Buckets and spades at the ready. You’re just two minutes from Fistral Beach with its miles of pristine white sand, high dunes and towering cliffs followed by an ice cream at the Seaspray Café on your way back. Sennen Cove is another long sweep of white sandy perfection.
Can’t get enough of Cornish beaches? Head over to Crantock for more of the same plus the chance to swim in estuary saltwater. There’s a ferry across the estuary – pop into the lobster shop, have it cooked on site and take it home for lunch. Or try cove-rich Porthcothan, a favourite with families.
No Cornwall holiday should pass without a trip to the Eden Project, two massive biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity. Catch the contemporary gardens and summer concerts, too. Or how about Newquay Zoo, with the chance to get close to over 1,000 of the world’s rarest and most endangered animals?
Elsewhere, steam along the Lappa Valley Railway, enjoy a fish frenzy at the Blue Reef Aquarium, or try archery, Segways or zorbing games at Stay Active Adventures. Say hi to pigs, cows, chickens and ponies, and bottle-feed the lambs at Old Macdonald’s Farm. Fall fast asleep in the car home.
Right out of the door, Newquay bursts with surf shops, ice-cream parlours and Cornish pasty shops, and Fistral Beach is a mecca for surfing. The wild Atlantic rollers have made Fistral the home of the Boardmasters festival and other competitions. Join in the fun with lessons from Fistral Beach Surf School.
Further afield, St Ives is the dazzling jewel in Cornwall’s crown. It’s a paradise of palm trees and golden sands with a fine line in fine art. You can visit an outpost of the Tate Gallery here amidst a vibrant, influential artists’ colony, the epicentre of the British Modernist movement.
Elsewhere, Padstow’s the place for foodies, with Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant. Work off the excess by pedalling the Camel Trail. Head to St Austell for the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Here, a chance discovery of a door among a tangle of weeds led to a superb restoration into 200 acres of history, mystery and romance.
Culture vultures with an eye for a dramatic setting should head for the Minack Theatre, perched high on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a full programme of drama, musicals and opera every summer, plus music, comedy and story-telling, all set to the soundtrack of the waves smashing the rocks below.