a good starting point for exploring the southwestern part of the county. Penzance is also close to the famous Land’s End.
- Falmouth: This port town is a hub of activity, with a rich maritime history, great restaurants, and plenty of shops and galleries. It’s also close to several beautiful beaches and gardens.
- Padstow: This fishing village is known for its charming harbor and delicious seafood restaurants. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery, and is also a good base for exploring the nearby coastline.
- Truro: This is the largest city in Cornwall and is a good base for exploring the county. Truro is known for its beautiful Georgian architecture, museums, and shopping, and it is also close to several popular tourist destinations.
Regardless of where you choose to stay, you will find that Cornwall is a beautiful and welcoming place, with plenty of activities, sights, and experiences to enjoy.
Best places to stay in Cornwall by location
1. St Ives
This charming harbor town is a treasure of the Cornish coast. If you love the beach, your holidays in St Ives will be filled with endless sandy beaches, rolling dunes, and serene harbor-side locations. The number of beaches around St Ives is never-ending and promises just as much fun as the scenery.
Art and culture lovers will be enchanted by the local modern and abstract art scene, which is celebrated at Tate St Ives. A trip to this picturesque town would not be complete without witnessing an outdoor performance at the Minack Theatre, set dramatically on the cliff-side overlooking the waves. Additionally, there is a plethora of local craft shops and trendy gourmet restaurants just waiting to be explored.
St Ives truly has something for everyone. Get inspired for your holiday with our St Ives Travel Guide.
Nestled in the midst of the Cornish coast’s rugged cliffs, secluded coves, and radiant beaches, vacations in Padstow showcase a charming traditional coastal town.
The harbor is the center of Padstow’s charm, and you can spend hours simply observing boats glide by and taking in the tranquil hustle and bustle along the harbor’s edge. Padstow is also a food lover’s heaven, offering fine dining and a variety of international cuisines at Michelin-starred restaurants, or satisfying your taste buds with a delicious, traditional pasty at a harbor-side bistro.
The Camel Trail, stretching 18 miles, begins at the coast and ventures into the heart of the Cornish countryside. Whether you prefer to put on your walking shoes or hop on your bike, the trail offers stunning coastal views before delving into the lush forests of the Camel Valley and onto the mystical and wild terrain of Bodmin Moor.
Escape to the charming fishing port of Looe, located in the south-east of Cornwall. The town is split in two by the River Looe and has a rich history, with both halves once being separate settlements.
The heart of the town is the bustling harbor, where you can witness the boats returning in the evening, savor delicious, locally-caught fish at one of the restaurants, and soak up the sun on the golden sand of Looe’s numerous beaches, such as Hannafore and Looe Beach.
Nature enthusiasts will be drawn to the wildlife on Looe Island’s nature reserve, while families can visit the Monkey Sanctuary for a fun-filled day out. For those who love to walk, there are numerous trails to explore, including Kilminorth Woods, West Looe Valley, and the South West Coast Path.
Embark on a journey back in time with Penzance’s adventurous maritime history, filled with pirates, privateers, conscripts, and smugglers. Today, vacations in Penzance provide the perfect escape to the breathtaking Cornish Coast. The combined attraction of the West Cornwall coastline and countryside make Penzance an ideal location to immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings, and its temperate climate makes it a highly sought-after destination for summer getaways.
Take a leisurely walk on the pebble beach and admire the fairy tale turrets of St Michael’s Mount in the bay, explore the lively Morrab Gardens, filled with a spectrum of subtropical plants, and dive into the crystal-clear waters of the elegant Art Deco Jubilee Pool, which overlooks the seafront.
Discover the alluring charms of the coast with an unforgettable holiday in Penzance.
Why say no to a visit to the shimmering surf hub of Cornwall? With its irresistible weather, crystal-clear waters, and a plethora of stunning beaches, holidays in Newquay are a top pick for UK seaside vacations.
Surfers flock here to take advantage of the powerful Atlantic waves, but the town’s 12 beaches have something for everyone – from expansive stretches of golden sand for families and dog-walking to secluded rocky coves perfect for exploration. Adventure-seekers will appreciate the breathtaking views along the South West Coast Path, which winds its way through Newquay. If you have a passion for the ocean, you’ll love holidays in Newquay.
