Local Towns The Atlantic Coast Cornwall

The picturesque villages and lively towns of The Atlantic Coast have their own unique Cornish history. With a wealth of fascinating buildings, pretty harbours and a variety of visitor centres, each one has something special to offer the visitor.


Blisland is a picturesque village located about 5 miles east of Bodmin on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Amongst other things, the village which dates to Saxon times boasts a Norman church and an excellent pub, The Blisland Inn, which won CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2001. The historical stone built buildings such as the church and the pub are all found around the village green. Blisland has it's own Community website if you would like further information about the history and current day facilities of the village.


Bodmin is an important historical town of around 14.500 inhabitants lying on the edge of Bodmin Moor. The name Bodmin derives the Cornish "Bod-meneghy" meaning dwelling of or by the sanctuary of monks" History has it that St Petroc travelled from Padstow to Bodmin  in the 6th century and established a monastery. St Petroc Parish Church, the largest Grade 1 listed church in Cornwall, houses the 12th century 'Bodmin Casket' thought to contain the relics of St Petroc and is a very interesting church with medieval coffin stones and many other important historical features.
During the 19th century, Bodmin was the county town of Cornwall but in 1876, Truro was chosen as the site for the new cathedral and diocese of Cornwall. Consequently Bodmin rapidly lost most of it's county functions such as the County Courts but of course a fine legacy of Georgian and Vistorian buildings remain. One such buildng is the Shire Hall which now houses the Bodmin Visitor Information centre. You can find out more about places to visit such as Bodmin Gaol, St Petroc Parish Church and the Camel Trail on our site or by visiting the officalBodmin Site

To the east of Bodmin lies Bodmin Moor, first farmed by bronze age man 4000 ago. The dramatic landscape of Bodmin Moor with it's granite tors, boggy marshes and open moorland has inspired painters, poets and authors for centuries and of course, was the setting for Daphne du Maurier's world famous novel 'Jamaica Inn'.


Boscastle is a charming medieval harbour with much of the land in and around Boscastleowned by the National Trust. Now well known as a result of 2004 floods, the village of Boscastle is well worth a visit with cottages dating back to the 15th century. Most of the local businesses have already reopened despite the catastrophic damage suffered in the floods. Many visitors come to Boscastle and surrounds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to see dramatic coastline, sheltered valleys and ancient woodland and it is internationally renowned for its wildlife and geology.  Forrabury Stitches, high above the village is divided into ancient 'stitchmeal' cultivation plots, and there are large areas of woodland and meadow in the lovely Valency Valley. Local information can be found on the Boscastle website


Bude is a charming traditional seaside resort situated on north coast of Cornwall. Popular since Victorian times, the local architecture reflects the grandeur that is so typical of that era and creates a unique charm and atmosphere.  Situated on the South West Coastal Path, Bude has fine beaches, with others nearby, and wonderful opportunities for safe surfing and other watersports with lifeguards in attendance during the busy months. The town itself offers convenient local facilities and there is an excellent golf course and a modern indoor swimming centre.  Just outside the town is the Bude Canal. Built in the 1820s, the canal is an interesting reminder British 19th engineering prowess. Whilst only two miles of the canal that once transported goods and materials 35 miles inland to Launceston now remain in water, the pathways along the old canal banks are being cleared and restored, allowing visitors to explore unspoilt countryside and natural wildlife and fauna. More information can be found on the following websites:  Bude website and http://www.visitbude.info/


Camelford is an attractive and ancient town which straddles the A39, the Atlantic Highway trunk road, between Bude and Wadebridge and which is situated on the River Camel. It has some 2000 inhabitants and lies on the edge of Bodmin Moor. It is about six miles inland from the spectacular North Cornwall coastline, with the delightful villages of Boscastle and Tintagel, and the beautiful beaches of Bossiney and Trebarwith Strand.



Delabole is situated about 1 mile inland from the Atlantic Coast of Cornwall equidistant between Bodmin & Launceston. Delabole is known locally as the 'City of Slate' and Delabole slate, which has been quarried locally continously since the 17th century, has been world renowned for over 600 years. Tours of Delabole slate quarry, both long and short in duration, are available between May & September on most days, for more information please visit http://www.delaboleslate.co.uk/. Delabole is also home to Britain's first commercial windfarm. The village itself has some shops, a post office and some good pubs. The area is steeped in history and of course, Delabole is situated in the heart of 'Camelot country'. There are some very good beaches nearby such as Trebarwith Strand and the odd secret beach, less accessible and only known to locals (such as Tregardock - oops, the secret's out . .)

Launceston Town Centre


Launceston is an important Cornish town which certainly dates back to Celtic and Saxon times and was a settlement at the time of the Norman conquest of 1066. William the Conqueror's half brother Brian de Bretagne built a wooden castle at Launceston in 1067 and in 1227 this was repaced by a stone castle built by the Earl of Cornwall, Henry III's brother,  Richard. Much of the 13th century castle remains today. By the middle ages, Launceston was the county town of Cornwall (and was the only walled town in Cornwall) and remained so until 1835. Visitors to Launceston can see ancient architecture, a 16th century church and visit Lawrence House, a fine museum featuring many historical artefacts. Today Launceston has a population of around 7000 and has many modern facilties which live alongside it's ancient history and building.There are numerous attractions nearby such as The Tamar Otter Sanctuary, Launceston Steam Railway, Trethorne Leisure Farm and the Hidden Valley Discovery Park.



