The Ultimate Cornwall Bucket List

June 15th, 2020

Cornwall is one of the most exciting places to visit in the UK. The tip of the south-west peninsula, the region is famous for its breathtaking natural lands, stunning coastlines and historic towns.

The south-west county is full of charming secrets and lesser-travelled locations, making each visit as exciting and enjoyable as the first. However, if you haven’t been before, then there’s definitely some stuff you’ll want to make sure you see!

If you’re planning to visit the region for the first time, or simply want inspiration ahead of your next holiday, check out our ultimate Cornwall bucket list! With a mix of popular must-see landmarks, local activities and hidden gems for more regular travellers, our list has something for everyone.

The white biomes of the Eden Project in Cornwall

Discover Eden

If you’ve never been to Cornwall before, you will probably know it for two reasons. Firstly, because of its popular surfing beaches, and secondly for the Eden Project! The region’s most famous humanmade landmark, it is an eye-catching sight in the middle of the Cornish countryside, but its eco-friendly ethos is in-line with the area as a whole.

A visit to the Eden Project is one full of wonder and discovery, plus some education, especially for young minds. The park’s giant biomes are full of natural wonders from across the world, including one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests. Even if you think it’s not for you, the sheer scale and vibrancy of this location make it a must-visit.

Explore Cornwall’s Lost Gardens

While the Eden Project gets many of the region’s headlines, it’s not the only garden in Cornwall worth visiting. Less than 30 minutes south of the Eden Project sits the aptly named Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Like its more renowned counterpart, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is a botanical garden hosting tropical plants rarely seen in the UK. Unlike the Eden Project, however, the Lost Garden’s has a more historical style, with many of its garden’s decorated in a 19th or 20th-century style. If you enjoyed the Eden Project, you’ll want to discover this location!

A person with a surfboard running along the coast at St. Ives in Cornwall

Learn to Surf

Surfing is the region’s most famous pastime! Cornwall’s stunning coastlines and exposure to Atlantic climates and waves have made the area the number one location in the UK for surfing.

Due to the Cornish coast’s ragged layout, Cornwall is full of quiet surfers coves with awesome waves and stunning views. However, if you want to try surfing for the first time, the best option is to head to one of the region’s most popular locations.

St. Ives is one of Cornwall’s largest towns, and its stretching bay is perfect for learning to surf! Another popular location is Newquay, which claims to be one of the top surfing locations in the UK! Both of these popular tourist destinations are full of surf schools that can cater to beginners.

If you’re visiting Cornwall and want to get a feel for why we love our coast so much, picking up a board and giving it a go is the best way to understand!

Live History in Polperro & Looe

While it’s often overshadowed in the national conversation, Cornwall has as big a claim to history as many regions in the country! Many years ago, Cornwall was a vital connection to the rest of the world, its location making it the perfect place for ports where ships from across the world would dock.

Cornwall is one with its surrounding seas, and that is apparent in the seemingly innumerable port and fishing villages that can be seen, particularly along its southern coast.

Looe is a charming town built onto the rising valleys of its namesake river and is a hugely popular tourist destination well worth visiting. If you want something a bit more off the tourist track, nearby Polperro is a quiet village with a smuggling past that is a joy to explore.

Rocky coastline and sea views at Land’s End in Cornwall

Reach the Land’s End

Another of the region’s most popular destinations, Land’s End marks the most south-westerly point in the UK at the tip of the Cornish Peninsula. This part of the county has been visited for hundreds of years, and although our understanding of the world has improved, its unending views are still well worth a visit!

Taste the Cornish Pasty

Cornish produce is becoming more and more popular both in the UK and across the world! Grown from the region’s lush natural lands and beautiful seas, Cornwall’s iconic food is much-loved by locals and tourists. If there’s one thing you must taste when you visit the region, it has to be the pasty!

Cornish Pasties are now widely available around the UK, but none of them are as good as the genuinely local versions baked fresh every day. No matter where you are, you should be able to find one of these delights!

