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The very best of holidays in Cornwall holiday cottages

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The very best of holidays in Cornwall

Kate A 31 January 2020

Swaying palms, blue skies and sparkling seas; Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places you are ever likely to visit. This far-flung jewel of the South West is blessed with warmer weather thanks to its southerly throne and the choice of beaches is second to none, from the surfers’ paradise of the north coast to the secluded coves of the south.

Holidays in Cornwall are always a good idea, so if you’re thinking of gathering your nearest and dearest together for a memorable break away this year, we have picked out some of the very best seaside towns and villages to visit in the county.

And once you’ve finished falling in love with the place, you can browse our collection of large holiday cottages in Cornwall and find somewhere incredible for your group to stay. Just click the button below!

Enjoy beautiful beaches in Bude

Summerleaze Beach

With a bevy of sandy beaches, a variety of cliff-top coastal walks, and a wealth of history, attractions and eateries, Bude in Cornwall is a wonderful choice for a big family holiday. Situated on Cornwall’s north coast on the banks of the River Neet, this vibrant seaside resort is also known as one of the sunniest places in the UK, so there are plenty of opportunities for getting out and about. Lace up your walking boots and take a scenic stroll along the South West Coast Path either north to Marsland Mouth or south to Crackington Haven, or enjoy a leisurely wander along the Bude Canal.

What makes this destination so special?

Bude

One of the reasons why Bude is one of the most popular destinations for family holidays in Cornwall is because it is jam-packed with exciting attractions. The Castle Bude is the town’s striking architectural centrepiece and features a heritage centre with interesting exhibits for all ages. Other family-friendly attractions include a golf course, an indoor leisure pool, laser dome and go-karts, as well as canoeing and kayaking on the canal.

The Atlantic beaches in Bude are not only some of the best surf spots in the country, but they’re also some of the best beaches in Cornwall for water sports. Summerleaze Beach is Bude’s central hub of sand, surf and sun and is a big hit with families. It also boasts the iconic Bude Sea Pool, a partially man-made tidal swimming pool which provides a lovely, safe place for a refreshing dip. Other local beaches include Crooklets Beach, Widemouth Bay, Northcott Mouth Beach, and Sandymouth.

Where can I stay?

The Light House | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

The Light House

Only a short stroll from Bude’s beautiful beaches, this luxurious coastal home gazes across the crashing waves of the Atlantic and offers a relaxing place to unwind after sandy adventures.

Feel like royalty in Rock

Daymer Bay

The exclusive enclave of Rock in Cornwall sits on the Camel Estuary directly opposite Padstow. With its long stretches of fine sandy beaches lapped by crystal-clear turquoise water, this is a much sought-after holiday destination and is popular with the yachting fraternity, not to mention the odd royal or two. There are some lovely eateries and fab watering holes, including one of only two Michelin-starred restaurants in Cornwall, The Black Pig. If you’re feeling active, there is a gorgeous walk along the Rock sand dunes that border the beach leading to St Enodoc Church (the resting place of Sir John Betjeman), with spectacular views out to Doom Bar and Stepper Point.

What makes this destination so special?

Rock

Rock is renowned as one of the major water sports centres in Cornwall; windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and water skiing are all activities which can be carried out in the relatively calm waters of the estuary. Alternatively, for enthusiastic golfers, the prestigious St. Enodoc Golf Course is an impressive place to practice your swing, boasting spectacular sea views.

Of course, the main draw here is Rock’s beach. This mile-long stretch of golden sand sweeps all the way along the Camel Estuary to Daymer Bay at low tide, and as there are no waves, the shallow waters are ideal for swimming. And even if getting out on the water isn't your thing, just take in the view – this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is simply mesmerising.

Where can I stay?

The Hawthorns | Sleeps 10 + 2 dogs

The Hawthorns

Only 6 miles from Rock, this large cottage to rent in Cornwall enjoys far-reaching views of the surrounding rolling countryside, best admired from the soothing warmth of the bubbling hot tub.

Party until dawn in Newquay

Beach in Newquay

World-class surfing, soft golden sand, stunning scenery and a wealth of bars and restaurants make Newquay a top choice for a group holiday in Cornwall. This infamous North Cornwall resort is known as the surf capital of the UK and you’ll find an abundance of surf shops and schools allowing you to immerse yourself in the surfing culture from the moment you arrive. Plus, with its impressive eleven beaches, exciting attractions, buzzing nightlife and fashionable town centre, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained, whatever time of year you visit.

What makes this destination so special?

Newquay

Holidays in Newquay are all about having a good time, whether learning to surf on Fistral Beach, trying some action-packed water sports at Watergate Bay, horse riding along the Gannel Estuary, tucking into locally caught seafood in one of the waterside bistros, or sipping on cocktails in swanky sundowner bars.

During the summer there’s a special energy when the festivals roll into town, including the Boardmasters Festival, one of the biggest events on the British surfing calendar, Newquay Fish Festival, and Newquay Beer Festival. There’s also an abundance of attractions to enjoy such as Newquay Zoo, the Blue Reef Aquarium and the Lappa Valley Steam Railway.

Where can I stay?

Blue Bay | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

Blue Bay

After fun-filled nights in Newquay, this seaside pad in nearby Perranporth offers a tranquil space to rest and rejuvenate with stunning sea views, a swim spa, sauna and cinema room. 

