Cornwall is the perfect road trip from London. This detailed 4-day itinerary will be your guide for the most epic road trip. It includes the best places to eat, places to stay, and things to do. Cornwall’s best places to visit range from Penzance to St. Ives to Mousehole, and more!
Cornwall is known for its breathtaking cliff views, picturesque fishing villages, and beaches with crystal blue water – you’d never believe are in the UK! So whether you’re a nature lover or simply love a good village – feel town then be sure to get to Cornwall this summer. You will know you’ve made the right choice to make your next vacation here when you realize this is the place where all the Brits go because they love it so much.
⭐ I’M LINKING MY TRIP TO CORNWALL ON MY INSTAGRAM STORY HIGHLIGHTS FOR MORE INSPO!
4 Day Itinerary to Cornwall’s Best Places
Day 1: Penzance, Mousehole & St. Michaels Mount
Day 2: Porthcurno
Day 3: St. Ives & Zennor
Day 4: St. Agnes & Newquay
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How to get to Cornwall from London
Cornwall is a great weekend break from London. Below are some options for getting to Cornwall from London.
How to get to Cornwall from London by train?
London Paddington has direct trains to Cornwall and you can stop at Truro, Penzance, or St. Erth. I always book my tickets through Trainline <– Get the latest prices from London to Cornwall here.
🕐Journey time is 4.5 hours by train
How to get to Cornwall from London by car?
Cornwall is 455km (283 miles) from London.
🕐Journey time is 4.5 hours by car
Getting around Cornwall
Renting a car is really recommended as it will be the easiest way to get from one town to another. You can still take the train in and rent one when you get there. Just note that you may want to opt for a compact car as Cornwall has a lot of narrow streets where only one car will fit and you have to wait for oncoming cars to pass through. You should book your rental through Discover Cars as it shows you the lowest price across various rental companies.
If transportation will be an issue for you, then I recommend this 5-day tour from London to Devon & Cornwall. Everything is planned for you including transportation!
Where to Stay in Cornwall
Hotels in Penzance
Penzance is a great base and it is in close proximity to the main road of the A30 which gives you easy access to much of Cornwall, Devon, and more.
Hotel Artist Residence Cornwall: This beautiful boutique hotel is only a 5-minute walk from Penzance’s seafront and is next to lots of cafes and attractions. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
Hotel Penzance: Set in 2 Edwardian houses, with views of Penzance Bay. This is another great boutique-style option. Click here for more information and to check the latest
Hotels in St. Ives
St. Ives is where all the action is and is one of the most popular destinations in Cornwall. If you want to be near the beach and all the activity then staying in St. Ives is for you!
Trevose Harbour House: Located right in the seaside town with amazing amenities like in room treatments and massages! Click here for more information and to check the latest
The Nook: A beautiful guest house located only 400 yards from Porthmeor Beach. Click here for more information and to check the latest
Hotels in St. Agnes
If you want to get away from the crowds and experience a small-town local feel then stay in St. Agnes! It’s super quaint and adorable. I personally stayed in this area and loved it.
Seven Bed & Breakfast: Owned by a family this bed and breakfast with amazing ratings is a great choice to stay. It is also more affordable than the options you will see in St. Ives. Click here for more information and to check the latest
Glamping in Cornwall or Devon
Did you know that there are so many amazing unique glamping accommodations in both Cornwall and Devon? I highly recommend escaping to nature in one of these amazing places to stay.
Solo Travel in Cornwall
Cornwall is the perfect place to solo travel especially if you’re a first-time solo traveler. I felt super safe there and there are so many adventurous things you can do whether it’s hiking or relaxing at the beach. In any case, it’s definitely worth getting travel insurance whether you’re traveling alone or with others and I recommend SafetyWing which will cover you in case of any accidents or hospital visits. While it’s unlikely to happen, better safe than sorry!
Cornwall Itinerary: Cornwall’s Best Places to Visit in 4 Days
Cornwall has so much to offer so in 4 days you will get to catch some of the best highlights in this guide. If you want to stay longer be sure to see what towns you should add to make it a 7 day trip at the end of this post! Cornwall’s best places to visit range from Mousehole to St. Ives, and much much more!
