Discover things to do in North Cornwall

Visit North Cornwall and be amazed by the breath-taking scenery of the Atlantic Coast. The dramatic coastline, towering cliffs and pristine beaches opening out into wide bays provide the perfect location for an active holiday.

You’ll find an almost endless stream of activities available for every age group, including surfing, dog-friendly cliff-top walks, canoeing and kayaking, horse riding, sea fishing, golfing, and boat hire.

Amid the stunning natural scenery, the towns and villages of North Cornwall – Bude, Boscastle, Padstow and Watergate Bay to name a few – offer a wealth of historical attractions, including the beautiful Tintagel Castle, plus hundreds of boutique shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants waiting to be explored.

Places not to miss

If you’re visiting North Cornwall, don’t miss the following places from your itinerary:

Bude Beach


Perfect for a family day out, Bude remains popular because of its wide sandy beaches, bustling town centre, and footpaths stretching along the high cliffs that line the coast. It gives everything you’d expect from a traditional English seaside resort.


Between Bude and Tintagel lies the medieval village of Boscastle. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the romantic and remote harbour village remains largely unspoilt, and is nestled among stretching moorland and dramatic coastline. 


Rick Stein The Seafood Restaurant


This popular town centred on its working fishing port is a favourite with foodies: you’ll find local produce on every corner, plus multiple restaurants offering fine dining – including those owned by celebrity chef Rick Stein. The area around Padstow also provides popular sandy beaches, and its location makes it the perfect place to start a day spent walking along the South West Coastal Path or cycling the Camel Trail. 


The clear waters of Perranporth beach make it the perfect spot for surfing and snorkelling, while the cliff-top footpaths provide the perfect vantage point looking over the golden sands of the coast. Dogs are allowed on the beach all-year round, although they must be kept on a lead during the day between July and August. 


Surfing Watergate bay

Watergate Bay

If you enjoy surfing, bodyboarding or kayaking, Watergate Bay is definitely not to be missed. Home to the English National Surf Championships, the two-mile stretch of beach offers plenty for adrenaline junkies who like their fun on-land too, such as polo and kite surfing. If the day’s activities have you feeling hungry by dinner time, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen won’t disappoint.  


Teeming with tales of wizardry and mythical kings, Tintagel’s biggest draw – apart from its beautiful coast – is its place in Arthurian legend. Tintagel Castle is believed to be home of King Arthur, while ‘Merlin’s Cave’ can be found down on the beach. Then there’s St Nectan’s Glen, a 60ft waterfall at the heart of ancient woodland and home to tales of fairies and pixies.


Fistral Beach Newquay


More than just a big party town – although there are plenty of restaurants and bars to keep party-lovers happy – Newquay and its beaches are able to cater for almost all tastes and interests. Attractions such as the Blue Reef Aquarium make a visit to the town worthwhile for families, while its central location amid some of the best surf spots in England make it a haven for surfers. 

Things to do in North Cornwall

From postcard perfect villages to bustling traditional fishing harbours, North Cornwall is a beautiful location to explore

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