50 reasons to love Cornwall


We love Cornwall, really, really, really love Cornwall; we love the beaches, the light, the food, the weather and the people: so what better time to discover 50 reasons to love Cornwall…

1 - The lifestyle

Outdoorsy, arty, healthy, sociable - just some of the ways that people describe life in Cornwall – and it’s all true. People work to live, not live to work – although Cornwall is full of clever artisan makers and producers in arts and crafts and foods that add substantially to the pleasure of living in the UK’s favourite county. Family life is often centred around spending time together on beaches, boats and boards.

Cornwall has a community full of businesses that really root for each other. I knew when I returned home over five years ago that it was full of big hearted people, and that I would be surrounded by family and friends, but I have been overwhelmed by fellow business people that have wanted me to succeed.’

Helen Mulhern, Managing Director, Eventy - Marketing & PR


 2 - The beaches

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Voted number I in the UK in numerous surveys, Cornwall’s beaches are photogenic, and varied. Among those regularly topping the charts are Watergate Bay Porthcurno. Bude, Crackington Haven, Daymer Bay, Harlyn, Hawkers Cove, Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula, Lantic Bay near Fowey and Mawgan Porth and Carbis Bay.

 3 - The landscape

With its coastal glories, beaches and areas of outstanding natural beauty and natural beauties - more on those later – this has to be in the top five.

The county is a veritable back garden for everyone who is lucky enough to live in Cornwall. You are never far from a beautiful beach or wide open space to stretch your legs and blow away the cobwebs after a long week. Plus it’s the perfect playground to tire out an excitable toddler before bedtime.’

Hannah Amos from Visit Cornwall

 4 - The light

For artists and photographers this is an incredible attraction for visitors and those who live here. The county has more light than any other part of the UK with more than 1,540 hours of sunshine a year.

 5 - The climate

Milder than anywhere else in the UK, Cornwall has a temperate Oceanic climate where frosts are rare, helping to shape the look and the lifestyle of the county.


 6 - The sunsets

Endlessly photogenic and breathtaking, the sunsets in Cornwall are incredible as they move around the peninsula. In the summer head to Gwithian Beach and join the surfers marking the end of another great surf day.

 7 - South West Coast Path

With more than 300 miles of coastal path in Cornwall it is an amazing way to see the county’s coastline.

Being able to step out of my front door or jump in the car and be on the South West Coast Path is the ultimate luxury...the views, peacefulness and sheer exuberance of a good stomp is unrivalled.’’

Julia Hughes from Visit Cornwall

 8 - Surfing at Fistral beach

Whether you are a serious surfer who would crack the ice to get out there, a fair weather surfer or even just a watcher on the shore, this incredible beach is one of the world’s most renowned surf spots – and home to the Boardmasters Festival in August celebrating live music and surfing.

 9 - Sailing

Cornwall is a sailing enthusiasts dream. I enjoy nothing more than climbing aboard my boat and spending hours taking in the dramatic coastline, stunning scenery and magnificent marine wildlife. After a day breathing in the fresh Cornish air, a pint of local ale is definitely the perfect end to the day. It’s all about quality time in a quality part of the world…Cornwall’

Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall

 10 - Cream tea

Clearly Cornwall’s cream tea – Jam first of course! It's the perfect treat after a long day and a yummy gift for someone you love!

 11 - ...The pasty

Cornwall’s regionally protected food is one of our most famous exports. For good reason.

I love being able to get a decent pasty on every corner in Cornwall - there’s no such thing as not being able to think of anything for lunch’, because you can always have a good pasty.’

Rosie Willmot, Cornwall Food & Drink

 12 - The Vineyards

The mild climate makes Cornwall a perfect spot for viniculture. Cornwall has Camel Valley, Knightor Vineyard and Polgoon to name but a few. Most offer tours, tasters and even restaurants to enjoy a bottle or two with friends.

 13 - Clotted cream icecream

The genius that is clotted cream: Hedgehog’ ice cream from Chapel Porth beach cafe!

Heather Sargent, Cornwall Food & Drink

 14 - The Oysters

Rock Oysters are so good that there is a whole festival to celebrate them in July.

