The ultimate guide to South Cornwall  holiday cottages

The ultimate guide to South Cornwall

Escape to the Cornish south coast on a fantastic South West holiday. Make the most of the serenity offered by the hidden coves and secret beaches or get lost in the cobbled streets of Cornwall’s vibrant towns and discover exciting attractions for families and adults.

With a beautiful yet dramatic coastline to explore, an intriguing mining heritage to uncover inland and family-friendly things to do throughout the region, you and your guests can expect a wonderful holiday to South Cornwall.

Things to do in South Cornwall

Things to do in South Cornwall

The renowned Eden Project and its sister attraction, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, come top of the list for many people on their first visit to scenic South Cornwall. However, the more you investigate this unique part of the UK, the more incredible places you will uncover.

Follow the spectacular South West Coast Path to see the best of the Cornish coastline and take in breathtaking views, or get up close and personal on a coasteering adventure or a kayaking trip in the turquoise waters.

Trek along waterfall walks and deep into caverns in the Bodmin Moor Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and seek out treasures in the art galleries in picturesque seaside towns and villages. For wildlife, you could visit the Monkey Sanctuary, Porfell Wildlife Park or stroll across any of the exquisite natural spaces across the county to bird spot. Children and families will enjoy a trip to spooky Bodmin Jail, exciting Adrenalin Quarry or exploring the Tamar Trails. Not to mention there’s a whole host of idyllic beaches - from wide, open sandy spaces to secret coves - that everyone will love, including your four-legged pup if you choose to bring your pet along with you on a dog-friendly holiday.

Where to visit in South Cornwall

Where to visit in south cornwall

Are you seeking an exciting seaside getaway or a tranquil rural retreat? From the sandy beaches of Torpoint to the wild walking of St Neot, the south of Cornwall encompasses a varied range of landscapes offering all kinds of wonderful holiday experiences to visitors.

St Austell is just the place for those hunting down fun attractions to investigate, while Polruan and Fowey offer a calm coastal location where you can go sailing or sit and enjoy estuary views over your morning coffee.

Stroll around the ancient harbour of Mevagissey, duck inside Polperro’s model village, or explore the Tamar Valley from your base in Saltash – wherever you choose to stay, you’re sure to enjoy a wonderful Cornish break with your guests.



A quaint and quiet country escape that’s perfectly positioned for uncovering the best of South Cornwall and the South West’s AONBs, Callington is a small town complete with delightful independent shops, cafes and pubs.

Tamar Valley, with all the beautiful scenery and exciting activities it offers, is less than 5 miles away, while Bodmin Moor and bustling Plymouth are both less than 15 miles away.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Track down the beautiful artwork created throughout the town on the Callington Mural Trail

Discover Callington


Charleston south cornwall town

Less than 2 miles from the vibrant and eclectic St Austell, yet set within a tranquil setting on the South Cornish coastline, it’s the perfect spot to hide out while remaining within reach of wonderful attractions, bars and nightlife – not to mention the renowned Eden Project (4 miles away).

This town is probably best known for its stunning harbour where you can charter a boat or just dine in one of the cafes or restaurants while you people-watch the sailors and visitors bustling about. 

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: For a bit of peace and quiet, explore the Pinetum Gardens where there’s a scenic arboretum, tranquil water garden and further serene gardens to wander.

Discover Charlestown



Cobbled houses sit in neat rows overlooking the beautiful River Fowey in this characterful riverside town. It sits on the Polperro Heritage Coast, with a few quiet beaches within the local area, and the quaint village of Polruan just across the estuary – a ferry ride away.

Warm and cosy pubs, a ruined castle and Readymoney Cove Beach are all pleasant places to while away lazy days, while 15 miles around the corner of this coastline you can uncover The Lost Gardens of Heligan or take a jaunt into St Austell, just 8 miles away.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Visit Daphne du Maurier’s hometown during the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature.

