(Last updated on: 27/06/2022)
Tourism in Cornwall visitor guide – The best things to do in Cornwall. Here is an overview of Cornwall as a tourist destination, including places to stay, what to pack, sights to see and the best things to do in Cornwall !
- Tourism in Cornwall- an overview
- How many tourists visit Cornwall each year?
- Is Cornwall worth visiting?
- Where is the most visited place in Cornwall?
- Is Cornwall expensive to visit?
- Sustainable tourism in Cornwall
- Top tourist attractions in Cornwall
- The best things to do in Cornwall
- Best places to stay in Cornwall
- Best places to stay in Cornwall – On a budget
- Best places to stay in Cornwall – Mid priced
- Best places to stay in Cornwall – Luxury
- What you need for a trip to Cornwall- packing recommendations
- Tourism in Cornwall + things to do in Cornwall- further reading
Tourism in Cornwall- an overview
Tourism in Cornwall is a a significant part of Cornwall’s economy, in fact, more important than any other region in the UK. The amount is so high that it contributes to 12% of Cornwall’s GDP as well as employing 1 million workers in the tourism industry. This makes tourism the largest sector in Cornwall, employing the most people as a result, which supports 1 in every 5 jobs. The money spent within tourism in Cornwall helps to preserve manmade and natural attractions as well as AONBs .
How many tourists visit Cornwall each year?
Visits to Cornwall each year comes to roughly 4 million ! There are so many tourists that at one point in 2010, the amount of residents was approx. 500,000, and number of tourists where 200,000! This means roughly half of the population at this time was made of tourists visiting, which is an incredibly high number. This is major scale tourism, and represents how significant tourism in Cornwall is.
Is Cornwall worth visiting?
Cornwall is definitely worth visiting, it’s at the forefront of sustainable development, as well as being a stunningly natural and beautiful area of the UK. Filled with seaside towns, charming villages and stunning scenery, it’s definitely one for the bucket list.
Where is the most visited place in Cornwall?
The most visited place in Cornwall is the Eden project, and its no surprise this attraction gained approx. 1,000,000 visits in 2018! Aside from being one of the best things to do in Cornwall, it’s beautiful, and truly like stepping into the humid climate of a rainforest. It’s filled with tropical wildlife and plants, which are housed in huge ‘Biomes’, which are stunningly unique hexagonal shaped domes. If you have ever wondered what the biggest indoor rainforest looks like, then this is the diverse experience you want, with the added bonus of not having plane prices!
The Eden project is huge on sustainability, it is the first step in everything they do. They are building a geothermal energy plant near the entrance to generate energy naturally. As well as this, the waterfall running through the rainforest is 100% recycled rainwater! They even have an ethical gift shop, to ensure nothing is harmed in the manufacture and production of the items they sell.
Is Cornwall expensive to visit?
Is Cornwall expensive to visit? The answer is no – not necessarily. Tourism in Cornwall is in the mid to high price range as a whole. You will find that of course you can find budget accommodation, restaurants and shops, however depending on the location prices can start to get higher, especially in rural areas. This doesn’t mean to say you cannot travel on a budget, because you definitely can! But be aware that some places in Cornwall can be especially expensive.
Sustainable tourism in Cornwall
Sustainable tourism is the most important factor in ensuring a future in the travel industry. The travel industry in particular is having a number of negative effects on the environment, therefore sustainability is crucial in being able to combat this, and turn the future of travel into one we can sustain. This means working towards a brighter, happier and carbon reduced future.
Sustainable schemes in Cornwall consists of the Cornwall AONB Sustrans .This aims to protect Cornwall’s Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty by cutting down the effects that transport has on the environment. This is done by encouraging cycling rather than driving, which aims to heavily reduce the negative impacts that carbon has on local communities.
Sustainable tourism in Cornwall also consists of the CoAST Protection network, which is a scheme in place to raise awareness of sustainability by bringing up issues such as accommodation, transport and the natural environment. This plans to involve local people in moving towards a brighter future, and allowing them to have a voice within their own local communities and tourism development.
Cornwall has even developed ways to make surfing sustainable, with introduced ‘wooden boards’ made with locally sourced timber. On top of this you can buy ethical wetsuits in partnership with ‘Patagonia’ – a fashion brand leading the way in sustainable development. What makes them sustainable? They are made with plant based rubber as opposed to petroleum, as well as the suit being upcycled from rubbish. Now isn’t that amazing!
