For back-to-nature escapism of the most magnificent variety, South Cornwall has it covered in truly sublime style.
Subtropical gardens, captivating countryside and a world-famous coastline ensures a relaxing stay replete with the awe-inspiring outdoors, whether you simply wish to kick back and admire the views or immerse yourself amongst it all for adrenalised, sense-evoking exploration.
Cornwall’s south coast is littered with miles of beaches, providing crystal clear waters and silken sands ripe for the ocean lover’s picking.
The Falmouth area is awash with options, from the glorious Gyllygnvase Beach to rock-poolers paradise, Castle Beach.
Activities and cafes are added into the mix at both Swanpool Beach and Maenporth, which is home to the award winning and uber cool restaurant, The Cove.
The Rosleand Heritage Coast covers everywhere from Gerrans Bay to St Mawes and Portscatho, while further east you’ll encounter the exquisite likes of Mevagissey and Pentewan, Carlyon Bay and onward to Fowey and its fantastic string of seaside haunts – including the wild Lantic and Lantivet Bays and ancient fishing village of Polruan.
River-straddling Looe is home to the popular East Looe Beach or more sedate West Looe (or Hannafore Beach); while if you’re after a taste of the remote, head westward for the seaside spoils of Talland Bay Beach.
Further along the coast, Polperro presents smugglers coves, a small sandy beach and stunning tidal sea pool.
The South West Coast Path is something to savour, while a myriad of trails in and around the coast provide a plethora of sights and spaces to explore and admire the scenery.
Particular highlights include South East Cornwall’s nature reserve of Kilminorth Woods, Porthluney Cove plus the stunning John Nash-designed, Caerhayes Castle, and the sprawling seascapes delivered at the summit of Struddicks.
Anywhere along the Helford River is worth a ramble, and the stretch from Porth Saxon beach to Rosemullion Head is especially idyllic. Alternatively, those wanting a walking challenge can embark upon a tougher course from Whitsand Bay to Rame Head, with Napoleonic Forts, cafés and constant dose of to-die-for views scattered throughout.
Gentle sea breezes and sheltered sunny dispositions combine to create South Cornwall’s gorgeous green spaces.
The world-famous Eden Project – with its futuristic biomes, exotic gardens, art installations, educational programmes and mini activity centres – is the largest indoor rainforest in the world.
Follow the walking trails, find a secluded spot for a quiet moment in the outdoor gardens and discover thousands of plant life from across the globe all at one mesmerising venue.
The St Austell area is also home to the Lost Gardens of Heligan – a huge 200-acre ‘productive gardens and pleasure grounds’ featuring a diverse range of landscapes from wetland to woodland, as well as variety of things to see and do.
Cornwall’s gorgeous Bamboo Garden can be found at Carwinnion Gardens; then there’s the subtropical, Trebah near the Helford River, which is rated amongst the top 80 gardens in the world and backs on to a beautiful private beach. Expect colourful bloom-filled sights, giant trees and dog-friendly footpaths weaving under lush canopies.
The ocean and land boasts an abundance of wildlife and special areas that support, protect and preserve South Cornwall’s vast variety of species.
One in particular, is Looe Island’s marine nature reserve: a stunning offshore haven that you can explore while learning about the environmental work undertaken throughout its various habitats.
Take a woodland walk, explore the caves, or dip in the ocean or natural swimming pool to experience the delights of this oceanic hideaway.
For other ideas on what do during your stay, read our blog on the best free days out in Cornwall >
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