Raihane Hassaine: A Local’s Guide to Visiting Cornwall

Born in Newquay, Raihane Hassaine has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys trekking and hiking in the Cornish countryside. This article will provide an overview of some of Cornwall’s most exciting attractions, helping visitors to find hidden gems.

Boasting numerous stunning beaches that are dog-friendly year round, Cornwall is a haven for families and couples, as well as presenting opportunities to participate in a wide range of water sports. Widely regarded as one of the county’s best family-friendly beaches, Harlyn Bay near Padstow is a spacious pebble and yellow sand beach that offers plenty of interesting rock pools for children to explore. Located just west of Padstow on the eastern side of Trevose Head, the beach is backed by sand dunes, presenting a stunning location for dogwalkers to explore.

Summerleaze Beach in Bude is famous for its river and fishing boats that flank the broad sandy beach. Sheltered by an impressive breakwater, the beach is ideal for families and surfers. Dogs are welcome year-round, although they must be kept on a lead between 21st May and 30th September.

Fistral Beach in Newquay lures surfers from all over the world, as well as presenting the perfect beach for families. One of Cornwall’s more commercialised beaches, Fistral combines the simple pleasures of the seaside with first-class beach amenities, including surf lessons and equipment hire, toilets, showers, shops, restaurants, cafes and car parking.

Near Mevagissey lies Gorran Haven, a sandy, east-facing beach popular with visiting families. Situated in a quieter part of the county, there is parking in the village centre, with some facilities on the beach. Gorran Haven is dog friendly, although canine companions must be kept on leads.

Boasting an abundance of stunning beaches, coastal views and Great British countryside, Cornwall presents a variety of accommodation options, ranging from campsites to quaint B&Bs to five-star hotels. However, for visitors contemplating a stay, probably the most important decision they will make is choosing between the county’s three main regions, namely the North Coast, the South Coast and West Cornwall.

A firm favourite with many, the North Coast has earned a strong reputation as the surf capital of the UK. While Newquay’s main beach can be extremely busy in peak season, visitors are likely to find a trip to one of the many beautiful beaches nearby a far more relaxing experience.

Tourists staying on Cornwall’s North Coast are ideally based to explore Tintagel. Cycling along the Camel Trail from Padstow, vacationers can immerse themselves in the history and mystery of Tintagel Castle, the fabled home of King Arthur, enjoying some incredible views of the surrounding coastal scenery. The North Coast is also home to St Nectans Glen, which boasts an incredible 60ft waterfall, as well as lush woodland to explore.

The South Coast, which is sometimes referred to as ‘The Forgotten Corner of Cornwall’, is home to the sprawling Whitsand Bay, along with numerous picturesque fishing villages. In Marazion near Penzance, visitors can cross the causeway to St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island located in the middle of the bay. Although it takes just minutes to cross, visitors who get their timings wrong will have to wait a lot longer for the tide to go out so that they can make the journey back again.

Near St Austell, the Eden Project awaits with its bubble-like biomes and outstanding collection of flora from around the world. One of Cornwall’s most important tourist attractions, this iconic structure was created on the site of an old china clay pit, with its giant greenhouse-like biomes composed of inflatable plastic cells supported by steel frames. These unique structures facilitate the creation of artificial climates, enabling native tropical and desert plants from all over the world to thrive.

West Cornwall is a great choice for visitors who enjoy exploring and sightseeing. St Ives is one of the region’s most popular towns, with the picturesque fishing town presenting a maze of cobbled streets and fishermen’s cottages. St Ives is home to the fascinating Barbara Hepworth Museum, where visitors can stroll around the late sculptor’s impressive gardens, marvelling at the tropical plants and a collection of her work. St Ives has a rich artistic heritage, and the town is home to several art galleries today. Tate St Ives opened its doors in 1993. Overlooking Porthmeor Beach, the gallery is home to an important collection of contemporary art, with an emphasis on the St Ives School and artists like Alfred Wallis.

In Tehnidy Woods, the award-winning Rogue Theatre is open during most school holidays, presenting the opportunity for families to sit together in the woods listening to magical tales. Meanwhile, four miles from Land’s End, mainland England’s most westerly tip, the Minack Theatre juts out into the Atlantic ocean. Cornwall’s most famous open-air theatre, the Minack not only provides great views of the stage and its regular concerts and theatre programming but also offers breathtaking vistas across two of the UK’s most Instagrammed beaches.