Cornish Towns & Villages
North Cornwall remains an extremely traditional and unspoilt part of the UK. There are many pretty towns and villages to explore, each with its own unique feel and charm. Also, many of the towns and villages in North Cornwall contain culturally significant places of interest. So get exploring.
The small village of Boscastle hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2004 when it battled the worst flash floods to hit Britain in half a century. Since then, the village has conquered the destruction left by the floods, and the community spirit thrives in the quaint pubs, restaurants and shops that run through this beautiful village. Boscastle is also home to the Museum of Witchcraft which houses the world’s largest collection of witchcraft artefacts and memorabilia. It’s an eerie but fascinating insight into the occult and one of Cornwall’s most popular museums.
Padstow is 10 minutes from The Olde House and only a short ferry trip across the estuary from Rock. It is a historic and beautiful fishing town and is home to four of Rick Stein’s famous restaurants. Have a mosey round the historic manor of Prideaux House, take a fishing trip around the beautiful coast, or hang around by the harbour and wait for the fishing fleet to come back from sea. You might even spot Rick Stein on the quayside looking for his next batch of fresh seafood to dish up in one of his restaurants.
And if you visit on May Day you will see the town transformed with vibrant celebrations as it embraces its Pagan roots in one of the oldest folk traditions in the UK.
Port Gaverne is a gorgeous little village on the edge of the North Cornish coast. Low tide unveils a secret beach and a mosaic of hidden rock pools. Kids love exploring them. The Port Gaverne Hotel is a 17th Century coastal Inn which refreshes visitors to this day with tasty food and local ale.
Port Isaac might be small, but it was an extremely important port between the Middle Ages and the middle of the 19th Century – processing large cargos of pottery, stone and coal. Today it remains an active fishing port, overlooked by steep banks of beautiful 18th Century cottages, and is famous as the location for TV’s Doc Martin series and The Fishermans friends.
Just a short walk across the cliffs is Tintagel, each twist and turn of the rugged coastline revealing breathtaking scenery. There are plenty of places to enjoy some food and drink too, like Cup cakes tea room behind the Lifeboat station. Also Port Isaac pottery housed in the historic converted methodist church, where you will find handthrown and individually decorated stoneware and pottery.
But if you’re going to use the beach car park, make sure you check the tide times. No one needs their car getting swept out to sea.
Port Quin is a tiny, stunning fishing port looked after by The National Trust. Several film directors used the port as a backdrop to their films, employing the vibrant local community as extras. Port Quin acquired the tag ‘the village that died’ after the entire male population mysteriously disappeared in the 19th Century. Look out for Cornish Coast Adventures to hire a kayak or book a coasteering trip.
Tintagel is a town steeped in history. It is said that the seas swept King Arthur into the caves of Tintagel when he was an infant. King Arthur’s connections with the town were popularised by the poetry of Tennyson and the legend forms the backbone of Tintagel culture. The remains of the 13th Century castle that stands on the cliffs were originally an early settlement for The Earls of Cornwall. Today it is maintained by British Heritage and is fascinating to explore. The town is also home to a charming 14th Century farmhouse that is open to the public, while King Arthur’s Great Hall tells the legendary story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
With great shopping as well as beautiful walks along the River Camel, Wadebridge is a popular destination for visitors to North Cornwall. In recent years the town has become something of a hotspot for arts and crafts, and there are several festivals throughout the year. Wadebridge is also home to the annual Royal Cornwall Show. We think it’s the best in the country and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a Royal knees up.