Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary (& MAP)

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Planning a Cornwall road trip? Want a map and itinerary to help guide your route and decide what to visit? No worries- we've shared our Cornish itinerary ideas here for 5, 7 10 or longer days, as well as 40 of the best places to visit in Cornwall- with a map!


Cornwall is one of our favourite places in England to road trip around.

The combination of Cornish coast, beautiful beaches, cute villages, history, incredible scenery and delicious cream teas is just too much to resist.

I was lucky enough to be based in Cornwall when I was stationed there in the Navy- so there are some secret places on this itinerary which you don't often hear about until you live there… ssssh!

Here are some of our favourite places to visit in Cornwall, along with our suggested Cornwall road trip itinerary and a handy Map of Cornwall so you can plan your own trip! 

*There may be affiliate links in this post, meaning if you click and make a purchase, we earn a small commission (from the seller- no cost to you) We are very selective about our partners and who we recommend- if we wouldn't recommend it to our family, we won't recommend it to you.


LIST OF CONTENTS

Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary- where to start

Like anywhere, planning a road trip to Cornwall takes a little time and research. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Cornwall (as you will see below) that if you only have a week to visit, you'll need to plan your itinerary carefully.

Our suggestion is to not try and do too much. We spent 7 days in Cornwall with our motorhome, which made it easy to move around from place to place and explore. If you're going to be staying in one area, we highly recommend hiring a car or a campervan, to make it easier to explore the Cornish roads.

Much of Cornwall is quite remote and public transport can be hit and miss, so having your own vehicle will make things much easier.

We recommend Europcar and Booking.com

NOTE: This is a HUGE Itinerary and post- over 4000 words! If you would like, you can download it:


Cornwall Road trip Itinerary for 7-10 days

We spent a week in Cornwall during October; (“we” being two adults and teenage girl. We travelled in our motorhome, using campsites and wild camping wherever possible.

Here's the Cornish itinerary we did:

  • Day 1- Mevagissey.
  • Day 2- Falmouth and Pendennis Castle
  • Day 3- St Michael's Mount (although we had horrible weather, so we carried on to Land's End instead of stopping. Stayed at Sennen Campsite
  • Day 4- Land's End/ Sennen, back to St Michael's Mount and Minack Theatre
  • Day 5- St Ives, Newquay, Perranporth and Boscastle. Parked at Tintagel Car Park overnight
  • Day 6- Tintagel Castle and Merlin's Cave. Don't forget St Nectan's Glen if you have time.
  • Day 7- Bude Beach

NOTE: We visited Cornwall with our teenager, who loves road trips, which means we did a lot of driving around. If you're visiting Cornwall with younger kids, you might want to add more stops and cover less ground.

Cornwall trip planner for 5 days or a long weekend

You can easily enjoy a road trip around Cornwall for 5 days, or even a weekend. Just pick and choose your itinerary wisely and remember you won't be able to drive as fast as usual due to the tiny Cornish roads, so plan accordingly and don't take on too much.


Cornwall Road Trip Map – Cornwall Itinerary

Here's a map of the places we visited in Cornwall during our 7 day Road Trip. We didn't visit all the places listed below in one week- there's far too many, but at least that gives you an excuse to some back again!

Hopefully, this map helps you plan your Cornwall travel and decide where to stay along the way.

Cornwall UK Road Trip Map Itinerary- Cornwall Places to visit
Cornwall Road Trip Map & Itinerary of best places to visit

Common Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary questions:

These are questions we and many other people have asked:

How long does it take to drive around Cornwall?

Like anywhere, your Cornwall road trip can be as long or short as you make it. The coastal road of Cornwall, from the Cornish border near Plymouth, stopping at St Austell, Falmouth, Lands End, St Ives and Bude, is about 200miles (320km) and you could possibly do it in a weekend if you didn't sleep or stop very much.

Don't forget, Cornish roads are NOT motorways- you will not be driving at 70mph. Heck, you'll be lucky if you do a regular 30mph. So 200 miles on the Cornish coast will take you a lot longer than you expect!

Cornwall Trip Planner- How many days do you need in Cornwall?

