Top 5 places to stay in Cornwall

Cornwall is somewhere I am always excited to return to. After discovering the beauty of Newquay and St Ives, I am ready to explore a little further and choose somewhere new for our next base. Whilst planning my own trip back to Cornwall, I have rounded up my current top 5 places to stay in Cornwall. I hope this comes in handy for anyone else doing the same.

This blog post has been sponsored by Classic Cottages. All words are my own. 

Little Fistral Beach Cornwall

Little Fistral, Cornwall. Photo Credit Jessica Gibson The Travelista

Top 5 Places to stay in Cornwall

1. Newquay

The surfers paradise of Newquay gets the first spot on my list because its the place I stayed during my first ever trip to Cornwall, and I loved it! Located on the north coast, tourists and holidaymakers flock to Newquay, and for good reason. Choose between the bracing surf on Fistral Beach and the soft sand haven of Lusty Glaze beach. Add in its surf shops, festivals, award-winning restaurants and cool bars, you’ll see that Newquay has it all.

If you like the idea of staying in a vibrant town with beaches, attractions and amenities (as opposed to a smaller, sleepier Cornish village), then Newquay could be for you. I also think it’s a good options for families with young children as it offers visitor attractions such as the Blue Reef Aquarium and Newquay Zoo.

Lastly, it’s home to Cornwall’s main airport, so if you’re flying in for your Newquay holiday, you won’t have far to get to go to reach your accommodation.

Fistral Beach Cornwall

Surfers paradise, Fistral Beach. Photo credit Jessica Gibson The Travelista

2. Perranporth

If you fancy staying somewhere a little smaller but still with a spectacular beach, Perranporth is a popular family resort. A little further down the north coast, Perranporth has miles of golden sandy beach, cafes, bars and even its own riding school offering epic horse rides on the beach (check out Reen Manor Riding Stables). You can also surf, snorkel, sail and swim on Perranporth Beach. When the tide is out, walking up the beach to Ligger Point (2 miles away) is an absolute must.

Perranporth Beach Cornwall

Perranporth Beach. Photo credit Dennis Kummer

3. Falmouth

Falmoth is considered to be Cornwall’s maritime Mecca. Its large, glittering harbour is white-washed with an impressive collection of yachts and it is also home to the award-winning Maritime Museum. It’s said to be the best place to take a boat trip in Cornwall as there are so many destinations and boat styles to choose from.

But if you’re not the nautical type, Falmouth is also known as a foodie destination with many fantastic restaurants and including the michelin-starred Hooked on the Rocks. In terms of other things to do in this exciting market town, there’s the beautiful beaches, the impressive Pendennis Castle and World Heritage sites and gardens.

Falmouth Harbour Cornwall

Falmouth Harbour. Photo credit Kate Joyce

4. St Ives

If you love art, culture and supporting independent businesses, then the popular town of St Ives may be the place for your next Cornwall cottage holiday. First and foremost, St Ives is home to the Tate St Ives gallery which is located on the seafront and focuses on British artist exhibitions. There is also the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, located in the artist’s former studio.

I visited St Ives during my last trip to Cornwall and loved how many independent shops and businesses lined the harbour and surrounding streets. You could spend a whole day just browsing the shops and stoping for refreshments along the way. Bliss! The harbour area is extremely quaint and picturesque with some of the most turquoise waters I’ve ever seen in England, but beware it does get extremely busy in high season.

One of the best things to do in St Ives is to take a boat trip to Seal Island to visit the seal colony; a great activity for children and adults alike. In terms of beaches, Porthmeor Beach is the main surfing beach and was awarded Blue Flag Beach status again in 2021. Porthgwidden Beach is a sheltered and quiet beach that is popular with families. Seasonal dog bans apply on these beaches.

St Ives Beach

St Ives, Cornwall. Photo credit Angela Pham

5. Padstow

Last but certainly not least is Padstow, the foodie capital of Cornwall. This picture perfect coastal village is home to an impressive 5 Michelin star restaurants. Scattered around its working harbour you’ll find a gorgeous selection of boutique shops, pubs, galleries, bars and restaurants.

Top things to do in Padstow include catching the ferry over to the upmarket village of Rock (where there are two more Michelin stars), hiking the stunning South West Coast Path and for the little ones; Camel Creek Adventure Park. I think a coastal cottage in Padstow would be my first choice for our 2022 summer holiday.

Padstow Harbour Cornwall

Padstow Harbour. Image credit Belinda Fewings

Top 5 Places to stay in Cornwall

St Ives

What did you think of my round up of the best places to stay in Cornwall? Which of the 5 would you most like to stay? And is there anywhere else that you think should be included on the list? Leave a comment and let me know! Jess x

Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.

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