How to plan your next domestic holiday to Cornwall

Are you looking for a place in the UK to visit with the family during October half term? Perhaps you’re planning a staycation for summer 2021? Have you thought about Cornwall? If this is you, check out the activities and locations in this post to plan your next domestic holiday to Cornwall.

Best known for its pasties and Cornish ice cream, Cornwall is the ideal place for surfers or for anyone who enjoys long walks by the sea or wants to immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of coastal towns. If you’re planning a trip to Cornwall, booking accommodation couldn’t be easier. Simply select your dates, and you’ll find a range of deals for every budget in lots of amazing Cornish locations, no matter whether you’re looking for a hotel, a holiday park, a family cottage, or anything in between.

If you’re looking for ideas on places to visit or things to do, here are some of the activities you can when in Cornwall that might help you narrow down your destination and better plan your holiday.

Historical and heritage tours and excursions

If you like walking, hiking, or climbing, you’ll love your trip to Cornwall. With plenty of itineraries and stunning scenery to take your pick from, here are some of the private or group tours you might want to look into when planning your trip.

  • The King Arthur trail. Are you into history? Do you want your children to learn more about the famous legend they learn at school? What better way to do that by following the footsteps of King Arthur? This will take you to Tintagel Castle, King Arthur’s Great Halls, St. Nectan’s Glen, the Rocky Valley, and then to the site of his final battle at Slaughterbridge.
  • Explore the coast. If you’re pressed for time and not staying in Cornwall for long, then why not plan a tour around the beautiful coast? If you’re in the area, you can start from the South West Penzance, head over to St Ives Bay, The Lizard and Kynance Cove, Charlestown Harbour, the Fowey Estuary, then Padstow Harbour, Port Isaac, and Bodmin Moor.
  • Falmouth tour. Did you know this town is known for female pirates, poets, cannibals, and famous inventors? Situated on the south coast, Falmouth isn’t just about history, but also about the beaches and quays. Well worth a visit!


Are you into water sports? Have you tried surfing? Body surfing? If not, this is your chance to give it a go. You can take surfing lessons in most places in Cornwall. It’s definitely the go-to place in the UK.

So if you’re after surfing, where should you go?

  • Newquay. With many fantastic surfing spots, Newquay is the UK’s top surfing destination. We stayed in the area as a family for a long weekend in August 2018 and then again for a week in August 2019, and our children loved riding the waves on their bodyboards. Check out Fistral beach, Watergate BayPerranporthBedruthan Steps, and Towan beach.
  • Polzeath. If you’re looking to learn how to surf or bodyboard, Polzeath on the North coast is great. You won’t find advanced surfers here, as they tend to chase the bigger waves elsewhere.
  • Harlyn hosts a large, sandy beach (Harlyn Bay) with plenty of rock pools. It’s why it’s really popular with families, so if you’re looking for a great day out at the beach (with an accessible car park, toilets, and nearby refreshments), this is the place for you.

If you want to get more of a feel of what Newquay and the surrounding area look like, check out this video from our short family trip in August 2018.

Nature and wildlife

If you’re not into surfing or want a break from the beach on an overcast day, there’s plenty to do in Cornwall.

  • Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre. This wildlife centre in Redruth is perfect for the kids. You can hand-feed foxes, fly owls and birds of prey, and they even have a reindeer!
  • The Screech Owl Sanctuary in St Columb Major, the Flicka Foundation (a Donkey Sanctuary) in Penryn, and the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre in Launceston might also be worth a visit and be a hit with the kids.

If you’re looking for stunning beaches and nature trails, check out:

  • Porthkidney Sands in Lelant.
  • Porthtowan Beach.
  • Or Morrab Gardens in Penzance.

Hiking trails, lookouts, and forests

If you’re into walking, climbing, or hiking, you’re once again spoilt for choice when you decide to spend your next domestic holiday in Cornwall.

  • If you’re staying around the St Ives area, you can walk along the South West Coast Path towards Godrevy Head or Mullion Cove to Lizard Point.
  • In or around Sennen? Then don’t miss the stunning scenery of Land’s End.
  • You can also walk from Penzance to Marazion, from Polruan to Polperro, or follow the Padstow to Harlyn Bay Trail.
No matter what you like or where you decide to stay, there’s plenty you can do if you’re planning a domestic holiday to Cornwall.

Safe travel and Coronavirus guidelines

Cornwall re-opened to tourists after lockdown in July 2020. However, you now need to book your accommodation before you travel. Advanced pre-booking for tickets has also been introduced for all leading attractions, and restaurants and eateries may require a reservation. So planning in advance couldn’t be more important.

Before you travel, be sure to check any restrictions, guidelines, and recommendations (especially around social distancing and hand washing). And for the latest advice on travel within the UK, check out the COVID-19 safer travel guidance before you set off for your domestic holiday to Cornwall and ensure you are up to speed with the latest information and advice.

So where will you go? Have you visited Cornwall before? What’s your favourite place?

This post was written in collaboration with, but all views are my own. 

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