6. Port Isaac
Port Isaac is a 14th century fishing village located on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, known for its narrow winding streets and old buildings. It was featured in popular TV series such as “Poldark” and “Doc Martin” as well as films like “Saving Grace” and “The Shell Seekers.” The village, along with Port Gaverne, is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers a range of shops, cafes, pubs, and restaurants.
There is a small shingle beach in the village and nearby beaches such as Polzeath, Daymer, and Rock are just a 10-minute drive away. Port Isaac also offers exhilarating walks and a portion of the Camel Trail for cyclists and hikers.
Visitors can stay in 15th century converted warehouses or 18th century cottages, though early booking is recommended.
Perched on the rugged cliffs of Cornwall’s north coast, Tintagel is a breathtaking destination that combines stunning coastal and rural landscapes. Immerse yourself in the legendary history of King Arthur and explore the ruins of Tintagel Castle, a site steeped in mystery and offering breathtaking views of the sea.
At King Arthur’s Great Halls, delve into the mysteries surrounding the birthplace of the legendary king. Admire the unique architecture of the town, blending Medieval, Victorian and contemporary designs, including the iconic Old Post Office, a 14th-century farmhouse and National Trust building famous for its “wonky” roof.
Take a stroll along the coast and marvel at the breathtaking views, with the South West Coast Path running through Tintagel. Don’t miss the chance to experience the magic of this unforgettable destination.
Many visitors come to Fowey for its water-based activities. You can attend events at the Royal Fowey Yacht Club, try the fresh seafood, or even go fishing yourself. Fowey is an ideal destination for those who love the sea.
Additionally, there are several nearby attractions to visit, such as the Fowey Museum, St. Catherine’s Castle, and the Daphne du Maurier Literary Centre. If you want to take a boat trip, enjoy fishing, or fresh seafood, Fowey is the place for you.
Truro, the only city in Cornwall, is located on the south-west coast and dates back to the 13th century. Initially a small port at the convergence of the rivers of Kenwyn, Allen, and Glasteinan, Truro grew as wealthy mine owners built homes and increased the town’s significance. In 1877, Queen Victoria designated Truro a city.
The three-spired Gothic cathedral, completed in 1910, dominates the city, and there are also many examples of Georgian and Victorian townhouses, such as the Royal Cornwall Museum. Truro offers plenty of shopping options, from designer stores to markets and independent traders.
The city also has a variety of accommodation options, from historic guest houses and hotels to self-catering apartments and holiday parks. The area is also surrounded by gardens and estates of Outstanding Natural Beauty, such as the Trelissick Estate and the Tregothnan Estate.
Bude, situated on the Cornwall-Devon border, was historically a busy fishing town but is now mainly a tourist destination. Its sandy beaches, restaurants, shops, cafes, and small businesses make it an ideal spot for families. The Bude Sea Pool, a partially man-made tidal pool, is its most famous attraction, and Bude Castle provides a historical option for visitors.
Bude’s location on the north coast makes it a convenient stop for those trekking the South West Coastal Path and looking for entertainment during their break. Bude is recommended for those seeking a tourist-oriented location, wanting to swim in the Bude Sea Pool, or traveling along the South West Coastal Path.
11. St Just
If you are interested in the local art scene, attending the Lafrowda Festival or visiting the Cornwall Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, staying in St Just is a great option.
While a small town with limited physical attractions, its thriving artistic scene and cultural offerings, such as Plen An Gwarry open-air Cornish playhouses and the Lafrowda Festival, make it a unique destination. Nearby attractions include Cape Cornwall, Botallack, the Pendeen Lighthouse, and Geevor Tin Mining Museum.
Falmouth is a popular family destination in Cornwall, conveniently located with a train station and offering various restaurants, pubs, museums, and outdoor activities. It is situated on the east coast of Cornwall, about 11 miles south of Truro, and is historically important as the largest port in Cornwall.
While tourism has become a significant contributor to the economy, the docks remain essential. Falmouth boasts a collection of five beaches and several tourist attractions, including the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Pendennis Castle, and Trebah Tropical Gardens, which is situated 7 miles away. The Fox Rosehill Garden and Glendurgan Valley Garden are other garden options.
Choose Falmouth if you want to explore Trebah Tropical Gardens, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, or have a good selection of beaches.
13. St Austell
St Austell can be a good place to stay in Cornwall, especially for those interested in visiting the Eden Project or the Lost Gardens of Heligan, as well as other attractions located in the surrounding area. It is also one of the larger towns in Cornwall, so it may be a good choice for those looking for more urban amenities.
