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  • Countryside Rocky shores and rolling surf
  • Country life Crest of a wave; catch of the day

With its soft sand beaches, hot summer sun and spectacularly noisy waves, Cornwall is the stuff of perfect childhood holidays.

This remote and beautiful part of the British Isles has won back a new generation of devotees who have discovered its unique magic (and almost sub-tropical micro-climate). A few halcyon days here will offer all the stupendous sea views, peaceful beaches and laid-back living you could want, and the fabulously fresh seafood means a gastronomic treat lies in every cove; celebrated chefs have moved to the region and vie for your attention among the beachfront shellfish shacks, the country inns and traditional tearooms. There’s plenty to help you work up an appetite, including clifftop walks, art galleries and sailing; and the surfing is perhaps the best in the UK. Whether you join the crowds in high summer or find some perfect solitude out of season, you’re sure to fall under Cornwall’s powerful spell.

Do go/Don’t go

There’s always a chance of rain. Crowds can get annoying in the summer months and the roads can be clogged with traffic. Autumn and spring provide sunshine, peace and the chance of dramatic rainstorms; blustery weather is also ideal for surfing.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes Newquay International (, Cornwall’s main airport, has flights from Manchester (BMI Baby), and London Stansted (Ryanair). Cornwall has its own airline, Air Southwest, which flies from Bristol, Manchester, Leeds and Dublin, among others.
  • Trains The journey to the South West from London Paddington takes between four and five hours. First Great Western offers the very civilised Night Riviera Sleeper to Penzance, departing London shortly before midnight and arriving at around 8am; to book, ring 0845 700 0125.
  • Automobiles The five- or six-hour drive to Cornwall from London, along the M4 and M5 (or via the slower but more scenic A303) is something either to savour or curse. Once in Cornwall, you’ll pretty much need a car; roads can be hellishly congested in the summer, so allow extra time.
  • Taxis Cabs are thin on the ground, so ask your hotel for a number and book ahead if you can. Ring +44 (0)1726 832676 for Fowey Taxi Service; Truro Taxi Cab Co is on +44 (0)1872 321321.