CategoryBeaches

How to Enjoy a Great and Inexpensive Weekend in Cornwall

If you want to experience the most picturesque side of England, Cornwall is the place to go. With rolling hills, fine sandy beaches, and still-sleepy coastal villages, Cornwall promises to be the perfect budget holiday destination. It’s the perfect rural retreat, a haven for surfers both old and new, and a favourite party destination especially during the warm months of summer. Here’s how to enjoy a great and inexpensive weekend in Cornwall.

Towan Beach in Newquay in Cornwall

Day One

Always start your journey in Newquay as it already connects almost all of the other popular destinations in this part of the British Isles. It’s also home to some of Britain’s best and most famous beaches whether it is for surfing or swimming. The town itself offers plenty of opportunities to partake in rich Cornish traditions while also shopping for the best treats and trinkets to bring back home. The clubbing scene is exceptionally fun and exciting especially during school break as students and backpackers pack the many clubs and bars of the town from June to September.

Hit the beach anytime, even if the weather seems like not cooperating. You’d simply miss a lot of Cornwall if you don’t. Start the morning Fistral beach and learn a thing or two about surfing or simply hit the waves if you’re already that skilled. If you want a swim in gentler waters, Towan beach is the place to go. Then fill your heart with the delicious goodness of Cornish pasty.

Once you’re done with the pasty, take a 1 to 1.5-mile walk towards Crantock while being mesmerised by the beauty of the craggy cliffs with the pristine blue waters of Cornwall providing a marvellous backdrop. Ride a dinghy and hit a secluded beach before exploring an old Norman church and its immediate environs. Before heading back to Newquay, make sure to try Old Albion’s authentic ale and hearty fish and chips. Cap the night with the clubs and bars of Newquay before hitting the sack at any of Newquay’s inexpensive backpackers’ hostels and inns.

Day Two

On your second day, hop onto a Greyhound and discover the Georgian buildings that line the cobbled streets of Truro. It may not have the volume of tourists as in Newquay, but it definitely has more shops and more locals to interact with and learn more about Cornish way of life. Don’t miss the Cornish cream tea especially with a dollop of Cornish clotted cream. Visit the tri-spire Truro Cathedral and head out to the Royal Cornwall Museum for its largest array of natural historical artefacts, industrial arts, and ethnological pieces. Don’t miss the kooky specialty shops as well as independent boutiques that dot Lemon Quay. Before heading back home, make sure to drop by and dine at The French Bistro and enjoy their ratatouille with goat cheese or chicken casserole.

There are some great websites to help you plan a visit and book accommodation in Cornwall. Spending a day or two in Cornwall need not be expensive. By starting in Newquay, you can head out to Truro or some other Cornish towns for a great and inexpensive weekend holiday.

Cornwall’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Cornwall has the most beautiful beaches in the world. There I said it. I know this is a contentious issue and it’s inevitably a subjective view. Some people might prefer the palm fringed beaches of Hawaii or Thailand. But for me the windswept beaches of Cornwall have a rugged beauty that is unmatched anywhere in the world. Of course, as a local, I’m more than a little bit biased. I’ve been visiting many of these beaches all my life so have a strong personal connection with these glorious, sandy beaches.

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Best Beaches for Families

Holywell Bay continues to be one of my favourite beaches in Cornwall. backed by high dunes which are fun for kids, this lifeguard patrolled beach has safe swimming areas and occasionally good waves for learning to swim. This National Trust Beach is also very, very beautiful. I used to come here as a kid and play for hours, enjoying a picnic and an ice cream in this sandy idyll. Holywell Beach would be my pick of the beaches for family visitors to Cornwall. Other great family friendly beaches in Cornwall include Looe Beach, Praa Sands and Porthcurno Beach which is great for rock-hopping and exploration by young adventurers.

Best Beaches for Surfers

Cornwall’s position on the Atlantic Ocean, make it a wave magnet for any swell that is travelling over the ocean. As such it is the UK’s prime surfing destination with more surf beaches and surf spots than any other location in the British Isles. Fistral Beach is the most famous surf beach. This is where all the competitions take place and where dozens of surf schools ply for the trade of visitors who want to learn to surf. But if, like me, you prefer your beaches a little bit quieter, I’d recommend Widemouth Bay near Bude, Mawgan Porth, Porthtowan and Sennen Cove as ideal surf beaches for a surf lesson while in Cornwall.

Best Beaches for Walkers

Cornwall is a perfect place for a holiday if you like walking. The South West Coast Path takes walkers along the beaches and clifftops of the beautifully rugged Cornish coast. But there are some beaches that could be considered walking destinations in themselves. Marazion beach is a lovely stretch of sand in Penzance Bay with a view dominated by the impressive St Michael’s Mount. Crantock Bay near Newquay is another great beach for a stroll.  It’s a long beach, with swirling waves, high sand dunes and a river estuary which it is possible to walk along partially at low tide. Walker looking for something more strenuous should take a hike along the creeks, inlets and headlands and find secret coves and beaches they can enjoy all to themselves.