We highly recommend going for as long as you can! Depending on where you are travelling to or where else you're including in your England road trip, it can take a while to reach Cornwall, so at least a long weekend but ideally a week to really make the most of it!

How far is it from London to Cornwall?

The distance from London to Cornwall is about 250 miles (depending on starting and stopping point) and will take you about 4 and a half hours to drive on a clear traffic day.

TOP TIP: DO NOT TRY TO TRAVEL TO CORNWALL ON A BANK HOLIDAY! Or on the first day of a school holiday. Seriously- the roads are tiny, busy and sloooooow. You will regret all your life's choices. Go earlier, later or ideally avoid the school holidays all together.

What is the best time to visit Cornwall?

There are plenty of good times to visit Cornwall, away from the busiest months of July and August. Personally, we love May, June and September- it's also one of the best places to visit in Europe in Autumn.

Where to stay in Cornwall

Of course, what you include in your itinerary is up to you (and where you're going to stay.) If you're visiting Cornwall in the school holidays, we recommend choosing and booking your accommodation first, and THEN creating an itinerary for travel around the area which suits you. You can pick and choose from the ideas below as you wish.

Of course, there are a HUGE range of places to stay in Cornwall, from exclusive hotels with breathtaking views of the Cornish coastline, to cheaper B and Bs and AirBnBs.


Campsites in Cornwall

If you're travelling by motorhome, campervan or car with tent, there are plenty of GREAT campsites to enjoy. Again, many of them are incredibly popular, so book as far in advance as possible.

We used Brit Stops and also stayed at Sennen Campsite (close to Lands End). For the rest of the time we found motorhome parking places as we travelled and stayed off-grid as much as possible.


Best places to visit in Cornwall- 40+ ideas for you

Below, you'll find 40+ places we love to visit in Cornwall, for different reasons. We've included many on the Cornish coast, as we love the beaches in Cornwall, but there's plenty away from the crowds too.

So, in now particular order, here are some of our favourite places in Cornwall:

The BEST things to do in Cornwall, England in winter or summer. Beautiful beaches, Tintagel Castle, St Ives, Newquay and some SECRET places to see you've never heard of before! Plan your visit to Cornwall here- with a map and itinerary guide to help you have the best Cornish trip ever!
The BEST things to do in Cornwall, England in winter or summer. Beautiful beaches, Tintagel Castle, St Ives, Newquay and some SECRET places to see you've never heard of before! Plan your visit to Cornwall here- with a map and itinerary guide to help you have the best Cornish trip ever!

Historical & Famous Places to see in Cornwall

Cornwall is a land full of history. From Pirates and smugglers, to beautiful houses, castles and lighthouses, there are some incredible places to visit in Cornwall. Here are a few of our favourites:

Land’s End- a destination on every Cornwall Road Trip

You can't go all the way to Cornwall and NOT go to Land's End. It's a long way to drive, I know, but such a beautiful place- and it's the furthest west you can get on mainland England. Next stop- America!

There's plenty of parking, as well as toilet facilities, cafes and trinket shops.

I love the fact that the year is changed on the Land's End post so it always shows the year in your photos!

Cornwall Road Trip places to see- Land's End in Cornwall.
Cornwall Road Trip places to see- Land's End in Cornwall.

Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave

Tintagel Castle and Merlin's Cave were one of the highlights of our roadtrip to Cornwall. We were so lucky with the weather- especially in October half-term- but just LOOK at the colour of that water. 

Tintagel Castle is part of English Heritage, which you can join HERE for only a few pounds a month (it also gives you free access to famous places like Stonehenge (we saw the most INCREDIBLE sunrise at Stonehenge ever- see it here) 

Visit the famous Tintagel Castle- home of King Arthur! We also explored the aswesome Merlin's Cave- definitely a must if you're in Cornwall. #tintagel #castle #uk #cornwall #merlin #cave #camelot #placestovisit #thingstodo #england #visit #traveltips #trave
Best places to visit in Cornwall- Tintagel Castle and Merlin's Cave

Historic Places to see in Cornwall- St Michael’s Mount

St Michaels' Mount is on the south coast of Cornwall- and well worth a visit. It's on an island and is actually a twin to Mont St Michel (one of the most historic places to visit in France!)

