Cornwall Travel Guide

Eden Project, Cornwall

Introduction & Overview

The Cornwall Travel Guide looks at visitor attractions and places of interest in the county along with providing useful tourist information for travellers. The area guide includes travel information on local entertainment, sites, transport and travel, events, facts & figures, maps and accommodation.

Cornwall is the most southerly county in the UK and is long established as a favourite holiday destination for tourists, it has many miles of unspoilt coastline and countryside along with national parks, historic attractions and remains including world heritage sites making it an attractive place to visit.

Cornwall is helped by a mild climate and higher than average rates of sunshine, the elements and environment all seem to be in Cornwall's favour.

Cornwall has always appealed to those that want to enjoy a relaxing break in peaceful, tranquil surroundings, with the absence of large noisy cities in the vicinity, it certainly is a place you can relax and unwind.

The Cornish are proud of their culture and traditions and efforts are being made to preserve this. Indeed at one stage Cornish maintained its own version of the Gaelic language, and Cornish folklore and customs remain among the most unique and attractive features that set the county apart from the rest of the UK.

Cornwall is often described as essentially having two parts, these are spilt between the two coasts. The South Coast is characterised by its warm air and mild climate and the north coast boasting a more rugged coastline and the environment here ensures it is a surfer’s paradise with many flocking here to enjoy the waves.

The best known town in the North Coast is Newquay, known to many as the top surfing spot in the UK. The town has grown in to a popular tourist attraction in itself and is now a very popular resort.

There are some great beaches here including Fistral beach that hosts both national and international surf competitions. Among the surfing community Watergate Bay and Tolcarne are the other favoured beaches.

Falmouth is located 11 miles south of Truro, the town has played a leading role in Cornwall's long and distinguished maritime history. Falmouth’s strategically important location meant it was earmarked for development and the harbour is the largest in Cornwall.

The town has retained its maritime prominence and today hosts a number of sailing and diving events each year. Falmouth attracts many visitors each year drawn to its beaches, shopping facilities and mild climate.

As a university town, Falmouth has a lively atmosphere hosting a number of live bands each year and is home to a number of art galleries. The town includes a choice of shops along with a range of pubs, bars, bistros and restaurants offering a choice of food and drinks.

Local attractions include the National Maritime Museum Cornwall; charting the maritime history of the area, with a large collection of boats; there is a cafe and museum shop. Falmouth Art Gallery includes a diverse range of 19th and 20th century art collections from a number of Cornish artists.

Historic Pendennis Castle dates back to the 16th century, the castle is regarded as one of the finest examples of a Tudor fortress. Visitors can see the Tudor gun room and learn more at the discovery centre and interactive exhibitions.

The Kimberly Park Municipal Garden includes a number of ornamental trees and formal flower beds along with exotic sub-tropical plants that thrive in Falmouth’s maritime climate, offering visitors a fine place to enjoy a picnic.

Truro is located in south Cornwall, it is also the county town and only city in Cornwall. The charming city is a compact one and is known for its historic cobbled streets and Georgian architecture.

Historically Truro’s port location meant it was an important port benefiting from the fishing and mining industries. The city is currently the commercial and administrative centre of Cornwall.

Truro has a choice of shopping facilities and amenities including well known high street retailers along with a choice of independent traders offering a choice of local goods including local Cornish foods and crafts. Visitors can see weekly food markets in the city.

The city hosts a number of festivals throughout the year and includes a choice of art galleries making it a favoured destination for culture fans.

Local attractions include Truro Cathedral known for its 19th century gothic revival architecture, guided tours are available. The Royal Cornwall Museum is the oldest museum in Cornwall, showcases Cornish culture and history with collections and exhibitions covering archaeology, geology and art.

Victoria Gardens includes gardens and fountain offering visitors a tranquil getaway from the city. Entertainment is available at the Hall for Cornwall theatre with a varied programme of music, pantomime, ballet, comedy and drama.

Newquay is located in north Cornwall, 12 miles north from Truro. Newquay s a popular seaside resort known for its laid back atmosphere and is often referred to as the surfing capital of the UK.

Formerly a small fishing village, the arrival of the trains in 1876 heralded an expansion in the town, over the years the town has continued to develop and has became a sought after area to visit, live and work.

Visitors can choose from miles of golden sandy beaches offering a great place to enjoy a family holiday, the local area benefits from some wonderful natural scenery. The town centre includes a number of shops and local amenities offering a choice of eateries, bars, pubs, restaurants serving a choice of food and drink.