Discover Fowey


Liskeard Golitha Falls
Golitha Falls is 4.5 miles away on Bodmin Moor


Less than 5 miles from the wonders of Bodmin Moor and full to bursting with quaint, independent shops and eateries to discover, Liskeard is a bit of a hidden gem of Cornwall.

Entertain children and big kids with a trip to Adrenalin Quarry (4 miles) or spend your time exploring the waterfalls, caves and moors of Bodmin. It’s ideal for families, walkers and ramblers, and couples seeking a romantic countryside getaway.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: After heavy rainfall, follow the waterfall walk to Golitha Falls to see the crashing waters at their best.

Discover Liskeard



A small yet ever-popular coastal town straddling the East Looe River, this ancient fishing community boasts proximity to a wonderful selection of attractions and beaches, and is just a couple of miles from the Polperro Heritage Coast.

Visit the Monkey Sanctuary (4 miles), take a boat trip to Looe Island, spend your days at Looe Golf Club (3 miles), or dine out down by the shallow, turquoise waters of the harbour.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Talland Bay hides two small and beautiful sandy beaches where you can swim, investigate rock pools and visit a beach café.

Discover Looe



Hide out in this ancient stannary town where a wealth of unique events, traditional pubs and antique shops provide ample things to see and do during your stay.

The Eden Project, Porfell Wildlife Park, Lanhydrock House, Bodmin Jail, Cardinham Woods, Polkerris Beach and the Polperro Heritage Coast are all fantastic local attractions within 10 miles – visit Lostwithiel for a holiday packed with adventure.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: It’s become known as Cornwall’s antiques capital so ensure you investigate these hidden treasures; Deja-vu Antiques is a charming place to start.

Discover Lostwithiel



This attractive old town still has a working fishing harbour where you can watch the boats haul in their catch at the end of the day and sample the locally-caught produce in the seafront restaurants and bars.

The aquarium, model railway and famously beautiful harbour offer wonderful sights in town, while The Lost Gardens of Heligan is just 3 miles out and the bustling town of St Austell only 7 miles.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: The Fountain Inn is a favourite that has visitors returning again and again, make a beeline for this warm, dog-friendly, coastal pub.

Discover Mevagissey



This country escape is settled in a wonderful corner of the South Cornwall coast and is all about water. A beautiful lake dominates the centre of this serene village while this region is surrounded by two rivers and the English Channel, offering endless opportunities for kayaking and canoeing, diving and swimming.

It’s also ideal for beach days with the wide, seemingly endless shoreline of Whitsand Bay and the scenic Kingsand Beach both with 3 miles. If you miss the buzz of the city, travel 6 miles to Torpoint and hop on a ferry to bustling Plymouth.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Seek out the famously beautiful beach at Cawsand Bay (2 miles) and dip your toes in the clear, shallow water found there.  

Discover Millbrook



Surrounded by the Polperro Heritage Coast with lovely Talland Bay to the east and the National Trust-managed Lantic Bay to the west, it’s just the place for a tranquil coastal getaway.

A model village, heritage museum and exquisite harbour complete with small sandy beach offer places to explore within this tranquil village itself, while the town of Looe (5 miles) provides further choice when it comes to dining and attractions.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Uncover the Cornish coast on foot by following the South West Coast Path to the scenic seaside spot of Lansallos.

Discover Polperro


The beautiful National Trust-managed Lantic Bay


Follow the single road into this ancient fishing village, all the way down to the quay where a sandy beach and warming pub welcomes you. Take a sea cruise out of the harbour or hop aboard the ferry to visit neighbouring Fowey, just across the estuary.

Meander the exquisite walking route out to National Trust’s Lantic Bay, watch yachts bob on the waters and spot sea birds soaring overhead, before circling back around to return to your cosy cottage in pretty Polruan.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Polperro Model Village is an old favourite around these parts; make sure you visit this iconic attraction.

