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Camping in Cornwall

119 in England, South West, Cornwall

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Every year, thousands of tourists flock to Cornwall to enjoy a relaxing camping, caravanning or motorhoming holiday at the coast. From the vast array of beautiful white sandy beaches and rocky coves to the numerous hiking trails and wilderness regions, this captivating area in the South West of England has something to offer holidaymakers of all ages and interests.

With its dramatic cliffs, pounded by the Atlantic, and a beautiful coastline of soft sandy beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, Cornwall has long been a holiday favourite.

As part of the wider West Country, known for its contrasts, Cornwall’s windswept moorlands and rugged cliffs tower above endless sandy beaches. A fascinating mix of ancient history runs through the entire county and yet its contemporary culture is bright and vibrant.

A camper’s paradise

Cornwall is ideal for campers with plenty of great campsites for caravans, motorhomes and tents. You can sleep under the stars, escape the day to day routine of home life and re-charge the batteries.

Camping in Cornwall always seems to be just a touch more laid back. There are generally campsites close to the beaches, tucked in behind the headland and perfect for activities enthusiasts.

There are family campsites where you’ll find activities on site or nearby, large sites with all mod cons and smaller, hidden gems that are tucked away from the crowds. Some of the UK’s best campsites can be found in Cornwall, with lots of favourite spots such as Bude, Sennen Cove, Tregurrian and Fowey.

Land and sea

Discover the emerald green seas, sandy beaches scrubbed clean by the Atlantic, secret little coves and jaunty fishing boats. Inland explore the winding lanes that crisscross the gorgeous countryside to link granite villages and moorland. Take a walk on the wild side in Bodmin Moor where ancient myths and legends still linger.

The relics of the ancient mining industry can still be seen pockmarking the countryside. Mining was for many centuries a staple industry in Cornwall. Tin most notably, but also copper, lead, and silver were extracted in Cornwall. Remnants remain which can be of interest for those with an eye for our industrial past, and ancient structures still be can be seen dotted around the landscape.

The Lizard peninsula, culminating at Land’s End, is wild and beautiful with a network of fantastic walking and cycling trails. Hike out from the village, past the lighthouse to Lizard Point itself.

Beach activities

With its craggy cliffs buffeted by the waves, the Cornwall coast is a surfer’s paradise, attracting international surfers and competitions. A popular destination for keen surfers is Newquay, a town with big surf, big nightlife and plenty of tourists. Fistral is a popular surf spot, too popular for some, but its waves are reliable and constant.      Slighter further afield, spots like Watergate Bay with its vast, wide open beach are less frenetic.

Kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing are popular too. The vast, often empty beaches are ideal for sand yachting, the strong winds and firm sands making a perfect combination. Perranporth is always popular with sun seekers and adrenaline seekers alike.

North Cornwall coast

The north coast has a distinctly wild, untamed feel about it, with rocky headlands crashing into the foaming sea. Some of widest beaches are simply magnificent, such as those around Bedruthan Steps.

Tintagel castle, a ruin today, is still an arresting sight. Believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur it is steeped in legends and you can descend the steps leading down to the sea and Merlin’s Cave.

St Ives has evolved from being a simple fishing village to being a lynchpin of the modern British art movement. The Tate St Ives is highly regarded and countless artists have easels set up in summer and works on sale throughout the town.

Not too far away lies Padstow which similarly has long cast off its sole dependence on its fishing traditions in favour of modern tourism. In Padstow’s case, this includes fine dining, courtesy of the Rick Stein phenomenon. His various establishments cater (no pun intended) for most culinary appetites and tastes. 

Great beaches in north Cornwall

  • Gwithian and Godrevy Towans
  • Porth Joke
  • Holywell Bay
  • Constantine Bay

South Cornwall coast

The south coast is gentler and more picturesque than the north Cornwall coast. Not for nothing is it referred to as the Cornwall Riviera. It features sheltered bays and inlets and a more consistently balmy climate.

The green hills slope down to the shoreline, with hidden coves and sandy bays, whitewashed fishing villages and sheltered estuaries like the Tamar where yachts bob up and down. The peaceful creeks around Falmouth and Fowey are popular sailing spots. Inland don’t miss the cathedral city of Truro and Lostwithiel, the antiques capital of Cornwall.

Great beaches in south Cornwall

  • Kynance Cove
  • Whitsand Bay
  • Maenporth Beach
  • Hemmick Beach

St Michael’s Mount

This rocky island looms up out of the sea just off the coast at Marazion and is linked to the mainland by a granite causeway. Walk across at low tide and discover the castle and its sub-tropical surrounds. 

Scilly Isles

About 40 miles off the Cornish coast, lie the Scillies. Their spectacular white sand beaches are remarkable and the warm climate ensures this is a popular destination for those enjoy getting away from it all but not having to stray too far from UK shores.

The Eden Project

It was with some imagination and a lot of vision that Sir Tim Smit created the huge biomes in a disused china clay quarry. Effectively the world’s largest greenhouses, these white domes house plants from across the world and have become one of Cornwall’s most famous landmarks.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

This is a genuine secret garden. Back in the Victorian era, the gardens were stunning, part of the Tremayne estate. But in the aftermath of The Great War, they were neglected, became overgrown and were lost for decades. In 1990 a long forgotten door was discovered, leading into one of the walled gardens. Today they are a sub-tropical wonderland and a great day out.