TRURO Cornwall TR3 6LQ
If you are planning a mini holiday in the UK, look no further than Cornwall. Short breaks are good for the whole family, and though there is loads to pack into a short time, we can help with a suggested itinerary. Take a look at our previous post on how to make the most of three days in the South West county and read on to see how you can fill up your mornings, afternoons and evenings with exploring the beautiful Cornish countryside.
Depending on your time of arrival, a trip to Falmouth is a great way to start your holiday. Located just a short drive from our luxury cottages, there is plenty to see and do in the town. If you have most of the afternoon, you could wander the streets, popping into boutique shops and art galleries, or visit the National Maritime Museum, which always has several fascinating exhibitions year round. However, you might be desperate to get to the beach on arriving. Falmouth is close to a couple, Gyllyngvase Beach and Swanpool, which are family-friendly and sheltered, making them suitable for swimming.
We wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t fancy cooking on your first night at The Valley, though all the cottages have fully equipped kitchens. You could find a restaurant in Falmouth – there are several great ones – or head back to The Valley and eat at the Azura Restaurant and Bar, before getting an early night to start your first full day!
Cornwall has a lot of history to explore during your visit, from the various World Heritage Mining Sites to the castles. We recommend visiting one of the many gardens too, as Cornwall’s warmer climate is perfect for subtropical plants and early summer flowers. To combine the two, head to Caerhays Castle and Gardens. There are guided tours of the castle and 120 acres of beautiful woodland gardens. During the spring and summer, there are stunning displays of flowers and Caerhays beach is close by for a quick paddle in the sea. For lunch, try the beach café, offering a menu of tasty snacks, light lunches and delicious ice creams.
Other gardens to visit around Cornwall near The Valley includes Trebah Gardens, a subtropical paradise with a coastal backdrop and Glendurgan, also sub-tropical and near to Falmouth. At Glendurgan, you don’t want to miss the laurel maze which dates back to 1833. Close to Truro is Trelissick Garden at the head of the Fal Estuary. There are jaw-dropping views and 375 acres of woods and gardens to discover. Further afield is Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens near Penzance. Set in a sheltered valley, the woods and stream offer the perfect home to exotic and subtropical plants, and you can admire the impressive St Michael’s Mount in the distance. Finish off your first full day in Cornwall with some traditional fish and chips, be it at the beach overlooking the sea or cosied up in your cottage!
St Ives on Cornwall’s north coast is a main holiday resort in the town. Surrounded by sandy beaches, the old fishing town is the perfect place if you want a beach day as part of your short break, and there is plenty to see in the town when you have had enough of the sand, such as the Barbara Hepworth Museum, the Tate St Ives and Leach Pottery gallery. Have lunch at one of the many cafés or grab a pasty to have on the beach.
When it comes to beaches, there is a lot to choose from, with some being dog-friendly too. Porthmeor is possibly the premier beach at St Ives and one of the best in Cornwall. The long stretch of golden sand is a Blue Flag beach which sees the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, making it a prime surfing sport. If you want something more sheltered, Porthminster Beach might be better suited for families. Carbis Bay is a mile out of the town, but the sandy beach has good facilities and is sheltered from the wind which makes it popular with families. If you have your four-legged friend in tow, Porthkidney Sands has no restrictions throughout the year. After a busy day in the sun, just head back to your cottage to eat in with a simple meal.
The clifftop amphitheatre overlooking Porthcurno is a must-see for visitors to Cornwall, even if you miss a chance to see a performance. The theatre has been carved into the craggy cliffs, and the views of the azure Atlantic add to the dramatic setting. Keep in mind Minack is a working theatre, which means there are limited visiting hours during the production season. You can wander the grassy terraces or simply look and enjoy the view and pay a visit to the exhibition centre which explores the story of the open air theatre in words, photos and film. The subtropical gardens are also open, which has plants from the Canary Islands and South Africa. Visitors can also grab a bite to eat at the café and admire the fantastic view over the theatre and ocean.
On your last day in Cornwall, you might as well cram as much into your day as you can! After exploring the Minack Theatre, head to the beautiful Sennen Cove. A great sandy beach, the harbour is still in operation and the waves hitting the beach are perfect for surfing. For those who don’t want to spend much time at the beach, you may prefer a walk along the South West Coast Path. The path runs around the whole of the Cornish coastline and gives walkers a chance to see some of the most stunning views of the county. A popular walk from Sennen Cove takes you three miles to Land’s End. The most westerly point of mainland Britain is a popular landmark but arriving at 5pm means there will be fewer crowds, and there is time to treat yourself to a Cornish cream tea.
Start your final day in Cornwall early with a hearty breakfast before packing up the car and heading home. Before leaving Cornwall, make one last stop at one of the country’s most iconic attractions, the Eden Project. It has a worldwide reputation and its ability to transport you to rainforests, and the Mediterranean mean it is not unfounded. Wander the biomes, taking in the sights and smells, and educate yourself on the origins of tea and sugar. There is always something happening at the Eden Project too, so be sure to take a look at the website before your visit.
How would you plan a short break to Cornwall? We’d love to know what you would pack into a mini break, is there any must-sees for you? Be sure you get in touch to find out about our family and dog-friendly accommodation.