Cornwall was again voted the top tourist destination in the latest British Travel Awards, after winning for the past 9 years consecutively.
The county attracts over 4 million visitors every year, with people flocking to the region to enjoy its beaches, good food, warm weather (stop laughing) and unique culture.
But how do you make sure you visit all the best places, without missing out on any of the hidden gems?
Here’s our list of the 7 top spots for Cornish travel in 2017:
7. Tintagel Castle
Steeped in myth and legend, this historic landmark is perched on the jagged cliffs on Cornwall’s north coast. Managed by English Heritage, it tells the story of how people have lived and worked in and around the remote landmark from as early as the 3rd and 4th Centuries.
The walk up to the castle ruins isn’t for the feint hearted, with its narrow paths winding up the cliffs to the exposed headland above. You’ll also need a head for heights if you plan to cross the bridge and climb to the top…
6. Lost Gardens of Heligan
Rediscovered in the late 20th Century, the expansive derelict gardens near Mevagissey had been abandoned to history after almost 80 years. Formerly a thriving and successful estate, Heligan was abandoned in the early 19th Century during the First and Second World wars.
Since its discovery, the whole area has been renovated to reveal a beautiful Italian garden, vegetable garden, jungle walk and Georgian ride. The site has been featured on numerous television documentaries and in national gardening magazines. It has also won countless tourism, flower and gardening awards.
A must-see attraction, with an award-winning cafe, farm shop and gift shop.
5. Treyarnon Bay
Right on your doorstep outside the luxury Ocean Blue apartments is this heavenly beach, with shallow turquoise waters, sheltered rock pools and smooth white sand.
Tucked away down a remote country lane, the beach is often quiet with plenty of space to relax, unwind and take in the scenery. You’ll find plenty of amenities in main season, including a van serving fresh coffee and snacks, a cafe serving delicious meals and drinks, and a small gift shop where you can buy essential beach supplies.
4. St Nectan’s Glen
The beautiful lush woodland surrounding the impressive 60 foot St Nectan’s Glen waterfall on the north coast provides welcome shade during the peak Summer months. Park for free in a nearby village and take the winding path through the shaded trees, over the wooden bridges, and up the carved stone steps.
Here you’ll find a quaint little cafe, toilets and gift shop, as well as the entrace to the waterfalls. Once you’ve descended the pretty walkway to reach the clear waters, kick your shoes off and let the natural icy pool cool your feet.
3. Camel Trail
If you want to see the best of Cornwall without the car, you must check out the Camel Trail. Comprising two former rail lines, the 18 mile path is largely traffic free and flat, making it ideal for cyclists, horses, walkers and wheelchair users.
The route from Padstow to Wadebridge is popular with Ocean Blue guests. You can hire bikes (including child’s bikes and trailers) from the shop near the Lobster Hatchery and ride along the Camel estuary to the bustling town of Wadebridge.
Enjoy lunch in one of the independent little restaurants, cafes or bars before returning to Padstow for an afternoon tea and an ice-cream on the harbour.
2. St Michael’s Mount
The iconic mount off the South coast of Cornwall is only 500 metres from the shore of Marazion Beach in Penzance, but getting there is half the fun!
Arrive at low tide and you can stride across the restored cobbled causeway on foot, or schedule your visit for high tide to take the little boat the short distance to the harbour at St Michael’s Mount. Once on dry land, take the steep climb up to the imposing castle, explore the stunning gardens and dine out in the restaurant.
You’ll also want to check out the gift shop for loads of Cornish handmade products, local food & drink, and St Michael’s Mount gifts.
1. South West coast path
Walk down to any beach in Cornwall and turn left or right and you’ll probably be on a section of the South West Coast Path.
Cornwall has 300 miles of path to explore. There’s the dramatic wild clifftops roamed by Ross & Demelza Poldark as well as scores of beautiful beaches and peaceful estuaries.
From outside your apartment at Ocean Blue Cornwall you can take the path (less than 2 miles) out to Trevose Head, passing Constantine Bay and Booby’s Bay.
Or take the 4 mile circular route and head westwards to Porthcothan, passing historic Iron Age forts and smuggling bays.
These seven attractions will create some wonderful memories for your Cornish holiday – and they’re just some of the reasons Cornwall is such a hit with couples, families and groups.
If you want to tick each of these off your to-do list, book now to stay at Ocean Blue Cornwall to get started.