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18 Must-Visit Attractions in Cornwall

Fistral Beach | © Bryan Ledgard/Flickr
Fistral Beach | © Bryan Ledgard/Flickr
Cornwall is a place that has it all. Golden beaches which stretch on for miles, sub-tropical gardens, wild moorland, giant cliffs and more castles than you can shake a stick at. Cornwall is rugged and refined, beautiful, wild and inspirational. Here we list 18 essentials which simply cannot be missed when visiting the Duchy of Cornwall.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Park
A Cornish jungle with giants hiding under carpets of moss, mud-maids swimming in the rain and enormous towers of flowers bursting with colour at every turn in the path. Wonderful, fantastical and full of whimsy, the Lost Gardens are the real life Secret Garden.
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St Michael’s Mount

Only accessible by a man-made causeway when the tide is out, or by boat when it is in, this castle on an island near Penzance has a history of giants, war and heartbreak. Watch out for the heart-stone on your way to the top.

St Michael’s Mount © Jim Champion/WikiCommons

Mousehole

Tiny, pretty, cutesy Mousehole (pronounced Mow-zel), famous thanks to the children’s book, The Mousehole Cat, is true Cornwall through and through. Wander the little curvy streets, squeeze into pokey art galleries and snack on ice cream with your legs swinging over the harbour wall.

Bodmin Moor

Wild and barren Bodmin Moor is often wet and windy, but get it on a good day and it is one of Cornwall’s most underrated attractions. Walk for miles, bag tors, climb Brown Willy and wild camp with The Beast and legends.

St Ives

It’s a crime to go to Cornwall and not visit St Ives. Amble the cobbled streets, taste the seafood straight from the harbour, take an art class or simply enjoy that wonderful sea air. Watch out for the seagulls, they are known for stealing chips out of people’s hands.

Boscastle

If there is ever a place in the world where you can sense witchcraft in the air, this is it. Walk down the river to the harbour and climb onto the cliffs for an attack of the elements, before hitting the Witchcraft museum and then the pub.

Bedruthan Steps

Legend has it that a giant once used these enormous stepping stones as a shortcut across the bay. Nowadays, it’s a stunning stretch of sand and steep cliffs with dramatic rock formations scattered across the beach.

Tintagel Castle

Ruins
Down a steep hill, up some steps and over a bridge, is the remains of what is said to have once been King Arthur’s Cornish retreat. Stuck right out on a cliff, these castle ruins are an epic reminder that nature will always take back what is hers.
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Fistral Beach

If it’s surfing you’re into, go to Fistral in Newquay. Go to Fistral now. The surf is pumping, the views are epic, the sunsets are dreamy, the bars are busy. Seriously. Now.

These recommendations were updated on July 15, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.