Scenic views, towns steeped in history and miles of coastline, it could only be Cornwall! A few months previous I visited West Cornwall and I literally fell in love with what Cornwall had to offer and decided that I would have to come back to do the rest of the county as there is too much to squeeze into a long weekend.
So, as we explored West Cornwall previously, we decided to explore North Cornwall this time. We based ourselves in Newquay as we had the most to do in the town. In this blog, I’ll cover my itinerary for a weekend in North Cornwall, so read on to find out how I spent my time.
Where To Stay?
Whenever I’m travelling somewhere I tend to check Airbnb first as the options are great and it does tend to be less expensive than a hotel and a little more homely. We found a place in Newquay with free parking for £105 each for two nights. It was quite a small studio but perfect for us as we didn’t really plan on being there for too long.
We started our trip early just as we did in our weekend in West Cornwall trip, as we were in the North of Cornwall this time it wasn’t as long of a drive. We left Devon at 7 AM and arrived at our first stop at 9 AM.
Breakfast at Boscastle Farm Shop & Café
We wanted to cover the whole of North Cornwall, so our first stop was in Boscastle. Boscastle Farm Shop & Café is well known and does an incredible Cornish breakfast! After our breakfast we did a half an hour walk along the coast from the farm shop and almost reached the waterfall, but ran low on time so had to turn back, I’d recommend exploring Boscastle if you do have the time though.
Just a fifteen minute drive from Boscastle is Tintagel. It’s known for Tintagel Castle, which is a medieval fort. We pre-booked tickets which cost us £13.10. We spent an hour wandering around the castle, we were pretty lucky with the weather and the castle had amazing views.
After we finished exploring Tintagel Castle, we wandered around the town, heading into the local shops and we even picked up some homemade fudge!
Next on our agenda was Port Isaac, which is most famous for being the filming location for Doc Martin! It’s a beautiful fishing village and again we spent an hour exploring and even picked up an ice cream too.
Padstow is a famous foodie destination, it’s also regarded as a premium location on the Cornish coast. As well as a beautiful and picturesque port, Padstow is home to four of Rick Stein’s restaurants. It’s pretty famous for their fish and chips, so we did end up having to queue for around 30 minutes outside before we got a table. Obviously as we’re by the seaside we had to get fish and chips!
We both picked up fish goujons and chips, they did cost £12.95, so it’s not your typical fish and chip shop! Honestly, it was worth it, the fish literally melted in your mouth.
After our fish and chips we explored the port and headed into some of the shops. Padstow may be one of my favourite towns in Cornwall, it had incredible food, has a Tarquin’s Gin shop where you are able to gin tours! The shop also has a gin school, where you’re able to craft your own bottle of gin! It’s £85 per person, but if you do like gin, it’s something I’d recommend. The distillery is also only a 10 minute drive from Padstow, so you can even book a 90 minute tour here, we didn’t do this but I’d love to do it next time I’m in North Cornwall!
Our last stop of the day was Bedruthan Steps, which is a National Trust beach. There are actually 149 steps at Bedruthan, however, when we visited the steps down to the beach were closed due to rockfall but we spent a while taking in the sites as you can see from the picture below, the views are pretty breath-taking!
Surfing on Newquay Beach
You can’t visit Newquay and not surf! Before this I had never surfed before, but it is something I’ve always wanted to do. We booked a beginner group surf lesson, which lasted two hours and cost us £35 each. It was so much fun but very tiring, the instructors were really helpful and although I didn’t manage to catch a wave and stand up, I was very close!
Cornish Cream Tea at The Headland Hotel
After our surf lesson we needed to fuel! Much like the surfing, you cannot go to Cornwall and not have a cream tea. I am from Devon, so much to the Cornish’s dismay, cream should always go first on a scone!
We booked a table at The Headland Hotel, which has amazing views of Fistral Beach and the scones were incredible too.
After we had enjoyed our scones, we wanted to explore the rest of Newquay. We walked a lot that day but again, we were blessed with incredible weather. Firstly, we walked on Fistral beach and the little beaches which surround the area, there is nothing quite like fresh sea breeze! From here we ascended to Towan Headland, there is a little hut on the top (not to be confused with Huers Hut) where you’re able to see incredible views of the coast.