The Eden Project, featuring thousands of plant species, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are two popular attractions. Other options include the Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum, St Austell Brewery, and White River Place.
St Austell’s central location makes it the ideal place to stay if you want to explore these and other area attractions.
Bodmin, located at the center of Cornwall, is ideal for those wanting to explore multiple areas. As the former capital of Cornwall, it is more developed than other towns. Bodmin Jail is a popular attraction, with ruins transformed into a museum and hotel.
Bodmin Moor covers 80 square miles and is a great place to walk and admire the Cornish countryside, featuring wildlife, plants, and historic sites. Stay in Bodmin to visit these two attractions, experience a town with a more built-up feel, and enjoy walks in the countryside.
Polzeath is an excellent choice for families looking for a place to stay in Cornwall, and you can spend many family holidays there. This small village boasts a massive sandy beach, as well as a smaller, hidden beach next door, making it one of the best seaside destinations in Cornwall.
Polzeath is also well-located, within easy reach of other interesting places like Padstow, Port Isaac, Tintagel, and Boscastle, in case you tire of the beach (which is unlikely). Polzeath is considered to be one of the best places to stay in Cornwall. While primarily a beach destination, there are some fantastic walks along the southwest coast path that start in the village.
Where is the central location to stay in Cornwall?
Truro is a central location to stay in Cornwall. It is located in the center of the county and is a good base for exploring the region. From Truro, you can easily access the North and South coasts of Cornwall, as well as the charming villages and countryside that make up the county’s interior. Truro also has its own attractions, including a beautiful cathedral, a number of museums, and a bustling market town. There are also plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop, making Truro a great option for a central base in Cornwall.
How many days is enough for Cornwall?
The number of days you need to spend in Cornwall depends on your interests and the type of holiday you are looking for. If you’re just looking to relax and enjoy the scenery, a few days might be enough. However, if you’re looking to explore the area more thoroughly, you might want to consider staying for a week or more.
Cornwall is a large county with a lot to offer, from stunning beaches and rugged coastline, to charming villages and historic towns, to rolling countryside and scenic moorland. If you’re interested in exploring the area, you can spend several days visiting popular destinations such as St Ives, Padstow, and Falmouth, or you can venture further afield to explore the more remote parts of the county.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you could spend a week or more in Cornwall, hiking and cycling in the beautiful landscapes and visiting some of the county’s many gardens and parks. If you’re interested in history and culture, you could spend a few days exploring the historic towns and visiting the county’s many museums and galleries.
Ultimately, the amount of time you need to spend in Cornwall will depend on your interests and the type of holiday you are looking for. Whether you’re visiting for a few days or a few weeks, you’re sure to find plenty of things to see and do in this beautiful and fascinating county.
Places to stay in Cornwall by the sea
Cornwall is home to some of the UK’s most stunning coastline and beaches, and there are plenty of places to stay by the sea. Here are a few popular options:
- St Ives: This picturesque seaside town is known for its stunning beaches and artsy vibe. There are plenty of accommodation options here, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels, all with sea views.
- Newquay: This town is a popular destination for surfers and beach lovers, with several long, sandy beaches and a vibrant surf culture. There are also plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and holiday apartments to choose from.
- Padstow: This charming fishing village is located on the north coast of Cornwall and is known for its delicious seafood restaurants and vibrant harbor. There are several hotels and guesthouses here, many with sea views.
- Falmouth: This historic port town is located on the south coast of Cornwall and is a hub of activity, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. There are also several hotels and guesthouses with sea views in the town.
- Perranporth: This small town is located on the north coast of Cornwall and is known for its long, sandy beach and surfing culture. There are several hotels, guesthouses, and holiday apartments in the area.
Regardless of where you choose to stay, you will find that Cornwall is a beautiful and welcoming place, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the stunning coastal scenery and relax by the sea.
Where should I stay to explore Cornwall?
Cornwall has many beautiful and interesting places to explore, so the best place for you to stay depends on your interests and preferences. However, some popular options for a base to explore Cornwall include St Ives, Falmouth, Newquay, Padstow, and Truro. These towns offer a variety of accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, as well as easy access to many of Cornwall’s most famous landmarks and scenic spots. Ultimately, the best place to stay in Cornwall will depend on your travel goals, so it’s worth doing some research to find the perfect location for your visit.
