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Destination Spotlight: Cornwall

By Alex Boag-Wyllie
More by Alex

So Much More Than a Good Beach

Cornwall is a breathtaking coastal landscape, offering a treasure trove of picturesque experiences. A region rich in history, iconic landmarks include St Michael’s Mount, Tintagel Castle and Land’s End. Add a vibrant art scene, strong foodie culture and some of the best weather in England, and Cornwall is a delightful experience for every traveller. From the untamed beauty of its coastlines to the warm hospitality of its locals, Cornwall is a destination that captivates the heart and soul.

Discover Cornwall:

A Brief History of Cornwall

The southernmost stretch of ancient England has a rich history spanning thousands of years. Steeped in captivating beauty and dramatic coastline, Cornwall’s history echoes through the ages. The first evidence of human inhabitation dates back 10,000 years. Today, 4,000 year old stone sites continue to dot the landscape, an echo of a way of life lost to time.

The Romans invaded Britain in the 40s BC. One of the greatest empires seen in the history of the Western world, there is surprisingly scarce evidence of their might in Cornwall. Occupied by native tribes, there is limited archaeological evidence of the Romans. One of these tribes, the Dumnonii, may have given its name to neighbouring Devon, while the Cornovii likely gave its name to Cornwall. However, both tribes were ultimately absorbed by the mighty kingdom of Wessex around 800 AD.

In the 1100s, a cleric, Geoffrey of Monmouth, published the popular Historia Regum Britanniae, or History of the Kings of Britain. Part fact, part fiction, the book cited Tintagel Castle as the conception site of the legendary King Arthur. Later sources built on the Historia, crediting Tintagel as the birthplace of Arthur, the home of the Pendragons, and even the site of Camelot. In the 1330s, Edward III appointed his son, Edward, the Duke of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall continues to be bestowed upon the eldest son of the sovereign to this day. It was also the Black Prince who, in the early 1300s, resurrected the site of Tintagel Castle.

Cornwall is closely associated with a strong mining history, and tin has been mined in the region for centuries. The remnants of pre-1700 mining in Cornwall are some of the most extensive in the country. By the 1700s, the mining boom was copper. A century later, Cornwall emerged as one of the largest copper producers in the world. The mining industry played a significant role in shaping Cornwall’s economy and landscape throughout history. The remnants of this history can still be found across the countryside.

Wildlife in Cornwall

Cornwall’s wildlife is as diverse as its landscapes, a mix of rolling countryside, wild moorland and dramatic coastline. Cornwall’s wildlife thrives amidst a backdrop of folklore and legends. From the tales of King Arthur to giant slayers and mysterious mermaids, the region’s rich history intertwines with the natural world. Cornwall is an immersive landscape, allowing visitors to journey through mythology and the real magic of the natural world.


Headlands like Tintagel Castle provide a fantastic vantage point to catch glimpses of peregrine falcons, puffins and cormorants, among many other birds. Seabirds soar beneath towering cliffs, and birds of prey ride the thermals above.


Looking out over the blue waters may offer sightings of porpoises and basking sharks. Grey seals rest along windswept headlands, while dolphins can be seen playing in the surf.

Creatures of the Night

As twilight descends over Cornwall, a captivating nocturnal world emerges. Bats take flight, hunting insects with their remarkable echolocation skills. Owls grace the moonlit skies, their silent flight and acute hearing aiding in their hunting endeavours.

Places to Stay

When finding the perfect place to stay in Cornwall, you’re spoiled for choice. There is a wide range of luxurious accommodations to suit every taste and preference. Whether you’re seeking a seaside resort, a B&B or a charming cottage, Cornwall offers diverse options. With breathtaking coastal landscapes, historic sites, and a vibrant culinary scene, Cornwall provides an ideal destination for a memorable getaway.


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Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes

Hotel Tresanton is a truly unique establishment. Once a yacht club, it has become a luxurious hotel and dining destination. The restaurant exudes Mediterranean charm with its mosaic floor and inviting terrace. The menu showcases fresh, seasonal produce at its best. Esteemed interior designer Olga Polizzi owns Hotel Tresanton. The tasteful decor blends with a warm ambience to showcase Olga’s personal style. Against its coastal backdrop, Hotel Tresanton is an enchanting destination that combines elegance, history, and exceptional cuisine. There’s even a private yacht available for guests to charter in Falmouth Bay during the hazy warmth of summer.


