Cornwall is the UK’s top holiday. Our free Cornwall travel guide covers the region and its fair weather, stunning beaches and cliff walks, rich wildlife, a local traditional culture, boating, water sports, lush gardens and cute fishing villages.
Add the jaw-dropping range of impressive accommodation options from idyllic self-catering cottages, traditional bed & breakfast inns and numerous camping / caravan resorts and tourism infrastructure and you have all the ingredients needed to be the favourite destination for UK holiday makers.
However, the geography of the region means that getting to the depths of Cornwall – Britain’s most south-westerly county – can be trickier than expected as traffic is funnelled into a narrowing peninsula.
We’re here to help you get to know Cornwall, understand the practicalities and all its hidden secrets.
First and foremost Cornwall offers very attractive beauty in terms of its scenery. It’s long been the subject of landscape painters. The countryside is varied and, generally, you’ll find a special balance between nature and the build up of towns by people. Perhaps the best examples being so many old fishing villages that have built up between the cliffs and grown around natural harbours due to the protection from the open sea.
Discover an abundance of huge, sandy beaches across Cornwall as well as many of England’s finest cliff walks.
There are several tourist hotspots dotted across the county. They do tend to get extremely busy in the summer months, but they’re popular for good reason. Check out our Top 3 Cornwall Hotspots here.
Once you take a step back and look at the travel options then you see it can be a fun and scenic journey. So read on and we’ll explain everything you need to know.
The UK, Ireland, Germany and Spain all have various airports that serve Cornwall.
There are daily flights all year rounds to Cornwall Airport (Newquay) from Manchester and from London Gatwick; and between March and October you can also fly from Birmingham, Belfast, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dublin, Alicante Dusseldorf and Frankfurt-Hahn.
Cornwall Airport Newquay currently has year round daily flights from London Gatwick and Manchester with additional seasonal routes (between March and October) from Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Doncaster-Sheffield, Edinburgh, London Stansted, and Newcastle (Flybe); Dublin (Aer Lingus); Alicante and Frankfurt-Hahn (Ryanair); and Dusseldorf (Eurowings).
Cornwall Airport also has connecting flights over to the Isles of Scilly with the Skybus; it flies 6 days a week, all year round.
Flying to Cornwall offers an attractive alternative to the long and sometimes frustrating journey by train or car, our aim is to get you to Cornwall quickly and with less hassle.
Once you land then there are car hire companies outside the Arrivals Terminal and Coastline Travel Cornwall is the official taxi provider. For more information about the airport you can email: Info@newquaycornwallairport.com
Just as with the train, from London you can get well into Cornwall in under 5 hours by road. During peak holiday season then if possible, try to avoid peak times to increase your chance of quieter roads.
Remember that sat navs can send you off down very narrow roads or tracks in Cornwall if you get off the main roads and so just be careful and think twice before embarking down one that looks a bit tight.
Simply take the M4 from London or M6 down from Manchester, before taking the M5 to Exeter and then the A30. A good deal of the A30 is dual carriageway.
You could also take the scenic drive along the Atlantic Highway (A39) from North Devon and then get on the M5 at junction 27.
If you would prefer someone else to do the driving then National Express run coaches as far as Penzance and Megabus can get you to Newquay or Falmouth.
You can sail with Brittany Ferries from Roscoff in France and Santander in Spain to Plymouth surprisingly quickly before getting on the motorway or on a train down into Cornwall. Alternatively you could take an even faster ferry from France to the ports of Weymouth, Poole and Dorset with Condor Ferries (from St. Malo or Cherbourg).
Cornwall to Isles of Scilly
Once you’ve explored deep into Cornwall you’re never too far from England’s finest and most secretive gem.
The majestic Isles of Scilly are surrounded by shallow, turquoise waters and loaded with a rich maritime history, fantastic scenery and a wide range of marine wildlife including some of the rarest bird life.
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