You can walk out to the castle and back at low tide- just be careful about the tides as the water flows in very fast. If it's not low tide, there's a boat which you can take to get out and back.

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Best places to see in Cornwall- St Michael's Mount

We flew our travel drone out over the sea and got some spectacular shots of the castle in the sunshine.


Best place to go in Cornwall? The Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre is unlike anywhere else we’ve ever been- an open-air theatre carved into the cliff. 

I'll be honest, we didn't know what to expect and when we saw the motorhome parking was at the bottom of the cliff, we were so close to not bothering. But boy are we glad we did!! It's SPECTACULAR- and so unique- definitely one of the best places to visit in Cornwall.

The Theatre is still a working theatre, and people travel from miles around to view a play there- if you'd like to do the same, make sure you book up well in advance as it's very popular!

When shows aren’t scheduled, you can walk around the theatre and seating, have a picnic, take advantage of the cafe and enjoy the views. 

Looking for the best places to see on a Cornwall Road Trip? Here are 40 UNMISSABLE places to see in Cornwall to make your road trip the best it can be!
Things to do in Cornwall- Minack Theatre- Cornwall's Outdoor Theatre


Restomel Castle

Restormel Castle is a 13th Century Castle built in a circle which is in remarkably good condition! Open from April-October, it's a beautiful place for a picnic, with stunning views over the surrounding countryside.

Cotehele

Cotehele is one of my favourite National Trust properties. It's a medieval house with some Tudor additions- and it's really beautiful. There is also Cotehele Quay which has ‘Shamrock', a Victorian sailing barge, and a beautiful tearoom right on the river. If you have time, be sure to add this stop to your Cornwall Road Trip itinerary.

Lanhydrock

This is a breath-taking Victorian country house. Seriously, there aren't many estates left like this one. It's another National Trust property, with plenty of activities taking place throughout the year.


Jamaica Inn- worth a road trip to Cornwall!

Cornwall's most famous smuggling pub. Located high up on Bodmin Moor and made famous by Daphne du Maurier, Jamaica Inn has been there for over 300 years, welcoming weary travellers. Apparently, it's haunted too- so I'll let you decide if you want to stay in one of its 36 bedrooms! There is also a museum and a restaurant.


Pretty villages & towns to visit in Cornwall

You can't visit Cornwall on a road trip without driving through at least one beautiful stone village. They're EVERYWHERE. However, if you want some help with your Cornwall trip planning, here are a few of our favourites:

Boscastle

It's hard to believe that this beautiful village is one of the main gathering for witches in the UK, but it's true. It has a great witch museum, which is touristy in parts but really interesting in others.

Boscastle has endured horrendous floods twice in the last few years, with the worst being in August 2004. Waters reached over 2m deep in some places- you can see the markers on the buildings as you walk around. It's incredible that no-one died.

Our favourites were the ice cream and the incredible pottery factory, which sold some beautiful and unique pieces.

Boscastle- definitely a place to visit in Cornwall
Boscastle- definitely a place to visit in Cornwall

Newquay

Cornish road trips should always include Newquay. It's beautiful and has one of the best surfing beaches in the UK. Although that has almost become a problem- it has become a mecca for Stag and Hen parties, as well as surfers and teenagers.

All these happy visitors give it a great party atmosphere and the nightlife is lively, but it is VERY touristy and sometimes can be far too crowded (although in fairness the same can now be said for many other parts of Cornwall too.)

Still there is a huge amount of accommodation options, from posh hotels to large houses for parties. See the latest deals here:

Beautiful places to visit in Cornwall- Newquay Harbour
Beautiful places to visit in Cornwall- Newquay Harbour

St Ives

St Ives is one of the best summer holiday destinations in the UK– beautiful, quaint and with a couple of incredible white sandy beaches- possibly the best in Cornwall. However, it also has the downsides you expect from a Cornish town- it's a NIGHTMARE to park and gets incredibly busy in the summer.

There is a park and ride on the top of a hill (which tolerates motorhomes during the day but doesn't encourage them). Don't expect to be able to park near the beach unless you get there first thing in the morning; even then I think there is now a waiting limit on the parking of a few hours.

