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The ultimate guide to North Cornwall holiday cottages

The ultimate guide to North Cornwall

This epic county is full of stunning natural moorland to explore, dramatic coastline that will inspire you and soft sandy beaches for relaxing seaside retreats – North Cornwall boasts some of the best landscapes in the South West.

Families return again and again for the fun attractions and bucket ‘n’ spade holidays to be had here, while couples can enjoy long romantic walks and warm and welcoming pubs scattered throughout the countryside. Big groups can use North Cornwall as a remarkable backdrop for their celebration, while smaller groups of friends can always find adventure along the North Cornwall coastline.

 

With so much on offer, where will you begin? Let us help you decide…

Things to do in North Cornwall

North Cornwall

Rugged cliffs and sandy beaches line the edge of this fantastic holiday destination, offering endless opportunities to get out on the water.

Swimming, kayaking, sailing and even paddleboarding are some of the top things to do in Cornwall and are all great ways to enjoy this beautiful coastline. The north coast of Cornwall is one of the top places in the UK for surfing with the annual surfing festival, Boardmasters, taking place every year on the glistening sands of Fistral Beach in Newquay.

Bude is another great place to visit if you love to ride the waves, and there are plenty of secret beaches scattered along this coast for surfer’s to seek out.

Besides being a water sports haven, and boasting a whole host of other extreme sports, the coast is full of incredible wildlife for you to spot, including seals, birdlife, puffins and dolphins – discover the best places in Cornwall to spot dolphins.

With all the wonderful outdoor spaces and natural landscapes on offer, there are plenty of free things to do throughout North Cornwall. You could go walking in Cornwall, with plenty of winding rural routes and the fabulous South West Coast Path to follow, or get cosy in a welcoming outside spot and enjoy an evening of stargazing the Cornish night sky.

Even in the depths of winter, there’s a whole host of magical places to go on a break to North Cornwall. Discover the perfect place for you, your family and your friends to enjoy a getaway this year.

Where to visit in North Cornwall

Quaint fishing villages, vibrant market towns and bustling seaside resorts all make up this fantastic Cornish landscape.

Where would you rather be? Living it up in a lively surfers' paradise, exploring the winding streets of a cobbled town or hiding out in your own tranquil and secluded corner of North Cornwall?

Read through this list of wonderful towns and villages throughout North Cornwall and find your perfect South West escape.

Bodmin

Bodmin

Known for the wild moors that surround it, this rural town is a unique hideaway in the heart of Cornwall.

Visit Bodmin Jail for a good scare and to hear a little history, drop by one of the warm and welcoming pubs for a hearty meal, and venture out onto the Bodmin Moor Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for wonderful walking, scenic picnic spots and breathtaking views.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: If you enjoy a cycle ride, strike out on two wheels along The Camel Trail which begins in Bodmin and can take you all the way to Padstow by the North Cornwall coast.

Stay in Bodmin

Boscastle

Boscastle

An ancient fishing village with a turquoise harbour full of boats and cobbled houses set alongside it. Discover The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, see Boscastle’s blow-hole otherwise known as the Devil's Bellows, or if you’re feeling active go coasteering at Bossiney.

Retreat into one of the quaint tearooms for a coffee when you need a break from exploring this beautiful destination.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: You can walk from Boscastle, 2 miles south to pretty St Nectan's Glen, a woodland hiding a beautiful 60 ft waterfall that crashes through a hole in the rocks.

Stay in Boscastle

Bude

Bude

Take a trip to a North Cornwall surfer hot spot for holidays out on the water or soaking up the sun from the beautiful sandy beaches.

While surfing is king here (and queen), there’s an almost endless variety of water sports for you to try out – from paddleboarding to sea canoeing. A big, beautiful green space dominates the heart of the town where you can enjoy picnicking or morning walks while independent shops and eclectic cafes line the streets.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: Keep an eye on the events at The Castle Bude, a historical attraction that was built by a Victorian inventor, which has a heritage centre, galleries and café.

Stay in Bude

Crackington Haven

Crackington Haven

Bude’s quieter and more exclusive neighbour, Crackington Haven is a scenic seaside spot with a sandy beach that’s ideal for surfing or soaking up the sunshine.

During cooler months, follow the Crackington cracker walk past the beach and out along the rugged cliffs, taking in epic coastal views while you stroll along, before returning through the forested Ludon Valley.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: Down by the beach, The Cabin Café offers floor-to-ceiling windows and tasty family food – including pizza nights.

Stay in Crackington Haven

Launceston

Launceston

This is a charming old town offering wonderful amenities and attractions – stop by the 13th-century castle or hop aboard the steam railway to discover the beautiful countryside by train.

Besides all the great offerings in the town itself, Launceston is just 10 miles from breathtaking Bodmin Moor, so ensure you venture out in the wilds of this vast granite moorland.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: Just 6 miles out of Launceston, Hidden Valley Discovery Park is a wonderful family-friendly attraction full of puzzles and wonders that children will love to explore.