Traverse Bodmin Moor

Cornwall is renowned for its stunning coastlines, but its inland regions deserve some recognition, too! Covering over 200 square kilometres, Bodmin Moor is a prime example of the region’s rugged landscape away from the coast.

Designated an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, Bodmin Moor is a sweeping landscape famous for its wild ponies and granite formations, including Cornwall’s highest point. If you enjoy long walks, this is a place you should consider visiting!

The path to St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall submerged in sea water

Visit St. Michael’s Mount

One of Cornwall’s most magnificent structures, St. Michael’s Mount is something that needs to be seen to be believed! Just off the coast of Marazion, the small island is topped by a Medieval Castle that overlooks the town from afar.

One of the fascinating things about this small, awestriking island is its walking path. At low tide, it’s possible to make the journey to St. Michael’s Mount by foot. However, at high tide, the trail is submerged, and the island becomes only reachable by boat. This natural wonder is definitely something worth experiencing!

Walk the Lizard

Cornwall is awash with stunning coastlines, so much so that it’s hard to know where to start! One of the most popular places is known as the Lizard Peninsula, encompassing the most southerly point in the British mainland.

The Lizard Heritage Coast is a stunning location to explore, including picturesque villages and unmissable country walks. In this region, you’ll find Kynance Cove, regarded as one of Cornwall’s most picturesque beaches and a definite must-see for any Cornwall lovers!

Here you have some of our must-see and must-do activities for those that are visiting Cornwall. Discover our luxury Cornish cottages, providing the perfect base from which to discover everything there is to love about our beautiful part of the world!

Summer Bucket List for Your Cornwall Holiday

July 05th, 2019

Cornwall is the perfect holiday destination, with so much to see and do, you will have a jam-packed schedule! In this blog, we list some of the must-do things in Cornwall so you can start ticking off that summer bucket list! Whether you want adrenaline, to try new things or see new places, this list will offer something for everyone!

cliff edge at Land’s End in Cornwall

Discover Land’s End

An iconic spot, Land’s End is a must when visiting Cornwall! Discover stunning landscapes and beautiful blue waters. Visit the famous signpost that was established in the 1950s and capture a picture to remember your trip! Along with the breath-taking scenery, there is an abundance of speciality shops offering the opportunity to pick up a souvenir. Once you have explored, you may want to sit down and have a bite to eat at one of the many cafés and restaurants at Land’s End. Take the chance to try an authentic Cornish pasty while you immerse yourself in the stunning landscape. If a pasty isn’t tickling your fancy, why not try a Cornish scone? A wonderful little treat as you sit back and take in the glorious setting.

Fly on England’s Longest and Fastest Zip Wire

One for the thrill-seekers, Cornwall offers the chance to fly on England’s longest and fastest zip wire! Based at the Eden Project in Bodelva, this attraction will undoubtedly get your heart racing. You will stand right over a cliff edge that is 100 metres above the ground and prepare to fly like Superman across the Cornish countryside! On this half a mile zip line you will reach speeds of 60mph, so get ready for an exhilarating experience! You can enjoy this attraction for just £30, so what are you waiting for?

CC by Tom Corser @ 

Visit the Isles of Scilly

Something that visitors of Cornwall often over-look is the Isles of Scilly. Situated just off the coast of Cornwall, this stunning landscape is certainly one you don’t want to miss! You can get to the wonderful spot by either plane, boat or helicopter. The Isles of Scilly are an escape from everyday life, with barely anyone around; this place is perfect for relaxing. Even at the height of summer, you can find white sand beaches that are untouched and have no one on them! With such a small population, the Isles of Scilly offer food as local and as fresh as it can come. Some popular dishes are lobster and crab or if fish isn’t your thing, try some duck or beef. Another great experience here is the opportunity to look at the stars in such darkness. Scilly has five Dark Sky Discovery Sites and is known for being one of the darkest places in England, making it a perfect spot for stargazing.

stunning landscape at Tintagel Castle
CC by Robert Pittman (Tintagel – King Arthur Country)