Still, it's definitely worth a visit- the harbour and the beaches alone are worth the effort.

Cornwall Road Trip Guide- St Ives
Cornwall Road Trip Guide- St Ives

If you do get the option to stay in St Ives for a couple of days, here are some great options for you:


Here are some other activities to do in St Ives:

Tate St. Ives

If you like museums, the Tate St Ives art museum is well worth a look. Even if you don't the views from the gallery are spectacular or you could always enjoy an ice cream and sun yourself on the beach for a few hours!

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Museum St Ives

If you haven't heard of her, no judgement- I hadn't either! But her sculptures are beautiful. This museum is small, but interesting if you enjoy crazy sculptures in the garden… (don't we all??!!)


Newquay or St Ives- which is better?

Many people wonder whether they should visit Newquay or St Ives. The answer is: it depends on what you want.

St Ives is more ‘arty' and general has a quieter crowd. Newquay is party town- lots of stag and hen parties and more families and a younger, surfer crowd.

Both places are ‘cool' in their own way, but one is more overtly loud and proud than the other.


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Tintagel

Tintagel village is famous for being the home of King Arthur’s Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s cave, but there is so much more to it than that.

The village is built from built Cornish stone and is full of cute houses, shops and delicious tea rooms (as is most of Cornwall!) There are also a couple of decent pubs too, including the Cornishman Inn which has a pub garden and serves great food. 

Don’t miss King Arthur’s Great Halls in the village itself (the stained glass window is incredible) and the fitter of you must make the walk up to St Materiana's Church, which stands proudly on the headland overlooking the Castle and the breathtaking views out to sea. 

Talking of sea views, if you’d like to stay in Tintagel for a night, head to the Camelot Hotel. This building looks impressive, the decor is opulent and the views from the bedrooms are insane. Well worth the (pretty steep!) price. 

Tintagel Post Office- one of the oldest buildings in Tintagel

Mevagissey

My Mother-in-law used to talk about Mevagissey all the time- it was one of her favourite places in Cornwall. And honestly, it's one of ours now.

It's VERY touristy, and some of the shops are crazy expensive, but it's such a beautiful village with a cute harbour and DELICIOUS pasties. (Most places in Cornwall have delicious pasties, but these seemed to be even better. Or maybe we were just hungry!) Again, here are some of the best places to stay in and near Mevagissey.

Ferry from Mevagissey to Fowey 

This is a lovely way to see more of the coastline from the water and is a great trip on a calm, sunny day (I wouldn't advise it if the weather is bad- being on that sea in a storm can be miserable- I speak from experience!!)

You can take a ferry from Megavissey to Fowey, which takes about 40 minutes and runs daily from April- September, weather permitting. In 2018 returns cost £14 and cycles were £8. Well-behaved dogs go free!

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Mevagissey- impossible to pronounce, but worth a visit anyway!

Falmouth

I love Falmouth. It's one of our favourite places in Cornwall. Falmouth is a big city, but everything feels very ‘seaside resort' and relaxed.

It's the third deepest natural harbour in the world and there's so much history to explore- if you get a chance, visit the area for at least a couple of days so you can try to see everything. There are plenty of wonderful hotels and guesthouses if you don't have a van or tent- have a look at the latest deals here:

Cornwall road trip- castles in Cornwall
Your Cornwall Road Trip should definitely include a castle or three!

Pendennis Castle 

Positioned on the headland with impressive views, this castle is well worth a visit (although possibly not if you've already been to St. Michael's Mount- it's not got the same ‘wow' factor.)

Having said that, this castle was very important in both World Wars and there are exhibitions which are pretty interesting. It's run by the English Heritage, so worth becoming a member. Find out more HERE

National Maritime Museum

This museum now has 3 floors and 12 exhibitions, so it's not for the faint-hearted or as a quick ‘looksee', but if you are at all interested in the sea, naval history, the history of the boat or want to sail model boats on the lake inside, it might be just the place.

