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Short Breaks in Cornwall

A rugged rural landscape fringed by a staggeringly scenic coastline: Cornwall presents outdoor living at its finest. Together with a range of things to see and do – from fine dining in celebrity chef restaurants to festivals, world-renowned cultural attractions, historic sites and family-centred fun – it is the perfect place for some downtime amongst dreamy surrounds. Whether you’re weekending, spending a short holiday or planning an extended stay, there’s something spectacular to suit all time frames and type of visitor.

Cornwall’s array of top destinations especially lend themselves to shorter style breaks, as every town has a series of nearby attractions and sights of interest to see, with the must-sees never impossibly far away. Newquay is home to surfing hub Fistral Beach and presents a range of other adrenalised action. Watergate Bay’s Extreme Academy offers everything from surfing and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) to waveskiing, while Lusty Glaze’s activity and climbing centre presents jet ski adventures, zip wiring, abseiling and beach dodgeball.

Alternatively, couples can kick back at quieter locations like Bedruthan Steps, take long coastal walks around the dramatic headlands, or tuck into top-notch cuisine courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. Similarly, Padstow’s plethora of charms sees the traditional fishing village proffer beaches for families, quiet coves for couples, Rick Steins’ restaurants for foodies and a wealth of inland activities and attractions. Still on the coast, St Ives is a quaint seaside village of varying scenes – from eating and drinking delights like the Seafood Café to surfing, shopping and sailing expeditions. Then there’s acclaimed art at Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum, along with a staggering amount of artists’ studios and galleries.

The far western end of Cornwall redefines wild beauty: gorse-covered granite outcrops crawl toward tropical blue ocean while mines and megaliths signpost mythological moorlands interspersed with lush gardens and woodlands. Cross the cobbled causeway to Mount’s Bay’s iconic St Michael’s Mount, take in a show at the magnificent Minack Theatre, venture to the end of the world at Land’s End and spend a day at a seemingly endless variety of coves, beaches and dramatic cliffscapes in-between.

The highlights surrounding South Cornwall’s main resorts can be explored in a matter of days. Stand at the country’s most southerly point and try spotting basking sharks at The Lizard, and spend the rest of the day dipping in the ocean at Kynance or Mullion Coves, eating homemade ice cream at Roskilly’s Farm and exploring the winding creeks and wooded valleys of Helford River. Stay in Falmouth for maritime-themed fun and enjoy a range of adrenalised activities – or simply sunbathe – on its beautiful series of beaches for a magnetic mix of action and relaxation. Alternatively, eat and shop your way round the famous waterfront town or decamp to nearby Truro or St Mawes to experience Cornwall’s only cityscape and fabulous yachting society.

Cornwall’s South East peninsula provides visitors with oodles to do and see, which can easily be packed into short stays. Traditional fishing villages like Mevagissey, Fowey, Looe and Polperro lend themselves to an array of attractions - from their own unique sections of coastline, coves and beaches to Cornwall’s world-renowned landmarks like Eden Project, Lost Gardens of Heligan and World Heritage Site (WHS) mining heritage. Whether weekending, day tripping or half terming – Cornwall provides the perfect place for any type of wish-you-were-here escape.

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