Magnificent beaches, miles of coastline and plenty of incredible views, Cornwall is a place everybody must visit at least once in their lives! Fortunately for me, I live in Devon, which is only around a two-hour drive to the furthest part in Cornwall (Land’s End!).
Although I don’t live too far, I’ve never really explored too much of Cornwall, and after not wanting to venture out of the UK this year (Damn you Corona!) we decided to spend time exploring the UK and Cornwall had always been on my UK bucket list.
We had the nicest weekend in West Cornwall. So, I’ve put together my itinerary for a weekend in West Cornwall; please note, I will also be heading to North Cornwall and will be doing an itinerary for there too!
Setting off at 5.30 AM, the traffic can become congested when travelling to Cornwall as the motorway ends in Exeter, meaning it’s A-roads the rest of the way. Many people flock to Cornwall during the summer holidays, so we made sure we left enough time to reach our first destination.
First up on our road trip was St Ives, known for its surf beaches and art, the idyllic town is beautiful. Firstly, we stopped off to get some pastries at St Ive’s Bakery before our boat trip.
Seal Island Boat Trip
One of the most popular things to do when in St Ives is the Seal Island boat trip, the one-hour boat trip only cost us £20 each, which we booked with Dolly P. The sea was a little bumpy and I felt slightly seasick but seeing the seals made it totally worthwhile!
We didn’t have long to spend in St Ives on our first day as we had booked other activities for the day, which is why we came back the next day to explore more of the quaint town.
To reach Land’s End from St Ives, you’ll drive one of the most scenic routes in the UK, taking in the incredible coastal views on the 20-mile trip. Land’s End is the furthest place south in the UK you can travel, it has become quite a tourist trap, with you having to pay for a picture with the famous signpost, but still, it’s a place everyone should visit once in their lives!
Admission is free (you only have to pay for parking) and there is an array of things to do here, such as the shopping village, the last and first house as well as plenty of places to grab a bite to eat.
The Minack Theatre
Only a fifteen-minute drive from Land’s End, The Minack Theatre is an incredible amphitheatre built in 1929 and still to this day performances take place. The iconic theatre was carved into the cliffs of Porthcurno Bay and is a place I would highly recommend to stop by for a visit.
The Minack Theatre overlooks Porthcurno beach, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such blue water in the UK! We didn’t walk all the way down to the beach but often described as paradise; I would love to head back during the summer months and spend a day sunbathing on the beach.
As we visited Minack, we had our parking covered within our admission ticket, but there is ample parking for Porthcurno, but it does require a little bit of a trek to reach the beach. However, totally worth it for the incredible views!
Jubilee Pool: Penzance
From Porthcurno, we drove to Penzance, which is where our Airbnb was situated. Unfortunately, Penzance Pier was closed for renovation when we visited, which we would have loved to walk along.
Jubilee Pool is the UK’s largest art deco seawater lido opening in 1935; we were lucky the sun was shining on our visit although the water was freezing! We had to pre-book our tickets, which may not always be the case, but due to COVID, this has now become the norm.
After a super long day, we stopped by at a local fish and chip shop and ate back in our Airbnb to refuel for the next day!
On day two (which was a Sunday) we had slightly less planned than our first day due to availability. However, we were up bright and early to make the most of our weekend!
St Michael’s Mount
Only accessible during low tide, you are able to explore St Michael’s Mount by crossing the cobbled causeway. You’re able to explore the castle and the garden terrace, but currently only by booking online. We booked the earliest slot available to cross and spent a few hours exploring the mount. There are a few places to grab a coffee or a bite to eat as well as a cute shop to pick up some souvenirs.
Seeing images of St Michael’s Mount was one of the main drivers towards me wanting to head to Cornwall, the views are pretty spectacular!
Cornwall is known for offering plenty of places to do water sports. We decided to hire a double kayak for 2.5 hours from Ocean High based in Marazion, on the beach located right by St Michael’s Mount, costing us £20 each (including £5 for wetsuit hire). I was slightly scared as I’d not kayaked in years but honestly, the time flew by and we had the most amazing time. By the time we were out, it was high tide, and we had the opportunity to kayak over the cobbled causeway, we had walked across just hours earlier.
