Five of the best towns to visit on your Cornwall holiday

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Cornwall has long been one of the UK’s most popular staycation destinations. And for good reason! The most southerly county is a land of rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, picturesque villages and a rich cultural history.

With an entirely chilled out vibe, Cornwall is an excellent place to get away from the stress of daily life and simply slow down. Rather than spending your entire break on the beach, make sure to leave a day or two for exploring some of the great Cornish towns.

However you choose to see Cornwall – caravan holidays, camping trips or B&B getaways – check out our recommendations for some of the best towns to visit. We’re sure you’ll find a new favourite destination here.

St. Ives

Plenty of postcards show the picture-perfect town of St Ives, a beacon for artists and beachgoers alike. The winding cobbled streets of the town are home to plenty of artsy shops and galleries, full of works inspired by stunning Cornish landscapes and the surrounding seas.

With an impressive view out over the waves, the Tate St Ives is a stop visitors shouldn’t ignore. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of art, the gallery features a café with tasty local food and a great opportunity to enjoy those sea views.

If it’s beaches you’re looking for, you can choose between the golden sands of the harbour-adjacent Portminster Beach or the rockpools and surf of Porthmeor Beach on the opposite side of the town.

Padstow

Anyone who’s followed celebrity chef Rick Stein has surely heard of Padstow. And if you’re looking for a taste of his culinary delights then there are a few restaurants to choose from here.

But, as the locals would be keen to point out, Padstow is about more than just a renowned chef. This picturesque fishing town was attracting visitors decades ago, with people drawn to its narrow streets and lovely harbour. 

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It’s also the perfect point to charter a boat for a trip down the scenic Camel Estuary. Part of a recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) this river valley offers a tranquil landscape and the perfect escape from any crowds there might be in the town proper.

Falmouth

Few spots in Cornwall can compete with the depth of maritime history that you’ll find in Falmouth. That’s why the National Maritime Museum sits on the edge of its harbour, offering plenty of information and exhibits on Cornwall’s seafaring heritage.

Thanks to the nearby university, the town centre is a vibrant place filled with plenty of shops, galleries and cafes to step into. For anyone craving a Cornish pasty there are more than enough places in Falmouth to find one!

Truro

This one’s technically a bit of a cheat, as Truro has the distinction of being the only Cornish city. But that just makes it even harder to avoid recommending a trip there!

The architecturally minded will love exploring the majesty of Truro Cathedral, which dominates the city’s skyline. In terms of history, the Royal Cornwall Museum is an excellent place to learn more about the rich history Cornwall is steeped in.

Newquay

Cornwall might be the surf hub of the UK, but Newquay is its undisputed surfing capital. It’s here that you’ll find the Boardmasters festival, where surf competitions meet a major music festival spread across five days in the autumn.

Even outside festival season, Newquay is a town that attracts plenty of visitors to enjoy its blend of seaside relaxation, thrilling water activities and lively nightlife. Located on the north coast, the town is easily accessible by public transport and even has its own nearby airport.

And that’s just scratching the surface! There are far more lovely towns to visit than we’ve had space to talk about here, from Penzance in the south to Bodmin up north. 

It doesn’t matter whichever part of Cornwall you’re planning to visit on your next caravan holiday there’ll be a wonderful town nearby for you to explore.

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