The town is renowned for its lively nightlife with a range of trendy bars, pubs and nightclubs.

Newquay is a favourite location for surfers with a choice of beaches for surfers to indulge in their passion. The town is well known for its sailing with the Newquay Sailing Club holding regular events and races. Local attractions include Newquay Zoo, with over 300 animals and 130 species from around the world.

The Blue Reef Aquarium showcases local marine species in themed areas giving a fascinating insight in to life in the ocean. Trenance Boating Lake is located in 26 acres of gardens and includes crazy golf, play area and boating lake.

The town is well located for walking enthusiasts, located in the South West Coast Path, walkers can find a number of varied and interesting walks in and around the town ranging from beachside walks to more challenging coastal and cliff path walks.

Penzance is located approx 25 miles of Truro in the west of Cornwall. Penzance is the most westerly major town in Cornwall and is well known as a port. Historically a market town, historic port, local industry included fishing, agriculture and mining. Visitors can see the sub tropical plants and palm trees that are plentiful in the town.

The Penlee House Museum includes a collection of paintings by the Newlyn School of Artists and includes displays and exhibitions of local antiquities and artefacts. The island of St Michael’s Mount is assessable via the causeway or boat; visitors can see the fairytale castle and sub tropical gardens.

Chapel Street is home to a range of antique shops and pubs with plenty of character, here visitors can wonder around the shops and enjoy refreshments and a hearty meal in one of the historic pubs. The town centre includes a number of historic buildings including Egyptian House that dates back to the 19th century.

Morrab Gardens are located close to the seafront, the gardens were landscaped back in the Victorian era and subsequently turned in to a park at the end of the 19th century. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll in scenic surroundings with a number of sub tropical plant species in the gardens.

Contemporary art can be found at The Exchange Gallery that includes works from local, national and international artists.

St Austell is located 15 miles from Truro in the heart of the county. It is the largest town in Cornwall and over the years was associated with the china clay industry along with tin and copper mining that helped to grow the town.

Today St Austell still exports clay and it remains an important local industry. Visitors can enjoy a number of local beaches in the area along with a number of tourist attractions.

In recent years the town centre has been subject to regeneration and modernisation; visitors can find a choice of shops and amenities here including at White River Place, along with a choice of eateries, bars, cafes and restaurants.

The historic centre of the town includes Holy Trinity Parish Church and Market House known for its Italianate façade.

Local attractions include the Eden Project located approx 3 miles from the town. The Eden Project is one of the best known attractions in Cornwall. Located in a former clay pit, it has become one of the top eco attractions in the UK.

Visitors can see the biomes including the tropical and Mediterranean biomes, outdoor biome and the Core where visitors can see a number of fascinating plant species from around the world.

Pinetum Park is located on the outskirts of St Austell includes over 6,000 labelled plants and a number of gardens to explore along with local wildlife. The St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre is an interactive museum that looks at the history of beers, spirits, wines and pubs in Cornwall and the people that created them.

The village of Charlestown is located a few miles away; the Charlestown Shipwreck Centre includes a number of historical artefacts relating to the Titanic, HMS Victory, along with pirates and smugglers.

The Wheal Martyn Museum and Country Park is an open air museum where visitors can learn more about the local china clay industry.

The South West Coast Path travels right through Cornwall coming from Devon and going right round the Cornwall coast.

This presents walkers with a wealth of opportunities in many locations to enjoy the Cornish coastline, come up close to the wildlife and really appreciate the wonderful surroundings on offer here.

There are many short walks of a few miles to try, visitors can be more adventurous and try longer walks too, if the mood takes them.

The gentle rather relaxed reputation of Cornwall means it is not known as a night time hot spot. However the town of Newquay has gained a reputation as a vibrant place for nightlife where the nightlife has gone from strength to strength and many in the region flock to Newquay when looking for a great night out.

Cornwall has plenty to offer tourists, there are ancient remains and a fascinating history in the county, with great scenery arguably among the best seen in the UK. The many miles of coastline with are also a haven for surfers in Newquay, which also boasts the most vibrant nightlife in the region.

There are castles, stately homes and gardens along with an unspoilt countryside for all to enjoy. Cornwall is famous for its tranquillity and relaxed pace of life, it is perfect for visitors looking for a place to get away from it all and relax.

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