Immerse Yourself in History and Beauty at Tintagel Castle

Situated between Padstow and Bude, this incredible castle is somewhere you should definitely visit when on holiday in Cornwall. Linked with the legend of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle is a place to learn all about its fascinating history but also explore the beautiful landscape it is surrounded by. As you travel the grounds, you will find numerous panels that reveal the 1,500 years of history this place holds. One of Tintagel’s best-kept secrets is its beach; this is a great spot to relax and explore some of the rockpools. While at the beach, be sure to visit the beach café and grab a bite to eat; from fish and chips to Cornish Rarebit, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to have!

Get Your Heart Racing at Adrenalin Quarry

From jumping off cliffs to defying gravity, Adrenalin Quarry is undoubtedly an exciting and thrilling day out! Here is home to Cornwall’s most extreme waterpark; an inflatable playground for everyone to enjoy. The giant swing is potentially the scariest attraction at the Adrenalin Quarry; you are momentarily weightless and then fly at high speeds through the quarry! You will also find an 800-metre all-weather go-karting track where everyone in the family can have a go and see who comes out on top.

aerial view of St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall

Explore St Michael’s Mount

Perhaps one of Cornwall’s most fascinating destinations, St Michael’s Mount is a stunning location, and there is plenty to explore. Take a trip across the causeway at low tide or take a boat trip to the island. The medieval castle has plenty of history to discover and some beautiful scenery to admire. It is that incredible that even HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited in 2013! Once you have taken your trip around the castle, take to the gardens and explore the stunning plants that flourish. With views of the luscious blue waters, you will have numerous opportunities to capture that perfect family photo with a beautiful backdrop!

If these destinations aren’t enough, take a look at these great places for a family day out in Cornwall. If you want to plan a visit to the beautiful county, then why not stay at the best family resort in Cornwall? Here at The Valley, we offer a unique collection of luxury self-catering holiday cottages that are hidden away in thirteen acres of gardens and woodland. Start planning your perfect family holiday now!

18 Things to Do in Cornwall in 2018

May 02nd, 2018

Somehow we’re now in the fifth month of the year, so now may be the perfect time to look back on your 2018 bucket list and think of what you still have left to do! With summer fast approaching, we’re re-sharing our top 18 things to do in Cornwall in 2018, in the hopes that it will inspire you to come and visit us here in the most beautiful coastal county! Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday to Cornwall, short breaks for two, or a luxury trip away with friends, there’s something for everyone:


1. Minack Theatre

A stage like no other, the Minack is an open air theatre nestled into the cliff tops in Porthcurno. With breathtaking views of the surrounding bay, you’ll be in awe as you make your way down the staggered seating steps, carved into the granite cliffs. With performances running from May to September, it’s certainly a must see.

2. Surf Lesson

Cornwall is one of the top surfing destinations in the world, so if you’re heading to the county for your holiday, remember to bring a wetsuit and try and catch some waves. If you don’t know how yet, then it’s time to get a lesson. While there are surf schools all along the coast, by far the greatest surfing spot is on Fistral beach, where all of the top surfing competitions take place in the UK.

3. Walk the Coast Path

Obviously it’s too ambitious to attempt the whole 300 mile stretch at once, but there are plenty of different walks available around the county. Get a map of Cornwall and mark off which paths you’ve walked as you do them. Maybe by the end of the year, your map will be complete!

4. Bude Sea Pool

Want the natural feel of swimming in the sea without as many risks? Try the Sea Pool in Bude. The free to use pool is semi-natural, built in the 1930s underneath the cliffs to form the experience of being in the sea, without having to face the ferocity of the waves.

5. Take Part in a Feast Night at The Hidden Hut

By day a quaint sea-side lunch spot, by night (on selected evenings), a rustic open-air feast extraganza. Buy a ticket and bring your own plate to receive a serving of the best local produce cooked outdoors on their wood-fire, charcoal grill or massive paella pans. Previous offerings have included wood-fired seafood paella, lobster & chips, slow-roasted lamb, and pulled pork with sticky ribs.

