Close Icon

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 things to do in North Cornwall available for every age group. Try surfing, dog-friendly cliff-top walks, canoeing and kayaking, horse riding, sea fishing, golfing, and boat hire.

Discover the best things to do in North Cornwall…

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:


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.


Boscastle by Gabrielle Ludlow is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Boscastle by Gabrielle Ludlow is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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.


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.

Watergate Bay


Surfing at St Ives by Gabrielle Ludlow is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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.


The Hurlers by Derek Winterburn is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Tintagel Castle ruins by Neil Howard is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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 the 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.


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 makes it a haven for surfers.

Reveal a wealth of other things to do in Cornwall and browse our full range of wonderful Cornwall cottages.

Get involved in the Discussion

Sign up to receive discounts, exclusive offers, travel tips and guides.