One of the most memorable holidays we had last year was in Cornwall, where we based ourselves near Fistral Beach for a few days of beach-hopping, seafood and scenic country drives. It was an amazingly relaxing family break, and Cornwall is now one of those places I can’t wait to return to (I suspect it may be the same for any of my readers who have visited!). To help inspire your next Cornwall holiday, here’s a short list of the highlights from our own first-time trip:
1. St. Agnes
My favourite Cornwall beach of all was Trevaunance Cove by the very quaint St. Agnes. Although it was an overcast morning when we stopped by, it only added to the village’s character and the beach’s dramatic scenery. We watched the fishermen preparing their nets and heading out to sea, climbed rocks and explored caves, and wandered around the gorgeous village with a tasty Cornish ice cream in hand.
2. Minack Theatre
The spectacular Minack Theatre is one of the best-known open air theatres in the country. It was carved into granite cliffs above Porthcurno beach, overlooking the Atlantic, back in the 1930s. The project was the vision of a local lady who wanted to see performances of Shakespeare, and we think it’s hard to think of a more a dramatic setting! It is open for visits throughout the year, but plays are only on during the summer months, so make sure you check what’s on and book tickets before your holiday.
3. Fistral Beach
We were lucky enough to stay on Fistral Beach, which is the main draw in Newquay and among the biggest attractions in Cornwall. It’s a major surfing destination, and we loved the atmosphere here, plus the turquoise shade of the water and the many great restaurants nearby. My son loved creating epic sand castles of course, swimming in the sea and rockpooling for crabs. In one afternoon, we saw a handful of the little scuttlers and caught precisely none. However our son didn’t mind in the slightest, it was all about the thrill of the chase for him. Watching him scamper around on the rocks is a magic memory of our Cornwall trip.
4. Godrevy Lighthouse
Standing on an island off St. Ives beach, the Godrevy Lighthouse has probably saved countless lives over the years as it guards a very dangerous reef. It’s thought to have inspired Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘To the Lighthouse’. I’ve always loved photographing lighthouses for some reason, we saw loads of them on our USA road-trip. You can often see basking sharks and dolphins playing in the waves nearby as well.
5. St Ives
The afternoon we spent wandering around St. Ives was probably the highlight of our Cornwall holiday as far as I’m concerned. The town is based around a picture-perfect traditional fishing harbour, and is lined with art galleries, stylish boutique and quirky shops, and famous restaurants. St. Ives’ beach is gorgeous, although busy of course, and I think my perfect day here would be the morning wandering the narrow streets and back alleys, and an afternoon stretched out on the sand.
6. Carbis Bay
A beach very close to St. Ives and easily reached by car or train. We happened to stop by here for lunch on our way into town and were so happy we did – the views from the restaurant were so magnificent we ended up staying twice as long as we intended! I think another half a day here is well overdue.
Where to stay in Cornwall:
Cornish Horizons offer a range of gorgeous cottages perfect for that Cornish getaway, especially for families! We’re particularly fond of this nautical cottage in St Ives looking over the harbour- what a view!
We’d love to know – did your favourite Cornwall spot make the list? If not, make sure you let us know in the comment section below.
nb: This post was written in collaboration with Cornish Horizons, but of course all holiday fun was our own.