It has unique and proud traditions and a huge amount of character. Book hotels in Cornwall to explore a true beauty of Britain...
Whether it's an afternoon on the sands or a morning hitting the waves, a hike through the countryside or a visit to the Eden Project, maybe a tour of the old tin mines or a look at the legendary Tintagel Castle: a holiday in Cornwall is bound to excite any eager visitor, no matter what their age or interests.
Wherever you stay in Cornwall, hotels are certain to offer a good Cornish cream tea, but don't miss out on the opportunity to sample several on your travels! Other musts on the list should include a trip to Tintagel Castle, with its absolutely stunning location and scenery. The castle features heavily in Arthurian legend. It's said to be the birthplace of King Arthur and the nearby Merlin's Cave was made famous by the writings of Tennyson. Or if you're of more scientific a mind then the observatory at Goonhilly has more than 60 giant satellite dishes and makes for an educational day out.
For those who love walking holidays, Land's End is ideal. It's also a good location from which to explore the old tin mines at Geevor. With lots of pretty harbours, the area is ideal too for bird spotters as well as walkers. Other good starting points for holidays involving lovely walks include Tamar Valley, Bodmin Moor and Helston. Each has its own character but all offer some truly lovely scenery and wildlife.
Cornwall is a lively place to visit all year round but there are certain times of the year that are particularly good, such as during the Golowan Festival that is held each year in Penzance. Golowan is, in the Cornish tongue, the word for the midsummer festival and while these festivals are held across the county, Penzance has been particularly successful at reviving the old traditions of the region. The festival is an experience to be remembered. Hotels in Cornwall will naturally be busy during this period, so do book early to avoid being disappointed.
Village B&Bs, eco hotels, grand luxury hotels on the beach - hotels in Cornwall will fit every taste and budget...
Most Cornwall hotels tend to be locally owned rather than chains, although you will find a growing number of budget chain hotels in the county. There are also many boutique-style properties and eco-hotels springing up here and there, so there's a good choice that's certain to fit your preference and budget.
Hotels tend to be centred on the beach resorts and towns, although you can find many great B&Bs in the countryside. There's plenty of self-catering accommodation of all types, from cosy flats to cottages suitable for large families and groups. Nowhere in the county is beyond reach with a car once you're there but it's worth looking for accommodation near the places and activities you're particularly looking forward to.
If it's a beach holiday you're looking for then Cornwall may be the perfect location. You can take your pick from a huge range of Blue Flag beaches on which to sunbathe, build sandcastles or perhaps try your hand at surfing. Falmouth, for instance, is a bustling university town with a great deal of charm. It has some lovely beaches, good surfing, delicious cream teas and plenty to occupy the whole family.
For those planning a surfing holiday, choosing accommodation near one of the popular surf beaches is a great idea. The scenery is particularly lovely and the conditions on many beaches are some of the best in Europe. Whitsand Bay, for example, has four miles of beaches, is suitable for beginners and intermediate-level surfers, and the challenges change with the weather. Another good place for surfers to stay might be St Austell. It's near several extremely popular surfing beaches and also has plenty to offer family or group members who prefer not to surf. Located on the Cornish Riviera, this small town is beautiful and charming. The St Austell brewery supplies good local ale to the area and the rest of the country. There's a good range of both standard high-street chains and fascinating independent shops. Don't forget to get out and about and visit the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan while you're nearby. Both are fascinating days out.
St Ives, too, is a good location to consider if you want a beach or fishing holiday. It's perhaps best known for the riddle, "As I was going to St Ives... ", but it also contains one of the oldest pubs in Cornwall, dating from around 1312. It was the site of the first National Lifeboat Institution boathouse and is a mecca for artists. It's a delightful town with plenty to offer. Other good town locations include: Wadebridge, a beautiful 14th-century market town with many historical points of interest; the fishing port of Looe, with its annual carnival and attractive harbour; Fowey, which has some fascinating traditional stories of being visited by St Joseph and the infant Jesus; and Bude, which offers indoor and outdoor sports, a theme park and isn't far from Lundy Island.
Newquay, about halfway down the west coast of the county, is a prime spot for getting to the rest of Cornwall, so hotels here are a good idea if you'd like to see as much of the county as possible. It's also a lovely location in itself. Good for surfing and other water sports, it also has nine sandy beaches, a boating lake and hosts the popular 'Run to the Sun' event each May.
Discover the best attractions in Cornwall with our handy guide...
Cornwall certainly isn't short of beauty spots and long strips of beach that are so very hard to resist. If you can peel the family away from the water's edge, here are five of the best attractions in Cornwall.
Top five attractions
The Eden Project
Discover the world under the bubble roofs of this fabulous day out in Cornwall. Don't tell the kids, but it's educational as well as fun.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Close to St Austell are these 200-year-old gardens that will delight anyone with even a passing interest in the natural world. You'll want to spend at least half a day here when the weather is dry.
St Michael's Mount
In the south of the county, this tidal island is reached by a path that is revealed at mid and low tide. The imaginations of youngsters will run riot at this almost mystical location.
Another beauty spot to set young minds free, the cliff-top ruins of this ancient fortification will linger long in the memory.
Go west until you hit Land's End - you can't go any further in England. Have a picture taken by the famous sign post and, if you're feeling adventurous, pick your way along one of the walking routes for stunning views across the cliffs and out to the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Find out what's on when in Cornwall with our short guide...
The best events take place in the summer months and offer a chance to see the traditions of this fascinating county.
Obby Oss, Padstow; May: This famous event has ancient roots and many gather to see two “osses” attempting to catch local maidens. Padstow is draped in colour and the party atmosphere is unforgettable.
The Royal Cornwall Show; June: For a taste of rural Cornwall, head for this annual showcase of everything that keeps the countryside ticking. There is plenty for all the family to enjoy, including animals, shows and shopping.
Golowan Festival, Penzance; June: Travel to Penzance for the biggest celebrations of midsummer. Ancient traditions take centre stage and there is much to see and do. Expect crowds to swell during Mazey Day, the central event of the festival.