Last September I had the opportunity to spend three days in South Cornwall.
Prior to my trip and as I always do for any of them, I browsed the web to gather all the information I could on this destination in order to build my itinerary. As it took me many countless hours, I decided to share with you my guide on how to spend 3 days in South Cornwall, to spare you the hassle 😉
When flying into London, the journey to South Cornwall begins with a 6 hours travel journey. To ease the pain of this long journey we decided to book The Pullman Dining car. I’ve to be honest with you, although we wined and dined with two very charming travel companions, I was fairly disappointed by this experience. Indeed, after reading a lot about The Pullman Dining I pictured it like a British version of the Orient Express. However, it was far from it, too modern and impersonal.
The morning after our arrival in Penzance, we drove off to the Minack Theatre, Cornwall’s open-air theatre. The views from the structure are worth alone the visit!
Following the theatre, we headed to Land’s End, the most westerly point of mainland Britain. I was yet again very impressed by the stunning cliffs steeply jumping into the see. And let’s speak about the colour of the water?! When in Cornwall, you really get the feeling the UK meets the Mediterranean.
Once you’ve had your fair share of trying to spot America from Land’s End, take the spectacular coastal road for a mini road trip to reach the charming and quintessentially Cornish town of St.Ives. Spend the afternoon exploring the town with all its quaint white houses, cafés, boutiques and galleries (or the Tate Gallery if you fancy!), or hang out at one of its beaches. And if you wonder where to sleep, the Atlantic Bay or the Gannet Inn are nice options, especially if you are the boutique-hotel-type-traveller.
After a good night sleep, we hit the road – this time inland as it’s quicker if you want to go from west to east South Cornwall – to reach Lizard Point. Lizard Point is the most southerly point of mainland UK. Take at least an hour to explore its dramatic rocky formation.
Once you’re done exploring, drive to Porthleven, yet another quintessential Cornish village. Grab a pint and a Cornish pasty at one the cute restaurants overlooking the harbour and contemplate the multi-coloured fishing boats coming back from their nightly shift.
Finally, from my point of view, a visit to South Cornwall wouldn’t be complete with a stop at my favourite spot: Mousehole. This tiny, adorable village is the embodiment of how I envision Cornwall. Picture little grey-stone houses, enhanced by heaps of colourful flowers and surrounding a small fishing harbour. As well as the typical neon-coloured surfboards stored on the beach.
When we arrived in Mousehole, the weather was foggy, giving it a very mystical vibe, almost post-apocalyptic. Stunning! Take your time to wander around the village. Once you’re done, grab a Cornish gin at the Rock Pool Café, overlooking the Sea and Penzance’s Mount Bay. So British!
To end our day, we drove to Penzance for our last evening in Cornwall.
Wonder where to stay in Penzance? The elegant boutique hotel Chapel House will satisfy every boutique hotel nerd. The only downside about staying at the Chapel house is dinner, as their kitchen isn’t open at night. They’re however some nice options around town such as the Artist Residence.
On our last day, we explored Penzance, South Cornwall’s biggest town. Penzance was my least favourite part of the trip. Except for its eye-catching art deco Jubilee Pool and its view on St.Michael’s Mount, you don’t need an entire day to get a grasp of the town.
I can’t have a 72 hour guide without including a few other travel tips:
- When to go: the best time to visit South Cornwall is in September. The crowds are scattered and you can enjoy the windy coastal walks peacefully!
- How long to go: 3 days are a bare minimum if you want to get a good glimpse.
- What to pack: Always pack a warm jumper as even when the sun is shining it’s always breezy. Also don’t forget some comfy trainers or good walking shoes!
With this trip to Cornwall, I got my fair share of quintessential England and I adored it! Green rolling hills, impressive steep coastlines, quaint fishing villages, tropical greenery, delicious gastronomy, cute boutiques and hotels and last but not least super friendly locals, Cornwall has it all!