Cornwall boasts a variety of breathtaking attractions, from ancient ruins and cascading bluffs to famous surf spots and some of the best driving roads in Britain. If you’re looking for photo-ops with over 100 places to camp along the way, pack up your campervan and check out this guide to the top five routes for enjoying the Cornish peninsula.
This 120 mile round-trip starts in Newquay and travels up the coast to Tintagel, home of the King Arthur legend. Along the way, see the Bedruthan steps, splash about in Constantine Bay and visit the Trevose Head lighthouse. Also worth seeing: the fishing port of Padstow and Stone Age fort in Port Isaac. From Tintagel, head north to Boscastle then venture inland to Bodmin for picturesque walks and a visit to Launceston’s Norman castle before returning to Newquay.
Also 120 miles, this route takes you down to Truro, Cornwall’s Cathedral city and shopping town, and St. Austell. Take the ferry or drive to St. Mawes, visit the quaint village of Mevagissy and the Lost Gardens of Heligan along the way. Next, enjoy the hillside town of Fowey before heading to Polperro and Looe for some scenic walks, boat tours and shark fishing. Return via the market town of Lostwithiel and see Restormel Castle prior to ending your trek in Bodmin.
Driving to Britain’s most westerly point, Land’s End, you’ll go through beautiful St. Ives, with Virginia Woolf’s Godrevy Lighthouse, as well as Zennor and St. Just for more coastal paths and some mermaid folklore. Heading up to Penzance, of musical pirate fame, walk across to St. Michael’s Mount, see the Greek-style Minack Amphitheatre and sample “stargazy pie” in Mousehole. Lastly, visit Gweek’s seal sanctuary, the subtropical gardens of Mawnan Smith, and Pendennis Castle in Falmouth on your way to Truro.
This circular route around the Cornish coast travels from Penzance and Land’s End up to Polperro and St. Agnes, which is surfing heaven. Unlike the routes above, this takes you to Britain’s most southerly point: The Lizard Peninsula, full of island-speckled waters and numerous caves. Before completing the circuit, visit Merry Maiden’s Circle to see Neolithic granite stones, reaching 78 feet tall, still formed in a perfect ring.
A 7-Day Sightseeing Adventure
For those who wish to see everything Cornwall has to offer, this trip encompasses all the sights mentioned in the previous four routes. Newquay is a good place to begin as it’s not only by the airport, but several campervan rental companies will also pick you up from there.
A few key pieces of kit to bring with you would be a good guidebook, road atlas and extra memory cards for your camera. The list of places to visit and things to do is virtually infinite, but for a more comprehensive list of attractions, accommodation and a personal route-planner, go online to VisitCornwall.com and see where your holiday will take you.
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned
Sally writes for Reserve Apartments, Edinburgh Festival Accommodation specialists. Reserve Apartments also feature properties in Glasgow, for an Apartment in Glasgow visit http://www.reserveapartments.co.uk.