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Cornwall’s top 10 holiday destinations

Posted by Perfect Stays on Updated on

Holiday hotspots in Cornwall  

Attracting over five million visitors every single year, Cornwall is one of the most desirable holiday destinations in the UK and with endless moorland and gardens and over 300 beaches to discover, it’s easy to see why. Many people return to their favourite beaches or villages time and again, but if you fancy a change of scenery, consider one of Cornwall’s top ten holiday destinations from our list.



Polzeath is notorious as the holiday hotspot for a staggering number of visitors every year. With an expanse of golden sand, gentle learning waves for budding surfers and handful of excellent eateries, including Surfside Café and The Cracking Crab, we can see why.

Where to stay nearby: Treasure House, Seagrass and Penmorcom.



Humble and understated, Harlyn is the perfect seaside escape for those who still want to be near the hustle and bustle of Padstow and Rock, but with a slice of peace and quiet to return to.

Neighbour to the beautiful Constantine Bay, Harlyn’s own beach is a family friendly behemoth with lifeguards on watch throughout the peak months and a range of activities available, including surf lessons, stand up paddle boarding and more. Nearby dog friendly Rick Stein’s Cornish Arms is a must for a hearty pub lunch or the atmospheric Rafferty’s Café Wine Bar for special meal and a great glass of wine.

Where to stay nearby: Pentyak, Tater Du, Trelawn and Poldhu.



As a luxury holiday location, the ever-popular Rock has it all: celebrity chef restaurants, an internationally renowned golf course, swathes of golden sand at low tide all set along the glistening Camel Estuary. Particularly perfect for keen sailors and water sport enthusiasts, there’s very little that Rock doesn’t offer and with a regularly running water taxi across the Camel Estuary, you can be in Padstow in no time.

Where to stay nearby: Lower Cole, Trehayl and Driftwood



Marazion has always been a popular destination for day trippers and visitors to St Michael’s Mount, but the friendly market town is cultivating a reputation in its own right thanks to the emergence of award-winning restaurants, such as The Godolphin Arms.

Supposedly the oldest town in Britain, Marazion is the perfect base for exploring the farthest corners of Cornwall – from Land’s End and The Minnack Theatre in the far west and the achingly beautiful Sennen Cove. Follow in Virgina Woolf’s footsteps from Hayle and St Ives and explore the rugged coast of the Lizard Peninsula.

Where to stay nearby: Ednovean House.

Sennen Cove


A stretching white crescent sand beach that reaches round to neighboring Gwenver – joining up at low tide, Sennen is a haven for families, foodies and surfers all year round. Two excellent surf schools – Smart Surf School and Sennen Surfing Centre – provide lessons for all ages and abilities, taking advantage of the Atlantic swell.

You can’t get fresher seafood than at the iconic Beach Restaurant which has its own licensed fishing boat Rosebud that responsibly line catches seasonal fish daily, only ever catching what they need to ensure sustainability.

Where to stay nearby: Gwel An Treth and Breakwater.

St Ives


No compilation of Cornwall’s hotspot holiday destinations is complete without a mention of the notoriously picturesque St Ives. A dream destination for many visitors each year for its numerous white sand beaches with cyan blue seas meeting the sky that surround the harbour town, exemplary restaurants and cafes along the harbour front and tucked amongst the cobbled streets and of course the vibrant arts culture boosted by The Tate Gallery.

Where to stay nearby: Shun Lee.



Straddling the River Camel, Wadebridge is a charming and characterful market town on the north Cornwall coast. As desirable to live in as it is to visit on holiday, Wadebridge is home to a number of elegant boutique shops and must-visit independent restaurants.

With the Camel Estuary and the popular Camel Trail cycle trail running through the centre of the town, no visit is complete without following this scenic disused railway line to either Padstow or through the leafy woodland trail towards Bodmin.

Where to stay nearby: Harbour Walk, Kilden Mor and Sea Haze.



© Gary West via Flickr
The quaint waterside village of Flushing enjoys an enviable position on the Carrack Roads opposite Falmouth and is steeped in history. Settled by Dutch engineers who arrived from Flushing in the Netherlands, this waterfront village soon become a desirable home for many captains of packets whose grand houses still sit on St Peter’s Hill.

Due to its sheltered southerly position, Flushing is reportedly the warmest place in Cornwall and is becoming an increasing popular place to visit. No trip to Flushing is complete without visiting The Waterside restaurant and sampling their fresh seafood whilst enjoying views over the water. A regular ferry also provides easy access to Falmouth during the day.



Bude is a laid back seaside town that’s long been a popular resort, managing to move with the times yet retains its traditional charm. Close to the Devon border, Bude is easily reachable and boasts a number of sweeping, broad sandy beaches in the town and surrounding coastline; of note being Crooklets, Summerlease and Widemouth Bay, each backed by staggering rugged cliffs. In fact, Strangles – 12 miles to the south of Bude – is flanked by the highest cliff in Cornwall at 732 feet.

Whitsand Bay


© Baz Richardson via Flickr 

Whitsand Bay is a unique and captivating corner of Cornwall, nestled in the South East. Its four mile stretch of golden sand and quaint coves is backed by steep cliffs dotted with quaint little beach huts and chalets that seem impossibly secure in their teetering cliff face position.

The coast runs along from Portwrinkle in the West to the Rame Peninsula in the East, providing incredible views back across the Sound towards Plymouth. The Cliff Top Café is the perfect stop for a bite to eat with a sensational view (and a well-needed rest while scaling steps from the beach).

Where to stay nearby: Sea Edge.


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