Let's face it, Cornwall is all about being in the open air. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the stunning Cornish coastline to escape from hectic schedules and busy routines, seeking a little bit of solace in the beaches, gardens, and moors dotted around this vibrant county. But if you've only got a short time to explore, it can be hard to know which are the must-see attractions, and which aren't worth your time. To help you plan your visit and make the most of the beautiful outdoors, we've compiled a list of our 5 favourite natural attractions in Cornwall.
If you're going to head for the beach, then why not make it this one? Not only the most stunning stretch of coastline in Cornwall, this designated area of outstanding natural beauty is one of the world's most impressive vistas. Situated on the Lizard peninsula, 2 miles north of Lizard Point, the charm of the cove first caught the attention of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who used to regularly visit the area. The beach itself can get busy, but coastal footpaths heading in a northerly and southerly direction make it easy to escape the throngs and allow you to drink in the breathtaking view in relative seclusion.
Rough Tor, Bodmin Moor
Many visitors to Cornwall hug the coastline and neglect to look at the plethora of beautiful natural options available in the centre of the county. And they don't come much more impressive than this. Rough Tor, pronounced 'row' (as in having a bit of an argument) is situated on Bodmin Moor and is the second-highest point in Cornwall. Standing at just over 1300 feet above sea level, the prominent granite ridges give the impression of being on the Yorkshire moors, and easy access and numerous car parks make this a fascinating contrast to the natural coastal features that Cornwall is more often associated with. Why not walk on the beach in the morning, then climb Rough Tor in the afternoon?
Another of Cornwall's hidden gems, often overlooked by those who prefer to focus solely on the sand and the waves, is Golitha Falls. Classified as one of Cornwall's sites of scientific special interest, due to its impressively diverse woodland vegetation, the falls themselves wind and weave their way along a section of the river Fowey, descending over craggy gorges and ancient woodlands. The scenery is as majestic as it is impressive, and the steady sound of the water makes this peaceful spot a unique place to visit.
Explore the Helford RIver, from the water.
In a county so strongly associated with the water, one of the best ways to explore Cornwall's natural features is from the water itself. Frenchmans's Creek is a stunning inlet that branches off the Helford River and Koru Kayak adventures let you get up close with the secluded nooks and enchanting surroundings. Launching from a private beach you gently paddle up the creek and towards Falmouth Bay, stopping off on route to swim in the gentle waters of the estuary before heading back towards Budock Vean. The chance to travel by kayak itself is an opportunity not to be missed, but to do so with a backdrop as picturesque as this raises the experience to the next level.
Mother Ivy's Bay
For our final natural attraction, we return to the north Cornwall coastline. Just around the corner from Padstow itself, the bay owes its name to the legend of Mother Ivy, an infamous ancient witch who apparently cursed a local family. Tucked in out of the wind by the Merope Rocks, its sheltered location is ideally suited to the changeable Cornish weather, and its lack of facilities means it's rarely crowded, even on the busiest summer day. The soft sand and gently undulating coastline make it the perfect place for a dip in the water, a stroll along the cliffs, or just a spot to unwind and reconnect.
So that's our 5 favourite natural attractions in Cornwall, and we're only just scraping the surface. For more things to do in Cornwall, whatever your taste or fancy, check out the Padstow Breaks blog. And for luxury accommodation in Padstow, visit the Padstow Breaks homepage to discover more about our accommodation in the heart of the old town.