Cornwall Itinerary Day 1: Mousehole & St. Michael’s Mount
Day one can be spent in the morning exploring Mousehole and then after a few hours head to St. Michael’s Mount during low tide to see the gorgeous church and castle.
⚠️ Pronounced “Mowzel” *not* mouse hole
Don’t make the silly mistake of pronouncing it wrong!
WHY VISIT MOUSEHOLE?
Mousehole is a fisherman’s village close to Penzance. It’s very picturesque. You will find breath-taking coastal views, quaint streets, and amazing seafood including lobster, crab, and mussels. It’s easily one of the prettiest villages in Cornwall and was my personal favorite.
Things to do in Mousehole
1. Stroll around Mousehole Harbour
Mousehole Harbor is one of Cornwall’s best places to visit. This village and fishing port in Cornwall is very picturesque and surrounding it you will find many lovely cafes and shops. You can do fun activities like sailing, sitting on the beach when the weather is nice, or just strolling around and admiring the beauty all around.
2. Hike to see the incredible views!
Just past The Mousehole Shop, there is a path you can walk up, and then you can see the harbour and English cottages dotted along the landscape. If you love nature, it’s a great but not too exhausting walk before you are rewarded with a view.
3. Go Shopping!
Stop by the local shops in Mousehole and get a souvenir. Two great shops include The Mousehole on the main strip and this other magical shop called The Ark which was a bit off the beaten path. The owner is really sweet and he really takes pride in his shop handmaking everything in there! There are so many fun trinkets in there including jewellery, dragonflies, fairy dust, and more! The owner built a cool tree inside during lockdown and there was a key you had to find to open this box and when you turned a switch fairy dust came out to my delight. It was gold GLITTER my kind of place 🙂
4. Eat at Rock Pool Cafe
The Rock Pool Cafe is a unique place to eat in Mousehole. You have the view of the sea pool right in front of you and you can try some of the amazing seafood Cornwall has to offer. The crab sandwich is pictured below and if it’s cooler out try the hot chocolate. It is so fresh – they bring out the chocolate separately and you add it to the hot milk yourself!
St. Michael’s Mount
WHY VISIT ST. MICHAEL’S MOUNT?
St. Michael’s Mount is another top place to visit in Cornwall. It is a tidal island in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall featuring a medieval church and castle. If you’ve heard of Mont St Michel in France it highly resembles it.
⭐Pro Tip: Visit during low tide so you can walk up closer to the castle. During high tide, you have to take a boat which is also easy to do as well. You can also book tickets to see the castle here.
Cornwall Itinerary Day 2: Porthcurno
WHY VISIT PORTHCURNO?
England’s coastal hidden gem, Porthcurno is a small village with one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK. The Minack Theatre is situated perfectly with the view of the beach and it’s a very unique open-air theatre which you can book tickets to see a show to this day.
Things to do in Porthcurno
1. Relax at Porthcurno Beach
Did you know paradise could exist in England? This stunning beach with fine soft white sand, turquoise water, and cliff views is the perfect place to spend the day relaxing.
2. Watch a show at the Minack Theatre
Minack Theatre is a unique open-air theatre in Porthcurno. If you book in advance you can watch a show by visiting this website. It doesn’t get better than being entertained and admiring the incredible coastal views at the same time!
3. Visit Lands End
Located only 4 miles from Porthcurno be sure to stop by the most famous attraction in England, a definite must-see spot. Land’s End got its name because its location is as far to the west as you can get on the coast of Cornwall. You can literally peer off the country from here which makes Lands End so special. The views are also out of this world.
Cornwall Itinerary Day 3: St. Ives & Zennor
WHY VISIT ST. IVES?
St. Ives is one of Cornwall’s most popular destinations. It’s known for its museums and art galleries. You will see beautiful views of stacked fisherman’s houses – such an amazing sight. The beach is stunning and there are many local shops and cafes around the cobblestone paths.
