Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary- 40 Unmissable Places to visit (with map!)

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Looking for the best places to see on a Cornwall Road Trip? (Technically, it's a Cornish Road Trip… but let's not complicate things!! :)) Cornwall is a beautiful part of the UK- full of sandy beaches, national parks, quaint stone villages and DELICIOUS food. 

We loved exploring Cornwall in our Motorhome and there were so many beautiful places to visit and things to do. I also used to live in Cornwall when I was stationed there in the Navy- so there are some secret places on this list which you don't often hear about until you live there… ssssh!

Here are some of our favourites- along with a handy Map of Cornwall so you can plan your own trip! 

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!



Cornwall 7 day Itinerary- Our favourite places to visit in Cornwall

We spent a week in Cornwall during the October Half Term. “We” consists of two adults and a 16-year-old girl, travelling in a motorhome, using campsites and wild camping wherever possible. Here's our itinerary:

  • Day 1- Mevagissey. Overnight stay in Mevagissey Motorhome parking
  • Day 2- Falmouth and Pendennis Castle
  • Day 3- Went to St Michaels Mount in HORRIBLE weather, so drove to Lands End campsite
  • Day 4- Land's End/ Sennen, then back to St Michael's Mount and Minack Theatre. Stayed at Sennen campsite again.
  • Day 5- St Ives, Newquay, Perranporth and Boscastle. Parked at Tintagel Car Park
  • Day 6- Tintagel Castle and Merlin's Cave. Back to Boscastle for more ice cream! 🙂
  • Day 7- Bude beach and drive home.

(Travelling in October half-term too? Here are some more great places to visit in Europe in October.)

Just so you know, this is a HUGE post, with well over 4000 words. You can download it for FREE by completing the form below. (Don't see a form? You're already signed up to download our itineraries)


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

Map of Cornwall- Cornwall Road Trip Map

Here's a map of the places we visited in Cornwall during our 7 day Road Trip. As you can see, we didn't do ALL 50, and that's ok. It gives us a reason to come back again!!


Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave- every good Cornwall Road Trip needs to include this!

Tintagel Castle and Merlin's Cave were one of the highlights of our trip. 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 the famous Stonehenge- where we saw the most incredible sunrise EVER)


To read more about our awesome trip to Tintagel Castle, Merlin's Cave, and to see the Drone footage of the castle, click 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


Places to see in Cornwall- St Michael’s Mount

Now, this is more like it! A castle which looks like a castle- and you can walk inside. 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. We actually chose not to visit St Michael's Mount inside, so we could visit Minack Theatre on the same day, but my parents have been and they say it's well worth a visit, so I guess we'll have to go back!

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! #stmichaelsmount #cornwall #roadtrip #castles
Best places to see in Cornwall- St Michael's Mount

Best place to go in Cornwall? The Minack Theatre

This was one of the biggest surprises for us. We didn't know what to expect and when we saw where 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.

There are signs everywhere saying no drones… but we went back to the beach below and flew it over the sea, which allowed us to get some fantastic photos, as you can see in the video at the top of the post!

It is still a working theatre, and you can view a play there- just make sure you book up well in advance as it's very popular!


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


Land’s End- the final destination for your 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. This is where Jade decided she'd quite happily go swimming… as the waves are crashing against the cliff!! Crazy girl. 

(She didn't, in case you were wondering. That sea is COLD!) 

I love the fact that the year is changed on the Land's End post so it always shows the right 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.


Planning a Road Trip?? These posts might help:


– Best Road Trip planning tips

Inspire me with INCREDIBLE Road Trip ideas

– Help me plan a UK road trip

What to see in Cornwall? 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


Cornwall trip itineraries should always include Newquay

Newquay is a funny place. It's beautiful and has one of the best surfing beaches in the UK. And that in itself is part of its 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.)

In recent years, Newquay has worked hard to broaden its appeal to families and there are some great attractions nearby for kids, including:

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

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

If you do stop at Newquay, have a look in the harbour for a seal. About 15 years ago we almost wiped one out with our boat when we were docking in the tiny harbour…! #oops

Cornwall Trip Tips- Newquay. Beautiful, but crowded!
Cornwall Trip Tips- Newquay. Beautiful, but crowded!

Things to do in 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

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??!!)


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

Fun things to do in Cornwall
Fun things to do in Cornwall


I love Falmouth. It's one of the places we stopped for a few days when we sailed our yacht around Cornwall many years ago. 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.

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 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!

Falmouth has some beautiful hotels overlooking its harbour or the surrounding area. Here are a few to choose from if you're driving instead of touring in a Motorhome.

Mevagissey- essential on a Cornwall Road Trip

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!)

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 Mevagissey 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!

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! #cornwall #roadtrip #placestovisit #UK #itinerary #travel
Mevagissey- impossible to pronounce, but worth a visit anyway!

What to see in Cornwall? 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. You can find more on their website HERE

A giant green grass head awaits you in Cornwall!

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

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


Best places to visit in Cornwall- St Nectans Glen

I am gutted we didn't know about this place before we visited Tintagel. How pretty is this glen? Now we have to go back just to see it. (I think it's possible to visit the Glen without paying for entrance to Tintagel Castle again- happy days!)


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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…!


Bude- Cornwall's best 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!


Watch silver ball hurling at St Columb Major

I'm a sucker for bizarre and crazy things (have you checked out these BIZARRE European traditions??) but silver ball hurling 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!


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Best place to go in Cornwall for Instagram? Perranporth Beach

Beautiful beach with lots of sand, and a great arch for your Instagram photos. After all, if it's not on Instagram, did you even really go??!! 

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




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.


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Zipwire at Adrenalin Quarry near Liskeard

Talking of ziplines, 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. I might just move in!

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


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!!


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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- that's one old beast! There is another ghost said to haunt Bodmin Moor- the ghost of the murdered girl Charlotte Dymond. Could be a crowded moor to visit if all the ghosts arrive at once!

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!


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Bedruthan Steps

Apparently, a giant used to use these steps as a shortcut across the bay.. (hmmm, now where have I heard that before!??) Whether 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 (sssssh) 


Lusty Glaze Beach- one of the best Cornwall Beaches?

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!


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Places to see in Cornwall- Eden Project

The Eden Project is a funny place. Despite living so close to it for years, I never ever wanted to visit. I always imagined it to be like walking around an enormous garden centre… why would I pay to do that? However, it turns out that I'm wrong. (Shocking, but true!)

Apparently, it's a brilliant place to visit, with different sections showcasing jungle, desert and other diverse settings. But the two things which really swayed my opinion is the fact that big bands regularly play there (think Blondie, Bryan Adams, Muse and Tom Jones!)

Also, there is now a zipline. I love zip lines. They're awesome (in case I didn't make that clear above!!). So the Eden Project is now on my list.

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



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.


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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.


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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


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. Another English Heritage property.


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And an extra one- just because I like you!

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


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In our opinion, the absolute BEST way to explore Cornwall is a road trip. For that you need several things:

  • 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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24 thoughts on “Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary- 40 Unmissable Places to visit (with map!)”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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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