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Pocket Guide: Cornwall

From its mysterious moors to its idyllic coastline, Cornwall is a truly enchanting county. Located in the far south-west of the country, Cornwall offers holidaymakers an opportunity to get away from it all and unwind. For those more inclined towards an action-packed adventure holiday, there's also a vibrant extreme sports scene. To top it all off, the county is packed with an excellent selection of exquisite hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs.

Hang Ten on the North Coast

Blessed with first dibs on swells from the Atlantic Ocean, the North Coast of Cornwall is well known to be the foremost surfing region in the United Kingdom. Beginner breaks, big wave spots, lefts, rights - whatever you're looking for, there's sure to be something for you in Cornwall.

One of the most popular spots for surfers on the North Coast is the bustling town of Newquay, which is also home to some of the best hotels in Cornwall. Thanks to its popularity and the accessibility of its beaches, the town is home to a plethora of surf schools, ideal for those keen to try something new.

Newquay is a welcoming place to learn, but the crowds can sometimes make life difficult for more seasoned surfers, many of whom opt to head further up the coast in search of quieter breaks. If you're after some peace and quiet of your own then there are plenty of rural retreats, B&Bs and family-run boutique hotels to choose from.

Strap on the Walking Boots

Home to some of the most breath-taking natural beauty in the country, Cornwall is a popular destination for keen walkers. Bodmin Moor is a common choice for serious hikers. From the highest point in the county at Brown Willy to the legendary lake at Dozmary Pool (believed to be bottomless and the original site for the 'Lady in the Lake' Arthurian tale), there's more than enough to see and do. The moor is home to some fine guesthouses, where knowledgeable staff are sure to help guests plan their walking routes.

With so much stunning coastline, it would be a crime for ramblers to visit Cornwall without setting foot on the coast! The far tip of the county is a prime location for walkers in search of a decent view. Land's End and Lizard Point offer unique headland landscapes, with the added novelty of knowing that you're at the very edge of mainland UK.

Unwind on the South Coast

There's so much to see and do across Cornwall, but that doesn't mean visitors can't take time to relax. With more sheltered waters and quiet, historical towns, the South Coast is the ideal location for a spot of relaxation. The beaches in the South are just as beautiful as those in the North, but typically have calmer waters, luring in more swimmers and sailors than surfers.

The search for tranquillity is made that bit easier by the smattering of luxury and spa hotels in Cornwall as well as a selection of boutique and designer hotels that blend local crafts and art with contemporary décor for an upmarket feel. Plenty of the county's hotels boast indoor pools, ideal for use throughout the year, but a good number also promise a full range of spa treatments.