Cornwall is one of the UK’s most beautiful and fascinating destinations, full of fun and exciting activities. It doesn’t matter whether it is your first-ever visit to Cornwall or you just love the Duchy so much that you visit Cornwall every year; lots of people have questions about this gem.

Jam or cream first? Surfing or bodyboarding? Cornish Pasty or Stargazy Pie? We have the answers to your most important Cornish questions.

If you can't find your answers here, just choose a destination, and you will find more FAQs there.

If you need some more help with your query, please contact our visitor centre on 01872 261735 or email


  • Cornwall is located in the southwest of England, to the west of Devon. To the north lies the Celtic Sea, and to the south is the English Chanel.

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  • The weather in Cornwall varies depending on the time of year. Cornwall sees average highs of 20°C in the summer, though temperatures can go far beyond that during hot spells and the winters tend to be mild for England. When temperatures start to soar, the breeze from the coasts makes it a pleasant place to escape to. When the sun is out, there are few better places to be than Cornwall.

  • In later times, Cornwall was known to the Anglo-Saxons as "West Wales" to distinguish it from "North Wales" (the modern nation of Wales). The name appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 891 as On Corn walum. In the Domesday Book it was referred to as Cornualia and in c. 1198 as Cornwal.

  • All the essential information you need to enjoy Cornwall safely and responsibly.

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  • Cornwall's motto 'Onan hag Oll' which in English means 'One and All', is a sentiment of unity that pervades the Cornish spirit and has defined its character over millennia.

  • This is from Kernow (the term that the Cornish used to refer to themselves a word of uncertain etymology perhaps connected with a Celtic element meaning 'horn headland') + Old English wealas 'strangers foreigners' the term used by the Anglo-Saxons for British-speaking people.

  • Truro is the capital of Cornwall and is the home to a variety of local and national shops. It also boasts the Cathedral which is a wondrous sight inside and out – having recently been restored to its past glory. The city is also known for its vibrant nightlife and some fantastic restaurants.

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Getting to Cornwall

  • Travel to Cornwall by car

    It takes less than five hours to get from London or Birmingham to the heart of Cornwall by car.

    Drive along the M4 motorway from London, or M6 from Manchester, and then the M5 to Exeter and finally either the A30, that is mostly dual carriageway, or the A38 passing Plymouth and Saltash into South East Cornwall.

    Alternatively if you enter Cornwall from North Devon, there is the scenic A39 Atlantic Highway running through Bude, which you can join from Junction 27 on the M5.

    Due to the high volume of traffic on Cornwall's roads during the summer months the main routes can become congested especially at weekends. Travelling overnight or outside peak rush hours is recommended to avoid long delays.

    • To plan your journey use the AA Route Planner for a tailor made travel plan with timings and mileage
    • For information on possible delays or roadwork's throughout the UK or in Cornwall visit Traffic Watch
    • Travelling to Cornwall with a caravan? Check out this Caravan Towing guide

    Travel to Cornwall by coach and bus

    National Express operate a full service into Cornwall as far as Penzance, Megabuss also go to a few towns including Newquay and Falmouth.

    Coach travel times from London or Birmingham to the city of Truro are around 7-8 hours

    Many tour operators offer coach holidays to Cornwall, contact your local travel agent for details.

    For information on public transport, including local bus timetables, once you are in Cornwall [click here].(

    If you are bringing a coach to Cornwall, did you know Cornwall Council now offers a weekly coach rover ticket. This is available for all car parks where coaches are permitted and costs £16.60 for 24 hours or £55.35 for 7 days and £38.75 for 4 days.

  • Avoid the traffic jams, the arguments when the GPS sends you the wrong way and the general hassle of having to drive great distances...

