Why we love Cornwall in the winterPosted by Bethany Walton on Updated on
It’s time to slow down with cosy pubs, beach walks and storm watching
While we love to talk about summer in Cornwall, we secretly look forward to the colder, crunchier months too. No matter the time of year, there’s always magic to be found in England’s southernmost county. Whether that’s pulling on welly boots and bobble hats for a blustery coastal walk, warming up in the local pub with a traditional Sunday lunch, or wandering through quiet fishing villages in search of decadent hot chocolates, there’s something rather special about Kernow come winter.
Well-versed in all things Cornwall, we asked our team to share their favourite things to get up to once winter rolls around…
Blow away the cobwebs with a wintery walk
With seasonal dog bans lifted and the scenery looking as beautiful as ever, our team agreed that one of the best things about winter in Cornwall is the quieter coastline. Wrap up in your warmest winter coat and discover the joys of the beach in the chillier months. Expect glossy sandscapes and waves whipped up by the wind as the coastline changes dramatically with the seasons. A great time for rock pooling, little ones will love looking for creatures lurking amongst the tidal pools, or searching for shells and sea glass buried in the sand.
With plenty of room for your four-legged friends to run, a coastal walk is a sure hit with the whole family. If you’re staying on the north coast at dog-friendly properties like Driftwood or Gwel Arvor, we recommend walking along the sand dunes from Rock, over to Daymer and onto Polzeath before a quick pit stop at The Atlantic or The Oystercatcher.
Way down west and taking advantage of its elevated spot above Sennen Cove Beach, our property Breakwater makes the perfect base for wintery retreats and walking weekends. Its sea-view hot tub makes it perfect for families and groups of friends hoping to truly switch off at this time of year.
Or for those enjoying some time on the south coast, park at Par Sands and walk along the clifftops before descending into the picturesque cove of Polkerris where a roaring fire and hearty lunches await at The Rashleigh Inn.
Kate, one of our Property Advisors, recommends a walk along the coast from Mawgan Porth towards Bedruthan Steps – stopping off for a hot chocolate at Carnewas Tearoom to enjoy the views from the top. While Paige, our Portfolio Account Manager, loves to pick up a coffee from WAX, before letting her spaniels off their leads on the picturesque Watergate Bay. While plenty of us are lovers of the north coast, it’s our Marketing Team who hold the south coast closer to their hearts. With plenty of crunchy woodland walks to explore, Head of Brand Rebecca suggests winter is the ideal time to take advantage of the quieter lanes and trails:
“I’m a big fan of South Cornwall as it’s full of historic woodland walks. My personal favourites include the magical Luxulyan Valley near the Eden Project, which is dotted with remnants of the area’s mining heritage. Or The Restormel Trail near Lostwithiel winds through ancient woodland before finishing at the Duchy of Cornwall Café, where a delicious lunch overlooking Restormel Castle is a must.”
Feel at home in a traditional Cornish pub
Sometimes there’s nothing better than shrugging off your winter coats as you enter the warmth of a traditional Cornish pub. With plenty of local ales and ciders on tap and the specials boards brimming with homecooked delights, it’s a great way to get a true taste of Cornwall. Take a seat near the roaring fire to warm up post-walk and settle in for an afternoon of delicious food while your four-legged friends cosy up next to you. Or grab a pack of cards and entertain little ones long into the afternoon with rounds of rummy. For those looking for a warming lunch after a walk on the north coast, Philippa from our Concierge Team recommends the delightful St Kew Inn and The Maltsters Arms in Chapel Amble, or stop by The Millhouse in Trebarwith Strand for a traditional Sunday roast.
When it comes to West Cornwall recommendations, our Head of Portfolio Operations Ashley is our go-to. He offered The Ship Inn in Porthleven as the best spot for storm watching with a bite to eat. Positioned on the famous Porthleven Harbour, it’s a great spot to watch stormy seas roll in.
Appreciate the beautiful scenery
Winter mornings bring frosty fields and pastel pink sunrises, making early starts even prettier. Sophie, from our Marketing Team, loves to bundle coats, blankets and flasks of tea into the car to enjoy a morning dog walk with her pup:
“Our Sunday morning tradition is waking early for a pancake breakfast, then heading straight to the coast. The sky is usually so milky blue on the drive over, and once the sea mist is burnt off, the sand just glistens. You can feel the sun on your face and your cheeks turning rosy, and at this time of year, you’ll only be sharing the beach with a few fellow locals and their four-legged friends.”
With the evenings drawing in earlier and earlier, it’s worth parking up near the coast to catch one of Cornwall’s spectacular winter sunsets. At this time of year, the sky turns magical shades of orange come 5pm, and there’s nowhere better to see this than on the north coast. A much-loved treat amongst our team is picking up takeaway fish and chips from Rick Stein’s on Fistral Beach, before climbing back into the car and watching as sun sets the sky alight as it disappears over the horizon.
Prepare for the festivities
With November just around the corner, the talk of Christmas is in the air. Making up for last year, our team are excited about donning their festive jumpers and setting off in search of mulled wine, carol singers and late-night shopping. Cornwall’s towns come alive with local tradespeople, live music and food stalls offering an abundance of delicious treats. For a real festive outing, head into Fowey and see the pretty harbourside town light up with twinkling lights. Dive into the little independent shops and pick up stocking fillers for the whole family or find a seat on the quay and enjoy a hot mince pie as the brass band plays.
Known for its magical Christmas light displays, an evening drive around Truro is sure to get you into the festive spirit, or watch in awe as Mousehole’s famous Christmas lights turn the fishing village into a spectacular winter wonderland. Meet with friends to exchange secret Santas at 2 Fore Street and enjoy catching up while the colourful lights provide the perfect backdrop.
For those who love to craft, there’s plenty of workshops in the lead up to the big day, including wreath making, Christmas calligraphy and card making at Bedruthan in Mawgan Porth and Polurrian on the Lizard - perfect for those homemade gifts. If you’re looking to fill up your Christmas pantry, Philippa suggests a stroll around St Kew Farm Shop for some extra special foodie treats, while Sophie loves to pick up a few festive additions from The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery to complete her Christmas table.
Make the most of the quieter side of Cornwall
A perfect opportunity to explore Cornwall’s most picturesque locations, the winter brings with it quieter car parks and less crowds. While some National Trust properties close after October half term, it’s worth visiting the grounds and marvelling at the beauty from a different angle. While Lanhydrock House is a favourite amongst our team, Marazion Beach also makes for a perfect wintery walk with views over the historic St Michael’s Mount out at sea.
Renowned for its luscious romantic gardens, The Lost Gardens of Heligan is one of Cornwall’s most visited attractions in the summer. But it’s worth paying a visit once the chillier months roll around too. On misty mornings, transport yourself to the depths of the jungle with a walk around their estate, or spend peaceful afternoons taking in the views over St Austell Bay from The Northern Summerhouse.
Or wander the idyllic streets of St Ives, Mevagissey and Padstow, with bobbing boats in their harbours and pastel-coloured houses wrapped around the water’s edge. Warm up with a traditional Cornish pasty from one of the local bakeries and enjoy the slower pace of life that winter brings. Should you be in South Cornwall come December, be sure to pay a visit to Charlestown for their Annual Santa Swim - a much-loved tradition amongst locals where brave swimmers take to the harbour in their festive fancy dress.
Speak to our Concierge Team to start planning your Cornish staycation: 01208 895 570