The county of Cornwall is one of the most popular tourist destinations of England. To help you, we have divided the main accommodation sections to cover three distinct parts of the county - The Cornish Riviera in the south east, North Cornwall coast, and South West Cornwall.
Mythology, majesty and magnificence all go hand in hand
in Cornwall where towering cliffs, carved by the
pounding of two opposing seas, look down imperiously on
picturesque fishing coves, some of Britain’s finest
surfing beaches and a host of quaint coastal resorts.
This out-of-the-way south-western county is one of
England’s most dramatic tourist spots. Here are great
gardens, painterly villages and enchanting vistas, not
to mention the wild beauty of Land’s End and Bodmin
Attracting millions of visitors each year, ancient
Cornwall can boast a unique culture and a mild climate
that fosters the growth of sub-tropical plants.
It is hemmed in northwards by the powerful waters of the
Atlantic Ocean and, in the south, by the comparatively
placid English Channel. Hence the south coast is
justifiably known as the Cornish Riviera.
The county’s origins stretch back into the mists of
time. Its earliest inhabitants included Celtic settlers
who had to re-establish their kingdom once the
conquering Romans had departed. The Cornish language was
a living thing until the late 18th century and even
today there are thousands of Cornish speakers.
From the Bronze Age Cornwall provided most of the tin
used across Europe and beyond. Later, when steam engines
powered the Industrial Revolution, tin mines were dug
beneath the sea and played a key role in Britain’s
The remains of these worked-out pits – often perched
high on cliffs above the turbulent swell of the ocean -
have become key attractions for the modern-day
The region’s micro climate has given rise to some of the
best gardens in the British Isles. The most recent
creation, the Eden Project, is an imaginative attempt to
recreate the world’s major environments in a series of
futuristic greenhouses or ‘biomes’. The Lost Garden of
Heligan, which has taken 10 years to restore, can also
be found here - a paradise that was ‘lost’ for seven
decades. Other enchanting gardens include Trebah, near
Falmouth, and the exotic Tresco Abbey Gardens on the
Isles of Scilly, which is part of Cornwall.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall only opened its
doors in 2002 but has already established itself.
Situated on Falmouth's boat-bobbing waterfront, it
houses a number of seafaring exhibitions which include
model ships ‘floating’ on a black starless sea and a
gathering of craft from the National Small Boats
Many local places are associated with 6th century King
Arthur. Legend has it that his base was Tintagel Castle,
which is reached via a 300-step cliff top staircase.
Although this evocative ruin only dates back only to the
13th century, archaeologists have now found remains
dating to the time of Arthur.
On the windswept, mist-shrouded Bodmin Moor lies Dozmary
Pool, reputed to be the place where Sir Bedivere threw
Arthur’s sword as the ill-fated ‘king’ lay dying after
the Battle of Camlann.
In modern times, Cornwall’s ability to enthral has been
sustained by a number of writers, the most famous of
which was Daphne du Maurier. She lived here and set
novels here – notably ‘Jamaica Inn’ and ‘Frenchman’s
Inland, the most dramatic location is Bodmin Moor, which
dominates Cornwall’s north-eastern corner. The town of
Bodmin is the only Cornish town to have won a mention in
the 11th century Domesday Book. During the First World
War both the book and the Crown jewels were stored at
A must-see is Lizard Point and its lighthouse – the
furthest south you can go. The area is known for its
green ‘serpentine’ stone. Ornaments made from this
material became popular during the Victorian era. Here
also are dangerous reefs, smugglers’ coves – and tales
Among the many castles is Launceston, built by Richard,
Earl of Cornwall in 1227. A ‘shell’ keep, it consists of
a circular wall containing a number of castle buildings.
Caerhays Castle, near St Austell, was created in the
19th century by John Bettesworth and designed by the
great John Nash.
Some of the prettiest towns and villages include the
former ports of Fowey, Looe, Mousehole and Port Isaac.
Larger resorts include Newquay and Penzance. The
capital, and the only city in Cornwall, is Truro. Newlyn
is one of the most valuable fishing ports in the UK.
Although Cornwall is ill suited to the growing of many
arable crops, it has rich grass, a fact which has
created one of Cornwall’s chief exports - clotted cream.
The county is also famous for its beer, wine, cider and
Tourist Information Centres
BODMIN VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
The Shire Hall, Mount Folly Square, Bodmin, PL31 2DQ
Tel/Fax: 01208 76616
"Winner in Cornwall Tourism Awards 2007 Best TIC Category"