After this, we walked across to Huers Hut, which is a little white hut which dates back to the 14th Century; apparently it’s a symbol of the commercial fishing past which Newquay is known for. From here, we headed over to the other headland in Newquay, Pentire. It was quite a long walk but again, we don’t mind the walking and the views were most definitely worth all the steps we did to reach it!
We then walked to River Gannel estuary, this leads down to Crantock beach but the beach was a little bit more of a walk and we had already done a lot of miles this day! We descended down to the estuary and sat on the pebbles, it was a sun trap so despite it being 5 PM we felt very warm and enjoyed watching paddleboarders and others swim in the estuary.
Tea at Lewinnick Lodge
We were looking for scenic restaurants for our Sunday evening meal, we found Lewinnick Lodge which overlooks the sea, based on Pentire Headland. As we were in Cornwall we knew we had to have some seafood, we both opted for the mussels which came with a good chunk of bread too, I would highly recommend them!
Catch the Newquay Sunset
On our walk back along the coast we caught the sunset and wow, it was a good one! It was actually pretty quite so we stood and watched while the sun slowly disappeared.
Cocktails at Tom Thumb
Another favourite of ours is finding a place for a good cocktail, Tom Thumb came up when we were searching. It’s actually an award winning cocktail bar, so we knew we had to make a visit. They serve up the classic cocktails as well as some extraordinary ones too! I opted for the gin cooler, which is a mix of gin, triple sec, elderflower, mint and lemonade.
Cake For Breakfast On Perranporth Beach
Basket is a cute little bakery in Newquay, it was actually just down the road from our Airbnb and after seeing it on Instagram, we knew we had to stop by. We grabbed a cake and a coffee and headed to the beach which was a short drive from Newquay, it actually started to rain so we didn’t walk along the beach but enjoyed just watching the world go by as we ate cake and drank coffee!
Healey’s Cider Farm
I’m from the South West of course I love cider! I am a cider lover so knew that Healey’s Cider Farm was a must when we were in North Cornwall. The ticket was £16 each which gives you an annual access if you did want to return. First up we did an orchard tractor drive to see where the famous apples are grown before embarking on a cider tasting session, where we tasted all of the ciders which they make here at Healey’s. After we wandered around the farm, stroked some goats, learnt more about the history of the place and tried some jams and chutneys.
We did pick up some cider to take home and they also do free tastings in the shop too! My favourite was the elderflower cider. As well as making cider, Healy’s also distils gin and if cider isn’t your thing, they do a gin tasting experience too!
Lunch & A Wander in St Austell/Mevagissey
We had a bit of time to spare so we stopped by in St Austell. We firstly wandered through the quaint town and picked up a pasty for later on. There wasn’t too much to do here and it did start to rain. After our scones yesterday we still felt like we needed another fix, we looked up the best places for scones in and around St Austell and stumbled upon Teacup Tearoom which is in Mevagissey, so we took the short drive here. We did have to wait for around half an hour outside for a table (you can’t book a table ahead) but we were happy to as the cheese scones were incredible!
Our final stop on our trip to North Cornwall was Eden Project, which is pretty well-known. I’ve not been to the Eden Project in years so was excited to go! We got student tickets which cost £23.50 and you had to book a time which you have a 30 minute to arrive. The car park is massive, so do remember the zone which you park in.
We did think about doing the Eden Project zip line, but we didn’t end up booking. You literally zip line across the Eden Project which does look amazing and I would definitely do it when I visit the Eden Project again.
We spent a few hours at the Eden Project and as we’d booked for one of the latest spots, it was actually quite quiet! After this we headed back to the car and took the two hour drive back to Devon with our pasties in toe!
Planning is essential when you’re having a trip away and due to being pretty organised we managed to cram a lot into our weekend in North Cornwall! I hope my itinerary was useful, we had another great weekend exploring Cornwall and it’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love with the place even more!