Winner of the Best UK Holiday Destination for 9 years running, Cornwall is a place where families, couples, dog owners, walkers, artists and locals alike come together year after year, creating new memories and exploring the spectacular coastline.
We invited Beach Retreats, a self-catering holiday agency in Cornwall, to let us in on some of their favourite places to visit. Like what you hear? Find your perfect staycation and join them on the beach.
A fishing village-turned-artists’ colony, St Ives is now a UK holiday hotspot that’s synonymous with stylish seaside living. Dip into the world-famous art galleries, dine in Michelin-Star restaurants and don a wetsuit to dive into the water sports scene. There are six beaches nearby to choose from, including Porthmeor, St Ives Harbour, Porthgwidden, Carbis Bay and Gwithian and Godrevy a little further afield, where you can spot seals, stare out to the lighthouse and watch the sunset from the sand dunes.
A popular holiday resort since the Victorian times, it wasn’t until the 60s that the surfers started flocking to Fistral beach in Newquay, where the town soon became famous for its surf. It flaunts a sophisticated image, with stylish cocktail bars nudging the shore and an explosion of globally-inspired restaurants. Hit the waves of the UK’s surf capital, bask in the buzzing beach lifestyle and feast in restaurants helmed by some of Cornwall’s most talented chefs.
Explore some of Cornwall’s wildest coastline, where cliff-tops peppered with engine houses overlook some of the region’s most gnarly surf breaks. In St Agnes, home to one of our most popular properties Leeward House, visitors can explore sea caves, kayak around the rock stacks, or simply frolic on the dog-friendly sands of Trevaunance Cove nearby.
As seen on the BBC One Poldark series, Charlestown is a beautiful area to explore, especially for those with kids in tow. Stroll past the iconic tall ship’s masts rising high. Step into the seafaring history of the area at the Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Museum. Walk hand-in-hand along the coast path to a necklace of pretty sand and shingle coves.
Join the families, water sports fans and dog owners that dominate the waves, rock pools and sandy runways of Watergate Bay, then gather in trendy surf-side restaurants including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and The Beach Hut, located on the sand. Watergate Bay is a slice of heaven with an abundance of things to see and do. Our 5 must do’s include plunging into the surf with a family surf lesson with the Extreme Academy, watching the sun go down at Watchful Mary – the bar on the sea wall, walking the coast path to nearby Mawgan Porth or Newquay, flying a kite on the large stretch of golden sand and, finally, enjoying a bite to eat at The Beach Hut (the crab spaghetti is our go-to).
You may recognise this beautiful fishing village from the ITV Doc Martin series. Visitors flock here every year to visit the famous house, walk the coast path to nearby Port Gavern and dine at one of the award-winning restaurants. Our go-to restaurant is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, voted the UK’s Best Restaurant for two years running in the Good Food Guide. There are pretty pubs and cafes dotted around the village, giving you plenty of places to pick up a Cornish pasty, cream tea or ice cream, before heading to the harbour wall to watch the fishermen bring in their daily catch.
Hop aboard a sailing boat, explore the bay on a stand-up paddleboard or have a gourmet picnic delivered to the beach. Falmouth is a maritime hub that’s home to the world’s third deepest natural harbour, while its creative heart and burgeoning foodie scene makes it one of Cornwall’s most vibrant seaside towns. If we were to pick five things for you to do we would recommend a visit to Pendennis Castle, a ferry trip to nearby St Mawes, a stroll around the lagoon at Swanpool Nature Reserve, an afternoon trip to the National Maritime Museum and, finally, hop aboard an Orca Sea Safari for your chance to encounter seabirds, seals and - if you’re lucky - dolphins.
Looking to holiday in Cornwall? Take a look at the Beach Retreats full collection of luxury self-catering houses, apartments and cosy boltholes. What's your favourite place to visit in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below and if you are in the Cornwall area check out our stockists nearby.