The 8 best places to visit in North Cornwall

I go on holiday to Cornwall every year and each time I go, I find another gem. There are so many beautiful places in Cornwall, and so many amazing things to do.

Whether you’re wanting to have a go at surfing, or you want to watch the pros showing you how it’s done, you want to enjoy fish and chips by the beach, watch the sunset over the sea, or go for a coastal walk, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Cornwall.

So, if you’re currently considering a holiday to Cornwall, here are 8 places to visit and things to do in North Cornwall to get you started.

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Sunset at Holywell Bay Beach Cornwall
Natural wells at Holywell bay Beach in Cornwall

1. Find the well at Holywell Bay

Kicking this blog post off with one of my favourite places in North Cornwall (actually, just my favourite place in Cornwall full stop).

Stop off to watch the sunset from the dunes or time your visit with low tide and seek out the natural forming well inside one of the caves to the right of the beach. Take a torch with you to really appreciate it!

Newquay in Cornwall

2. Enjoy some watersports in Newquay!

One of the large draws for Cornwall is its huge interest in watersports. Many people think of surfing straight away when you mention Cornwall, and for good reason, but there are lots of other activities you can try if you're not keen on surfing!

From swimming to snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding, sea kayaking or (for the brave) coasteering, there are plenty of water activities to keep you busy.

This year I tried out sea kayaking with Newquay Watersports and had the best time exploring the coast line from a different angle just off from Newquay Harbour!

Padstow harbour in Cornwall

3. Go crabbing at Padstow

Located aroud 10 miles north of Newquay, you'll find the little town and fishing port of Padstow. Famed for its Rick Stein's fish and chips, the harbour town is actually home (unsurprisingly) to several incredible fish and chip shops. Grab yourself some takeout and enjoy some fish and chips on the harbour (just keep an eye on those pesky seagulls!).

If you've got kids, crabbing is also a popular way to pass the time in Padstow. You'll be able to pick up some lines and bait from most of the shops that line the seafront and then pick your spot along the harbour. Just make sure you return the crabs back to the sea afterwards!

Perranporth Beach in Cornwall UK

4. Enjoy a drink at Perrranporth Beach

Perhaps one of the most famous beach bars in Cornwall is the Watering Hole on Perranporth Beach. If you want to feel like you're abroad for a few hours, stop off at the beach and grab yourself a drink (or a bite to eat) at the bar.

Head down in the evening and you can even sip away as you watch the sunset over the beautiful sandy beach!

Holywell Bay Beach in Cornwall
Sunset at Porth Beach Cornwall

5. Visit one of the many beautiful beaches

Cornwall is home to so many beautiful beaches, you really are spoilt for choice all along the coastline.

If you're not sure how to pick one (I don't blame you) here are a few along the North coast you could start with:

  • Mawgan Porth
  • Holywell Bay
  • Perranporth Beach
  • Fistral Beach
  • Watergate Bay
  • Porth Beach
  • Crantock Bay

Honestly, this list could go on forever. If you're looking for beautiful sandy beaches, turqouise coloured waters and coastal walks that will make your jaw drop, you really need to get a trip to Cornwall booked in ASAP!

Bedruthan Steps in North Cornwall

6. Walk the coastal path by Bedruthan Steps

Although several bad landslides have meant that you can no longer access the small beach at Bedruthan Steps, it's still a gorgeous place to visit if you enjoy your coastal walks.

Located a few miles east of the famous Boardmasters beach, Watergate Bay, there's a National Trust carpark just a short distance away from the main view point.

Surfing on Perranporth Beach

7. Watch the pros surfing (or give it a go yourself!)

Of course Cornwall is well famed for its surfing. Offering some of the best surf spots in the UK, lots of the beaches offer surf schools for those wanting to give it a go for the first time. I personally gave surfing a go for the first time at Perranporth Beach but I'm yet to find one of the bigger beaches that doesn't have a surf school.

However, if you're just wanting to watch the pros do it, time your visit with the annual Boardmasters competition. Or, hang about by the beach after work hours to watch as the regular surfers head down once they've finished work for the day. Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay are both popular spots among the local surfers!

Bridge at Tintagel cornwall

8. Visit Tingagel Castle

Located between Padstow and Bude, Tintagel is a popular place for tourists visiting North Cornwall. With its history linking it to King Arthur, it's a draw for history lovers in particular but its beautiful scenery and views definitely makes it an attraction even if you're not that fussed about the legends attached to it!

However, top tip, if you're not too fussed about going inside, you can view the castle for free form the costal path!

For your sat nav: Tintagel Visitors Centre, Bossiney Road, Tintagel, PL34 0AA

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8 places to visit in North Cornwall
The best places to visit in North Cornwall

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I'm Shannon. Welcome to Tales from the Country, a countryside lifestyle blog for those who dream of escaping the hustle and bustle of life and about embracing all that comes from living in the British countryside.

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