Cornwall’s wonderful west coast is lined with sandy beaches and fun attractions. Journey here for a beach holiday and spend your days down on the sand watching the waves, soaking up the sun or swimming in the sea. If you’re more into culture and travel, visit for the historic sites, award-winning eateries and thriving wildlife.
Beautifully positioned for holidaymakers looking to explore the area, is Helston. This traditional Cornish town is within reach of some of the best locations the county has to offer: it's just 3 miles from the beach, 10 miles from historic Marazion and 12 miles from the harbour town of Falmouth. Stay in Helston for scenic strolls along the coastline, delicious foodie delights and a range of fun family-friendly days out, from exploring a castle to meeting seals.
Find out all about this Cornish gem with our guide to things to do in Helston.
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Food and drink
About the town:
At the heart of the town itself, there’s a wonderful boating lake where you can hire a boat or sit and grab a coffee in the park café. Medieval buildings stand throughout the town, and the high street has a mix of independent shops and big-name brands for you to peruse.
The town is possibly best known for the annual Flora Day, a festival that celebrates the end of winter and gets everyone taking part in the historic ‘Furry Dance'... visit during May to join in! Throughout the rest of the year there’s still plenty of fantastic sights to see and things to do; keep reading to find out more:
The magnificent castle at St Michael’s Mount (10 miles) is a great place for a day out. Start on beautiful Marazion beach where at low tide, you can walk across the causeway to the island. During high tide, a boat service runs so you can still visit to wander the castle grounds, explore the gardens and grab a bite in the island café.
An animal haven that welcomes visitors to meet the incredible ocean-dwellers, Cornish Seal Sanctuary is just 5 miles from Helston. It’s open seven days a week, and there are regular talks for you to attend as well as the opportunity to buy a special experience to feed and get up close to the seals, penguins and otters at the sanctuary.
For families with kids, Helston is home to the super fun Flambards Theme Park. They have rollercoasters for bigger kids and quieter rides for families with young children to try. Have a go on the Sky Swinger, race around on go-karts or enjoy a Jurassic adventure on the Dinosaur Express.
If you can’t miss a trip to the renowned Eden Project near St Austell, then prepare for a 35-mile drive from Helston. Be warned that the winding Cornish roads may mean this trip takes longer than you expect – you’re in the South West, so just enjoy the slow-paced way of life!
Miles of sandy shoreline make Cornwall an incredibly sought-after destination and west Cornwall boasts some of the most unspoilt beaches in the county.
Take a trip just 2.5 miles down to pretty Porthleven; there’s even a bus you could catch down to the seaside village. Porthleven Beach and Loe Bar Beach provide an excellent spot for surfing or swimming, and there are lots of cafes, pubs and chip shops along the estuary and harbour of Porthleven so you can refuel after a day in the water.
Beautiful Praa Sands (6 miles) is also well worth a visit. Known for its white sand created from seashells that have been broken down by being thrown about by the sea, there are a couple of beachfront cafes you can stop by after hours of lying on the sand or exploring every inch of this beautiful beach.
To find out more about the stunning beaches close to Helston, be sure to check out our Cornwall beach guide!
Stay near Helston in one of our beautiful holiday cottages in the area. We have a wonderful collection of large properties for groups, family-sized escapes and romantic getaways for couples in and around West Cornwall.
This elegant old property is 12 miles from Helston. With breathtaking views across to Port Nevis, this large cottage will provide a luxury getaway. It has a conservatory and terrace, a boat launch and recovery slipway as well as two open fires for keeping you toasty during the evenings. It’s also handily within walking distance of a range of excellent amenities including riverfront inns, restaurants, spa, golf and nationally acclaimed gardens. Ask for more details on where to find these great local experiences.
This pretty holiday escape for two makes for the perfect getaway in rural Helston. Situated in a quiet location with breathtaking views of the scenic Cornish countryside, just 3 miles outside of Helston, you can enjoy your morning coffee out on the patio and explore all the exciting attractions in the area knowing you can return to this tranquil holiday home after a busy day of discovery. Take a look and imagine your restful holiday escape to this hidden gem.
Discover the dramatic coast out at the National Trust’s Lizard Point (12 miles) down on Cornwall’s scenic heritage coast. The South West Coast Path runs along the edge of this beautiful landscape. Go walking to uncover the rich variety of wildlife that thrives here and enjoy breathtaking sea views.
The South West Coast Path travels around the entirety of seaside Devon and Cornwall, so you could pick it up at any point you like. Perhaps on a trip to Porthcurno Beach, you could go for a short walk along the grassy clifftops, or if you’re inclined to explore further, a 2.5-mile walk will take you to Porthgwarra Beach.
The food and drink:
The area is famous for the annual Porthleven Food Festival that takes place down on the coast just 3 miles outside of Helston. Throughout the rest of the year, this area is an excellent place for delicious dining.
Henlys Bar and Restaurant – a stylish eatery serving local produce and a selection of cocktails.
Rick Stein Porthleven – one of Rick Stein’s famed seafood restaurants found throughout the South West.
Hellys Tearoom – a quirky café selling good food. Why not stop by for a delightful coffee and cake?
Harbour Head – Origin Coffee has its roastery in Helston which you’re welcome to visit for a tour. If you are simply looking for a cup of delicious coffee, pop into their café down in Porthleven.
If you’re feeling inspired to take a trip down to the fantastic town of Helston to join in the festival of Flora Day or simply to discover everything that the beautiful west of Cornwall has to offer, begin planning your trip by browsing through our holiday cottages in Helston.
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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.