14 Best Places to Stay in Cornwall (2023 guide)

Are you looking for the best places to stay in Cornwall? 

You’re in the right place!

Cornwall is a mesmerising UK destination to visit, with sandy beaches that wind around the rugged coastline, centuries of fascinating history and a myriad of attractions for every taste. 

But where to stay in Cornwall? There are so many hotels, guesthouses, campsites and hostels in the region, and if it’s your first time here, deciding on where you’re going to stay might feel a little overwhelming!

Don’t worry: I’m here to help.

My family are from Cornwall, and I live nearby in Devon, so I head over to the county about once a month. 

While I do have family there, I’ve spent a long time travelling all over Cornwall (I even spent an entire summer exploring!), so I have plenty of tips on where to stay in Cornwall based on my personal experience. 

Whatever your budget or tastes, I can help you find the ultimate campsite, hostel, hotel or cottage rental in Cornwall!

Whether you want to chill out on the beautiful beaches of St Ives, take in the fun vibe of Newquay or explore the culture of Truro, Cornwall will provide. It’s a truly magical place!

But I’m sure you know that already, as you’re planning your trip there.

Let’s get stuck into the best places to stay in Cornwall!

Table of Contents

The best places to stay in Cornwall

Here are my top recommendations for the best places to stay in Cornwall!

I’ve travelled all over the region and have stayed in all of the below towns. 

Here’s exactly what and who each one is best for. 

  • Bude: perfect for surfing and rugged beaches
  • Newquay: ideal for nightlife and plenty of tourist attractions (also suitable for families!)
  • Bodmin: wonderful for hiking, countryside and nature (non-coastal)
  • Looe: a family-friendly place to stay with plenty of beaches and nearby attractions
  • Truro: Cornwall’s only city, with a cathedral and museum, not coastal but not far from the beach
  • Penzance: one of the cheaper places to stay in Cornwall, somewhere you can enjoy local life
  • St Ives: idyllic beaches, great for surfing and excellent coastal walks
  • Padstow: perfect for gastronomy fans, Padstow is the home of Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth’s multiple restaurants
  • Falmouth: a chilled-out university town with some great bars, restaurants and unique history (my favourite town in Cornwall)
  • Mousehole: a charming Cornish fishing village with dreamy cottages close to the sea
  • The Lizard Peninsula: wild and rugged, perfect for those who want to get off the beaten path and experience some of Cornwall’s best nature
  • Fowey: a charming South Cornwall resort town with some excellent restaurants and surrounding attractions
  • Port Isaac: a whimsical fishing village and movie set

Where to stay in Cornwall: in detail

Whether you want to escape to St Ives’ shores and try out some surfing, gorge on the delicious and underrated gastronomical scene at Falmouth, experience the Lizard Peninsula’s wild coastline or spend a few days in fairytale Mousehole, here’s where to stay in Cornwall, with all the details you need to know.

St Ives

You could jump on a plane and fly away to somewhere like Icacos Island, Puerto Rico for an exotic holiday… or you could just go to St Ives. 

That’s right, on a sunny day, St Ives’s many beaches are without a doubt every bit as beautiful as tropical destinations – it’s basically the Seychelles of the UK!

The palm-fringed beaches of Carbis Bay and Porthminster are ideal for swimming, whereas Porthmeor is one of Cornwall’s prime surfing beaches. 

The cobbled streets of the town encompass a range of cafes and restaurants, serving cream teas (jam on first!), Cornish cyder and of course, plenty of pasties. 

The boats bobbing on the harbour are straight out of a postcard, and from here, you can take trips to Seal Island (one of the best places to see seals in Cornwall!). 

If you’re creative, head to the TATE St Ives to explore their exhibition, or learn about Barbara Hepworth and her connection to the town in the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

Hikers will adore the challenging trail to Zennor and the flatter hike around St Ives Bay – but if you don’t fancy a walk, just hop on the St Ives to St Erth train, one of the most scenic routes in the country. 

St Ives is ideal for couples looking for a romantic break and adventurous travellers, but there’s plenty for families too.

The drawback to staying in St Ives? It’s not a local secret.

In summer, the narrow streets heave with people – and the costly rates of accommodation reflect this! 

One solution is to stay in nearby Hayle instead, which is much quieter and just a short drive or train ride (change in St Erth) from St Ives’ best attractions.