 15 - Newlyn Fish Festival

This annual event in August shows that Cornwall’s fishing industry is alive and kicking and offers rare access to the work of our fishermen. It also raises vital funds for the Fishermen’s Mission.


 16 - Michelin-starred fine dining

There are 41 Michelin star-emblazoned restaurants and cafes in Cornwall as of February 2020 - what's not to love?

17 - Saffron buns

If I had to chose one Cornish food item I’ve loved all my life it would a Rowe’s saffron buns (specifically theirs because they’re so doughy) - when we lived in London and Gloucestershire both mother and mother-in-law would send one of the old six packs’ a week.’

Kevin Gray-Roberts Cornwall Food & Drink

18 - Cornish lobster

For me, it’s SOOO tricky to think of just ONE favourite food but if pushed I guess it would be fresh lobster. Lobster caught in Cornish waters is really really special - I had some this year from the boys at Dreckly Fish that was so succulent and sweet I’ve developed a real hankering for it. I’m told Cornish lobster is revered because our cooler waters make for much better flavour. Apparently lobster from warmer waters isn’t anywhere near as good.’

Ruth Huxley, Cornwall Food & Drink

19 - Barbara Hepworth’s gardens

Possibly Cornwall’s most famous artist, the sculpture garden in the centre of St Ives is set in her former home and studio and features an incredible array of her work.

20 - Bernard Leach Pottery

Now almost a century old – the St Ives pottery is a thriving home to ceramicists from around the world, with exhibitions and a great shop to buy affordable ceramic collectables.

21 - Falmouth School of Art

Already producing great artists including two Turner Prize nominees, this thriving art school is at the very forefront of contemporary art. Don’t miss its annual degree shows!

22 - The Newlyn School

The famous group of artists who headed to Cornwall at the turn of the last century helped put the county on the map.

23 - Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives exhibitions compete with the stunning view of Porthmeor beach viewed from its 180 degree window. Taking from the best of Tate’s collection and beyond, the gallery gives visitors the chance to view the very best artworks from local, national and international artists.

24 - The hedgerows

I love the Cornish hedges, the woods and the river near to where I live, the seasonally changing colours, sounds and scents refresh my body and mind whatever the weather.’

Victoria Whitehouse, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

25 - The seals

Surfing with friendly grey seals.’

Chris Betty, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

26 - The ocean

Our seas are the most colourful, rich, and exciting in the UK - tiny corals to ocean giants - we have it all! Rummage in a rockpool to see its secret life, watch acrobatic dolphins leap as you walk the cliffs, or surf with a seal, Cornwall’s sea is the star!’

Ruth Williams, Marine Conservation Manager

27 - The puffins on the Isles of Scilly

One of Scilly's most popular seabirds, the puffins, are back on the islands, and there's plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy these wonderful sea creatures.

{ 28 } Peregrine

My favourite Cornish’ species is the peregrine, fastest bird in the world and always a thrill to see one.’

David Chapman, wildlife photographer

You never know what magical part of nature you’re going to see from one day to the next.’

From Marie Preece, Head of Marketing and Fundraising at Cornwall Wildlife Trust

29 - Cornish sucker fish

They are really cool looking little fish with a fleshy sucker on the underside that they use to hold onto rocks. I love the bright green false eyespots on their back and their funny beak like mouths!’

Matt Slater, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Being a wildlife lover in Cornwall is great because we have lots of rough ground, the magic places which are often home to the best wildlife – atmospheric, wild, usually boggy and tucked away. In summer you can go hours without seeing another soul and be surrounded by dragonflies and stunning butterflies.’

Seán O’Hea, Mid Cornwall Reserves Manager

I love our heathlands, both on the coast and inland, which give a breathtaking blaze of purple heathers and golden gorse in late summer against the blue of the sea or a cloudless sky.’

Liz Cox, Wild Penwith Project Manager

30 - St-Just-in-Roseland church

On the stunning Roseland Peninsula sits this wonderful church and churchyard in St Just in Roseland with its lush tropical gardens and sea views, it’s a great place to stop and think awhile.

31 - Arundle Garden

For its incredible sea views and cliff top tenacity. The planting is second to none and blows the theory out of the water that gardening so close to the sea can’t be done.