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The Nare Hotel, Veryan

Overlooking Gerrans Bay, The Nare Hotel is a hidden gem in Cornwall’s luxury hotel realm. A country house by the sea, Nare boasts 40 beautifully appointed bedrooms. The eclectic decor style adds a rich character to the hotel’s charming ambience. The Nare Hotel impresses with its delicious menu, from breakfast to dinner. With a focus on local seafood, the menu showcases mouthwatering fresh ingredients. This relaxed retreat offers exceptional service, ensuring an indulgent escape for those seeking a coastal getaway in Cornwall.


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Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth

Nestled in the coastal village of Mawgan Porth, the Scarlet offers a luxury eco-friendly experience. With stunning sea views from almost every part of the hotel, glass walls showcase the beauty of this coastline at its finest. With 37 rooms and an adult-only policy, Scarlet provides a truly relaxing stay. A world-class spa offers a serene space to rejuvenate the body and mind. The restaurant serves an array of culinary delights to indulge in. The service provided by the staff is exceptional; they are always there when needed but never intrusive. Scarlet truly offers the ultimate retreat, allowing guests to unwind, reconnect and relax.


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The Headland, Newquay

Situated outside Newquay, The Headland is a listed building that exudes Victorian grandeur. Step inside to discover the sweeping staircase and grand ballroom, showcasing the hotel’s timeless charm. Located on the headland beside the famed Fistral Beach, breathtaking views immerse guests in natural beauty. For a truly indulgent experience, don’t miss the luxury spa complex. A five-star hotel within an elegant historic setting, Headland maintains a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Here, everything is perfect and the service is seamless.

Cornwall in Photos

Places to Eat

Cornwall is a foodie paradise with a diverse culinary scene and abundant fresh, local ingredients. From charming coastal cafes to award-winning fine dining, Cornwall offers an array of places to eat. Traditional Cornish pasties, artisan cheeses, and delectable cream teas showcase the rich flavours of the region. With its vibrant food culture and a focus on quality, Cornwall promises a culinary journey that will leave you longing for more.


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Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Padstow

Nestled within a charming Georgian townhouse in the heart of Padstow, Paul Ainsworth at No.6 is a culinary gem. Opened in 2005, an elegant dining room allows guests to indulge in exquisite cuisine while enjoying views of the bustling pass. The understated decor perfectly complements the culinary delight served during this dining experience. As expected of a restaurant boasting a Michelin star, the presentation of each dish is nothing short of amazing, almost resembling a theatrical performance on the plate. An attentive and knowledgeable team ensure every guest is provided with impeccable service. Paul Ainsworth at No.6 is a true culinary masterpiece, where gastronomy meets artistry in an unforgettable experience.


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Appleton’s, Fowey

Appleton’s is a hidden gem. Established in 2016 within the Trevibban Mill vineyard and winery on the way to Padstow, the restaurant found a new home in the heart of Fowey in March 2020. The spacious and relaxed ambience sets the stage for a delightful dining experience. An open kitchen allows guests to witness the culinary magic unfold. With a team of friendly and attentive staff, Appleton’s ensures that every guest feels welcomed and well taken care of. Indulge in the flavours of carefully crafted dishes paired with exquisite wines, creating a harmonious symphony for the senses.


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Kota, Porthleven

Since its opening in 2006, Kota has established itself as a culinary destination that always impresses. In 2018, Kota proudly received a third AA rosette, making it one of only four restaurants in Cornwall to achieve this distinction. Chef and owner Jude, originally from New Zealand, brings an Asian flair to the kitchen. Specializing in seafood, Kota showcases the best of Cornwall’s coastal bounty. Creative and expertly presented dishes result in an exceptional dining experience. For the ultimate gastronomic journey, aim for the six-course taster menu. Each course delights the senses with its flavours and artful presentation. Kota’s sister restaurant, Kota Kai, offers a casual atmosphere without compromising on quality.

Discover Cornwall

From soft white sands lapped by azure waters to mouthwatering food served amidst vibrant culture, Cornwall offers an idyllic escape for every visitor.

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Meet the Author: Alex Boag-Wyllie

Born in the Scottish Highlands, I was lucky enough to spend my childhood playing on beautiful beaches and learning to ski (or, more often, fall over). My father’s job kept us on the move, and I was soon just as at home across the rest of the UK. I’m your gal if you need a good cafe recommendation (almost) anywhere in the country; if I haven’t been there yet, you can be sure it’s on my trip list…

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