Take a ferry ride 

This is one of my favourite ways to explore any harbour- and Falmouth has several great options. My personal favourite is St Mawes- Falmouth ferry, which passes some beautiful parts of the harbour, including Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle. You might even see some dolphins! More info can be found HERE

Looking for the best places to see on a Cornwall Road Trip? Here are 40 UNMISSABLE places to see in Cornwall to make your road trip the best it can be!
Sunsets in Cornwall are Spectacular!

Skinners Brewery.

In Truro, just outside Falmouth, you'll find Skinners Brewery– an award-winning producer of pale ales and bitter. You can book a tour, enjoy an evening of live music, or just sample some of their famous brews!


Places of Nature to visit in Cornwall

Any good Cornwall itinerary should include plenty of time to enjoy some of the ‘great outdoors'. Cornwall is a county made for being outdoors- from beautiful beaches to the wildness of the moors, and everything in between. Some of the best things to do in Cornwall involve getting out and about in nature.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan 

Near Mevagissey is a real-life secret garden- the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It was literally found 25 years ago through a secret door, which led to the entire estate being renovated and is now open to the public.

The play areas and outdoor attractions are mostly seasonal, but many parts are still open over winter.

A giant green grass head awaits you in Cornwall!

Visit The Lizard… (but only if you have time on your Cornwall Road Trip)

the Lizard is the most southerly point in the UK and it's beautiful if you catch it on a nice day. There are some lovely Cornish coastal walks and the wildlife is stunning. But then, that's true of most of Cornwall.

As a ex-Naval aircrew who used to be based down in RNAS Culdrose, I get quite excited by the Lizard (we did all our navigation training using the Lizard as a reference point!)

But honestly, if you're going to any of the other cliffs on your Cornwall Road Trip, it's probably not worth your time unless you REALLY want to visit the most southerly point in the UK. The Lizard is a National Trust property- click here to find out more.

A road trip to Cornwall- photos of the sea are mandatory

Secret places to visit in Cornwall- St Nectan's Glen

St Nectans Glen is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Europe. It's near Tintagel Castle, so you can tie the two in together for a great day out.

This breathtaking series of waterfalls is nestled into a secret gorge and the whole area looks like something out of a fairytale.

To get there, you walk along a path through beautiful woodlands, often following the path of the river, before suddenly arriving in front of the magnificent St Nectan's Kieve- the main waterfall.

St Nectan’s Kieve is 60ft high and falls through a hole in the rock. It used to be a basin, but the water eventually eroded it into what you see today. 

Many people are unaware of the existence of St Nectan’s Glen- so it’s a lot less crowded and ‘touristy’ than other places in the area- especially in summer, although it’s open most of the year. 

For the best experience, arrive early in the morning and try to be first on the trail so you can experience St Nectan’s Kieve by yourself (and get the best photos!)



Climb Brown Willy- Cornwall’s highest point

Who wouldn't want to climb Brown Willy…..?!?!?! (oh go on, I know you're smiling at that one! I couldn't resist putting this just before the fertility hole below…..!! )

It's Cornwall's highest point, which I know isn't saying much, but it's a nice stretch of the legs on a summer's day and the views from the top are magnificent.

WHY oh why do people pile stones on top of each other?? Never fear- you can see stone piles on your trip to Cornwall.

Men-an-Tol stone at Morvah- a bit of magic on your Cornwall trip

This is one of those fun things that is STILL on our list, as we didn't get a chance during this visit. This stone is thought to be from the Bronze Age, making it around 3,500 years old.

There are actually 4 stones in the area, but only one has the hole through the middle. Passing through this hole is said to aid fertility, both for women wanting children and farmers wanting crops… who am I to argue??!

Anyone seen Outlander?? Maybe you shouldn't touch this…!


Places to see in Cornwall- Eden Project

The Eden Project is one of the best places to see in Cornwall- especially with kids.

There are different sections showcasing jungle, desert and other diverse nature settings. But there is also a zip line (I love ziplines!) Also, big bands regularly play there (think Blondie, Bryan Adams, Muse and Tom Jones!)

You can visit giant balls of bubble wrap on your Cornwall Road trip!!

Dozmary Pool

This is said to be the pool where the lady of the lake resides. Apparently, it was here that King Arthur received his sword, Excalibur. The pool was once thought to be bottomless, but sadly it's become much shallower in recent years. In 1976 it dried up completely!! Still, for anyone interested in Arthurian myths and legends, it's a nice addition to your Cornwall road trip.


