An Insiders Guide to North Cornwall

The North Cornwall coastline is famous for its rugged cliffs, long sandy beaches and for some of the most spectacular views in the county. It is also home to a number of pictureseque fishing villages and interesting towns, with a rich cultural history. There is no shortage of great things to do in North Cornwall, whether you are interested in adventure activities, cultural excusions or are simply looking for ways to relax – follow our insiders guide to North Cornwall and find out how to get the best out of your visit.

Port Isaac is a picturesque Cornish town, that is still a working fishing village and it’s handy location, half way down the North coast, makes it a great place to stay. Port Isaac has been used as a backdrop for many films and TV productions since the late 1980’s and fans of the recent Doc Martin TV series will enjoy spotting familiar sights from the show. The village is also home to the famous Fisherman’s Friends: a ten piece male choir, who can be found singing sea shanties on the pier every Friday evening at 8 o’clock.

Nearby Polzeath is a haven for sufers and windsurfers. It has a great position, meaing that it often has decent surf and there is no shortage of activities to do out of the water as well. 

No visit to Cornwall would be complete without a spot of fishing so why not head to Newquay Harbour for fishing trips off the north coast. There are many different types of fishing trips available, but if you are a beginner why not try your hand at fishing for makerel. This can be one of the easiest and most satisfying to pick up, as in the right season you are very likely to have something delicious to take off and cook with you afterwards.

Visit the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow for an unusual day out. The centre aims to educate visitors in conservation, as well promoting sustainability in fisheries. There are many marine residents to meet, from giant lobsters to spider crabs and a great gift shop, where visitors can buy souveniers and a whole range of books about the creatures they will see there.

St Ives, further down the North coast, is a great place to head for shopping. It has many little galleries and gift shops. Check out the Sloop Craft Centre for this. a collection of artists studios where you can buy a fabulous range of handmade treasures available to buy. Team this up with a visit to the Tate St Ives, which has an impressive permenent collection, as well as regularly changing exhibitions, or with a trip to the Barbara Hepworth Museum., which is a hidden gem, in the back streets of this pretty little town.

Do what the locals do and step out onto the Southwest Coast Path whilst you are in North Cornwall. There are a multitude of fantastic walks along the coast path and all of them will give you views to remember once you get home. Try walking from Crackington Haven to Tintagel. This ancient castle is a wonderful finishing point and gives you something magical to explore at the end of your walk.

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