Or, you could visit St Ives in winter!

Where to stay in St Ives

Elevated views of the popular seaside resort of St. Ives, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, Europe


Saltwater is a cosy guesthouse close to Porthmear Beach.

The owners are friendly and try to greet all guests, and the bedrooms are decorated beautifully, with a nautical theme.

Delicious food is served every day.

Click here for rates and to book.

The Queens Hotel and Gastropub

The Queens Hotel and Gastropub is the only one of its kind in the town.

The cosy pub offers great value food and drinks on the ground floor and ten refurbished bedrooms above.

All bedrooms have a refurbished, sparkling en-suite bathroom, as well as fresh cotton linen and flat-screen TVs.

Click here for more information and to book your spot.

Carbis Bay and Spa Hotel

Carbis Bay and Spa Hotel is located in nearby Carbis Bay, offering epic sea views from many of its luxury bedrooms.

The rooms are spacious and bright, with incredibly comfortable beds and plasma screen TVs.

All rooms have a luxury en-suite, some with roll top baths.

Sands Restaurant serves Cornish seafood and other products, and The Conservatory serves up tapas and beverages.

There is also a swimming pool, and of course, the pampering spa.

Click here for more information.


Surfers, beach bums, and partiers all flock to Newquay in the summer months, but it’s actually very family-friendly. 

The streets of Newquay can be rowdy during the evening, but tourists with kids can avoid town during night-time to have a more relaxed holiday!

Surfing’s on the cards in Newquay, with Fistral Beach being perhaps the best surfing destination in the UK. 

There’s also a range of other beaches in town, such as Towan Beach and Tolcarne Beach, along with sandy spots in nearby Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay and Holywell Bay, plus Bedruthan Steps which are among the most beautiful places to visit in Cornwall

This stretch of North Cornwall coastline glimmers and shines, and while it is busy, there are so many beaches so you can always find a patch of sand! 

In terms of attractions, visit the National Trust property Trerice, which is an Elizabethan Manor House, head to Lappa Valley and jump on the steam trains or take a whirl at Pirate’s Quest Adventure Golf

My favourite place to eat is The Boathouse, a street food market on the beach (!!) and I also love cocktails at Tom Thumb. If you fancy a party, head to the nightclub Sailor’s

Newquay’s ideal for all sorts of travellers. It’s not one of the most romantic places to stay in Cornwall as it’s quite busy, but it’s jam-packed with family-friendly attractions while also being the nightlife capital of the Duchy. 

And for surfing infrastructure, it’s one of the UK’s prime destinations!

The main drawback to visiting Newquay? It’s busy during the summer months, although its size ensures that you won’t notice it as much as St Ives. 

Plus, while the beaches are lovely, I don’t find the town itself to be as alluring and enticing as other towns and villages in Cornwall – read on to discover those!

Hotels in Newquay

Great Western Beach, Newquay

St Christopher’s Inn Newquay

St Christopher’s Inn Newquay is a hostel that’s a short walk from Towan Beach.

hoose from 4, 6, or 10 bed dorms or a private room.

There is also a terrace, bar, restaurant and surf school on site.

If you’re backpacking around Cornwall, St Christoper’s Inn is an excellent place to stay!

Click here for more information.

The OYO Minerva Guesthouse

The OYO Minerva Guesthouse is an affordable option for budget-conscious travellers visiting Newquay.

The well-equipped rooms are tastefully decorated, featuring flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.

With a great location just a short walk from Newquay’s beaches and local attractions, the OYO Minerva Guesthouse is the ideal base for exploring the town without breaking the bank.

Click here for more information.

The Lewinnwick Lodge

The Lenninwick Lodge has spectacular Atlantic vistas, which you can enjoy while dining and drinking at the local restaurant.

Every room has a luxury bed and large windows, and most have wonderful views. Bathrooms have a power shower as well as luxury toiletries.

Click here for more information.

The Headland Hotel and Spa

The Headland Hotel and Spa is one of the best places to stay in Cornwall.

Set in a Victorian building, the hotel has a spa, sea view terrance, golf course and surf school, as well as three restaurants!

It’s the perfect place to enjoy a Cornish cream tea.

The lovely rooms have seating areas, comfy king sized beds, luxurious bathrooms, and many have epic coastal views.

Click here for rates and reserve your spot.

