Whether you live in Cornwall, or you’re just visiting, there’s so many places to visit whilst you’re here. It is literally so full of amazing places to see that sometimes it’s hard to choose where to go. I thought I’d compile a small list of 5 of my favourite excursions to take in Cornwall. They’re not necessarily my top 5 places to visit but they’re certainly up there. So without further ado, let’s get started…
1. Bedruthan Steps
Just a short drive out of Newquay or Padstow, Bedruthan Steps boasts an amazing coastline. With a National Trust car park at one end, and a private car park at the other, the accessibility is as good as it needs to be. There’s also a wheelchair friendly path down to the top of the steps from the National Trust end. Now a lot of people say the steps to the beach are a grueller, but if you take a bottle of water with you, and have a few stops on the way back up then you’ll be fine. Even if you arrive at the top of the steps and decide you can’t be bothered with the walk back up, the view from the top is pretty spectacular.
The stacks that are about the beach are, according to legend, stepping stones for the giant Bedruthan. Although I hope he wears shoes, as they’re a bit pointy for my liking! At high tide the beach is cut off completely, so it’s definitely worth checking your tide times before you arrive if you plan on heading down to the beach. When down on the beach, pay attention to the tides. The beach is so flat that the tide rips straight in and could easily catch you out if you’re not paying attention.
If you get here in spring, you might get lucky enough to catch the thrift blooms that colour the cliffs up, or in winter you might catch a storm gripping the beach.
2. St Nectan’s Glen
Located in between Tintagel and Boscastle is St Nectan’s Glen. If you’re not careful, you can get lost finding this one. Through some windy backlanes, and then with parking that’s not all too obvious. You then cross the road, and walk down another path for about a mile. You’ll know you’re heading the right way once you’ve passed a group of houses, drop into a woodland and then follow a path alongside a river. Keep following the path, and then you’ll come across some wooden walkways into St Nectan’s Glen.
This is pay to enter, coming in at around £5 but well worth the money in my opinion. If you don’t want to pay, the walk in the woodlands is free and still runs along the river so is still good for a stroll. The waterfall itself is pretty magical and probably up there with one of the better sights in Cornwall, just because of how unusual it really is.
Sitting about 2 miles away from Land’s End, Nanjizal takes a little bit more effort than most places to get to. The walk to Nanjizal alone is well worth it though. The coastline here is truly astounding. Huge granite pillars stack their way down to the sea from the footpath. Huge cavernous caves dot the coastline. On a sunny day the waters are among the clearest you’ll set your eyes on. Honestly, the walk to Nanjizal alone is worth the visit.
Once at Nanjizal, you can’t miss the Song of the Sea arch. A natural slit carved out of the rocks. In summer (or winter if you’re mad), it’s nice to take a dip in its clear waters and swim to take a closer look. If you’re lucky, you might get to see the resident horses. Just be a tad careful as one starting signing he wanted to charge me when I got too close with my camera (I took the hint).
If you’ve got the kids with you, you can always take them to the amusements at Land’s End. The Enys Dodman is also on the walk to and from Nanjizal and well worth a stop to take in the view!
4. Trelissick Gardens
Located in between the King Harry Ferry and Playing Place is Trelissick Gardens. Now I’ll be the first to admit I’m not massively interested in walking around stately homes. It is however a pastime for a lot of people so there’s that part to enjoy.
For me, I love Trelissick gardens as the grounds are gorgeous and located on my favourite river with awesome views out towards Falmouth and beyond. It’s a brilliant place to go for a stroll, and there are a good few woodland walks dotted close to the grounds.
The beach is a nice place to sit and rest your bones. It’s nice to just have a chill and take in the view. You can watch the activity on the busy waterway. If you like your fishing, I’ve gone spinning down there a few times and caught bass and mackerel. I’m sure if you popped down at night you’d be in with a dogfish or two as well.
You can follow the walk around the gardens to the King Harry Ferry and back. Taking in some gorgeous views down the river towards Truro, with it not being uncommon to see a big ship anchored close by.
Sitting on the south coast, a couple miles from St Austell is Mevagissey. I’ll start this one by saying it’s not the cheapest to park at, which is a shame. You can see why with the limited space around Mevagissey though. At the heart of it, Mevagissey is much like a lot of fishing villages in the county. In certain ways you’d be just as well served visiting Mousehole or Charlestown or Polperro etc. I visited quite a few of them around Christmas last year, and I found Mevagissey to be my favourite. It was less crowded and that alone for me can be the decider!
Steeped in history, Mevagissey has long been known for its fishing and still thrives today. I found the local fisherman to be really friendly. They allowed me through to take perhaps one of my favourite photos (see below). There’s plenty of restaurants along the front for some fine dining. Also there’s plenty of arty shops around for you to browse and take home a piece to remember Mevagissey by.
So there it is, my quick list of 5 of my favourite spots. My advice would be to not take any of the lists you read on the internet as your definitive guide. Cornwall is absolutely rammed with amazing places to visit. Something I’ve been doing recently is finding a popular place and then getting a map up on the computer. I’ll then find a less visited place somewhere close. If I visit the place I choose and it’s not up to scratch, I’m still close to the main attraction anyway and can head there.
Happy exploring, and let us know your favourite spots as well!