10 awesome places to visit in Cornwall
“With its own language, climate and geology, Cornwall is like no other place in the UK. To get a feel for how unique it really is, you need to work your way through this list of 10 extraordinary places to visit in the county.
1. Land’s End
Land’s End is the place where western England drops into the ocean. It’s an area of wind-whipped cliffs and a sea-spritzed headland that looks out over the blue. Take the winding footpaths to photo points such as the official Land’s End signpost. There’s also a sizeable visitor centre at Land’s End with a shop, restaurants and a traditional Cornish pasty shop.
2. The Eden Project
Inside the domes of The Eden Project are reconstructed ecosystems from around the world. Spend a day at the remarkable attraction to walk on a rope bridge through a canopy of trees in the Rainforest Biome, see more than 500 species of tropical orchid and feel the spray of a rainwater waterfall on your skin. Then pop to the Mediterranean Biome to see its spring tulip carpet and perfume vats.
Open daily. Times vary depending on season and day so check the website before visiting. Admission is £26 for adults and £13.50 for children aged five to 16. Under-fives visit free.
3. St Ives
The seaside town of St Ives is a place to kick back. Enjoy the sun on the harbour beach, watching the fishing boats bobbing in the water. Stroll down the cobbled streets, popping into the independent art galleries, rock shops and gift stores. Stop in several of the town’s sea-view cafes and eateries for traditional pasties or a Cornish tea – and stay to watch the sun set over the Atlantic.
4. The Lizard Peninsula
Measuring 14 by 14 miles, The Lizard Peninsula is part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. See if you can spot dolphins and porpoise from the headland at Lizard Point, climb to the top of Lizard Lighthouse and visit the peninsula’s quaint fishing villages, Coverack and Cadgwith.
The village of Tintagel is right at the heart of King Arthur country. Myths say that its famous castle is the place King Arthur was conceived. Today, the castle is in two halves – a mainland section and an island section, connected by a modern footbridge. In both sections are Arthurian sculptures to see, a Medieval garden to explore and great sea views to photograph.
Open daily, 10am-4pm. Entry is by timed ticket and cost £13 for adults and £7.80 for children aged five to 17.
6. Widemouth Bay
On the west coast of Cornwall, near Bude, Widemouth Bay is a broad beach backed by patchwork countryside. The Atlantic swell makes it a popular place for surfers and body boarders, and a number of surf schools operate here. Head down at low tide to take the children rock pooling. Or visit at dusk to watch the sunset over the Celtic Sea.
7. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The line between dreaming and waking blurs a little at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. As you walk around the gardens and pleasure grounds, you’ll stumble across sculptures made of mud and ferns that look like sleeping maids and the heads of sprites poking out of the ground. To your wanderings, add a visit to the sundial garden, the ‘Witches’ Broom’ natural phenomenon and a jungle with a Burmese rope bridge, too.
Open daily, 10am-4pm, October to March and 10am-6pm, April to September. Admission is £15 for adults and £7 for children aged five to 17. Under fives visit free.
8. The Minack Theatre
There’s almost as much drama in the architecture of the Minack Theatre as there is in the shows it puts on. The amphitheatre seats spill down the cliffside, and the backdrop to the open-air stage is not a man-made set, but the Atlantic Ocean. Performances of Shakespeare, musical theatre and storytelling take place between the end of March and the end of September. If you’ve not got tickets to a performance, you can still visit the site, its exhibition centre and its café during the day. Tickets cost £6 per adult, £3 for 11- to 12-year-olds and £1 for three- to 11-year-olds.
9. Looe Island
Looe Island is a mile off the Cornish coast. Boat trips to the island run between March and October, giving you two hours to explore its conservation zone. Follow the main pathway around Looe and you could spot rare butterflies, grey seals and nesting birds like cormorants. If you get chance to talk to a warden, ask them about the legends linked to the island.
10. Camel Valley Vineyard
Surrounded by Cornish countryside, Camel Valley is a family-run vineyard that runs tours every weekday between April and September. The tours will give you an insight into the winemaking process as well as vineyard life, and they finish with a wine tasting on the terrace. If a tour is not for you, you can just head straight to the terrace to order wine and fizz by the half glass, glass or bottle.
Planning a break to Cornwall? Here’s our pick of hotels in Cornwall, UK.”
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