Whilst south Cornwall attempts to steal all of the limelight with its dramatic coastline and pretty coves, north Cornwall quietly gets on with its own business, gently enticing visitors with its own particular charm.
Here’s our visitors guide to holidays in north Cornwall, from the beautiful beaches, adventurous activities and top attractions that will happily entertain the whole family.
Where exactly is north Cornwall?
North Cornwall officially stretches from Morewnestow in the North down to St Eval on the south west coast, and inland including towns such as Bude, Bodmin, Wadebridge, Lanuceston.
The area also features Padstow, Port Issac (of Doc Martin fame), Boscastle and Widemouth and some would argue Newquay too!
Best beaches in north Cornwall
From the windswept and moody cliff tops made famous by the TV series Poldark to pretty coves and wide-open expanses of beaches, Cornwall is pretty famous for it’s dramatic coastline.
If you are looking to holiday in North Cornwall then you won’t be short of great beaches on which to play and relax.
Bude is one of North Cornwall’s most popular beach destinations, with several sandy expanses to choose from. Buckets and spades are perfect for Summerleaze beach; here the tide pulls out to reveal a natural sea pool.
Widemouth Bay, near Bude is not too far away from our north Cornwall holiday park. This fantastic beach really is one of the county’s best. It’s a popular spot with surfers but at low tide the rock pools are exposed for you to enjoy hours of crabbing fun! The southern section is also dog friendly, all year round.
Other popular beaches include Crooklets (good for rock-pooling when the tide is out), Bossiney Cove, Crackington Haven, Daymer Bay and Epphaven beach. If you’ve got your dog with you, there are plenty of year-round dog-friendly beaches in north Cornwall such as the Duckpool Cove, Northcott mouth and Sandymouth.
The west coast also offers glamorous sunsets. Enjoy the long summer evenings relaxing with a glass of something cold, taking in the moment with the sand tickling your feet. Heaven.
Things to do in north Cornwall
Our north Cornwall holiday park is located in the heart of this beautiful region, perfectly placed for you to easily enjoy all that it has to offer. But where, exactly, should we start?
Cornwall is of course popular for surfing holidays. Newquay is perhaps the most famous area, but there are plenty of other beaches such as Widemouth, Polzeath, Watergate Bay and Bude where you can catch a wave.
There are some fantastic walks in the region, including along the South West Coast Path, while the some of the best restaurants and pubs in Cornwall can be found in the north of the county, including Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.
Top attractions in North Cornwall
For active family adventure head to The Camel Trail, a hugely popular cycleway open 365 days a year, which runs from Padstow to Wadebridge and then on to the foot of Bodmin.
The Camel Trail cycle route was created on a 17-mile stretch of disused railway track that was originally the Atlantic Express Rail Route from London to the West Country. The line was an extremely scenic route as it approached Padstow, running along the edge of the River Camel Estuary between Wadebridge and Padstow.
It suits cyclists of all abilities and it’s a great way to explore this beautiful Cornish countryside. Bikes can be hired locally.
Other top attractions in North Cornwall Crealy Adventure Park Wadebridge, Tintagel Castle, Trevibban Mill in Padstow, Bude Sea Pool and Carn Brea, a craggy hilltop that forms one of Cornwall’s most iconic natural features.
If you can tear yourself away from the beach for a day, pack yourselves a picnic and head inland to Cornish countryside. Bodmin Moor is an obvious choice.
One of Cornwall’s designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bodmin Moor is a remote, heather covered upland granite moorland still grazed by wild ponies and bisected by the main A30 road. It is home to two of the highest peaks in Cornwall – Rough Tor and the interestingly named Brown Willy. The views from the top of these are spectacular.
Top places to visit when you are on a north Cornwall holiday include Manor Common, which is home to a couple of this regions more interesting stone circles, the Trippet Stone and the Stripple Stones Henge. There is also the strange arrangement of stones known as King Arthur’s Hall.
Siblyback Lake is a great place for inland water sports and Dozmary Pool is the stuff of legends – many believe King Arthur’s sword Excalibur can be found here.
The popular Golitha Falls lies on the road between Bolventor and St Neot and if you’re into mountain biking then you’ll enjoy Cardinham Woods, six hundred and fifty acres of forestry commission woodland covered in mountain-biking trails.
Best foodie spots in North Cornwall
Cornwall has developed a strong reputation as foodie destination, with dozens of top restaurants stretching the length and breadth of the county.
In north Cornwall you’ll find restaurants opened by celebrity chefs such as Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant and Paul Ainsworth’s No.6 in Padstow where you can enjoy tasty food with a traditional Cornish feel. Padstow is particularly good for seafood as much of the local produce is sourced from local fisherman.
Also renowned for freshly caught seafood is Paul Harwood’s Fish House, located on Fistral Beach with stunning views over the sea. As the name suggests, this restaurant in Newquay gains inspiration straight from the sea, using locally caught fish and shellfish. Recommendations include the crab and prawn linguini and the fresh scallops.
Cornwall TV Gold
Set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, these are two spots you can’t possibly miss from your itinerary.
Start your day with a relaxing stroll around the picturesque fishing town of Port Isaac and see if you recognise any of the spots in the town from Doc Martin, Poldark and the comedy/crime film of Saving Grace. You could even take a Doc Martin tour to discover hidden paths, historical buildings and various recognisable locations from the drama.
Poldark’s home Nampara plays centre stage in many of the scenes throughout the Poldark series. The location used for this was St Breward on Bodmin Moor, just about a mile away from Hengar Manor.
So if a holiday to North Cornwall has now taken your fancy, then we can do no more than recommend our favourite place to stay. Here, with us!
Our holiday park in North Cornwall is a rural oasis with a touch of the grandiose! We offer a huge range of self-catering accommodation for you to choose from including the chance to stay in our grand 18th Century Manor House, our cosy holiday cottages and bungalows, apartments, villas, chalets, caravans and cabins. Perhaps most popular are our lodge holidays here in Cornwall.
If rest and relaxation is what you require, then try one of our hot tub holidays, staying in a luxury caravan overlooking a picturesque lake on the park.