Ah Cornwall – land of the pasty, pirates and Poldark! Having travelled down to the south coast for as long as I can remember, the Cornish coastline has long been a home away from home for me. Famed for its beautiful beaches, wild moors and calorie inducing pastries, it’s no surprise that Cornwall has won the award for UK Favourite Holiday Destination at the British Travel Awards nine times. A love letter to my favourite destination in the world, here’s my list of the top 5 places you have to visit when in Cornwall.
1. Kynance Cove
Anyone whose binge-watched the BBC’s latest adaptation of Poldark (god bless Aidan Turner!) will recognise this breathtaking sight as the backdrop for Poldark’s iconic Nampara. Overseen by the National Trust, the cove’s crystal waters, serpentine rocks and ivory sands add to the romantic aesthetic of this Cornish dream. Located alongside the Lizard Peninsula, the cove is equipped with a car park, toilet facilities and a cafe beside the beach, making for a perfect day out in the British summertime. Whether you’re a beach bum, hiking enthusiast or Poldark fanatic, there really is something for everyone at Kynance Cove. My no. 1 recommendation, anyone looking to visit Cornwall should put this insta-worthy location at the top of their bucket list.
Celebrated as the former home of English author and playwright, Daphne Du Maurier, this small town is a sailing hotspot. Situated west of the Fowey estuary, it’s no surprise that Du Maurier, famous for her novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn (both adapted for film and TV) found inspiration here. Complete with book shops, tea-rooms and a stunning blend of Medieval and Georgian architecture, this Cornish town is a must-see for any literary enthusiast. Make sure to look out for the white walls and blue shutters of Du Maurier’s iconic Ferryside, edging alongside the estuary and still owned by the family today!
Mevagissey has always been my favourite place to stay when going down to Cornwall. A quaint village with a still-working harbour, Mevagissey is a hidden paradise, located just beyond St. Austell and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Giving off Amity Island Vibes, the harbour is surrounded by a selection of pubs, galleries restaurants and shops – Hurley Books, The Ship Inn pub and Sharksfin restaurant are my personal go-tos! Proudly hosting the Mevagissey Feast Week each year – a food and music festival held at the end of June – there’s nothing like fishing by the lighthouse while the Queen soundtrack blares in the background and people dance around the harbour.
4. St. Just in Roseland Church
If you ever find yourself around the St. Mawes region, make sure to wander into the church at St. Just in Roseland. A shining example of 13th century architecture, this edenic paradise rests beside a tidal creek, decorated with tropical flowers. Completely unique, walking around the churchyard you won’t believe such a place exists – make sure you bring your camera! Described by John Betjeman, once the poet laureate for the UK as ‘to many people the most beautiful churchyard on earth’, these grounds are incapable of disappointing!
Another prime filming location, this Georgian Port takes a look back at Cornwall’s maritime history. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, you might find yourself gazing at Charlestown’s 19th century aesthetic while watching the likes of Poldark, Hornblower or Saving private Ryan. Boasting a small fleet of ships in its Grade II listed harbour, the port of Charlestown’s allure lies in its timeless and untouched beauty. I’d recommend stopping for a coffee by the quay before popping into the Charlestown Shipwreck Centre.