Newquay is certainly the most visited destination in Cornwall and is renowned for it's surfing, extreme sports and generally extreme behaviour ! Fistral Beach is a leading surfing beach and is the venue for international competitions attracting surfers from around the world. Accommodation in the area ranges from campsites to caravan sites, from 'back packer' hostels to B&Bs and from family to 5 star hotels. Whatever your budget, Newquay has an option for you but it would be fair to say that the Newquay itself is largely a young person's scene these days. Newquay of course has an interesting and far reaching history dating back many centuries. In 1439, the Bishop of Exeter allowed the building of a New Quay which gave rise to a growing fishing industry largely based on pilchards that were in such abundance around the Cornish Coast until the last century. Newquay developed into a commodity trading port with tin and china clay being major exports that channeled through the harbur. Proceeds from smuggling took the place of wages from fishing during the era of the Napoleonic wars and some claim that 'wrecking' , as recounted by Daphne du Maurier in J'amaica Inn' , was a significant source of income for struggling seafarers. Today, tourism is the primary industry of the town and most locals earn their living catering for the hoards of people who come to Newquay to have fun and frolics and enjoy the fantastic weather Cornwall offers. There is lots to do come rain or shine and with the many attractions in and around Newquay, it is an ideal base from which to explore the many other sites and attractions in Cornwall. Local attractions include Newquay Zoo, the Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay Water World to name but a few.

Padstow Harbour


Padstow is definately on the world map due to the legendary culinary exploits of a certain Mr Rick Stein, so much that it sometimes referred to as 'PadStein' indicating the significance of the restaurant, cafe, bistro, cookery school and hotel business established by Rick in the village as a result of his international success as a chef and TV series presenter. Of course, Padstow existed long before Rick arrived and indeed, St Petroc lived here for thirty years in the 6th century establishing a monastery in the area.  In the 16th century, Frobisher stayed at Padstow on his return from his voyage to the North West Passage and Sir Walter Raleigh lived in the village as well. In the 17th century, Padstow was an important port for the export of copper and slate and later, when the fishing industry was flourishing, pilchard and other fish processing took place here and the port expanded to be a centre for shipbuilding.  Prior to 1967, Padstow was an important railway terminus on the Southern Railway line and one could travel to London by direct train from Padstow. Today, Padstow is a very popular place to visit and many tourists enjoy attractions such as the National Lobster Hatchery and the chance to buy the same fish that Rick uses caught by the day boat fisherman that work out of the harbour.

Port Isaac Harbour


Port Isaac is an historic fishing village which many people have seen without visiting ! Port Isaac was for example the setting for the very successful film 'Saving Grace' and more recently for the TV series 'Doc Martin' to name but a few. Long before Port Isaac was famous on film, it was an important port. From Medieval times through to the mid 19th century, cargoes handled in Port Isaac included coal, timber, stone and pottery. Fishing was of course very important to the local economy. In the days before tourism when catches were plentiful, fish such as pilchards were processed here. Fishing still exists of course, but on a much smaller scale. Port Gaverne, the sister port to Port Isaac is also a picure postcard Cornish port which historically was important in the export of Delabole slate. The entire local area, which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an Heritage Coast Area, is protected by Conservation rules preventing them ever being spoilt. More information about Port Isaac and Port Gaverne can be found at: http://www.portisaac-online.co.uk/

Daymer Bay


Rock is situated directly across the Camel estuary from Padstow and has been come renowned as THE place to spot the well-heeled, 'nouveau riche' and royalty, including Prince William, enjoying a break in Cornwall. Reputed to have the most millionaires in Cornwall, Rock has a developed a reputation for fine dining and The Black Pig has been awarded a Michelin Star, one of only three in Cornwall. Rock has an excellent range of watersports on offer such as sailing, water skiing and windsurfing nearby. Rock Sailing club, holds organised racing all through the summer. The golf course at St Enodoc is challenging and has a church on it where John Betjemen, poet laureate was laid to rest. A regular foot ferry takes visitors from Rock over to Padstow (and back !) and it is possible at times to get a water taxi back if you have stayed after ferry operating times. Otherwise, you have to drive down the Camel Estuary to Wadebridge and back up to Rock which is a longer car journey instead of a short boat trip !

Tintagel Bay


Tintagel enjoys a spectacular location on one of England's most dramatic coastlines, and is an awe-inspiring and romantic spot. It is also a place of legends. The remains of the medieval castle represent only one phase in a long history of occupation. Even before Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built his castle, Tintagel had come to be associated with the conception of King Arthur. After a period as a Roman settlement and military outpost, Tintagel is thought to have been a trading settlement of Celtic kings during the 5th and 6th centuries. The remains of the 13th-century castle are breathtaking. One of the Trust's most delightful medieval buildings, enhanced by a cottage garden. Tintagel Old Post Office is a 600 year-old traditional Cornish Longhouse set in enchanting cottage gardens. A rare survival of Cornish domestic architecture of its time, this diminutive 14th-century yeoman farm house is well furnished with local oak pieces, some dating to 16th Century. One room was used in the 19th century as the letter-receiving office for the district and is now restored to show how it looked and functioned in Victorian times. Near to Tintagel is Trebarwith Strand, an impressive beach before the tide comes in . . .



Wadebridge is a vibrant market town situated on the beautiful River Camel. There's lots to do and see in Wadebridge with great shopping, restaurants and pubs. The Camel Trail,  a 17 mile level trail constructed on the bed of a disused railway line that once ran along the side of the river, is ideal for walking, cycling and horseriding. From Wadebridge you can take the trail to Padstow or in the opposite direction to Blisland. The Royal Cornwall Show takes place at Wadebridge in June and there are other events during the year at the showground.

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.