6. Experience the Waterfalls at St Nectans Glen

St. Nectan’s Glen is home to three truly spectacular waterfalls. The most famous of these is the magical St. Nectan’s Kieve, where the river has worn it’s way through the slate, creating a fascinating hole which has transformed the river into a magnificent 50 foot waterfall! Walkways through the stunning woodland take you to a further two waterfalls, one of which is a hidden gem, only recently discovered and opened to the public!

7. St. Michael’s Mount

It is one of the most famous landmarks in Cornwall for a reason. From the island you can experience the picturesque panoramic views of the bay, and to Land’s End. While you’re there, explore the spectacular castle and the luscious gardens, as well as the stunning harbour.

8. Bodmin Jail

Discover the history of this 18th Century jail with thrilling tours and activities. If you’re brave, there are after dark activities, like taking part in the night time ghost walks. If that’s not enough spookiness for you, every Thursday a scary movie is screened in the jail, followed by a tour through the historic building accompanied by a Medium.

9. Tate St. Ives

A gallery space featuring work by modern British artists with links to St. Ives. As part of the Tate art institution, the collection here is impressive and exhibitions change regularly, so there’s always something new to see.

Barbara Hepworth


10. Barbara Hepworth

Another spot in St. Ives for those interested in art, the Barbara Hepworth museum, set within the sculptor and artists home and gardens, is a stunning sight that absolutely must feature on your Cornwall bucket list. This is perfect for garden lovers too, as you will quickly see where Hepworth gained her inspiration as you stroll through the gardens accompanying her studio.

11. Camel Valley Vineyard

Is there a better way to spend an afternoon in the sun than at an award-winning vineyard that serves up top-quality wines? With guided tours and wine tasting sessions, you’ll learn all about the grape growing and winery processes, with the added bonus of a refreshing glass of red, white or bubbly!

12. Rick Stein Cookery Course

Pick up some top tips and hone your kitchen skills with the very best. With daytime courses running for a wide variety of cuisines, from shellfish to Indian Curry and from Italian to Far Eastern dishes, there’s certainly something for everyone to enjoy! Alternatively, if you just fancy a treat on your holiday, then grab a delicious portion of fish and chips from Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips in Padstow.

13. Eat a Proper Cornish Pasty

Yes, you can get a pasty from pretty much any bakery around the country. But will it be as good as a traditional Cornish bake, fresh out of the oven? No!

14. Visit the Eden Project

Home to the largest indoor rainforest, this will be an educational day out like never before. For an even more intensive experience, or for something new for repeat visitors; head up high and soar over the biomes on the 60mph SkyWire!

15. Visit Land’s End

With stunning views and an incredible coastline, Land’s End is the perfect spot to roam the cliff tops. Take your camera to keep some memories of the picturesque scenery on display. Looking into the sea surrounding you, it’s even possible to catch a glimpse of exciting marine life, such as seals, dolphins and even basking sharks!

16. Catch Your Own Supper

Being a coastal county, with almost every area surrounded by water, it is no surprise that fishing and sea food make up a major part of the Cornish life. Why not join in on a fishing trip at any of Cornwall’s harbours and reel in a bite for dinner?

17. Visit a National Trust Property

The National Trust currently manages and maintains over 40% of the Cornish coastline, but they also tend to a large number of the finest properties in Cornwall. There are so many to choose from, including the stunning Cotehele House and Lanhydrock House.

18. Explore the Cornish Mining Heritage

Cornwall is renowned for its mining heritage, with many sites to visit, explore and learn about throughout the county. From Poldark Mine, featuring a museum and tour to the Levant Mine, near Land’s End, which houses the oldest beam engine in Cornwall; now in full working order having been restored in recent years.


Which of these things would you like to try? Let us know which feature on your 2018 bucket list, or if there any attractions in Cornwall that you are planning to visit that we haven’t included!