Discover Polruan



Known as the ‘Gateway to Cornwall’, holidaymakers travelling by train will pass through this bustling town as they enter Kernow. Take in the cityscape of Plymouth across the epic River Tamar and visit the city for shopping and nightlife.

Saltash is just the place to stay if you’re looking to explore the beautiful Tamar Valley, head out on the water by kayak or canoe, visit Cotehele or follow footpaths across the region. 

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Keep an eye out for the vibrant, Union Jack-painted Union Inn as you pass over the bridge and into Cornwall.

Discover Saltash

St Austell

St Austell
Explore the China Clay Trails


A wonderful large town boasting pubs, shopping and places to visit including what is arguably the South West’s most famous attraction – the Eden Project. Its sister project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, is also in the area at 7 miles away while the beautiful towns and villages of Charlestown, Fowey and Mevagissey (all less than 8 miles) offer further chances for Cornish exploration.

In St Austell itself, visit the St Austell Brewery for a tour and a pint, and ensure you follow the beautiful China Clay Mines Trail for stunning views and to uncover the area’s mining heritage.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Keep an eye on the Wheal Martyn Clay Works website as they host a wonderful array of events and activities for families and adults throughout the year – this year there’s a particularly special laser show taking place.

Discover St Austell

St Mawes

St Mawes

Travel into the beautiful Roseland Peninsula and at the end of the road, you’ll arrive at the exclusive holiday destination of St Mawes. Traditional cottages tumble down the side of the coast to meet the water’s edge where yachts and pleasure boats depart to sail in the protected estuary.

A ferry can take you across to Falmouth where you can explore the harbour and waterfront high street, while a couple of art galleries, wonderful pubs and the Lamorran Gardens ensure there’s plenty to entertain in St Mawes itself.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: The Roseland Peninsula boasts a coastline of hidden beaches and secret coves, why not try The Dodman Long Loop to make the most of this dramatic and dreamy coast?

Discover St Mawes

St Neot

St Neot Carnglaze Caverns
The magical turquoize waters of Carnglaze Caverns in St Neot


Found right on the edge of the unspoilt dramatic landscape of Bodmin Moor, with the River Loveny running through the heart of the village, St Neot is an idyllic country destination, just the place for walkers and ramblers excited to begin exploring Cornwall’s magnificent and most famous AONB.

Venture over to the Carnglaze Caverns to tour the underground mine and walk through beautiful woodland, and travel to Golitha Falls (4 miles) or further to reach the English Heritage-managed Hurler’s Stone Circles (7 miles).

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Colliford Lake is home to the famous smuggler’s haunt that inspired Daphne du Maurier, The Jamaica Inn; walk the lake’s shoreline before heading in for a hearty meal. 

Discover St Neot


A view of Rame Peninsula 


Just across the Tamar from the city of Plymouth, you’ll uncover this Cornish gem. It’s long been a port town and you can catch a ferry across to the city if you feel like it or stay put and explore the beautiful Rame Peninsula.

National Trust-managed Antony House and Gardens is a scenic attraction to visit, the beaches of Whitsand Bay are 4 miles from town, while any walkers among you must take the time to ramble the epic, dramatic coastline of Rame Head (8 miles) and take in those far-reaching coastal views.

We’d recommend staying at:

Local’s tip: Dine out at one of the waterfront eateries to enjoy an evening meal with views across the magnificent River Tamar to Plymouth.

Discover Torpoint

Which of these wonderful destinations do you prefer? Let us know!

Stroll along sandy sheltered beaches and secret coves, wander the tropical domes of the renowned Eden Project and take in breathtaking views as you explore St Austell’s China Clay Trails. Visit one of the exquisite National Trust properties scattered across the region or delve into the wilds of Bodmin Moor.

Start browsing our collection of cottages in South Cornwall and enjoy a spectacular self-catering holiday escape while down in this beautiful part of the UK.

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