See my full list of places to stay in Newquay here.


Beach huts at dawn by the beach at Bude, Cornwall

Why not start your Cornwall adventure in Bude, a charming seaside town on the North Coast?

Bude has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an active surfing trip.

Personally, I think that Bude is the best place for surfing on the Cornish coast.

While Fistral Beach is more famous and arguably has the better waves, Bude has all the infrastructure, great swell, and marginally fewer tourists – meaning that you won’t have to fight for the waves when you’re here!

Beaches are generally on the cards at Bude: visit Widemouth Bay to either catch the waves or relax, or stay closer to town at Crooklets or Summerleaze (where you can take a dip in the Bude Sea Pool). 

Other things to do include walking along the Bude Canal and visiting Bude Castle, which is now home to the town’s museum. 

Bude’s also right by a particularly hard but beautiful section of the South West Coast Path which encompasses some of the best hikes in Cornwall – you can read my full guide to the Hartland Quay to Bude walk or enjoy the (slightly easier) hike from Bude to Crackington Haven

One of the main draws to staying in Bude is that it’s one of the closest parts of Cornwall to reach from any other county in the country.

Staying here will shave around an hour off your journey time compared to staying in St Ives! 

Plus, it’s close to North Cornwall tourist attractions like Tintagel Castle, Boscastle and Port Isaac. You could definitely base here for a week in Cornwall and not run out of things to do. 

The drawbacks? The town isn’t as alluring as other spots on this list – while it has wonderful beaches, it doesn’t have the atmosphere of Falmouth or the fishing village feel of Mousehole.

However, if you want beaches, surfing and a range of attractions a short journey away, Bude delivers!

Where to stay in Bude

Sea Jade Guesthouse

Sea Jade Guesthouse is a great value B&B, right in the heart of Bude.

The guesthouse owners are incredibly friendly and welcoming, the rooms are spotlessly clean, and a delicious breakfast is served each morning.

Click here for more information about the guesthouse.

The Beach

The Beach is a swanky Bude hotel with stylish rooms and an apartment, which is perfect for bigger groups.

The Beach is located right by the sea, so it’s fantastic for swimmers or surfers wanting to get those early morning waves!

There is a bar on site.

Click here to book your stay.

Pentire Coastal Holiday Park

For longer stays in Bude, how about renting a caravan at a holiday park?

Pentire Coastal Holiday Park has spacious caravans and glamping tents, perfect for families and groups.

Each caravan has at least 2 bedrooms, a flat screen TV and cooking and dining facilities. The park is located 5 miles from Bude.

Click here to book a holiday at Pentire Coastal Holiday Park.

See my full list of places to stay in Bude here!


Chill out to the max in the scenic town of Looe. 

A quaint coastal town split in two by the River Looe, this town’s usually a little quieter than busy tourist hotspots like St Ives and Newquay. 

Visit to gaze over the picturesque harbour, taking in vistas of the fishing boats or to walk to the scenic fishing village of Polperro which is one of the best South West Coast Path hikes in CornwallCheck out my full guide to the hike!

The calm, sheltered water here makes the beaches around Looe ideal for families, and adults and kids alike will love exploring the Looe Island Nature Reserve, which is just a short boat ride from the town. 

Learn about the town’s smuggling history by visiting its museum, or experience a real-life smuggling pub at Smugglers Cott.

Being a sizable town, Looe has a range of different restaurants, cafes and pubs, although nightlife in the town is minimal! 

Along with postcard-perfect Polperro which is a harbour village lined with fishing cottages and home to some glorious pubs, there’s a range of exciting attractions and activities just a stone’s throw from Looe. 

Visit the cutest animals at the Monkey Sanctuary, try out some extreme sports at Adrenalin Quarry or drive a little further afield and enjoy bucket-list attractions like the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Looe’s ideal for anyone seeking a quieter holiday, including families with kids. It’s also not too far from Plymouth, making it one of the easier parts of Cornwall to access from the rest of the country!

Where to stay in Looe

Penwyn Bread and Breakfast

Penwyn Bread and Breakfast offers cosy and bright rooms that feel extremely homely, but have all the mod cons that you’d expect in a guesthouse room.

There is a sun terrace on site, with epic harbour views.

Here is some more information about the B&B.

