The North Coast of Cornwall is synonymous with surfing, big sandy beaches and the harbour towns and villages of Padstow (Rick Stein’s base) and Port Isaac (as featured in the Doc Martin TV programme). Also home to Newquay, the ‘surfing capital of Cornwall’ and resorts like Rock the ‘Kensington of Cornwall’ where the rich and famous holiday. Other delights include Boscastle, made famous by the flood which devastated the village in August 2004, and Tintagel, home of King Arthur.

The Atlantic Coast region stretches from Bude in the North to St. Agnes in the South West, and features inland include the Camel Estuary and Bodmin Moor. There is a mix of stunning, rugged coastal scenery and large open beaches to secluded rocky coves and inlets, and from vast open moorland to lush countryside and woodland walks. 

The Beaches and coastal walks are traditionally what one would expect when you think of Cornwall, large sandy expanses, dramatic coastal vistas and pretty harbour towns. They are mostly dog friendly all year and a complete guide to the Beaches can be found on our beach guide page.
Water based activities are dominated by surfing, with the beaches around Newquay being by far the most popular not only because of the surf conditions but the night life on offer in the town which has rapidly established itself as a new kind of holiday resort catering for the less ‘traditional’ Cornwall holiday maker. Other water based activities include jet-skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, power boating, diving, kite surfing, wakeboarding and of course fishing.

For those wanting the more familiar Cornish experience there are plenty of choices away from the Newquay summer crowds, with many smaller coastal resorts to choose from including Perranporth and Tintagel. Family beach based holidays are the choice for many and there is a huge selection of types of accommodation available from holiday parks, camping sites, hotels, guest houses, B & B’s and self-catering holiday cottages, apartments and lodges.
Away from the coast you can enjoy the market towns of Launceston and Bodmin, and visit one of the region’s best wine producers at the Camel Valley Vineyard. There are historic houses like the National Trust’s Terice , a beautifully secluded Elizabethan Manor House and attractions like Jamaica Inn made famous by the novelist Daphne du Maurier.

If you want to discover more about the history of Cornwall there are a number of museums & attractions of interest including Bodmin Goal, Padstow Museum and The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle.
Enjoying the locally produced food and drink are an important part of a Cornish holiday and the Atlantic Coast region boasts an award winning wine producer in The Camel Vineyard where you can visit for tours and take part in wine tasting, and of course purchase their quality wines. Sharps Brewery near Rock has quickly become the largest producer of cask ales in the county, only started in 1996 it prides itself on being a very environmentally friendly business and offers a new and energetic approach to beer production whilst retaining its heritage.  Rick Stein is by far the most famous of the ‘TV chefs’ based in Cornwall and his restaurant in Padstow has established itself at the forefront of culinary experiences, and this is joined more recently by the new ‘Cornwall 15’ opened by Jamie Oliver. You will find a large selection of eateries throughout the region from cosy country pubs to elegant beach side bistros and a warm welcome is assured whatever the season.

The Atlantic Coast offers a variety of holiday experiences for families and friends alike, whether you want a typical beach holiday, a get away from it all break in the countryside or an action packed/sports based week, the choice is yours.

Try our Interactive Map showing all the Places to Visit in Cornwall.

Advertise With Us

Things to do in Cornwall is provided courtesy of Holiday Cottages Cornwall. To become part of the site, click here for more information.