I would highly recommend adding this to your list of things to do in West Cornwall, as exploring St Michael’s Mount on foot and around by kayak, go hand-in-hand!
Back To St Ive’s
We were on quite a tight time schedule as we had pre-booked a lot of activities which meant we didn’t get enough time in St Ives as we would have liked. Honestly, I think St Ives is one of my favourite places in Cornwall, the quaint streets and the bustling atmosphere; I would like to find a place to stay here next time.
Upon our return, we knew we had to find a place for a cream tea, we found The Market Place, which served up the nicest cream team. I’m Devonshire so for me, the cream is always first, but the Cornish like to put the Jam first!
After our cream teas, we walked around St Ives and up towards the top to get an amazing view of the whole of St Ives; it’s so peaceful we could have easily spent hours watching the waves.
Dinner At The Cornish Barn
We were seeking a roast and had booked The Cornish Barn for the evening which was a short walk from our Airbnb. Unfortunately, when we got there they weren’t serving up roasts, but the normal menu also looked good. Opting for a cocktail (I didn’t have to work tomorrow after all!), a burger and a side of Mac N Cheese, the food definitely did not disappoint.
Another early start for us, we spent our last day in West Cornwall working back, with our final destination being Falmouth, which isn’t in West Cornwall but fitted nicely into our itinerary.
First up of the day was Lizard Point, the most southerly point in the UK. The National Trust location is known for its dramatic cliffs and unique nature. Lizard Point overlooks the busiest shipping lane in the world, and we spent around an hour exploring and enjoyed a morning coffee at Polpeor Café.
Only a 2.7-mile drive from one another (you could walk from one to the other if you had the time), I instantly fell in love with Kynance Cove, the descent to the beach was a little steep, but it is totally worth it for the views. Kynance Cove is probably the most photographed place in Cornwall with the turquoise sea and rock stacks. It does get incredibly busy during the summer holidays, and it was quite busy when we visited, but we did manage to get a spot.
If you’re looking for the perfect beach snack, Ann’s Pasties, which are said to be the best pasties in Cornwall are served up at the café at Kynance Cove. The pasty definitely did not disappoint and I’d highly recommend you pick one up to enjoy here!
I had no signal when we were at Kynance Cove but for a few hours, it was just lovely to take in the sites and relax a bit.
Trebah Gardens & Pendennis Castle
On our way back home we stopped by two places in Falmouth; Trebah Gardens & Pendennis Castle. We didn’t have the time to explore Falmouth, so this will be something we do in the future as I’ve heard a lot of good things about Falmouth.
Trebah Gardens is made up of four miles of footpaths meandering around the subtropical garden. The hidden gem we loved was the private beach towards the end of the gardens. I could have spent all day sat on the pebbles watching the sea and eating ice cream (which you can pick up in the shop on the beach).
We had to book online, which we did on our way from Kynance Cove as there was still space, it cost us £11 each.
Pendennis Castle is a fort constructed by Henry VIII between 1540 and 1542; it was used to protect himself from invasion. We also booked Pendennis Castle on our journey from Trebah Gardens, which was £11 a ticket. We spent some time exploring the grounds before embarking on a guided tour of the castle, where we learnt about the history as well as seeing some incredible views of Falmouth!
And there we have it, my weekend in West Cornwall itinerary! In recent years my love of nature and being outside, near the sea has grown, Cornwall is the perfect place to relax and take a step back from the busy lives we all now lead.
We fitted A LOT into our three days, we wanted to tick off a lot of places, but you could simply take a step back and spend more time chilling and exploring each place. My favourite places to discover were Kynance Cove and St Ives, I also really loved kayaking around St Michael’s Mount too!
I hope my itinerary helps you plan or inspire your perfect trip to Cornwall! I’d love to know what your favourite sites and places to eat are, so let me know in the comments!