Top tourist attractions in Cornwall
What are the top tourist attractions in Cornwall? Look no further because here are a selection of the most outstanding, diverse and unique attractions tourism in Cornwall has to offer.
The Cornish Seal sanctuary is run by Sea life trust, a charity who rescues grey seals in the waters of Cornwall, housing roughly 70. The sanctuary is a safe and loving haven for the seals to be admired and cared for until they learn all the skills they need to get back in the wild. It receives roughly 116,000 visitors a year, so it’s a popular attraction. This is a great day out for the family, and an especially cute one !
Trebah garden is a beautiful 26 acre botanic garden, filled with fresh flowers and unique wildlife. It’s situated on the coast of Falmouth, with a stunning sub-tropical beach and scenery. The gardens are a marvel to gaze at and stroll through, especially on a summers day. The beach is beautiful with its marine blue and green clear tints, perfect for a stroll or even a swim!
Mount Edgecumbe country park
Mount Edgecumbe country park grounds are completely free of charge to roam around the site. Surrounded by sea, this attraction is filled with beautiful ocean walkways that overlook the short distance between Edgecumbe and Plymouth. At the top of the greenery, hills and floral arrangements lays the stunning Mount Edgecumbe house built in the 16th century.
One of the best things to do in Cornwall is using the cycle paths that go through Mount Edgecumbe. It’s a great biking location, so bring out the helmet and discover every aspect of the grounds. Click here for the ‘Cremyll to Maker Cycle route’.
The best things to do in Cornwall
The best things to do in Cornwall- a break down. Do you want to gain the most amazing experiences from your trip to Cornwall? Well here is a fun packed list of all of the best things to do in Cornwall, the memories will last a lifetime!
Swim in Bude sea pool
Bude sea pool is a safe way to swim in the Cornish seas. There is a large section of ocean that is sectioned off into a sea pool which is cleaned and lifeguarded. This is definitely a diverse swimming experience for those seeking change! Be prepared- it is cold, but don’t fear it. Once you get in there it will feel great, plus, it has many amazing health benefits that are proven to improve your circulation and boost your immune system.
Lambeth Walk beach in St Ives
Lambeth walk beach is a quiet and pretty little beach in the centre of town, so it’s convenient for a seaside day out and beach picnic. It is currently the only dog friendly beach in St Ives, so if you’re planning on bringing your pet it’s the best pick! It’s a mix of rocky and sandy beach, creating a beautiful scene when the tide is out.
Visit Plymouth Hoe
Visiting Plymouth Hoe is one of the best things to do in Cornwall. With only a short walk from the town centre, there is so much to explore! It stretches 1.7 miles, and along the way you can find Tin side Lido, which is a beautiful outdoor swimming pool which overlooks the ocean which has been open since 1935!
Continuing down the hoe is Plymouths iconic Smeaton’s tower lighthouse, built in the 18th century. Shortly after, you will find The Royal Citadel (a 17th century fortress),which in modern day can be explored as a heritage site.
A guided tour will make this experience so much more special, whilst finding out about the significant history of Plymouth town! Here is a linked tour, only at a small price. Click here to find out more…
Best places to stay in Cornwall
So, you’ve read the best things to do in Cornwall… now here are the best places to stay! Cornwall is filled with pretty accommodations to stay in, so you’re spoilt for choice at any price range!
Best places to stay in Cornwall – On a budget
Travelling on a budget? Luckily Cornwall has plenty of amazing budget accommodations from hotels to backpackers hostels. Here are some recommendations for the best value accommodations for budget tourism in Cornwall.
Dolphins is a backpackers hostel situated in Tintagel, Cornwall, an excellent location for the beach. The scenery is outstanding with Tintagel castle only 0.7 miles away! There is a direct shuttle bus from Newquay airport to the hostel, which is convenient and cheap. Enjoy the range of activities from movie nights to board games, as well as free WIFI, shared lounge, kitchen and bedroom facilities.
Blue room Hostel
Blue room Hostel is a convenient 4 minute walk to New quays beautiful ‘Great Western Beach’. Blue room is a cosy and well facilitated hostel, including free WIFI, family rooms and shared dormitories. It’s perfect for low budget whilst still being close by to popular attractions and beaches.