The Jolly Sailor Inn

The Jolly Sailor Inn is a 500-year-old building in Looe, which has turned into cosy pub downstairs and a hotel upstairs.

The Jolly Sailor Inn serves hearty food and drinks, and breakfast is included in the room rate.

The pub rooms are cosy yet stylish, and all have an en-suite bathroom.

Click here to check it out!

Talland Bay Hotel

Talland Bay Hotel is a sophisticated beachfront property on the South West Coast Path, one of the best long-distance walks in the UK.

There is a bar and a 2 AA Rosette-awarded restaurant on site. Rooms are bright and spacious, with luxurious bed linen and stylish decor.

Click here to book your stay.


Looking for destinations in Cornwall that won’t break the bank?

I give you Penzance: a local town on the south coast, not too far from Land’s End. 

Generally, accommodation in Cornwall can get very pricey, especially during peak season. 

While Penzance’s places to stay aren’t super cheap (nowhere in Cornwall really is, especially in the summer), you’re much more likely to snap up a good deal here than elsewhere. 

Plus, Penzance feels quite local. It’s a sizable town, so many of its facilities are catered to locals, rather than solely for tourists. 

There’s also plenty to do in Penzance. Enjoy the harbour, see historic buildings in Chapel Street, have a proper Cornish pasty and explore the Penlee House Gallery and Museum.   

Check out my YouTube video to see what I mean!

That being said, Penzance is conveniently located near some of Cornwall’s most amazing attractions.

Don’t miss the fairy-tale island of St Michael’s Mount, accessible by foot at low tide or by boat at high tide.

The picturesque village of Mousehole is also a short distance away. 

Plus, Penzance is only a 20-minute drive to Land’s End – you can also reach it by hopping on the Land’s End Coaster bus! 

Penzance is ideal for those wanting to snap up a bargain or for people looking for somewhere less-touristy to spend the busy summer months. 

It doesn’t quite have the quaint charm of Cornwall’s fishing villages and you need to travel a little to reach the better beaches in the area, but generally, it’s an underrated place to stay! 

Where to stay in Penzance

The Dolphin Tavern

The Dolphin Tavern is a historic three-star inn in Penzance with beautiful sea views and cosy bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.

Room rates include a full English breakfast!

Click here to reserve your stay.

Hotel Penzance

Hotel Penzance is a chic accommodation option in the town’s centre, with stylish rooms with a nautical theme, as well as a restaurant with award-winning food.

There is also an on-site swimming pool and Mediterranean gardens.

Click here for more information.

Check out all of the best places to stay in Penzance by clicking here!


Fancy staying in the cultural hub of Cornwall? 

Truro’s the capital and county town of the region – and its only city! 

While Truro’s one of the smaller cities in the South West, there are a variety of things to do here

Walk around the cobbled streets, admiring the Bath stone buildings. Finish your walking tour at the gorgeous Truro Cathedral, one of the only three-spired cathedrals in the country. 

The Royal Cornwall Museum is probably my favourite museum in Cornwall; here you can learn all about Cornwall’s unique heritage and culture.

There’s also the Hall for Cornwall Theatre and the trendy Lemon Street Market, the perfect spot to buy any Cornish souvenirs! 

Truro’s not coastal, but that doesn’t mean it lacks charm.

It’s a tranquil and picturesque city, surrounded by green hills and rivers; the city is quite confined, so you can be in nature quickly when staying here!

It’s also just a half-hour drive to both Falmouth and Newquay for days at the beach – you can even take the train to Falmouth for a car-free day!

Truro is on the main train line from London and Bristol, making it easy to reach if you don’t have a vehicle. You can even take the sleeper train from Penzance

Where to stay in Truro

The Barley Sheaf Inn

Located right by Truro Cathedral, The Barley Sheaf Inn is a lovely friendly guesthouse.

As well as en-suite, sunny rooms, there is a bar and restaurant on site.

The owners are reported to be incredibly friendly, and will make you feel right at home!

Click here for rates and to reserve your stay.

The Country Arms

The County Arms is a traditional Cornish gourmet pub serving up delicious grub and plenty of drinks – perfect following a long day of sightseeing.

Above the pub are spacious and modern rooms, some which look over a wooded valley.

Despite the seemingly rural setting, central Truro is walking distance. 

Click here for more information.

The Alverton

The Alverton is Truro’s only four-star hotel.