    GWR operate high speed train services frequently from London Paddington station including the Night Riviera Sleeper Service to Penzance. There are also direct trains daily from Bristol and beyond. More info from:

    Once in Cornwall, there's a great rail network for getting around the county, ideal for when the roads are busy in the summer. Give the driver a rest and grab a cheap day return to St Ives or Looe. Sit back and enjoy the scenery on the Tamar Valley Line or head to the beach at Newquay or Falmouth. For more info, go to Great Scenic Railways

    For National Rail enquiries telephone 08457 484950

    The First Group co-ordinate bus services from many Cornish stations.

    Park-and-ride schemes run in season at Liskeard (for Looe) and St Erth (for St. Ives).

  • Flying to and from Cornwall offers an attractive alternative to the long and sometimes frustrating journey by train or car, Cornwall's airport is a few miles outside Newquay on the north coast.

    For more info go to Cornwall Airport Newquay Website or call +44 (0)1637 860600 or e-mail

    2023 destinations and airlines include

    Aberdeen, Manchester, Edinburgh, Isle of Man and Newcastle with Loganair Alicante, Faro, Malaga, London Stansted, Dublin and Edinburgh with Ryanair Gatwick up to 3 times a day, Humberside, and East Midlands with Eastern Airways Isles of Scilly with Skybus Dublin, and Belfast City offering onward connectivity to/from the US with Aer Lingus Glasgow and Manchester with EasyJet Heathrow twice a day and Manchester daily with Flybe Zurich with Edelweiss Dusseldorf with Eurowings Copenhagen with SAS

    There's also a small airport near Land's End that is used to fly to the Isles of Scilly Skybus and a heliport in Penzance used for the same route.

    Exeter Airport is also within easy reach of Cornwall via the A30 and A38.

  • Travelling across the Channel from France to the UK can take as little time as 35 minutes on the Eurotunnel from Calais to Folkestone and just 1 hour and 20 minutes on one of the ferry services between France and Dover.

    Plymouth is the closest ferry port to Cornwall, being just across the River Tamar. Brittany Ferries offer services from Roscoff in France and Santander in Northern Spain into Plymouth as well as further services from France and Spain into Portsmouth and Poole.

  • Find mout more about parking in cornwall from the Cornwall council website

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Family Friendly

  • Cornwall is an idyllic spot for young families and has plenty of things to keep everyone entertained. From fresh seafood to kid friendly activities and beautiful beaches, there's no denying that Cornwall is the perfect spot for a holiday with your young family.

    Things to do
  • Yes, very much so. With a choice of beaches everybody should find something to do. From surfing to sandcastles, Bude has the perfect beach.

    Add to that a golf course, a canal to walk along or explore by kayak, the South West Coast Path and a nice range of places to eat and drink, we think Bude is the perfect family destination.

  • It's great, if you don't want too many bright lights and nightlife!

    For a traditional seaside holiday with somewhere to swim and enjoy yourself, Coverack ticks all the boxes. You can learn to kayak, snorkel, or go for long walks along the coast. But it's not Newquay or Blackpool! Don't come here looking for amusement arcades, theme parks and nightclubs...

    Saying that, Flambards, Cornwall's biggest theme park is less than 20 minutes drive away...

  • Despite its small area, Cornwall is home to some of the UK's top attractions including the National Maritime Museum, the Eden Project, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Lappa Valley, Land's End, and Tintagel Castle to name but a few.

    Family attractions

Dog Friendly

  • Cornwall is a fantastic destination for a dog friendly holiday. As well as miles of coastal walks, countryside rambles and beaches, we also have many tourist attractions who are happy to welcome your dog. Take our lead and don’t leave the dog at home.

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  • Dogs are restricted on the designated beaches at the times listed below Cornwall Council enforces restrictions at the following beaches which are all part of a Public Spaces Protection Order. Other privately owned beaches may have their own local restrictions in force.

    Please note: Blue Flag and Seaside Award beaches have longer restrictions due to the requirements of the Award status. In addition there are three protected wildlife areas that are subject to individual restrictions.

