Monday was our last day in Cornwall after a lovely weekend spent in Carbis Bay. We therefore wanted to well and truly make the most of our time left in the beautiful county. As a result, we went on a bit of a Cornish safari, exploring Cornwall as much as we could within our last day. We started the day off by visiting stunning Sennen Cove and Porthcurno. We then stopped off at St Michael’s Mount, and Padstow in North Cornwall on our way home.
Exploring Cornwall: Sennen Cove
Sennen Cove is one of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches. It’s on the west coast just 1.5km from Lands End, the UK’s most southernly point. Sennen Cove is instantly recognizable thanks to its vibrant turquoise waters, and is undoubtedly one of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever seen. It’s well worth a stop if you too are exploring Cornwall.
Sennen Cove Beach also offers some of the best surf in the UK, with a surf school and lifeguarding throughout the season. There’s also a cafe on the beach and a number of surrounding pubs, making it a great stop for a day out. The beach is long and sandy, and there’s a small fishing village to explore along with the surfer crowd it attracts. We stood and watched the beautiful turquoise waves crash against the bay. Before too long, we got a little chilly and headed back to the car.
Exploring Cornwall: Porthcurno
Next up, we went to Porthcurno. Porthcurno can only really be described as idyllic, helped by its position right near Lands End. This gives it a wonderful ‘end of earth feeling’, but with a beautiful beach. Its beach has won several awards over the years, with its dreamy sands and turquoise waters, both protected on both sides by cliffs.
Back in the day, Porthcurno used to be integral in pioneering global communications for the UK. You can learn more at the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum.
Up on the cliff you’ll spot the iconic open air Minack Theatre, one of the world’s most iconic theatres. Built in the 1920s, the theatre has the incredible backdrop of the ocean and Porthcurno Beach.
Exploring Cornwall: St Michael’s Mount, Marazion
The next stop on our whistle stop tour of West Cornwall was St Michael’s Mount, near Marazion. It’s not too far from Penzance, with its legendary pirate history – also worth a visit if you’re in the area.
St Michael’s Mount is a mysterious looking rocky island with a medieval church and a castle. For hundreds of years, St Michael’s Mount has belonged to the St Aubyn family and a tiny number of habitants. On the island, you’ll also see some beautiful gardens, and magical views across Mount’s Bay.
Depending on whether the tide is in or out, you can either cross the causeway by foot, or catch a boat across to the island. It’s definitely worth checking the tide times before your visit. Historically, the castle on St Michael’s Mount was a Benedictine Priory which had religious ties with Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France.
The path was really slippy, and unfortunately we got stuck halfway along as the tide started to creep back out. Hopefully one day I’ll actually reach the island and get to explore the castle.
Doesn‘t its silhouette look pretty creepy on this grey September day?
Exploring Cornwall: Padstow
Our next stop was Padstow, or Padstein, as its affectionately nicknamed thanks to Rick Stein’s numerous businesses throughout the seaside town. Padstow is in North Cornwall, and was conveniently on our way back home to Gloucestershire.
Padstow is a fishing port close to a number of golden beaches all located along the Camel River. The small town encircles the harbour, which is a great place for sitting, people watching, and eating local produce. It’s a famous foodie spot, with a number of excellent restaurants including the iconic Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant. You can indulge and walk off your food at one of the nearby beaches or the South West Coast Path.
We browsed the adorable independent shops, and went for a walk around the harbour. Although we didn’t have enough time on our journey back to eat at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, we did stop off at Stein’s Fish and Chips.
Both a restaurant and a takeaway, the fish and chip restaurant overlooks the Camel Estuary. All of the food is delicious, with classics like cod and also local fish including plaice and lemon sole. Of course, you can get the added extras including tartare sauce and mushy peas. They’re truly some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten. The gift shop is adorable too and well worth a look around for some classy cookware and home bits and bobs.
Afterwards, it was back on the road and time to head home after a wonderful time away staying in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. A wonderful way to spend a weekend, just a shame it went by so quickly as all good trips do.
Where are your favourite places to explore in Cornwall? Which towns do you recommend visiting?