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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Location Guide: Kennall Vale
December 23rd, 2019
Kennall Vale is located between Redruth and Penryn, and welcomes their thousands of visitors, year after year, thanks to the beautiful woodland, fascinating history and its sterling reputation as a popular dog walking spot. Evidence of its interesting past as a gunpowder factory can still be found today. With the nature reserve being scattered with old granite ruins, it is the perfect blend of natural attraction and industrial heritage, and is a great spot to explore for both those visiting Cornwall for the first time and regular visitors looking for a new adventure.
Conveniently located at equal distance between Redruth, Penryn and Truro, our luxury Cornwall cottages are just a short and simple twenty minute drive down the A39. Entry to the woodlands is free and the site is managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. The woodlands is open at all times, but the best time to visit for wildlife, views, and weather is between April and September. That said, visiting during the off season increases the likelihood that you’ll get the place to yourself, enabling you to make the most of the peace and quiet.
Today, the densley wooded valley is a peaceful haven for those hoping to escape the hectic nature of everyday life, providing the opportunity to take a step back, slow down and really appreciate your surroundings. Any noise that does disturb the silence is likely to be the song of a bird or the sound of rushing water in the distance, but that has not always been the case. This site was once host to a gunpowder factory, chosen for its proximity to the River Kennall, as the cascading waters provided a power source, diverted into waterwheels. The woodland was also chosen because of the number of trees already there, alongside the opportunity for the company to plant more trees. At the time, this was done to help towards absorbing a large explosion, but has now created a delightful woodland area for both locals and visitors to enjoy.
To make gunpowder, three core ingredients are required; charcoal, saltpetre and sulphur. They are ground down into a fine powder, which is then compressed, and despite these seemingly simple steps, there were ten stages to the process, all of which took place in a variety of different buildings. The site once consisted of 50 buildings to accommodate such a process, and while many remain, nature is slowly taking over those that are beginning to fade away into the undergrowth. Despite all of those safety precautions, accidents happened. In May, 1838, five mills blew up after one another, with some reports suggesting that the roof of one was found over a mile away. A further explosion happened a few years later and one worker wasn’t so lucky, with body parts strewn across the site.
There are a plethora of walking routes and trails to check out during your visit, making this the ideal spot for those that have bought their four-legged friend along with them. On a nice day, take a picnic and find a spot close to the picturesque waterfalls for an atmospheric lunch with a view. The quarry is flooded and features a sheer rock face rising out of the clear water.
Whilst looking around the nature reserve, keep a keen eye out for some rare and unusual wildlife species including the greater horseshoe bat, along side the typical creatures you may expect to call this home. Interestingly, Kennall Vale is also popular with bird-watchers as it is often referred to as the best place in Cornwall to spot dippers.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about what awaits you at Kennall Vale and the sorts of things you can look forward to for your next visit to Cornwall. For more information on the best places to visit during your stay at The Valley, check out our blog for location guides, including one on Kynance Cove, and other fantastic pieces on what’s on and around our luxury Cornwall cottages.
Location Guide: Crantock Beach
February 08th, 2019
In our new location guide series, we will be taking a look at some of the most interesting and exciting places around Cornwall. Crantock Beach is located in Newquay on the north coast of Cornwall, and as well as being a gorgeous location it also hides a romantic secret. Read on to discover more about this fantastic spot.
A stretch of golden sand framed by impressive dunes, Crantock Beach is suited to an array of beach activities. The sand is ideal for building sandcastles and is also very soft, making it the perfect place to head for a seaside stroll. The surf is typically excellent at this beach, and with surfboard hire and lessons available here, it doesn’t matter if you have never surfed before or do not have any boards with you! Other water sports such as snorkelling, swimming, wind-surfing and canoeing are also very popular here. For those visiting between May and September, there will be lifeguard cover on the beach, allowing you to partake in such seaside activities with extra safety.
With no restrictions in place for dogs, Crantock is also the perfect place for walkies with your pup, especially with a variety of walking routes in the area. Perfect for a full day out on the beach, the area is equipped with toilets, a café for refreshments and parking for up to 150 cars! Owned by the National Trust, parking will be free for members.
As with many locations in Cornwall, myth and legend has long surrounded one area of this beach. At the far end of the beach sit a series of small caves that are hidden within the cliff walls. These caves are only accessible when the tide is low, and they can quickly get cut off as the tide rises. While rumours of carvings in these caves have long been whispered in the local area, recent photos of the mysterious carvings have proven their existence and shared the sad tale with the world.
The carvings are of a woman and a horse, alongside a poem, and they appear to be in reference to a local folklore tale. As the story goes, a woman was exploring the caves on her horse when she realised that she had been cut off by the tide and tragically drowned. Her partner, known as Joseph Prater, is said to have carved the poem and images into the cave wall as a tribute to his late wife after he failed to locate her. It is thought to have been completed in the early 1900s. The poem reads:
“Mar not my face but let me be
Secure in this lone cavern by the sea
Let the wild waves around me roar
Kissing my lips for evermore.”
While the caves on Crantock Beach are accessible, and the carvings can be located, extreme caution is advised, as the story itself warns of the dangers of the tides here.
If you would like to explore Crantock Beach or any of the other incredible coastal locations in Cornwall, then our luxury Cornish cottages act as the perfect base for your adventures!
Image Credit: Nilfanion