Cornwall - The Cornish Riviera

The South Coast of Cornwall, known as the Cornish Riviera due to its temperate climate, runs from Rame Head in the East to Falmouth in the West and covers an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty encompassing lush countryside, stunning coastal scenery, sheltered coves and beaches and picturesque fishing harbour towns and villages. No wonder it is fast becoming the most popular alternative to the traditional North Coast resorts of Newquay and St. Ives, particularly for short breaks holidays out of season with faster journey times and easy access to the main trunks routes and train network.

Away from the prevailing winds of the Atlantic Coast it provides opportunities for sailing, sunbathing and coastal walking in more predictable conditions. The early spring blooms make for colourful displays of fauna on the coastal paths and the area boasts some superb walks between its harbour villages like the Looe to Polperro walk for example, or from Mevagissey to Trenarren.

Surfers can still be found on the Cornish Riviera with Whitsand Bay being a popular choice, albeit the conditions are not as exhilarating as the Atlantic Coast where the beaches at Newquay enjoy the perfect surfing conditions.

Beaches are one of Cornwall’s main attractions and many of them are dog friendly all year round making the county particularly appealing to families with four legged friends! A full list of beaches and their facilities can be found on the Beaches link on the website. The South Coast has many secluded coves to be discovered and explored, sometimes an effort to reach but the reward being an isolated and sometimes empty beach!

Activities available on the South Coast include all water sports, on offer are sailing, fishing (sea, shark and course), surfing, kayaking & canoeing, coasteering and pleasure boating. Others pursuits include horse riding, quad-biking, archery, climbing, mountain biking, flow riding and zip wire & high ropes challenges. All of these can be pre-booked at busy times and Active Cornwall specialise in providing a ‘one stop shop’ for this.

Food is another of Cornwall’s attractions and there are many restaurants, pubs and eateries to be found. Sea food is of course a speciality with the day harbour of Looe offering some of the freshest fish and sea food in the county with this harbour town supplying many of the finest restaurants and hotels in Cornwall. There is a large range of organic produce available with Cornish Beef and Milk being examples. Cornwall also has a great reputation for the Cornish Cream Tea, Cornish Pasty and for brewing its own beer and producing its own wine. There is a culinary experience to suit every palate and dining venues that offer superb settings from Cliffside cafes to Beach side hotels and restaurants.

If you like a dose of culture on holiday then the Riviera plays host to a number of superb Country Estates, National Trust houses and English Heritage sites. Gems include the NT houses of Lanhydrock, Antony and Cotehele, and for the best days outdoors gardens include The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Trebah and Lamorran to name just a few.

Harbour Towns and villages are amongst the most picturesque in the county on this coastline and may are nestled in sheltered valleys and still support small fleets of working fishing boats like Looe, Polperro, Mevagissey and Fowey. They are a very pleasant way to spend a day as you explore their winding streets, pretty harbours and whitewashed cottages and indulge yourself in the many fine cafes, restaurants and pubs that offer many opportunities to sample the local food, wines and ales. They also include speciality shops selling locally made arts and crafts from jewellery to chocolate and fudge, and of course art galleries, antique shops and photographic studios as Cornwall is so inspirational to artists and photographers alike.

Visitors to the Cornish Riviera will find a diverse choice of activities, sight-seeing and experiences to enjoy that whatever your preference you are sure to find plenty to keep the whole family entertained however long your holiday....

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

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