10 Best Things to do in Cornwall (England) for a Perfect Weekend Break

Are you looking for the best things to do in Cornwall? I have been to Cornwall a few times with my husband, friends and family. And every time I go to this side of the UK, there is always something that amazes me either from its rugged natural landscape, historical landmarks, fun attractions or its amazing food!

Cornwall is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the United Kingdom. This is an area of the UK known for its iconic attractions, historical sites, wind-swept moors, and majestic coastlines. Whether you are a history buff or a nature lover, there are plenty of things to do in Cornwall

If you are planning your UK itinerary, I highly recommend that include Cornwall in your trip.

The list of best things to do in Cornwall

1. Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle is one of the famous Cornwall attractions because of its association with the legend of King Arthur. Many believe that this clifftop castle is the birthplace of the fabled monarch. For this reason, the castle has a long history that dates back to Roman times. It is also the home of former Celtic kings in Cornwall.

Tintagel Castle in Cornwall
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit Tintagel Castle

This castle was originally built in 1230 under the command of the Earl of Cornwall. While the claims of being King Arthur’s birthplace have never been confirmed, this does not stop people from wanting to visit the site.

Aside from the structure itself, visitors who come to this part of Cornwall also explore other nearby attractions on the castle grounds. Among the notable Cornwall places to visit are Merlin’s Cave and St. Materiana church.

You can get your English Heritage Membership Pass here, and visit this attraction for free.

Read More: Beautiful Castles and Palaces to Visit in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales)

2. Eat a Cornish pasty

You have never been to Cornwall if you have not had a taste of an authentic Traditional Cornish pasty. The Cornish pasty has different flavours for you to try, the most popular ones are the Traditional, Steak and Ale and the Steak and Stilton pasties.

Traditional Cornish Pasties
Best things to do in Cornwall: Eat Cornish Pasty

Cornish Pasties Bakery can be found on any high streets in Cornwall or even at local beach kiosks. You can even join cooking classes to see demonstrations on how to prepare this dish. For the best pasties in Cornwall, go to Ann’s Pasties, The Clough Bakery, or Philps. 

Read More: List of Traditional and Most Popular British Foods to Try in the UK

3. Visit the Eden Project

The Eden Project is known for the two giant biomes, The Rainforest and the Mediterranean biomes. The Eden Project was constructed in 1998 and officially opened on March 2001. It is located in a reclaimed clay pit, approximately five kilometres from St. Austell.

Eden Project in Cornwall, UK
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit the Eden Project

With a long list of the best attractions in Cornwall, the Eden Project is a must-see because it is one of the most unique attractions in the region. When you are done checking out these biomes, make sure to visit the outdoor gardens and try the zip line too.

4. Enjoy the Cornwall seaside

Cornwall is known for its beautiful seaside towns and beaches. I have been to a number of Cornish seaside towns and beaches and they are all equally gorgeous. Since Cornwall is located on the Southwest side of the UK, it has been blessed with a very mild and temperate climate compared to the rest of the country.

Holy head beach in Cornwall
Best things to do in Cornwall: Enjoy the Cornish seaside — Holywell Beach

The first time I visited Cornwall, we stayed in a caravan holiday park near Holywell beach. It was my first experience and seeing the British seaside. It is one of the popular beaches in Cornwall, as well as a filming location for the famous tv series the House of Dragon.

If you want a different seaside experience, there is plenty of things to do in Newquay. Newquay is known as the surfing capital of the UK since the 60s. You can also enjoy other water sports activities here.

Newquay Cornwall
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit Newquay

Widemouth Bay in Bude, Cornwall is another beautiful Cornwall beach to visit. It is located just in Northern Cornwall and the boundary of Devon county. It is known for its gorgeous rock landscape and sandy beaches.

Widemouth Bay in Bude Cornwall
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit Widemouth Bay in Bude, Cornwall

St. Ives is one of my favourite seaside Cornwall towns and beach. It is known for its quintessential British seaside vibes, surfing and its art scene. St. Ives hosted the 47th G7 summit in Carbis bay last 2021 attended by leaders of the various member countries of Group of 7, such as the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and many more.

I wrote another article about the Best Things to Do in St. Ives, Cornwall (UK), I encourage you to read it to appreciate more the beauty of this town.