Stay in Launceston

Mawgan Porth

Mawgan Porth

There is a small hamlet called Mawgan Porth that sits along Cornwall’s north coast, but when people talk about Mawgan Porth they are usually referring to the epic beach that sits alongside it.

If you visit this tranquil area, you have four beaches to choose from, plus all the fantastic beaches, shopping and restaurants over at Newquay, just 5 miles away.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: Ensure you wander over to Bedruthan Steps to see the mighty rock stacks and discover the history and legend of the place before you go. 

Stay in Mawgan Porth

Newquay

Newquay

Finally, we reach the long-standing holiday favourite and surfer mecca that is Newquay. Lusty Glaze Beach and Fistral Beach are two true favourites with wonderful white sand and crashing waves as well as beachside cafes and surf shops.

Besides the beaches, there’s a beautiful harbour, aquarium, zoo and gardens to explore. Hit the High Street for a little bit of shopping or grab a beer in a warm and welcoming Newquay pub.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: For families who’ve encountered rainy weather, take the kids over to Waterworld Leisure Centre where there’s a tropical-themed swimming pool with flumes, slides and a giant floating snake.

Stay in Newquay

Padstow

Padstow

The foodie capital of Cornwall, home to one of Rick Stein’s renowned fish restaurants, this seaside town hosts plenty of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants where you can dine out on fresh seafood, local produce and taste unique, crafted meals.

Work off all those calories with a cycle ride along the Camel Trail, taking you through the heart of the Camel Valley and all the way to Bodmin, or walk the rugged North Cornwall coastline.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local's tip: For an evening of fine wines, we’d suggest heading over to Bin Two, a wine merchant down by Padstow harbour – they do excellent coffees as well.

Stay in Padstow

Polzeath

Polzeath

Surfers, you can catch a wave down on the wide, flat, sandy Polzeath Beach. It’s ideal for sandcastle-building and soaking up the sun too, perfect for a family holiday escape to North Cornwall.

Next door is Daymer Bay, a second magnificent sandy beach with rock pools and more top waves; and dogs are welcome year-round. When you’re ready to get away from the busy beaches, walk out to Pentire Head to take in The Rumps.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local’s tip: You can spot the infamous Doom Bar from the top of Brea Hill – it’s a sandbar that has wrecked many ships and inspired the ale of the same name.

Stay in Polzeath

Port Isaac

Port Isaac

Known as the film set for Doc Martin, and for its iconic harbour with its shallow turquoise waters and old fishing vessels - the most beautiful spot in the town and worth a visit during your time here.

Grab a drink in one of the harbourfront pubs, before retreating into a relaxing holiday cottage for a peaceful getaway to this beautiful part of the world. Far-reaching coastal views, wonderful walks and a couple of shops provide a quaint setting for a Cornish getaway.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local’s tip: You’re less than 10 miles from a range of places to visit including Rock, Polzeath and Pentire Point so use this tranquil village as a base from which to explore the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Stay in Port Isaac

Rock

Rock

Just across the Camel Estuary from Padstow, the peaceful village of Rock is the perfect place for a couple or family seeking a quiet coastal retreat close to lots of wonderful Cornish attractions.

Polzeath, Pentire Point and Port Isaac are all within reach on the eastern bank, while you could hop aboard the ferry over to Padstow and visit places like the Bedruthan Steps and Camel Creek Adventure Park over on the western bank of the Camel Estuary.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local’s tip: Spend evenings dining out at The Rock Inn to enjoy hearty food, a warm ambience and views of fishing boats coming and going out on the estuary.

Stay in Rock

Tintagel

Tintagel

Tintagel village is so much more than just a mighty castle – with a few shops and restaurants dotted about, St. Nectan’s Glen which hides a stunning waterfall and the annual Tintagel Carnival that brings the village to life, it’s an exciting little coastal escape.

Of course, the medieval ruins of Tintagel Castle, now managed by English Heritage, is a beautiful place to explore and a must-visit for anyone travelling the Cornish north coast. Discover sculptures, history and legends while investigating this ancient attraction.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local’s tip: Walk down the steep steps to the beach below to see if you can make out Merlin in the cliff face.

Stay in Tintagel

Wadebridge

Wadebridge

The quaint and characterful town of Wadebridge sits across the River Camel and is full of delightful independent shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a tennis club and old cinema for you to enjoy during your stay.

Venture out to the exquisite Pencarrow House and Gardens, take the kids for a day out at Camel Creek Adventure Park, and take a trip up to Daymer Bay’s beautiful sandy beach.

Holiday cottages for a Cornwall stay:

Local’s tip: Follow the Camel Trail by bike or by foot, from Wadebridge to Camel Valley Vineyard and take a tour before sipping your choice of wine on the terrace with tranquil rural views.

Stay in Wadebridge

Travel to one of these wonderful towns and villages scattered throughout North Cornwall for a fantastic holiday to remember.

Whether you are bringing your partner, your canine companion or the whole family, we’re sure to have a holiday cottage in North Cornwall that’ll be just right.

Start browsing through our collection and find yourself the ideal holiday cottage in North Cornwall for your next UK break.

Stay in North Cornwall

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