The Best Places to Visit in Cornwall

Top Twenty Towns & Villages

Top Twenty Towns & Villages

People often ask us which is the best place to stay in captivating Cornwall.

We are biased, of course, as we love every bit of our favourite county … but we totally understand that Cornwall is a large area with varied scenery, so making a decision about where to stay for your dream holiday can be a challenge.

Do you want a quaint seaside town or a super-friendly lively and active beach vibe? Family fun or couples’ romance, with a dash of peace and tranquillity thrown in? Somewhere from which to visit all the attractions or tucked away close to wonderful wildlife walks? Collecting seashells on the shoreline or donning your hiking boots to take on a tor or two?

Rest assured there is something in Cornwall for everyone, so our guide to our 20 top Cornish towns (with perfect properties to choose from) helps you, every step of the way, to create an unforgettable holiday.

Focus on what you love doing most, then find your perfect match … and remember, you are never too far away from other places to visit in this spellbinding corner of England…

Some towns tick lots of boxes …

Watersports Family Lively Arty Foodie Historic/Trad
Bude Bude St Ives St Ives Padstow Port Isaac
Portreath Looe Falmouth Fowey Port Isaac Mousehole
Fowey Boscastle Padstow Porthleven Boscastle
Newquay Charlestown Newquay Rock Tintagel
Perranporth Rock Looe Charlestown
St Mawes Porthleven Tintagel St Mawes
Rock Falmouth Rock Portscatho
Falmouth Marazion

If you are an adrenaline junkie seeking a summer surfing paradise, with craggy cliffside scenery then the north coast is the area for you (check out Newquay, the UK’s surf capital, breath-taking Bude, popular Perranporth and scenic St Ives).

Foodie connoisseurs should consider heading to the well-established restaurants of Padstow, Rock and Port Isaac for fine dining, or try up-and-coming Porthleven for your epicurean adventure.

Surrounded by coastline, watersports (sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding) are a huge part of everyday life in many areas of Cornwall, especially in pretty Portreath, fantastic Fowey, scenic St Mawes, Rock, and the surfing towns. If you love the water and want to try something new, these are the places for you. They also offer boat trips for those who prefer being on the water than in it.

For fabulous family holidays with something for everyone, check out Falmouth, with its deep natural harbour and a castle (August is Regatta Week, a sight to behold), lovely Looe with its own nature reserve island, bewitching Boscastle, charming Charlestown, radiant Rock, beautiful Bude and peaceful Porthleven. The livelier towns include St Ives, fabulous Falmouth, Padstow, vibrant Newquay, Looe, tantalising Tintagel and Rock.

If you want to discover more of the traditional Cornwall, then picturesque Port Isaac, Boscastle, Tintagel, magical Mousehole, captivating Charlestown, pretty Portscatho, St Mawes and magical Marazion should be on your shortlist. Art lovers should focus on St Ives or Fowey.

Remember, the scenery varies depending on which coast you choose, the north more rugged, the west wild and wonderful and the south scenic – but wherever you choose, the open road will take you exploring, wherever you choose to go.