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  • Dogs are welcome on Harbour beach except between the 1st July and the 31st August (10am - 6pm) when a seasonal dog ban is in place.

    Dogs are welcome on Porthminster beach except between 15th May and 30 September (10am - 6pm) when a seasonal dog ban is in place.

    Dogs are welcome on Porthgwidden beach except from the 1st July to the 31st August between 10am and 6pm when a seasonal dog ban is in place.

    Dogs are welcome on Porthmeor beach except between 15th May and 30 September (10am - 6pm) when a seasonal dog ban is in place.

    Dogs are allowed on Bamaluz beach all year around.

  • Dogs are allowed on Castle Beach, Gyllyngnvase Beach, Swanpool Beach & Meanporth all year except from 1st July - 31st August when then are not allowed between 10am - 6pm.

  • It depends which beach, the main sandy beach at East Looe has a dog ban all year around, whereas Hannafore Beach at West Looe is fine for dogs.

Filming in Cornwall

  • Polperro has been a star in many a film, but most of them are quite old now.

    The Manxman was Alfred Hitchcock's last silent film, shot in Polperro in1929. It meant to be the Isle on Man, but shows fishing boats leaving and returning to Polperro.

    Miranda is a film about a mermaid who wants to travel to London. It was made in Polperro in 1948.

    Another Time, Another Place was the first film to give Sean Connery a leading role. Released in 1958, it features both Polperro and Looe.

    The Giant Behemoth was a monster movie where atomic tests cause changes in the ocean's ecosystem, creating the said behemoth.

    The Tale of Little Pig Robinson is a TV movie from the early 1990s that starred Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Toyah Wilcocks as a cat!

  • Many scenes in the BBC drama series Poldark were filmed at Porthgwarra Beach, including the pilchard fishing scene and the infamous scene of Ross taking a dip with Demelza watching on in secret.

  • Go behind the scenes and discover the glistening blue waters, lush countryside and craggy cliffs that have sashayed from the background to become the lead Poldark star. We think they’re even better in real-life than they are on screen!

    15 Poldark film locations
  • The popular TV show Doc Martin was filmed in the picturesque village of Port Isaac on Cornwall’s north coast. You can enjoy its charming cottages, winding streets, and lovely harbour. It’s worth a visit for fans of the show or anyone interested in one of Cornwall’s most charming locations.

    Doc Martin locations to visit
  • Cornwall is no stranger to the small and big screens. In 2023, south-east Cornwall took centre stage as the setting for BBC One's new drama 'Beyond Paradise', a spin-off to the popular show 'Death in Paradise'. The programme showcases the beautiful seaside town of Looe and locations around the Tamar and Lynher rivers, amongst others. Kris Marshall reprises his role as Detective Humphrey Goodman, following his exit from the popular show ‘Death in Paradise’ back in 2017. The detective left the Caribbean with his now-fiance for a life in the fictional town of Shipton Abbott. Whilst the story is said to be set in Devon, those crystal blue waters and golden sands give away the fact that much of the show was filmed in Cornwall.

    Beyond Paradise - the Cornish Connection

Things to do in Cornwall

  • The sun doesn’t always shine in Cornwall. But a little bit of mist and drizzle needn’t stop you having a brilliant time. Here are some fantastic days out that you and the family can enjoy, no matter what the weather.

    Ideas for a rainy day
  • Cornwall is home to some of the most stunning and diverse beaches in the United Kingdom. With over 300 miles of coastline, the region boasts an incredible array of sandy shores, rugged cliffs, and turquoise waters that cater to every beach lover's taste.

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  • Cornwall offers a treasure trove of activities. Try thrilling water sports, explore historical landmarks, and wander picturesque gardens. Unwind on sandy beaches, make memories at the family attractions, and join guided tours to uncover the secrets of Cornwall.

    Things to do
  • From food festivals and headline music acts, to outdoor cinema and family fun, discover some of your favourite events in Cornwall.

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