Things to do in St. Ives
1. Admire the views of the cute fisherman’s cottages
If you park at the top of the town, you will find this lovely view of the fisherman cottages. So many typical English houses perked amongst the beach side views.
2. Explore the cute cobblestone streets with nice shops and cafes
There are so many quaint streets to explore. During high season it’s very well packed with tourists as everyone loves St. Ives for its beaches, shopping, and endless activities.
3. Try Cornish pasties
One of the best bakeries in St Ives is St Ives Bakery. It is a must to try a typical Cornish pasty. Pasties contain cooked meat and vegetables – they are surely tasty.
4. Relax at the beach
Who knew that the UK could have such beautiful beaches! You will be in awe by the crystal blue water and the sandy beaches. The beach pictured above is Porthminster Beach. There is also the Porthmeor beach too.
5. Take a stroll on St. Ives Harbour
6. Zennor Head Walk
Zennor Head Walk is very near St. Ives. In fact, some people even walk it. If you’re up for the challenge it is 3 to 4 hours and 6.5 miles to get there. Otherwise, you can drive up close to it and enjoy the views after a short and easy walk.
7. Have dinner and beers at the historic pub, Tinnor Arms
For dinner, after your walk to Zennor Head, you can head over to an old pub directly near it called Tinnoe Arms. An old pub built-in 1271 has been a part of Zennor for some time. They have a huge outdoor patio with great food so it’s worth checking out.
Cornwall Itinerary Day 4: St. Agnes & Newquay
WHY VISIT ST. AGNES?
St. Agnes is considered rural Cornwall with its 7,500 inhabitants. It definitely has a more charming feel than the other towns I’ve visited so far. The storefronts are super adorable and quaint with many independent bakeries and shops. It has a true small-town feel which excites me. There’s also a beautiful beach. It is one of Cornwall’s best places to visit if you are into hidden gems.
1. Stop by the cute independent shops and bakeries
St. Agnes is super adorable – all the independent shops and bakeries with charming facades made this town feel a bit more special and authentic than the more tourist towns of Cornwall.
Be sure to stop by Trunk Deli for a bagel and fresh flowers to brighten up your stay if you’re staying in one of the nice guest houses nearby. Grab your coffee at the Sorting Office Coffeehouse. Then take home some fresh bread or try a cornish pasty from St. Agnes Bakery.
2. Admire the English cottages by taking a walk through the neighborhood.
3. Have lunch & a beer at the Driftwood Spars
There is a really great view of the beach from this restaurant. They also have a brewery with specialty beers. Try the Stippy Stappy named after the famous street in the town.
4. Visit St. Agnes Beach
You will see a pathway right before the beach entrance that will take you up to see some incredible panoramic views like the one below!
5. See the cottages at Stippy Stappy
💎HIDDEN GEM: Stippy-Stappy a famous row of cottages on a narrow upward path. I really love finding unique things to do wherever I travel.
WHY VISIT NEWQUAY?
Newquay is on the north coast of Cornwall and is famous for its surfing culture and various water sport activities. It’s another beautiful sandy beach to add to your Cornwall bucket list. The most notable beaches include Fistral Beach, Tolcarne Beach, and Crantock Beach.
Have more time? Here’s a 7 Day Itinerary to Cornwall’s Best Places
Day 1: Penzance, Mousehole & St. Michaels Mount
Day 2: Porthcurno
Day 3: St. Ives & Zennor
Day 4: St. Agnes & Newquay
Day 5: Helford River, Falmouth, & St. Mawes
Day 6: Padstow, Port Isaac, Tintagel
Day 7: St Austel, The Lost Gardens Heligan, & Eden’s Project
BONUS MAP: 7-day Itinerary to Cornwall’s Best Places
HERE IS A MAP OF ALL CORNWALL’S BEST PLACES TO VISIT FOR THE 7 DAY ITINERARY!
I hope this was useful in planning your Cornwall Itinerary and please comment below to share your experience traveling here!
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