Bodmin Moor- road trip to Cornwall legend!

Bodmin Moor is definitely the stuff of legends. Wet, windy and wild, it's the highest part of Cornwall, and if you can catch it on a good day it's spectacular.

In 1983, a report was given to the police of a ‘wild beast' said to be haunting the moor, with ‘sharp teeth like those of a leopard'. Those reports still continue today- don't say I didn't warn you…

A man stares gloomily out over Bodmin Moor, looking for a crazed beast or a ghost…

Golitha Falls

While you're at Bodmin Moor, visit the nearby Golitha Falls. If this isn't a place which can convince you of fairies and magic, nothing will!


Bedruthan Steps

Apparently, a giant used to use these steps as a shortcut across the bay… (hmmm, now where have I heard that before!?? Oh yes, at Giant's Causeway on our Ireland road tripWhether you believe in legends or not, this bay is STUNNING with clear turquoise waters and soft sands. Just beware- getting down to it takes some effort, which is why it stays fairly quiet, even in high summer.


Best Beaches in Cornwall

Some of the best places to visit in Cornwall are the beautiful beaches. And they also house some of the best things to do! Beachlife in Cornwall is literally a way of life for many, from surfers to beach combers (and, of course, pirates and smugglers!) You'll enjoy many sea views on your Cornwall trip, but try to make time for a visit to a beach- or at least a walk on one of the many Cornish coastal paths.

Bude- Cornwall's best surfing beach?

Bude is right on the border between Devon and Cornwall and is on the North Coast, which is the best side for surfing if that's what you're looking for.

The nightlife is much more relaxed than at Newquay and there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy, including a sea pool cut into the rock at Summerleaze Beach. Bude has twice been voted best UK Coastal destination- so it does get busy during the summer.

A girl walks on a beach in Cornwall, silently begging for the photographer to hurry up as she's FREEZING!

Porth Joke- Cornwall's best secret beach?

Talking of beautiful Cornish beaches, here's a secret gem not many people know about.

This tiny cove has incredibly soft sand and, most importantly, is relatively quiet throughout the year- despite the popularity of Newquay only a short distance away.

We were recommended to add Porth Joke to our Cornwall road trip itinerary as somewhere to get away from the people- even in high summer.

The beach is a short walk from the car park and there are no toilets, cafes or other facilities, which is probably why it remains so empty all year round, but it’s definitely worth the effort. 

It’s sheltered on 3 sides, so you’re fairly well protected from the wind, but you can still enjoy some of the famous surf. It’s quite shallow, so safe for swimming or snorkelling (but please be aware of rip tides which are common all along this coastline- don’t let children go too far offshore.) 

There is no shade, so I highly recommend taking a parasol if you’re going to spend the day (and you are definitely going to want to spend the day!) 

Bring a cooler with lots of drinks and food (yes, you’ll need to carry it from the car) and settle down to do nothing but listen to the surf, paddle, poke at rock pools and watch the sunset. Sheer magic. 

Porth Joke beach in Cornwall

Perranporth Beach

Beautiful beach with lots of sand, and a great arch for your Instagram photos. We love it because of this cool arch, the gorgeous sand and the fact that it's dog-friendly all year around.⁠

A hole in a rock. What more could you want from your Cornwall Road Trip itinerary??

Nanjizal Beach- Song of the Sea Cave

This is one of the prettiest coves in all of Cornwall. There are caves and even a waterfall to enjoy as you head to the beach. Directions can be found HERE


Lusty Glaze Beach

I couldn't not include a beach with a name like Lusty Glaze Beach!! This beach near Newquay is privately owned but you can visit for free. The high cliffs give it some great protection and it offers a huge variety of activities including climbing, abseiling, a restaurant and a creche!

Dogs are banned from May-September. The beach can be accessed at low tide by walking around the headland, or reached by many, many steps (368 apparently!), so plan accordingly!


Fun Activities to do in Cornwall

There are plenty of fun things to do in Cornwall- some more energetic than others! We've already included some of the best places to visit on your Cornwall trip, but here are a couple of other fun activities that you can add to your Cornwall trip planner.