Harrington flats are a lovely set of accommodations for the price. Just a short walk from Tolcarne Beach, Harrington flats are nearby to many famous attractions in Newquay such as Newquay Zoo and New quay blue reef aquarium. The convenience combined with facilities such as free Wi-Fi, flat screen and extra long beds makes for a great low cost accommodation!
Best places to stay in Cornwall – Mid priced
There are lots of mid priced accommodations in Cornwall, but what are the absolute best? Well, here are a fine selection of the most stunning locations, top facilities and best value for money.
Saint Minver Caravan Holidays
Saint Minver Caravan Holidays is an amazing accommodation that combines the great outdoors with all the home comforts you could need. The caravan has a beautiful homely interior with a comfy lounge and flat screen, as well as a fully equipped kitchen. With free WIFI on site, a swimming pool , evening entertainment and activities from mini golf to bingo, there’s so much to keep you entertained throughout your stay at Saint Minver’s.
Kerryanna Country House B&B
Kerryanna Country House B&B is in a picturesque location, nearby to Mevagissey Harbour and Cornwall’s most famous attraction -The Eden Project. As well as being amazingly located, it’s filled with great facilities featuring a sun terrace, flat screen, and free shuttle service.
Tremarne Hotel is a beautiful and high quality accommodation. There is an amazing dinner menu in their bar and lounge, catering to special food needs and offering gorgeous cuisine. With amazing sea views, incredible comfort and the best food, Tremarne Hotel is one of those unforgettable accommodations.
Best places to stay in Cornwall – Luxury
Cornwall is known for its luxury accommodations, so best believe they live up to the five star standard! Spoil yourself with the selection of luxury accommodations boasting dreamy facilities, stunning scenery and top rated service.
Rowan Luxury Glamping pod
Rowans Luxury glamping pod is a truly stunning accommodation located in Triwithen farm, Launceston. The aesthetics will blow you away with views of the countryside and mountain landscape. The interior and exterior of the pod is beautifully designed, small yet big on comfort. Enjoy cooking on your own barbeque, star gazing at night on the patio and enjoying your own safe and quiet haven for the perfect luxury stay.
Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa
Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa has everything you need to relax and rewind. Its stunning location in Mullion Cove is absolutely breath-taking, with sea and cliff views to gaze at from the large open windows. As well as this, the facilities on site cater to a full self care experience, with a hot tub, jacuzzi, sauna , fitness centre and relaxation rooms. This makes Mullion Cove Hotel the perfect choice for a wellness tourism destination.
Boskerris Hotel in St Ives is the perfect spot for a quiet getaway. The seaside retreat in Carbis Bay contains spa facilities and oceanic terrace views, amazing for winding down. Bask in the refreshing natural open light this hotel has to offer, and relax in the comfortable and stylish bedrooms.
What you need for a trip to Cornwall- packing recommendations
Of course you should pack those items that you would take on any holiday, but have you ever wondered what the essential packing items are for a trip to Cornwall? Here are all the answers to make sure your holiday is safe, mud-proof and comfortable.
Depending on what time of year you visit, a wetsuit can make all the difference if you’re wishing to take a dip in the beautiful Cornish waters! It can be chilly even at the best of times, so staying warm is important to being able to enjoy the experience, especially if you’re planning on doing water sports! Click here for wetsuit recommendations.
A sunhat is essential, whether you’re hiking, bathing in sun or simply browsing around the shops, a sunhat will keep high exposure from damaging your skin. Even when the temperature isn’t hot, areas in Cornwall can be put in places of high exposure, so its best not to take chances, and what’s better you can find one to match your outfit! Find them here.
Wellies are go-to for Cornish countryside. Enjoy beautiful views without damaging your new trainers. It can get particularly muddy in some of the costal paths and fields, so wellies are perfect for keeping safe and dry. Click here to find out more…
When you are looking for things to do in Cornwall, there is nothing better than relaxing in a camping chair! Camping chairs are great for a lounge on the beach, and especially good for sitting in the evening to gaze at the stars. They’re easy to fold up and keep with your luggage, so there’s no extra space taken up! Browse camping chairs here.
Tourism in Cornwall + things to do in Cornwall- further reading
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