Best places to stay in Cornwall
Originally a fishing village, Newquay has grown to be one of the most popular resorts in the whole of the UK. Perched atop the Atlantic cliffs and famed for its beaches, it has everything you could possibly need for a family bucket and spade holiday, and many families choose to take their annual holiday here. With eleven glorious sandy beaches stretching for over seven miles, there's something for everyone, especially surfers, many of whom like to make Newquay their home from home for the whole summer. Home to the surf centre of Europe, Fistral beach, it attracts surfers and lovers of extreme sports, such as rock climbing, abseiling and coasteering, in their droves. However, if you prefer slightly less risky pursuits, there's plenty of boat trips and water sports on offer around the rocky coastline too.
Away from the beach there's lots to do. There's a very lively nightlife with masses of restaurants and cafés, including TV chef, Jamie Oliver's restaurant, Fifteen, in nearby Watergate Bay. From wine bars to real ale pubs, there's a drinking establishment to suit every taste and every budget, together with live music venues and nightclubs for the more energetic. Plus there's lots of festivals held throughout the summer, and a vibrant music scene all year round too, so if you're looking for a resort with an extremely lively nightlife, Newquay is the place for you.
In contrast to Newquay, you'll find that Padstow has a more genteel British air, making it the perfect holiday destination for couples looking for a relaxing time. This charming working fishing port is surrounded by seven wonderful golden sand beaches, so if you want to take part in water based activities during your vacation, this is the ideal location. With its rugged Atlantic coastline, quiet hidden coves and fabulous clear waters you can indulge in water sports to your heart's content. It's also the home of the Camel Cycle Trail for those of you who love cycling. But it's perhaps the restaurants which hold most of the attraction, as it's full of top class eateries, such as the one owned by Rick Stein the famous UK television chef, so if eating gourmet food is an important element of your holiday, Padstow could be the perfect destination for you.
On the southern coast you'll find the traditional fishing town of Looe. Still a working fishing port, Looe is a popular holiday destination, especially for those looking to stay in a traditional Cornish seaside town. Here you'll find a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, from country hotels to small guesthouses and apartments. It's also a very popular choice if you're looking to do some sea fishing as there are many organised fishing trips from the harbour. Choose between fishing for the local mackerel, or if you fancy something a little more exciting, opt for one of the trips that head twenty five miles out from the shore to hunt down blue sharks. While fishing features predominantly in Looe, you'll also find a monkey sanctuary and a museum packed with local smuggling memorabilia and the remains of the area's railway heritage, together with an abundance of places to stop for a drink or to eat the catch of the day.
You'll feel as though you've stepped back in time in Polperro. Filled full of tiny fisherman's cottages clinging precariously to the steep hillsides leading down to the small harbour, this charming fishing village is located on the South East coast of Cornwall and is the source of many local smuggling tales. With its spectacular views across the surrounding countryside and sea, it's one of the most picturesque of all the Cornish villages and attracts thousands of visitors each year looking to stay in perhaps the most scenic of all the area's resorts. There's a multitude of places to eat, drink and relax, a wealth of artisan shops, confectionary shops and artists galleries, plus an arts and music festival each June, making it an appealing choice for art lovers too. Of course, it also has beautiful beaches and the famous Willy Wilcox cave, which is said to have been used by smugglers.
Possibly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cornwall, St. Ives has a timeless appeal for visitors of all ages. It's a subtropical oasis filled with lush, colourful vegetation and bordered by one of West Cornwall's most beautiful golden beaches, which is also attracts surfers of all ages. Packed full of art galleries and exhibitions, atmospheric traditional pubs, pavement cafes and a multitude of restaurants, if you're looking for a sophisticated beach holiday, with plenty of art and culture, you'll find plenty to see and do in this quintessential British holiday resort.