When it comes to Cornish foodstuffs, there are many delicious options to choose from, whether you have a hunger only a Cornish pasty will satisfy or your heart is set on a cream tea (jam first, naturally). There is, of course, a third option when you cross the Tamar. A sweet treat that’s so hard to beat you can indulge at any time of the day, in any season: the humble, and endlessly delicious Cornish ice cream!
With a whole host of ice cream makers in Cornwall using exceptionally fresh and local ingredients, the choice of ice-cold treats are seemingly unending. Whether you’re a traditionalist who loves nothing more than clotted cream flavour or an adventurer who enjoys the more unusual options, there are no rules when it comes to choosing your scoops!
One of the best parts of a Cornish ice cream is finding somewhere spectacular to enjoy your frozen dessert. Head to one of the many beach cafés dotted along the Cornish coast for an ice cream by the sea, or stop by an ice cream parlour nestled down a cobbled street to peruse the assortment of delicious offerings - there’s an ice cream for every occasion in Cornwall.
Ready for the inside scoop on the best ice cream makers in Cornwall? Here are some of our favourites to get those taste buds tingling…
Best for: Family days out
Barton Farm, Tregellast Close, St Keverne, Helston TR12 6NX
Made on a working farm in the rural heart of the Lizard peninsula, Roskilly’s is renowned for its lip-smacking array of flavours.
Visit the farm for free to meander the meadows and meet the animals, before stocking up on a variety of foodstuffs in the shop (think: organic fudge and confectionery, jams and marmalades, chutneys, mustards, and more) and, of course, chowing down as much ice cream as you can.
Produced using milk from their own Jersey herd, more traditional tastes will be sated with the likes of chocolate, Cornish golden fudge, mint choc chip, rum and raisin, salt caramel, strawberry, or vanilla. Meanwhile, adventurous taste buds can experience a slightly different sensation courtesy of choc brownie and marshmallow, ginger fairing, orange and mascarpone, malty mystery, cream tea, or armadillo (a heavenly combination of almonds, caramel and butterscotch).
Opt for a classic or try their delicious dairy-free alternatives such as cherry, mango and passionfruit, lemon, and raspberry sorbets. You can also stop by the Croust House Restaurant for a piping hot Gear Farm pasty or full Cornish breakfast. Dogs on leads are welcome around the farm and in the courtyard of the restaurant - they even have dog-friendly ice creams available! - making this a great day out for the whole family.
Moomaid of Zennor
Best for: Ice cream with a drizzle of legend
Bridge House, Zennor, St Ives TR26 3DA
Zennor in West Cornwall has long been linked to myth and legend, with stories of mermaids permeating this wild and rugged coastline. From the depths of these magical tales arose one of Cornwall’s best ice cream makers: Moomaid of Zennor.
Combining legend with legendary flavours, and with the help of Primrose, Daisy, Sid Vicious, and the rest of the Fresian herd, Tremedda Farm have created an uber-tempting selection of Cornish ice creams that pair perfectly with epic coastal walks and days on the beach waiting for mermaids to appear.
When it comes to mouth-watering flavours, Moomaid certainly packs a punch, with a moreish mix of ice creams and sorbets on offer. Choose between Belgium chocolate, sea salt caramel, pistachio, honeycomb and raspberry ripple for a classic experience, or try their Moomaid mess, shipwreck, or crème fraiche and lemon curd ice creams for something a little different and massively delicious.
On the dairy-free side of the bowl, you can look forward to the likes of coconut milk, prosecco, and dark chocolate sorbets – you’ll be udderly shocked to find out the last one is totally dairy free! You can sample these farm-fresh flavours in St Ives, Zennor, Porthtowan, and St Just, where ice creams, coffees, and cakes await.
Best for: Cornish ice cream in the supermarket
With parlours scattered throughout the county, Kelly’s can be found everywhere from woodlands and beaches (from Crackington Haven to Sennen Cove) to supermarkets, ensuring a refreshing ice cream is never far when the cravings hit.
Whether you prefer to scoop, snatch a pot, or indulge in a take-home tub, tuck into flavours including honeycomb caramel swirl, Eton mess, lemon crunch, millionaires shortbread, clotted cream, caffe latte, cherry bakewell, blackcurrant and cream, candyfloss, rocky road, and vegan vanilla. Of course, if you’re after something uber-traditional that oozes summer vibes, then a dollop of Kelly’s incredible soft serve ice cream is a must. Throw in a flake and a beachy backdrop and you’ve got the Cornish formula for summer!
