What it's like
With no mountains to speak of, it’s the beautiful coastline that draws most of Cornwall’s walkers, although there’s some surprisingly wild and remote going on Bodmin Moor too.
The South West Coast Path circumnavigates the whole peninsula, and if you only had time for one section of this 600+ mile marathon, you’d be hard pushed to better this one: tracing the coast from Bude to Plymouth and using public transport to link the two. Along the way you’d pass sheltered coves, sweeping gold-sand beaches, wave-battered headlands and many small villages and towns. You’d almost certainly have seen dolphins and seals, as well as peregrine falcons and the very rare chough.
For day walks, there are so many beautiful sections that it would be difficult to know where to start; although the western tip, around Land’s End, has to be among the most dramatic.
Inland, there are the moors, with Bodmin, which stretches almost the whole width of the county, offering plenty of choice, as well as some wonderfully wild scenery.
A coastline as beautiful as this is bound to attract plenty of water sports enthusiasts but what’s perhaps not quite so obvious is the quality of climbing on offer, with some of Britain’s finest sea cliff routes dotted around the coast. Bosigran, Sennen and Land’s End are all famous for their pristine granite, but there are plenty of other locations worth visiting, and a good few inland crags too.
And at Rough Tor (pronounced Routor) there’s even a modicum of good scrambling to be had.
- Brown Willy and Rough Tor Experience the wildness of the moors by linking their two most iconic landmarks
- South West Coast Path If you can’t do the whole thing, go for Sennen Cove to Porthcurno, and see the towering cliffs of Land’s End on foot.
- Penwith Moors Link the SWCP with the austere beauty and fascinating antiquities of the West Penwith Moors.
Must see and do
- Surfing Newquay’s the obvious choice, but not the only one. Try Polzeath or St. Ives for somewhere slightly more low quay.
- Mên-An-Tol A spooky and evocative megalithic arrangement of standing stones that’s at its finest at sunset.
- Eden Project A refreshingly original celebration of man’s relationship with the environment. Profound and fun.
Destination County : Cornwall