Spring in Cornwall is nothing short of magical: a time when the county dazzles with a kaleidoscope of colour and flourishes with new life. Providing an idyllic window for a luxury break, you can look forward to drawn-out weekends and much-anticipated weeks away, immersing yourself in all that makes this season so special.
Whether you are staycationing on the coast, enjoying a quiet break in a picturesque village or treating yourself to a luxury rural retreat, you will be spoilt for choice for activities and attractions.
1. Spring Gardens
Thanks to its lovely balmy climate that fuels new growth, they say that spring in the UK officially starts when the magnolias to start to bloom in Cornwall. Filling the air with heady scents and bringing the landscape to life with bursts of colour, these beautiful flowers can be seen all over the county, but for the best examples, you should definitely visit some of Cornwall’s gorgeous spring gardens. Topping the list is Caerhays Castle, home to a 140-acre English Heritage Grade II Listed woodland garden and a stunning NCCPG National Magnolia Collection. With over 600 varieties on display, there is no finer collection in the county. Elsewhere, Trebah, Trewidden, Heligan, Tregothnan and Trewithen are all brilliant gardens that invite visitors to discover delightful botanic worlds. Once spring is firmly underway, bluebells also start to appear, covering woodland floors in May with millions of swaying purple flowers. For the most luscious bluebells carpets, Tehidy, the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall, is one of the best places to go.
2. Dog-Friendly Beaches
A welcome haven for dogs and their besotted owners, Cornwall’s coastline is graced with many magnificent dog-friendly beaches that are accessible 365 days of the year. Despite a new laxed approach to dog beach bans in Cornwall, there are still certain regulations in place that restrict dogs on beaches between July and August from 10am to 6pm each day. Naturally, the shoulder season of spring is a brilliant time of year to book yourself a seaside cottage and make the most of vast, empty swathes of sand before the temperatures start to rise too much and regulations come into force. Although it’s hard to choose, some of our favourites include Perranporth, Praa Sands and Gwithian, each rewarding walkers to miles of shore for salt-kissed strolls and games of fetch. Read our dog-friendly guide for more information and peruse our selection of dog-friendly self-catering retreats to find the perfect cottage for you and your pup, ready to scatter paw prints in the sand and make memories to last a lifetime.
3. Spring Festivals
Many of Cornwall’s favourite festivals take place in the spring and there is always plenty going on across the county’s towns and villages. Kicking off spring’s line up is the most famous of all: St Piran’s Day. Remembered on the 5th March every year, St Piran’s Day is the national day of Cornwall and is held in honour of Saint Piran, the patron saint of Cornwall and the patron saint of tin miners. Recognised in all sorts of different ways, there is nothing better than tucking into a hearty pasty on this unique day and joining in with local celebrations. Later on in spring, you can look forward to the Falmouth Spring Festival, the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show, and for food fanatics, the Porthleven Food Festival. For more traditional celebrations, you should also pop St Agnes Bolster Festival, held annually on the Sunday before the early Spring Bank Holiday in May, and Helston Flora Day, held in early May, on your list too – just watch out for the giants and dancing trees!
4. Outdoor Activities
With the county finally relinquishing its frosty winter cloak, spring in Cornwall enjoys bright sunshine, clear blue skies and verdant landscapes that simply beg for exploration. From outdoor enthusiasts to sports lovers to wildlife watchers, everyone can enjoy their favourite pastime along the empty coast paths, golden beaches and thriving wildlife reserves. If you have little ones in your family, there are lots of beach activities you can enjoy whatever the weather and the county’s National Trust properties are always hosting spring games, including Easter egg hunts and signs of spring trails. For those looking to take a splash, it’s never too late to learn to surf, but if you’re after something a little more sedate, there are other great family-friendly watersports too including wild swimming and paddle boarding that will leave all generations invigorated and revived. Another day, why not take to wheels cycling around Lanhydrock or along the Camel Trail, before returning to your private retreat and plonking on the sofa, broad-smiled and starry-eyed.
5. Al fresco dining
After a day in the sun cycling the Camel Trail or learning to surf why not make the most of the longer evenings and set up your own al fresco dining experience on the beach. Bring a bottle of something scrummy and cook up your favourite beach meal surrounded by friends and family and lots of blankets. If a beach barbecue isn't your thing, then head back to your very own private holiday home to curl up in lots of blankets and watch the sunset while enjoying your lovely home comfort meal. Al fresco dining will often add that extra sprinkle of something special to the evening along with spending quality time with those around you.
If we have tempted you to come down to Cornwall to see the delights spring offers, check out our gorgeous cottages in Cornwall.