Best for: Clotted cream staples
Callestick, Truro TR4 9LL
Sticking to the original family recipe and produced using free-range milk from their grass-fed herd, Callestick is a top name when it comes to the world of Cornish ice cream.
Visit the farm near Perranporth to discover more about how their beyond-moreish ice cream is made and savour a range of offerings including butterscotch brittle, Belgian chocolate, honeycomb, amaretti and cherries, Jaffa cake, oriental ginger, black forest, and Cornish sea salt and rhubarb. Callestick are also famous for their impressive catalogue of clotted cream concoctions, from blackcurrant to fudge and from strawberries to Madagascan vanilla.
For those looking for a mega-refreshing and totally dairy-free alternative, the sorbet menu is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth, with elderflower, blood orange, mango and more drawing you in for just one more serving.
If you’re after the treatiest of treats, head to their parlour near Perranporth, where you can feast on the likes of waffles, brownies, and loaded shakes, all served with a creamy scoop of your choice.
Best for: A scoopful of luxury
Tretoil Farm, Bodmin PL30 5BA
Situated at the luxury end of the Cornish ice cream market, ‘deliciously decadent’ Treleavens is all about the self-indulgent factor.
Their award-winning ice cream comes in a staggering range of flavours, with their restaurant and ice cream counter featuring sweet pleasures such as After Nine, ginger cinnamon crunch, raspberry pavlova, thunder and lightning, rhubarb crumble and clotted cream, chocolate peanut butter crunch, sticky toffee fudge, and very cherry (to name but a few).
Then there are the sorbets. The exotic list includes gin and tonic, wild cherry, strawberry and prosecco, Campari and clementine, and lemon and elderflower. Not to mention a dreamy selection of vegan ice creams, from Speculoos to raspberry ripple.
You can pick these endlessly indulgent ice creams up from a variety of shops around Cornwall, including Constantine Bay Stores, Trevathan Farm, and Yaxley Stores in Polperro.
Best for: Simple, unchanged ice cream
9 New Road, Newlyn, Penzance TR18 5PZ
Of course, we couldn't list Cornwall's best ice creams without mentioning Jelberts' famous ice cream in Newlyn! This uber-traditional, one-flavour only ice cream is made to an ancient and secret recipe, which is still rolled down the hill in giant tubs to their small shop in the centre of Newlyn.
The only decisions you need to make are what size you fancy, and whether you would like clotted cream and a flake – to which the answer is yes! You’ll often see queues of people excited to get their hands on this iconic Cornish ice cream, and it’s absolutely worth the wait. We recommend tucking into your traditional treat down by the water’s edge for a moment of true Cornish bliss.
Best for: Fun flavours and endless toppings
10 Fore Street, Copperhouse, Hayle TR27 4DY
With two ice cream parlours in Hayle, Mr B’s is perfectly placed for that holiday-defining ice cream by the sea. Made fresh every day, and with a delicious mix of local ingredients and Italian flavourings, you can expect a rolling roster of epic flavours to sink your teeth into.
Think Dutch apple crumble, maple and pecan, vanilla and fresh strawberry, and their famous triple choc chunk fudge chunk choc chip ripple – bonus points to anyone who can order that in one go! You can also expect a mouth-watering lineup of sorbets, including the ever-refreshing apple, lime and mint. Grab your chosen frozen delight and head down onto dog-friendly Hayle Towans for a magnificent ice cream picnic.
Best for: True Italian gelato
1 St Mary's Street, Truro TR1 2BE
When it comes to proper Italian gelato in Cornwall, nowhere does it quite like Angelato in Truro. Tucked away down quaint streets, this passionate little shop packs a delicious punch, with creamy coconut, delightfully tart sour cherry, and iconic pistachio just some of the incredible, homemade flavours to try.
The dairy free options, which include an indulgently dark chocolate, are so rich and creamy you would never guess they’re totally vegan! Angelato also offers a range of equally tasty macarons and milkshakes, all combining to satisfy even the sweetest of teeth. Pop in for a mid-shop refresher – you’ll be running back for more before you can finish your first scoop!
Ready to taste your way through Cornwall’s ice creams? Explore our lovely holiday cottages and get ready for your next lip-smacking stay.