32 - Poppy Cottage

Simply the best herbaceous planting schemes in the county. Awe-inspiring plant selection and successional displays. Never a bad time to visit.

33 - Tresco Abbey Garden

For sheer horticultural escapism. So many botanical gems thriving in this unique climate.

34 - Bosvigo Garden Truro

The ultimate city garden, nowhere better for hellebores.

35 - Lost Gardens of Heligan

Turning 25 this year, the Lost Gardens of Heligan could have ended up as a rare breed pig farm – but for the quick thinking of Tim Smit and a whole host of dedicated staff and volunteers who have turned it into one of the celebrated garden wonders of the world.

36 - Trewidden, Buryas Bridge, Penzance

Steeped in mining history this Victorian garden is crammed with rare specimens and exotic shrubs.

37 - National Maritime Museum Cornwall

A fantastic day out in Falmouth, the museum boasts ever-changing exhibitions (see Viking Voyagers from March this year), the best views of the harbour and beyond from its look-out tower as well as its unique tidal zone that lets you go underwater.

38 - The Eden Project

Multi-award winning and probably England’s most famous gardens, the Eden Project offers a chance to tour the world without leaving Cornwall under its famous Nicholas Grimshaw designed biomes.

39 - Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery is a marine conservation, research and education charity focusing on the European lobster – and a great day out. The visitor centre gives a peak behind the schemes at the various stages of lobsters from eggs to juveniles and there are exhibits of mature lobsters. But far from petitioning to stop people eating lobster, the hatchery promotes sustainability and works with fisherman to nurse pregnant females and increase survival rates of lobsters.

40 - The Cotehele Christmas Garland

It’s a long way til Christmas but the 60ft garland made from 30,000 dried summer flowers is a wonderful sight to behold. The gardening team at Cotehele near Saltash will begin growing and drying spring and summer flowers soon for the annual Christmas garland, which forms the centrepiece to the house’s decorations, hanging in the hall throughout December.

41 - The Royal Cornwall Show

130,000 people can’t be wrong: this annual three-day event in June showcases the county’s thriving agriculture – as well as offering a modern view of Cornish Life. Animals on show ranger from rare breeds to family pets and bees; there are flower and garden displays, jawdropping entertainment and displays as well as shopping, eating, rural crafts and the arts. First held in 1793 it has grown and grown in the 200-plus years since.

42 - Minack Theatre

A stunning clifftop outdoor theatre with a wide ranging programme of performance and a great café to enjoy the Atlantic views.

43 - Land’s End

An area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the most south-westerly point of mainland Britain, alongside its many family entertainments, it has incredible views, wildlife and walks.

44 - The engine houses

Spotted all across the landscape these iconic buildings are a constant reminder of Cornwall’s former tin mining industry and must be Cornwall’s most photographed and iconic architecture.

45 - Lizard Point

The Lizard Peninsula is the most southerly part of the British mainland and together with Kynance Cove - considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world - is owned by the National Trust.

46 - Tintagel Castle

Home to King Arthur as a boy this wonderful castle is a great day out.

47 - Independent cinemas

Cornwall is blessed with independent cinemas across its towns – in them you’ll find blockbusters, classic films and film festivals as well as screenings of national theatre productions. And there is the amazing Penwith Film Society with their incredible programme of British, classic and World Cinema.


48 - Bude Sea Pool

A well kept secret that has had a few hard times in recent stormy weathers – this wonderful (Edwardian) creation refreshes itself twice a day at high tide with water from the Atlantic Ocean, and not only provides safe bathing, but is an incredible experience swimming there on a less tranquil day when the nearby waves crash. Friends of Bude Sea Pool (budeseapool.net) – formed in 2011 to secure the Pool’s financial future.


49 - Hall for Cornwall

A centre for arts in Cornwall. This theatre punches well above its weight as a regional theatre with national shows for families as well as high culture such as ballet and opera.

50 - Heartlands

One of Cornwall’s newest cultural attractions, this oasis has been created from mining wasteland and features Diaspora gardens representing the four corners of the world that the Cornish disappeared to during the mass exodus in the 19th century. There are also tours of an engine house, shops, an award-winning café and a packed programme of community and cultural events.


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