Islands Around Cornwall to Visit
June 27th, 2023
Luxury doesn’t come much more indulgent than our holiday cottages in Cornwall, and with so much to see in the beautiful county, venturing away from your holiday accommodation for the day is a must
Cornwall has plenty to explore, especially along its breath-taking coastline. Scattered with captivating little islands, we have selected our top locations for those who are eager for a mini adventure! Discover how to get to them and why you should visit.
St Michael’s Mount
Where: St Michael’s Mount is situated just 500 metres away from Marazion.
Now part of the National Trust, St Michael’s Mount is one of the classic hotspots of Cornwall. The history of the island is vast, and the site greets visitors with captivating mediaeval architecture and fascinating sub-tropical terraced gardens to explore. It is believed to have origins as a monastery in the 8th and 11th century, though this is not confirmed.
The island can be accessed via a human-made causeway which is revealed during low tide, making St Michael’s Mount an exciting location to travel to by foot.
On high tides, the mount can be accessed or exited by boat.
Where: Godrevy is situated on the East side of St Ives Bay.
From the Cornish coastline, viewers can gaze upon the charming lighthouse which sits upon the island. The lighthouse is believed to have been the source of inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse.
The small 12-acre island is renowned for its rockiness and has been the unfortunate setting for many tragic shipwrecks due to the Stones Reef just off the island, until the lighthouse was created in-between 1858 and 1859.
The best way to view Godrevy island and lighthouse is to organise a walk on the South West Coast Path. The hike will take you across Godrevy Head which reveals incredible views of St Ives and Trevose Head, with Godrevy Lighthouse stealing the show.
The area is also known for inhabiting grey seals from autumn to January, so keep your eyes peeled when travelling past private beaches and coves.
Looe Island / St George’s Island
Where: Looe Island is one mile away from the Cornish town of Looe.
Part of the Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone, Looe Island is the home of many unique species of animals and birds including Shetland ponies, Hebridean sheep and grey seals. It also boasts the largest breeding colony of the great black-backed gulls in the county.
You can visit Looe Island through the organisation of official guided trips. The boat leaves from RNLI station on East Looe, and the boat trips last around two hours in length.
St Clement’s Isle
Where: St Clement’s Isle can be spied just off the coast from Mousehole.
This small but fascinating rocky islet is full of wonder and charm and is said to have once belonged to an ancient hermit who resided there. It is about 500m from the harbour, and it is best viewed from the shoreline where you can see the energetic activity of wild birds. Some days it is also a vantage point to spot grey seals on its tiny beach.
Wild swimmers have been known to swim there, though this is not recommended!
If you walk from the village, you can find a huge cave which is rumoured to be how Mousehole got its name (Mouse Hole).
Isles of Scilly
Where: The Isles of Scilly are 25 miles off the tip of Cornwall.
One of Cornwall’s most unique features is the Isles of Scilly. Its beautiful collection of pretty islands draws visitors in search of its unique and unspoilt landscape. You may be pleased to know that hopping over to the Isles of Scilly is possible on a day trip!
The largest of the Isles is St Mary’s, which also happens to be the best choice for a one day visit. Find a secluded spot on one of its gleaming, white sand beaches or make your way to energetic Hugh Town.
The Scillonian III is a direct boat to the Isles and is acclaimed for its unforgettable views of the Cornish coastline in two hours and 40-minutes.
Which of the islands featured are you eager to visit? Why not let us know on our social media channels; we would love to know!
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.
Vote for Cornwall in the British Travel Awards today!
July 09th, 2015
It’s that time of the year again and Cornwall needs you! Why not cast your votes for the companies and attractions you think are worthy of a British Travel Award and put yourself in the hat to win a great holiday prize?
New Cornwall tourism body set to continue legacy of Visit Cornwall
April 02nd, 2015
The new company who has become responsible for promoting the thriving tourism industry in Cornwall is pleased to announce that it is “up and running” according to bosses who are set to announce the fresh launch of the private sector trade body today (April 2).