Zipwire at Adrenalin Quarry near Liskeard

I love ziplines and this one looks AMAZING!! It zips you 490m across a quarry, over a lake and through/ over various vegetation, at speeds of up to 40mph.

There are twin zip-wires, so you can race your friend! Apparently, they've had riders as young as 3 and as old as 90- sign me up!! At Adrenalin Quarry, there is also a wipeout Aqua Park, coasteering, a giant swing and axe throwing!

If any Road Trip doesn't include something death-defying, I consider it a failure. Anyone else??

Surfing

Surfing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Cornwall- and there are PLENTY of places to get involved. You want to head to the north coast for the better beaches and waves, and if you're visiting in school holidays I'd recommend booking in advance.

For a fantastic beach with surfing, visit Westward Ho! (yes, the exclamation mark is part of the name). This is one of the safest beaches in Cornwall, and there’s plenty of places to eat, facilities, play areas and surf schools- perfect for some outdoor exercise to keep fit on your road trip!

Fun things to do in Cornwall
Fun things to do in Cornwall- go surfing!

Silly Surfing for Charity

Every June for one weekend only, Porthmeor Beach (next to St Ives) becomes…well… a bit silly! Surfers dress up in fancy dress and surf; there's an open-air cinema, as well as many other attractions.

Tickets for the open cinema and other events sell out in advance, so if you're planning to go please book early. All proceeds currently go to the charity Surfers against Sewage. Porthmeor also has the open cinema at other times throughout the year- you can find out more HERE


Watch silver ball hurling at St Columb Major

I'm a sucker for bizarre and crazy things (like these bizarre European traditions and events!) but this may be the craziest yet. It happens once a year in early February and…well… I'm really not sure I can explain the rules.

Shopkeepers barricade their doors and windows and thousands of spectators flock to watch fully-grown men fight for a ball and try to get it…somewhere. The ‘pitch' is about 20 square miles, making it the largest pitch for any ball game in the world. Now there's a fact for the pub quiz!


Fun Places to visit with kids in Cornwall

Here are some ideas for places to take kids (both young and old!) when visiting Cornwall!

Newquay Zoo and animal wildlife park

Like most zoos, it's a great place to bring the whole family and has a wide range of animals. A current list can be found on their website HERE


Lappa Valley Steam Railway

I'm a sucker for a good steam railway, but honestly, this one is more geared towards younger children. However, there's also crazy golf, canoeing and playparks, so it's a great day out to get them exhausted!


Pirates Quest

This is an indoor attraction, which can come in VERY handy in Cornwall (seriously, go prepared for rain.) This exhibition is an hour-long history of piracy, depicted by real-life actors and interactions. It's only seasonal, so check if it's open on their website HERE


Flambards Theme Park

One for the kids or a rainy day, but this theme park will put a smile on anyone's face. There are rides, exhibitions and indoor attractions- perfect whatever the weather!

Places to visit in Cornwall- Flambards Theme Park

Travelling with kids? You might find these useful:


Cornwall Road Trip Tips

To really make the most of your Cornish road trip travels, you'll need several things:

  • A Vehicle. Personally, we love travelling by motorhome. If you don't have your own, you can always hire a motorhome or campervan to give yourself more flexibility for your trip. If not, hire a car and use hotels. We recommend Europcar and Booking.com
  • We highly recommend joining the National Trust and English Heritage– even if it's just for a month if you're visiting from abroad. They will save you a lot of money if you visit more than one property and the money goes to a great cause- protecting our Nation's heritage.
  • Lastly, don't forget that there aren't any motorways in Cornwall. The roads are small and can be very (very!) busy, especially in summer. Plan accordingly and don't expect to be driving at 70mph anywhere. The weather can also turn quickly, going from warm and sunny to raining and foggy. Be prepared for all eventualities, whatever the weather forecast may say!!
  • Most of all, enjoy your Cornwall Road Trip! It's a stunning part of the world and I hope you have an amazing time. Let me know how you get on.

