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Places to visit in Cornwall

Away from the beaches and the attractions, Cornwall is home to many must-visit places. From picture postcard fishing villages and busy coastal resorts to lush valleys and historic ports, there’s so much to see and do in this magical county.

Jump in the car, catch the bus or take the train and explore Cornwall’s many must-see destinations. Take a look at our guide, below, for more information.

Looe

The seaside town of Looe is just one and a quarter miles (or a 25 minute walk) from Tencreek. It keeps visitors entertained all year round whilst still retaining a working fishing port. Stand on the quayside in the evening and watch the boats return before dining on fresh fish in a local restaurant. The town prides itself on its fresh fish, and be it award winning fish and chips near the river or gourmet menus in smart restaurants overlooking the harbour, you know you won’t be disappointed. To work all that food off, Looe is a great place for walking. The South West Coast Path passes through the town, plus there are countless walks in the beautiful countryside, or along the two rivers that flow inland.
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Polperro

Step back in time with a visit to Polperro, which is only a short distance from our park. This largely unspoilt fishing village boasts beautiful cottages that cling to steep hillsides around a small harbour with spectacular views of land and sea, making it an artist’s paradise. Like its neighbour Looe, Polperro offers plenty of places to eat and relax and has a great selection of accommodation. Dotted around the village are several galleries selling work by local artists.
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Fowey & Polruan

Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Fowey hangs off the west side of the Fowey estuary where the large, deep water harbour is a magnet for sailing fans. It’s a stunner of a place and well worth a visit. As you walk the ever narrowing streets of the old town where mediaeval and Georgian buildings cast shadows over each other, a vibrant maritime history comes to life. Across the water is the small village of Polruan, an ancient fishing village with a strong boat building heritage. Catch the ferry across the water and explore the maze of narrow streets alleys and flights of steps winding between the cottages, it is much loved as a community and a haven for yachts.
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Bodmin Moor

From the top of Rough Tor and Brown Willy, the two highest peaks in Cornwall, the views are spectacular. Ancient buildings, standing stones and medieval farms add to the feeling of a land full of ancient history. Bodmin Moor holds a host of designations including World Heritage Site status, recognising the area’s mining industry dating back over 4,000 years. It is also the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Cornwall, most of the moor has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Importance and in 2017 it was awarded Dark Skies status.
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Tamar Valley

The Tamar Valley forms the boundary between Cornwall and Devon and runs from very close to the north coast down to Plymouth Sound. Bordered by steep wooded valleys, rich farmland and water meadows, it is an ever changing landscape often hidden away from the touristy areas of both Cornwall and Devon. It is an area rich in beauty, history and stunning scenery. An important haven for wildlife, the river valley and its tributaries are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s great walking country, but you can also explore the area by train on the scenic Tamar Valley Line or by boat on the Tamar Passenger Ferry or pleasure cruises.
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Padstow

Padstow is a charming working fishing port surrounded by glorious sandy beaches, at the head of the Camel River. Watching the everyday ebb and flow of harbour life is a perfect way to spend a day. This foodie destination with popular eateries such as Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, is the start and end point for the Camel Cycle Trail and a good base for water sports.
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Port Isaac

Port Isaac is a traditional fishing village with a vibrant local community in north Cornwall and home to the TV series Doc Martin starring Martin Clunes. It’s a truly picturesque village with narrow winding streets lined with whitewashed cottages that head down to the harbour where you can watch local fishermen landing their daily catch of fish, crab and lobsters. Port Isaac is set amidst rugged and magnificent scenery on Cornwall’s North coast with two beautiful ports nearby; Port Quin and Port Gaverne.
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Truro

Truro, the UK’s most Southerly city is a vibrant centre of shopping, culture and impressive architecture right in the heart of Cornwall. Centre stage is Truro Cathedral with its impressive gothic towers dominating the skyline. In its shadow, a warren of compact streets are home to an impressive array of independent traders. From boutiques to bookshops and designer interiors to delicatessens, this great little city offers a unique shopping experience. The café culture is pretty impressive too, with hip coffee houses, artisan ice creameries and cocktail bars dotted across the centre.
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Newquay

Newquay, one of the nation’s favourite seaside towns and renowned as the UK’s surfing capital, exudes the laid back atmosphere you would expect from a town perched on Cornwall’s Atlantic cliffs and bordered by 7 miles of glorious golden sandy beaches. It’s a place where all the family gets to relax and enjoy a proper holiday – toes in the sand, ice-cream in hand. There’s a different beach for every day of the week and glorious open spaces looking out to sea. The town manages to be both trendy and yet remains a great family resort – all wrapped up in the most fantastic coastal scenery.
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Lizard Peninsula

Head south on to the Lizard and the scenery changes. The rare geology of the area creates a haven for exceptional plants and flowers. Around the coastline you’ll find little fishing ports with huge granite sea walls to protect from the Atlantic gales, restaurants specialising in freshly caught seafood, and gorgeous sandy bays with jagged black rocks jutting out in to the sea. Stand right on the tip of the Lizard and look out to sea. At 49°57′ N, the most southerly point on the UK’s mainland, watch the waves as they hurtle to the shore and imagine the thousands of ships that have passed by this treacherous part of the coast on their way across the Atlantic.
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