Recently, high-profile fans of Cornwall’s gorgeous coastline such as David Cameron, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant have done much to bolster Cornwall’s status as a holiday destination for those who favour the finer things in life. A luxurious cultural holiday is within your reach at Cornwall: you’re saving on flights, travel money exchange, taxis and travel insurance – so why not spend it on treating yourself to a spa break, taking in the sea views in a self-catering holiday cottage or dining out at one of the many amazing restaurants in Cornwall.
St. Ives and Carbis Bay
Famous for the clear, bright light that inspired a group of prolific and successful artists at the turn of the last century. See some of the stunning, pastel portraits of daily life in Cornwall in the Tate Gallery that’s located near the centre of the town.
Nearby, Carbis Bay’s cultural legacy is of a literary bent: find its large, beautiful and often fairly deserted beach by walking along the coast and over the rail track – look out across the water to see the lighthouse that Virginia Woolf addressed in the title of her celebrated novel.
There are some fantastic hotels near the shoreline; spas and larger hotels are up towards the more suburban Carbis. Tregonna Hotel, between the two towns, has private cottages on site along with tropical gardens, a fitness centre and a beauty salon.
For the fine food lover – this port town has been cheekily nicknamed ‘Padstein’ by locals, due to the huge influence chef Rick Stein’s restaurant has had in reinvigorating the tourist industry there. You’ll find some of the finest fish and chips in the country, as well as some of the most aggressive seagulls – so eat under cover!
You can also work up an appetite by cycling to Wadebridge on the gently sloping Camel Trail, rewarding yourself with a meal at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant – book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
The breathtaking small town where the BBC series Doc Marten was filmed: no more, really, than a cluster of small cottages and tea shops hugging the port, surrounded by meandering walks and high hills. Stay in a small, clean B&B with inclusive breakfasts, take a boat trip during the day or relax on one of the nearby beaches. In the evening, catch one of the famous Fisherman’s Friends intimate local gigs.
A picturesque port town, relatively small but surrounded by lush green coastal walks. Spend the day rambling through the shaded woods of Penrose or the dramatic, rocky cliffs towards the lovely Rinsey beach. There’s a rich artistic tradition in the town, with several galleries and dedicated withy weavers– buy fragrant baskets or traditional hand-made crabpots.
Stay in a luxury cottage to the East of the port in an area that, with its white walls, bright paint details and fresh sea air, feels almost Mediterranean. If you’re an experienced surfer, head down to the rocks beneath the nearby Wrestling Fields to find some of Britain’s best breaks. If you’re a gourmand, indulge in perfectly-cooked fish dishes from Amelie’s or Kota.