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Looking for the best places to see on a Cornwall Road Trip? Here are 40 UNMISSABLE places to see in Cornwall to make your road trip the best it can be! Includes a map, Cornwall itinerary guide, castles, waterfalls, beaches and beautiful places in Cornwall.

Looking for the best places to see on a Cornwall Road Trip? Here are 40 UNMISSABLE places to see in Cornwall to make your road trip the best it can be! Includes a map, Cornwall itinerary guide, castles, waterfalls, beaches and beautiful places in Cornwall. #cornwall #UK #thingstodo"

The BEST things to do in Cornwall, England in winter or summer. Beautiful beaches, Tintagel Castle, St Ives, Newquay and some SECRET places to see you've never heard of before! Plan your visit to Cornwall here- with a map and itinerary guide to help you have the best Cornish trip ever!

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19 thoughts on “Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary (& MAP)”

  1. We missed visiting Cornwall on our last trip to the UK. Perhaps next time. This will surely come in handy. Great post and super helpful!

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  2. Wow, this really inspires me to return to Cornwall. I’ve had some fabulous trips there in the past but for some reason I’ve been nipped across the border into Wales more recently instead of heading down to the southwest. Must make my way back in 2019. So much inspiration for new places to try – and a happy reminder of just how much I love Perranporth.

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  3. I love your way of writing, put a smile on my face. And that sunset picture, OMG you really wouldn’t think that was in England! Really enjoyed this post and it does make me want to visit Cornwall, my in-laws went last year and really loved it too.

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  4. I’ve been to England several times, but I haven’t had the chance yet to make it to Cornwall. I’ve always heard such amazing things about that part of England and now I know why. It looks incredible! I’m definitely saving this for when I can visit the area. I didn’t know there was so much to do in that area. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Can you believe that I’ve lived in the South West of England for a year but never made it down into Cornwall?! I’m so gutted – this post is amazing. There’s so much more to see than I thought (I thought it was just beaches tbh!) how silly of me. Lusty Glaze beach reminds me of a beach back in Australia! Except I suppose it’s a bit more nippy than Aust 😛 Looks stunning though, let’s hope i get to do my own Cornish roadtrip one day 🙂

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  6. Cornwall looks amazing! I once had a roommate from Cornwall…so neat to see some pictures of where he was from! (Being a huge English Lit nerd I always think of it as the birthplace of King Arthur, haha!) I hope I can visit one day. <3

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  7. Hi Kat and Jade –
    loved your home movies of the Cornwall trip and it’s really inspiring me! I am coming from France in August to hire a motorvan from Plymouth and do a week moving around Cornwall. I will be with my wife and 3 kids so thought to play it safe at first and have booked a camping place near Lands End for the first 3 days but then thought about going where the road leads us for the rest of the time – including some of the places you mentioned like Falmouth or Bude. But I have a question cos I have no experience of motorhome in UK; do you think we will be alright to find a place to park or pitch up as we move along in August or do you think it’s really necessary to book places in advance? I know it’s a difficult question but if you could just give a sense of how flexible and open it is in Cornwall to find a place to stay spontaneiouly in Cornwall?
    thanks so much
    Andy

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  8. Thanks for this have saved and downloaded to really go through later. I am so excited to go to Cornwall but we only have 4 days!

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  9. Hi Kat
    I too LOVE Cornwall and agree with most of your suggestions.
    I’d just like to add a couple of suggestions – first off, Lamora Cove – on the way to Lands End from Marazion (where St Michael’s Mount is). Beautiful cove and cliff top walks.
    Secondly, if you decide to take in a show at the Minack wrap up warm – whatever time of year it is… I’m talking long John’s, fleeces, coats AND blankets. Trust me – we made the mistake of just a couple of layers!!
    And finally the Minack theatre overlooks, IMHO, the best beach in Cornwall (and possibly also some of the best history), Porthcurno

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  10. Wow! What a great road trip with some amazing places to see and things to experience! I’ve always heard wonderful things about this part of England. Time to make that trip!

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  11. This is a great itinerary. I always forget just how big Cornwall is. I have only done St Ives and Lands End so looks like I will need to go back and plan another trip. We got so close to St Michael’s Mount but never saw it which is a shame.

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