Best Beaches for Dogs

Dogs are not allowed on all beaches in Cornwall. In fact there is a dog ban on many beaches during the summer months. Dog owners should plan their trip carefully and select only those beaches which welcome dogs. But please consider us locals and other beach users by cleaning up after your dog. Keep these lovely beaches nice and clean for everyone to enjoy. popular dog friendly beaches include Watergate Bay near Newquay, Gwithian Beach near Hayle and Whitsand Bay near Saltash. All these beaches are great for walkies, or for hanging out with your dog for the day.

Best Beaches for Foodies

While most people will pack a picnic for their visit to the beach, or at the very least pick up a famous Cornish pasty for a hot snack on the sand, those who want to make more of a meal of it have plenty of options for enjoying a fine food while overlooking a beautiful, sandy Cornish beach. One of my personal favourites is the Porthminster Cafe near St Ives. This cafe servers delicious seafood and snacks overlooking the white sands and blue sea of Porthminster Beach, which looks more Caribbean than Cornish. Over in Falmouth there is another great eatery galled the Gyllanvase Beach Cafe. They server a great selection of burgers, sandwiches and seafood tapas to enjoy while looking out over the tranquil waters of Cornwall’s south coast.  Lusty Glaze Beach near Newquay is a lovely little cove where you can dine on great food with the water almost lapping at your feet. It’s a great seaview dining experience.

The beaches listed here are just some of my personal favourites. There are hundreds of beaches to discover. Just get out there and explore. You will never be disappointed by a Cornish Beach. And it’s not just about summer, if you’re coming here in the winter check out this fantastic video from Visit Cornwall.

Best Beach Venues in Cornwall for Wedding Photos

If you are looking for tranquil beaches which you want for yourself, your soon-to-be-spouse and the wedding photography team you’ve hired, those sun-bleached beaches in Spain, the South of France and the whole stretch of the Mediterranean won’t do.

But you know what will? Yes, you got that right! English beaches will. And to be more specific, those in rugged, golden sand beaches in Cornwall would be perfect as a backdrop for wedding photos!

Now, here are six of the best Cornish beaches which you should definitely go to for your wedding day shoot.

Lansallos Beach, two miles west of Polperro

Often peaceful, this sandy (with some shingle) cove is one of those places where you can just lay back with a nice book and a basket of snacks for the whole afternoon. Reed Water, a small waterfall located at the eastern part of the beach is also a great spot for photos, especially if you and your wedding partner are the adventurous sort. Many of the top Cornwall wedding photographers choose this spot for spectacular wedding day photos.

Access: You could park near the church and then walk down the footpath towards the beach. This takes about 20 minutes from top to bottom.

Kynance Cove, two miles north of Lizard Point

For several centuries, Kynance Cove has been a tourist spot of sorts already with famous personalities like Alfred Tennyson visiting it. Unknown to a lot, this beautiful spot is actually formed by coastal erosion. But who really cares about that bit of fact when the green and red-colored rocks emerge during the low tide? With its tall cliffs and rocky outcrops, golden sand beach and blue sea, it’s a particularly stunning location for Cornwall wedding photos.

Access: You could park in the lot of National Trust and go for the 10-minute walk down. For those who love the convenience, there’s a café nearby complete with wireless connection.

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Photo by christianbed.com

Porthcurno, 2.5 Miles from Land’s End

Nature loving couples will definitely love the gold-colored sand and super clear sea waters; so clear you can actually see fish swimming around. A cove (accessible only during low tides) can be found nearby, great for viewing basking sharks and private pre or post wedding photo shoots. It makes a spectacular backdrop to create stunning wedding photos you will cherish forever.

Another Great Spot: The Minack Theater would be one of the most interesting areas for a wedding photo shoot. If you’ve got an artistic team of wedding photographers with you, they will definitely figure out a concept which you would love!

Gwithian Towans, very near Hayle

Measuring about three miles, this dune-backed beach is great for adventurous couples and extreme sports aficionados. You and your future husband or wife could definitely ride a wave while your photographer clicks merrily on.

Access: From the A30 at Hayle, go right just beside the Lidl then to the B3301. The road to the beach is the first left turn after you drive for a mile.

Daymer Bay, East Side of River Camel Estuary

Are you and your girlfriend or boyfriend more of the playful kind of people? If so, this Cornish beach is the best for you. The Camel Estuary looking out on to the rugged headlands is as Cornish as you can get and is a firm favourite with wedding photographers in Cornwall. You can even bring kids with you since they will find a lot of great activities (sandcastle building, rockpooling, paddling, etc.) to be enjoyed.

Another Great Spot: Right across the Camel Estuary is a great spot where you’ll see an amazingly golden field (corn) during summer. That’s another spectacular photo shoot spot for couples.

Porthminster Beach, St Ives

One of the best things about this beach is that view to the Godrevy lighthouse. Built so many years ago, this would be great backdrop to your Victorian themed wedding pre-nuptial photo shoot. The second great thing about the beach is that the management cleans it as often as possible. And just in case you get hungry, you will be glad to know that they serve food. Also, you can rent equipment from paddleboards to windbreakers in their shop, just in case you left those at home.

This is a beautiful location with near white sand and crystal clear waters – this is a close as it comes to a Caribbean wedding photo shoot right here in Cornwall.

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