Where to stay in Cornwall without a car?
Cornwall is a beautiful county with a well-developed public transport network, making it easy to get around without a car. Here are some of the best places to stay in Cornwall without a car:
- St Ives: This picturesque seaside town is located on the coast of Cornwall and is well-connected by bus and train. There are plenty of accommodation options in the town, including hotels, guesthouses, and holiday apartments.
- Truro: This is the largest city in Cornwall and is well-connected by bus and train, with regular services to other parts of the county and beyond. There are plenty of accommodation options in the city, including hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, and holiday apartments.
- Falmouth: This historic port town is located on the south coast of Cornwall and is well-connected by bus and train. There are plenty of accommodation options in the town, including hotels, guesthouses, and holiday apartments.
- Newquay: This town is a popular destination for surfers and beach lovers and is well-connected by bus and train. There are plenty of accommodation options in the town, including hotels, guesthouses, and holiday apartments.
- Penzance: This historic town is located on the south coast of Cornwall and is well-connected by bus and train. There are plenty of accommodation options in the town, including hotels, guesthouses, and holiday apartments.
Best places to stay in Cornwall off the beaten track
If you’re looking to stay off the beaten track in Cornwall, there are a few places that you might want to consider.
One option is the Lizard Peninsula, which is located at the southernmost tip of Cornwall. This area is known for its rugged coastline, hidden coves, and scenic hiking trails. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking to get away from the crowds and immerse yourself in nature.
Another option is the village of Boscastle, which is located on the northern coast of Cornwall. This picturesque village is home to a small harbor, scenic walks along the coast, and quaint shops and cafes. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a quiet, charming village to explore.
Finally, the village of Port Isaac is another great option for those looking to stay off the beaten track. Located on the northern coast of Cornwall, Port Isaac is a small fishing village with a rich history and a charming, old-world feel. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful retreat.
Best places to stay in Cornwall for walking
Cornwall is a beautiful county with a diverse range of landscapes, from rolling countryside to rugged coastlines, making it a great destination for walking and outdoor activities. Here are some of the best places to stay in Cornwall for walking:
- Bodmin Moor: This stunning area of moorland is located in the heart of Cornwall and is a popular destination for walkers, with miles of rugged terrain to explore. There are several small villages in the area with accommodation options, including Bed & Breakfasts and holiday cottages.
- The South West Coast Path: This 630-mile trail takes in some of the UK’s most stunning coastal scenery, including the cliffs and coves of the Lizard Peninsula and Land’s End. There are several small villages along the route with accommodation options, including Bed & Breakfasts, inns, and holiday cottages.
- The Tarka Trail: This 180-mile trail takes in some of the best of North Devon and Cornwall, including the rugged coastline and rolling countryside of the area. There are several small towns and villages along the route with accommodation options, including Bed & Breakfasts and holiday cottages.
- St Austell: This bustling market town is located in the heart of Cornwall and is a great base for exploring the area on foot. There are plenty of accommodation options in the town, including hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, and holiday apartments.
- St Ives: This charming seaside town is located on the coast of Cornwall and is surrounded by stunning countryside, making it a great place for walkers. There are plenty of accommodation options in the town, including hotels, guesthouses, and holiday apartments.
Is staying in Cornwall worth it?
Yes, staying in Cornwall can be a fantastic and worthwhile experience. Cornwall is a beautiful county with a rich history, stunning scenery, and a diverse range of activities and attractions to suit a variety of interests.
Some of the things that make staying in Cornwall worth it include:
- Beautiful Beaches: Cornwall is home to some of the UK’s most stunning beaches, including the iconic St Ives Bay and the long, sandy beaches of Newquay.
- Fascinating History: From the ancient ruins of Tintagel Castle to the charming cobbled streets of St Ives, Cornwall is rich in history and heritage.
- Delicious Food: Cornwall is famous for its seafood, with local specialities including Cornish pasties and clotted cream.
- Outdoor Activities: Whether you enjoy hiking, cycling, or simply exploring the countryside, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Cornwall.
- Art and Culture: Cornwall has a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, festivals, and events taking place throughout the year.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, an adventure-filled outdoor escape, or a cultural and historical experience, there is something for everyone in Cornwall. So, if you’re looking for a truly memorable and enjoyable holiday, staying in Cornwall is definitely worth it.