23rd September 2019

With breathtaking scenery and a host of places to visit, Cornwall remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK.

Cornwall is viewed by many as the ultimate British staycation, offering stunning coastal views, idyllic towns and an eclectic mix of attractions.

Visitors can take in the sights and attractions of the region, exploring the many towns and villages the county has to offer.

Holidaymakers flock to the south-west and further increases in tourism are expected, making property in the area increasingly attractive to investors.


Separated from the rest of the country by the River Tamar, Cornwall is almost an island. It is accessible by plane to Newquay Airport, although most visitors will travel by car or train.

Visitor attractions

Cornwall offers a wide variety of visitor attractions, many of which take in the region’s spectacular scenery.

The Eden Project is an educational charity which connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future.

For those who want to venture further afield, the Cornish Coastal Path is a recommended destination. The Camel Trail - an 18-mile route alongside a disused railway line - also features prominently.

The Tate St Ives, an art gallery exhibiting work by modern British artists with links to the St Ives area, is well worth a visit.

Also in St Ives, a trip to The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden will also appeal to those with an artistic leaning while the picturesque Padstow Harbour offers a range of quaint shops and eateries.

Nature enthusiasts would be advised to take in Newquay Zoo, which covers over 13 acres and is home to more than 130 species including lions, black wildebeest and zebras.

Popular annual events

Cornwall hosts a diverse range of popular annual events which prompt people to return to the area.

The Royal Cornwall Show, held in Wadebridge in June, is a three-day showcase for food and farming.

August sees Newquay stage a five-day festival called Boardmasters, which combines surfing and music. Surfing and skating competitions are held at Fistral beach with live music at the festival site near Watergate Bay.

Also in August, Falmouth Week is a sailing competition with fleet racing for yachts and day boats.

The Padstow Christmas Festival takes place in December with the fishing village playing host to “celebrity chefs, culinary delights and festive fun”.

The spirit of Christmas is also marked by the Mousehole Christmas Lights, which attracts thousands of visitors in December and early January.

Vast array of beaches

With a coastline spanning in excess of 250 miles, Cornwall boasts over 300 beaches. Some of them are secluded, rocky coves which are barely accessible while others provide large, open areas exposed to the Atlantic swell.

Whether you wish to explore hidden gems, find a sheltered sun trap, take your dog for a walk on golden sand or don a wetsuit and go surfing, there is a beach for you.

Fistral Beach in Newquay is the best-known spot for surfers in the UK with its consistent quality waves and the ability to hold a big swell.

The so-called ‘Poldark effect’ fuelled a large surge in visitors to the area last year, with fans of the BBC drama enticed to seek out the secluded covers featured on TV.

This led to Visit Cornwall taking the decision in August to no longer advertise the busiest beaches, instead encouraging tourists to visit the lesser known ones.

Dining options aplenty

If you are looking to eat out, there is no shortage of options, ranging from pub grub to fine dining.

Naturally, seafood features prominently in the culinary options Cornwall has to offer.

The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, owned by celebrity chef Rick Stein, has an international reputation for the quality of the fish and shellfish served there since it opened in 1975.

The Fish House - Fistral in Newquay and The Shore Restaurant in Penzance are among other restaurants in the region receiving rave reviews.

If you are looking for a light bite, a popular snack provided by many outlets is the famous Cornish pasty, which is a baked pastry filled with beef, potato, swede and onion.

For a spot of indulgence, a traditional Cornish Cream Tea is a must. Don’t forget that the jam goes on the scone first, topped by the cream!

Rise in tourism set to continue

It will come as no surprise to learn that tourism is the biggest sector in Cornwall, with the region currently attracting around 4.5 million visitors a year. The industry is worth an estimated £1.5 billion, supporting one in five jobs in the area.


Tourism in Cornwall is expected to continue to rise, with a forecast £521million boost to the local economy over the next ten years.


Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, told Cornwall Live earlier this year that the need is "to build quality tourism products that meet visitors' needs and expectations and extending the tourism season”.

He added: "It has come across as a bit of a new Cotswolds, an area to exploit.”

The Local Government Association has identified a requirement to focus on maintaining existing markets and building new ones, adding: “An important opportunity area is to increase the number of international visitors through improving and diversifying the tourism offer.”

There is particular interest in the area from Americans and work is being done to attract visitors from other countries.

Iain Brown, CEO of Aria Resorts, who own five developments in Cornwall, said: ”Cornwall has consistently proven to be one of the most attractive and sought after holiday destinations in the UK. Whether you're seeking a great family holiday, a holiday property investment or a mix of both, our Retallack resort, just four miles from Newquay Airport, is the idea choice.”