While Cornwall might be famed for sunny beach days and picture-perfect coastal towns humming with summer crowds, there’s a lot to be said about holidaying in the county in autumn instead. The school holiday crowds have gone, the weather is decent for a few more months and there is still plenty to do and see. Here’s our Bucket List for a fun-filled autumn holiday to Cornwall…
Take a woodland walk
While Cornwall is known for being a coastal county, it also boasts plenty of forests, so woodland wanderers will be in their element. And when the season turns, there’s no greater salve to summertime withdrawal than a long, hearty walk in the woods (with plenty of time for kicking up fallen autumn leaves). Wellie boots are a must!For a spot of literary whimsy, head to Ethy Woods in Lerryn which is said to be the inspiration behind Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. Tehidy Woods is the largest in West Cornwall and boasts over 250 acres of woodland and 9 miles of pathways, so there is plenty to keep keen amblers busy. And if a woodland walk isn't complete without a steaming cup of tea and a wedge of cake? Try Cardinham Woods, a stunning woodland ran by the Forestry Commission boasting various trails - from easy to challenging - and a cafe with excellent sweet treats.
Tuck into a roast on the coast
If there’s one thing we love about the return of colder weather, it’s got to be the excuse for a roast dinner with all the trimmings. And how better to enjoy such a feast than with a coastal view to boot? Cornwall is packed full of cosy pubs, plenty of them serving up a roast on the coast. Plonked right on Polkerris beach, the Rashleigh Inn serves up excellent Sunday roast. Plus, it’s surrounded by excellent coastal walking and the beach is dog friendly come autumn, so you can bring your four-legged friend along too. If it’s sweeping views over the Atlantic you’re after, look no further than The Fort Inn in Newquay which does an epic Sunday carvery. After more inspiration? Here are some more excellent spots for a Cornish roast dinner.
Walk your dog on the beach
Pooches up and down the county rejoice the end of summer as it means on thing and one thing only to them: more beaches! Between Easter Sunday and September 30th some of Cornwall’s top beaches operate a doggy ban, so autumn marks the return of wagging tails and sandy snouts aplenty. If you happen to be visiting from October onward, you’ll be able to visit the likes of Gyllyngvase in Falmouth, Porthminster in St Ives and Polzeath beach once more. Leads at the ready!
Sit and storm watch
Cornwall is known for its dramatic storm watching opportunities thanks to its rugged coastline. Head to the Lizard Point, the most southerly tip of the UK mainland, which offers a spectacular view out over raging seas. For a town-based spot, Porthleven is known for its huge storms and you'll often see the town on winter weather reports. There are plenty of other gems but whatever you do, watch from a safe distance. The best way to enjoy them? Snuggled up with a hot chocolate, preferably in front of a roaring fire, in a dreamy holiday cottage on the coast. Photo credit: Tony Armstrong-Sly
Go beach combing
And what better way to enjoy the day after a storm than by heading out on a decent beach combing session? Hit the nearest beach and see what treasures you can find. Perhaps you’ll find lashings of pretty seaglass, hunks of driftwood or even literal treasure. Try Dollar Cove, it’s named after a Spanish ship that was lost nearby and was said to be carrying two tonnes of coins. The coins from the wreck are said to still wash up after big storms. Photo credit: Ama Strachan
Visit a fair or festival
Festivals aren’t just a summertime activity – Cornwall keeps the festivities going all autumn and winter long! Folk music fan? Head over to Bude in November for it’s annual Folk Festival where The Strawbs, Cara Dillon and Steve Harley Acoustic Trio are headlining. Prefer your festivals food oriented? No bother – you’ll love Falmouth Oyster Festival which takes place in October and sees everything from live cooking demonstrations and workshops to oyster shucking competitions and the hot chef challenge. For more of a liquid vibe, the CAMRA Kernow Falmouth Beer Festival in October is sure to go down a treat with real ale enthusiasts, meanwhile the Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair in November is the perfect spot to stock up on Christmas presents.