St Ives Cornwall UK
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit St. Ives

5. Visit Land’s End

One of the best places to visit in Cornwall is the iconic landmark known as Land’s End. This landmark is a marker for anybody joining the End-to-End race challenge from John O’ Groats in Scotland and ending here in Land’s End, Cornwall.

Lands End in Cornwall UK
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit Land’s End

Land’s End got its name because it marks the most westerly point of Cornwall and England’s mainland. You can get spectacular views from Land’s End of the English Channel and the Celtic Sea. It is a famous location for avid rock climbers due to its rocky shorelines and cliffs. This area has also been designated as an Important Plant Area to protect rare flora and fauna. 

6. Explore the Bodmin Moor

If you are looking for Cornwall attractions that represent its wild and unspoiled beauty, Bodmin Moor is the place to go. It is a granite moorland located in the northeastern portion of Cornwall. This upland area is often desolate with a landscape that is free of trees. Bodmin Moor is filled with peat bogs, mires, heaths, and bare rock.

It is part of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is one more reason to visit Bodmin Moor. This expanse of grassland strewn with boulders and granite outcrops is one of the most unique places you can go to. For this reason, it is one of the most recommended Cornwall points of interest for first-time visitors. 

7. Tate St. Ives

Tate St. Ives is a notable and illustrious gallery in Cornwall. It is widely known for its spiral-shaped core, but the real attraction is what is on display. There are works by experimental artists who transformed St. Ives into a mecca of modern art in the post-World War II era. Some of the best works available here are from Patrick Heron, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, and Barbara Hepworth, to name a few.

Tate Museum in St Ives Cornwall UK
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit the Tate Museum in St Ives Cornwall UK

There is also a different part of the museum that explores the history of St. Ives. It talks you through the growth and development of modern art in this seaside town. With the recent renovation, there is now a 500-square-meter gallery added to the original museum. This space was designed to host special exhibitions at various times of the year.

8. Pendennis Castle

A visit to Pendennis Castle is another great place to visit in Cornwall. This is a Tudor fort that was constructed by Henry VIII. This castle has been witness to many different battles throughout history. A famous historical landmark in Cornwall, which is a must for all the history buffs out there. Pendennis Castle is located in Falmouth. 

Pendennis Castle in Falmouth Cornwall
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit Pendennis Castle in Falmouth Cornwall

When you visit this castle, make sure to explore its grounds and interior rooms. Check out the impressive architecture of this castle was built primarily for defensive reasons against the Spanish Armada that has been spying on the British coastlines.

You can get your English Heritage passes here, and visit this attraction for free.

9. Saint Michael’s Mount

Saint Michael’s Mount in Marazion, Cornwall is an iconic landmark in the UK. Its history is far from the 11th century when it was originally purposed as a monastery by King Edward the Confessor and was given to the monks of the Benedictine order of Mont-Saint-Michel of France. Hence, it resembles its feature as a tidal island and castle on top of the hill like the one in France.

However, it was seized because of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England in the 15th century under King Henry V.

St Michael's Mount in Marazion Cornwall
Best things to do in Cornwall: Visit St Michael’s Mount in Marazion, Cornwall

Many more centuries and English monarchs had passed, and the St. Michael’s Mount was then sold to Col. John St. Aubyn in 1659. His descendants still currently live on the island in collaboration and lease with the National Trust.

You can get your National Trust Membership Pass here, and you can visit this attraction for free.

10. Minack Theatre

A visit to Minack Theatre is a great way to see the beauty of performance arts by the cliffside garden and open-air amphitheatre. Minack comes from the Cornish word “meynek” which means “a rocky place”. The creation of the Minack theatre began in 1929 when Rowena Cade open its own garden to help the performers of the open-air production of Shakespeare’s play “Midsummer night’s dream”.

It turned out to be a success, and it was then repeatedly used as a venue for various plays and other performing arts. If you happen to love theatre plays, a visit to the Minack theatre is one of the best things to do in Cornwall. You can book your ticket and check upcoming events here.

I hope that helped you in planning and appreciating the beauty of Cornwall county. If you are looking for more places to visit around the UK read this Best Places to Visit in the UK.

Best things to do in Cornwall for a Weekend Break
Best Things to do in Cornwall (England) for a Perfect Weekend Break

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Daily Mail UK, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her in travelling around the UK and beyond with a mission to promote sustainable tourism and share travel guides, travel tips, foodies, history and culture.

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