Discover rich mining history in St Agnes

St Agnes

Located on Cornwall’s rugged north coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, St Agnes is a picturesque village brimming with charm and character. Surrounded by spectacular coastal paths and white, sandy beaches, this is a great spot for lovers of the outdoors. Staggered down the village’s steep, narrow streets are a flurry of higgledy-piggledy stone cottages home to shops, pubs and restaurants. And all along the St Agnes Heritage Coast, you'll see the haunting remnants of old mining engine houses rising from the cliffs, a reminder of the village’s rich mining history. This is true Poldark Country.

What makes this destination so special?

St Agnes

When it comes to Cornwall beaches, St Agnes is blessed with four of the finest. A vibrant surf spot, the World Bellyboarding Championships take place here each year on National Trust’s Chapel Porth Beach, and Trevaunance Cove is always popular with families due to its gently shelving sand, perfect for paddling.

With direct access onto the South West Coast Path, walkers can follow designated National Trust trails and exciting off-the-beaten-track routes deep into the countryside. Local highlights include St Agnes Beacon (a prominent landmark with outstanding views), St Agnes Head, and the iconic Wheal Coates engine house. And, the cherry on the cake, St Agnes is also one of the most dog-friendly places in England. 

Where can I stay?

St Agnes Windrush | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

St Agnes Windrush

Nestled right in the heart of St Agnes, this spacious bungalow is within walking distance of the beach and offers glorious sea views which can be soaked up from the sunny garden while the BBQ sizzles.

Get arty in St Ives

St Ives

Set on one of the prettiest headlands in the country and boasting quintessentially British seaside charm, St Ives in Cornwall has been a fond holiday spot for generations of families. Explore its maze of quirky cobbled streets, lined with whitewashed fishermen’s cottages which tumble down to the edge of the harbour. You could lose yourselves for hours meandering past independent boutiques, cosy cafes and classy restaurants, interspersed with galleries and artists’ studios including the Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Known across the world for its illustrious art scene, this is an idyllic place for a group of friends looking for things to do in Cornwall.

What makes this destination so special?

St Ives

The town clusters around the harbour, bedecked in flowers throughout the summer, where you can watch fishing boats come and go as they unload their catch of fresh seafood, destined for the many excellent restaurants in town. Boat trips run regularly from here and if you’re lucky, you may see one of the resident seals or view the dolphins at play.

On a sunny day, there’s nothing better than a barefoot walk along one of St Ives pearly beaches. Porthmeor Beach, with its rolling breakers and stunning sunsets, is a favourite with surfers whilst Porthgwidden and Porthminster are favoured by families for their calm, translucent bathing waters. And if you fancy a stroll, you can set off on an inspiring walk along the coastal path towards Land’s End in Cornwall. Hayle, Penzance, Mousehole and the Lizard Peninsula are also within easy driving distance.

Where can I stay?

Riviere House | Sleeps 10 + 2 dogs

Riviere House

Surrounded by 140 acres of land, this luxury farmhouse is perfect for a special occasion with a wealth of entertainment provided by its BBQ lodge, sauna, hot tub and games room.

Soak up the sights in Fowey

Fowey

With its winding cobbled streets, perfumed with the flower-filled window boxes of pastel-coloured cottages, Fowey is the epitome of south coast beauty. This enchanting Cornish town is located on the estuary that shares its name, and its sparkling harbour is a magnet for the yachting crowd. Kick back with a bowl of fresh local mussels in a portside pub and admire the fishing boats and pleasure craft gliding through the calm waters. A leisurely stroll along the Esplanade reveals a host of artisan shops and galleries, or take a wander down to Readymoney Cove where you’ll find St Catherine's Castle, built in 1536 by Henry VIII.

What makes this destination so special?

Fowey

Set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Fowey is surrounded by miles of open countryside and lush woodland, much of which is in the ownership of the National Trust. If you grew up with the adventures of Ratty and his friends in The Wind in the Willows, then there’s no better way to spend a sunny afternoon, than by messing about on the water and enjoying the sublime scenery that inspired the stories.

This waterside town is also the former home of novelist Daphne du Maurier, and her legacy is celebrated every year with the rather prestigious Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature. Fowey Regatta week in August is another hugely popular event, with sailing races, a street carnival and the Red Arrows display. Situated on the opposite bank of the river, is the village of Polruan which is easily reached by the regular foot passenger ferry from the harbour. Or if you want to explore further, the charming harbour town of Charlestown is nearby, as are the popular attractions of the Eden Project, Lanhydrock House and The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Where can I stay?

The Knot - 4 Walk Terrace | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

The Knot - 4 Walk Terrace

Overlooking Fowey from its spectacular position just across the estuary in Polruan, this decadent residence offers plenty of space to relax and socialise, whether enjoying a BBQ in the garden or sipping drinks around the crackling wood burner.

 

As you can see, you simply can’t beat the Cornish coastline for a UK beach break. Our group holidays in Cornwall feature a myriad of entertainment to keep all ages happy, from relaxing hot tubs and swimming pools to fun-filled games rooms and home cinemas. If you’d like to explore our full collection of large Cornwall cottages, click the button below. And if you need some more inspiration, check out our guide to the 5 most impressive large houses to rent in Cornwall.

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