Dartmoor Bridge Drone Shot

6 Reasons Why I Love A Cornwall Road Trip

9 mins read

Punctuated by some of the finest beaches in England, miles of unspoilt coastline and melodramatic landscapes, I’ve always thought the county nestled on England’s rugged southwestern tip has always had an air of the romantic.

I’ve always thought Cornwall was seemingly made for beautiful road trips. With a good excuse to reminisce and share memories, here’s why l love a Cornwall Road Trip (and Devon too!)…

My dreamy Cornwall Road Trip…

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1. The Dreamy Coastline

Fistral Beach Cornwall

From sandy coves to patchwork fields crisscrossed with narrow lanes, I think all the scenery in this part of England is ethereally beautiful. Still, the coastline (including the coastal roads) is particularly breathtaking. It’s also very diverse, and I love that each area of Cornwall has spectacular coastal scenery unique to that area.

At Lizard Point, unbroken lines of cliffs lead to lonely footpaths and wind-whipped lighthouses; St. Ives and Newquay are known for their golden Caribbean-esque beaches, on the Polperro heritage coast ancient fishing communities perch proudly on wild and rocky shores, and Mount’s Bay is home to St.Michael’s Mount, a dramatic jagged island crowned by a medieval church and castle.

That’s not to mention the bountiful supply of hidden bays and secret coves—although smugglers and pirates are not included these days (thankfully)! 

2. The Villages Untouched by Time

Polperro Village Cornwall - GlobalGrasshopper

Polperro Cornwall GlobalGrasshopper

Cornwall’s tiny, unspoilt fishing villages deserve a special mention as nothing like them exists in the rest of England. Polperro—just a few spectacular miles along the coast from Looe—is considered one of the prettiest, and it’s also one of my favourites.

Perfectly preserved and sheltered by a cliff ravine, it’s an enchanting jumble of tiny white-washed cottages and hardy sea-battered fishing boats.

Other beautiful villages I recommend including on your Cornish road trip include St Mawgan, which is hidden in a spectacular valley; Cawsand and Kingsand, which are untouched by time and still retain their traditional character; the narrow streets of the magical and tranquil Mevagissey; and pretty Polruan—an ancient fishing village built on a very steep hill that lies just across the water from the better-known Fowey.

3. The Unique Perspective on Life

Combi Van Newquay Cornwall

Cornwall has long held an almost otherworldly presence. It is steeped in myth and folklore and home to legendary kings, beautiful queens, and even a powerful wizard. The area’s community of artists, writers, and novelists—drawn by its beautiful scenery and intriguing history—has also furthered Cornwall’s creative perspective.

From New Age campers and a deep-rooted fondness of the mystical to quirky shops and artistic design hotels, I love seeing evidence of Cornwall’s unique outlook on life everywhere as I drive around the wild and beautiful landscapes!

4. The Beautiful Beaches

Lusty Glaze Beach Sunset

Cornwall is home to some of the finest beaches in Europe, and on a road trip, choosing how to fit them all in will be the hardest. On my Cornwall journey, I spent most of our time in Fistral Bay Newquay, a long crescent of sand that has become England’s surfing mecca. Its immediate neighbour is the bay with the adorable name Lusty Glaze! 

My other favourite beach in Cornwall is the gorgeous Lantic Bay. Located on the quiet but gorgeous stretch of coast between Fowey and Polperro, Lantic Bay is a stunning vista of near-white sand and turquoise water set in a bay backed by towering verdant cliffs.

Kynance Cove on The Lizard Peninsula is another favourites of mine and the family-friendly and laid-back Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth. I’m also always charmed by Sennen Cove, Land’s End, where impressive Atlantic waves draw surfers and visitors with its pristine white shores, rolling hills, and an astoundingly blue sea that I could just stare at for hours!

5. It’s an Increasingly Trendy Travel Destination

Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa
Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa

While the staple industries of old – mining, fishing and farming – have all but disappeared in Cornwall, the county has since reinvented itself as one of the nation’s trendy creative corners…and visitors seem to be lapping it up, including me!

I love that Cornwall’s hipster star is rising and rising, starting with the space-age domes of the much loved Eden Project and continuing with Michelin starred eateries, creative boutique hotels and gorgeous independent shops.

6. I always feel like I’m on a film/TV set

Becky Moore GlobalGrasshopper Dartmoor

Dartmoor Bridge Drone Shot

With twisting lanes, long stretches of untouched craggy scenery, mysterious coves and remote hamlets, I can see why Cornwall has captured the imagination of many filmmakers, TV producers and novelists over the years. Driving through Cornwall, I love that the wild and romantic landscapes will transport you into a gothic drama, a la Poldark and my favourites, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Jamaica Inn.

Fistral Beach Newquay might remind you of the nineties surf movie Blue Juice (the British answer to Point Break!) and chocolate-box pretty Port Isaac, which has become synonymous with the popular TV Brit show Doc Martin. Enjoy!


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