Holidays in Cornwall – Top Coastal Towns

A recent winner of ‘Best UK Holiday Destination’ by The British Travel Awards 2009, Cornwall has much to offer. Situated in the Westcountry this award-winning county boasts stunning coastal scenery, over 300 beaches, top family attractions, a range of Cornwall hotels, self catering accommodation and quaint coastal towns and villages.

Such coastal towns and villages are dotted on the North and South coast of Cornwall. Full of character and Cornish charm these coastal towns attract many visitors each year. On exploration of Cornwall you will notice a variety of distinctive Cornish place names. Many are named after saints, such as St Agnes and St Ives which refer to the early Celtic Christian missionaries who brought Christianity to Cornwall. Others have common prefixes such as ‘Tre’ (house, farm or village), ‘Chy’ (dwelling) and ‘Pen’ (headland).

Below are just a few of some of Cornwall’s most picturesque coastal towns worth visiting:


Fowey is situated at the estuary of the River Fowey and has a unique and unspoilt charm, with medieval and Tudor cottages, cobbled walkways, beautiful luxury Cornwall hotels, narrow streets and a busy boating scene. It is rich in nautical history. It can be traced back to the Middle Ages where it acted as an important port for warship and galleons. It also played an important role on the exportation of China Clay during the 18th Century.

Fowey has strong connections with the famous author, Dame Daphne Du Maurier, whereby she spent most of her life. Each May there is festival in the town which celebrates her life and her work.

Nearby beaches include Readymoney Cove, a sheltered cove situated close to the mouth of the River Fowey, Par Sands a large beach which is located to the West of Fowey and Lantic Bay, a quiet cove which lies East of Polruan.

St Ives

St Ives is one of the most stunning towns in Cornwall, if not the South West. The whole peninsula offers a haven for walkers, photographers, artists and writers giving inspiration thorough beautiful scenery and unspoilt beauty. It has enticed artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson and is home to the Tate Gallery which opened its doors in 1993.

St Ives was named after the saint Ia or Hya, an Irish princess who introduced Christianity to the area in the 5th Century. The town boasts an array of sea-front restaurants, galleries, small Cornwall hotels, guesthouses and specialist stores which are all located within quaint, narrow cobbled streets. Porthminster Beach and Porthmeor Beach are just a short walk away from the town. Porthmear is a surfing beach whereas Porthminster offers calmer shores and is perfect for swimming – both are great for families.


Padstow is located on the north coast of Cornwall and is most famously known for the presence of the chef Rick Stein where he has a number of establishments, including a seafood restaurant, deli and fish and chip takeaway.

For a bit of fun try the Camel Trail which was a former tram line and now a cycle route which runs through the towns Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Beaches near Padstow include Trevone Bay, a beach perfect for rock pool exploring and family picnics and Rock which is situated opposite Padstow. Either drive round to Rock or take the ferry.

There are a range of places to visit in Cornwall from its picturesque coastal towns, attractions and beaches. Stay in a variety of places from coastal Cornwall hotels to self catering options such as camping and cottages.