We all know about the light-drenched artist’s haven of St. Ives, Newquay’s surfing beach Fistral and the dramatic beauty of Land’s End. But there is more to Cornwall than the well-known postcards. If you care to wander off the beaten track, you’ll be rewarded handsomely. With that in mind, here are four of our favourite less known gems…
Cawsand and Kingsand are often called ‘Cornwall’s forgotten corner’, yet despite the depressing nickname, The Rame Peninsula has a lot going for it. It's an area of outstanding natural beauty boasting quiet beaches, glorious views along the south west coast path and a smattering of quaint villages. Our favourite spot on this pretty Peninsula? The twinned seafront villages of Kingsand and Cawsand with their tiny, hilly streets and colourful fishermen’s cottages overlooking Plymouth Sound. Peruse the local galleries (the light here is said to rival St. Ives) or check out the beachfronts and wooded coastal path. If you get hungry, book a table at The Devonport Inn in Kingsand which specialises in classic pub food with a classy French twist. Alternatively, The Old Bakery in Cawsand makes excellent coffee and the cakes are a definite thumbs up.
Despite being voted as one of the best places to live in Britain, Wadebridge is often ignored by visitors in favour of the better known harbour town of Padstow. Bustling with independent restaurants, cafes and boutiques, Wadebridge is well worth a visit. It also home to the Camel Trail, a fantastic flat trail perfect for walking or cycling along and soaking up the beautiful views. Fans of folk should visit over the August bank holiday when the annual Cornwall Folk Festival is held in the town. Head to the Town Hall on a Thursday to shop at the Wadebridge Country Market which has been going since 1980! Here you can pick up a variety of local produce including cakes, honey and eggs, as well as shop for local crafts.
You’ve probably heard of Fowey – known for its excellent sailing and yachting and links to Daphne du Maurier – but have you heard of Polruan? This ancient fishing village lies opposite Fowey and benefits from fewer crowds and a village vibe. Wander the narrow lanes and enjoy the unspoilt charm of Polruan, climb to the top of the hill where you’ll find a ruin pre-dating all of the churches in this area or find out more about the village’s long history of boatbuilding at the active boatyard. If you get hungry there are two excellent pubs in the village, or failing that, a Ferry runs between Polruan and Fowey throughout the year.
Often overlooked in favour of Falmouth, Penryn is one of the oldest market towns in Cornwall and well worth a visit. Wandering through the town you’ll see buildings dating back to Tudor, Jacobean and Georgian times from when this peaceful town was once the main port of the river. Learn more about the town’s heritage at the town museum which is open on weekdays. Take a walk down to Jubilee Wharf where along with beautiful river views you’ll find a very modern and carbon neutral community hall. If you get hungry head to Muddy Beach, a dog friendly restaurant that does great sharing boards.
Browse our collection of holiday cottages in Cornwall.