Set in a 19th-century property, The Alverton has deluxe rooms with en-suites, a few with roll stop baths.

You can take a stroll in the beautiful grounds, or enjoy the restaurant food while staying here – and it’s just a short distance from Truro’s city centre!

Click here to book your stay!

Click here for my full places to stay in Truro list.


Brooding moorland meets expansive history in the town of Bodmin.

Located at the edge of the forboding Bodmin Moor, this Cornish town offers a fantastic nature-based alternative to Cornwall’s endless fishing villages. 

Bodmin’s in a prime location for hiking on the moorland; or you could even opt to stay on the moor itself to be immersed right in nature. 

There’s quite a lot to do in Bodmin town too – visit the thrilling Bodmin Jail and learn about Cornish military at Bodmin Keep.

The town itself is a little dated, but there are a handful of restaurants and plenty of places to stay. 

While Bodmin isn’t coastal, you’re never too far from Cornwall’s stunning beaches while you’re in the moorland. 

Beach resorts like Newquay and Fowey are just a short drive away, and Bodmin Parkway railway station connects the town to the rest of the country. 

So while Bodmin isn’t the place to stay if you want a beach holiday, for those who fancy something different, whether that be hiking on the moorland or visiting some of Cornwall’s hidden gems, it certainly delivers.

Where to stay in Bodmin 

Castle Canyke Farm

Castle Canyke Farm is a bed and breakfast that is located on the edge of the town. With rustic decor, the rooms are kitted out to be your home away from home.

There are huge grounds to wander around in, and it’s a lovely sense of serenity outside of the main touristy parts of Cornwall.

Click here for more information.

The Westberry Hotel

The Westberry Hotel is located in the heart of Bodmin, a short walk to Bodmin Jail and Bodmin Keep.

The hotel has 21 clean, well-appointed rooms, all with an en-suite bathroom.

There is a Thai and steak restaurant on site, which is one of the best places to eat in Bodmin!

Click here for more information.

Bodmin Jail Hotel

Immerse yourself in a captivating blend of history and hospitality at Bodmin Jail Hotel.

Housed within the walls of the historic Bodmin Jail, this unique hotel offers a truly unforgettable experience.

Each room is thoughtfully designed, blending modern comfort with nods to the jail’s intriguing past.

Explore the atmospheric corridors and learn about the jail’s haunting history through interactive exhibits and guided tours.

Indulge in delicious cuisine at the on-site restaurant and unwind with a drink at the bar.

With its rich heritage, exceptional service, and fascinating setting, Bodmin Jail Hotel promises a stay that is both captivating and memorable.

Click here to read more about it!

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn is set a little way out of Bodmin, but it it’s an iconic place to stay.

The building was built in 1750, first as a coaching inn on the wild Bodmin moor, although it soon gained the reputation of being a smuggler’s hideout.

It’s the setting of Daphne Du Maurier’s book of the same name!

The rooms continue with the historic style but fuse plenty of modern conveniences, so you’ll have a comfortable and luxurious stay.

On-site, there’s a cosy pub serving traditional food and Cornish beer and wine, a farm shop, a smuggling museum and a Daphne du Maurier museum.

Even if you don’t end up staying here, it’s worth visiting for a few hours.

Click here to read more about the hotel and book your stay.

Here’s my full review of Jamaica Inn!


From swashbuckling pirates to a cosmopolitan student town, history comes alive in Falmouth.

The streets are soaked in culture and vibrant stories; the town blends an incredible mix of tourism and local life. 

Savour the most delicious food while you’re here; I adore Harbour Lights fish and chips, along with The Front pub

The town’s always been the most multicultural place in Cornwall, and nowadays it’s brimming with wonderful places to eat from all cultures. 

And, thanks to its student population, it also has an excellent bar scene. 

Other incredible things to do include visiting the National Maritime Museum and exploring Pendennis Castle, where you can learn about the town’s maritime heritage and its role in defending the coast. 

It’s also worth doing the Falmouth Uncovered walking tour to learn more about the history of the town. Spoiler: it’s fascinating! 

The town basks in lovely surrounding sandy beaches such as Swanpool and Gyllyngvase, which is a blue flag beach. 

It’s also in striking distance to the Lizard Peninsula; day trips here are possible!

You can also take a boat over to St Mawes and see the castle and surrounding Roseland Peninsula

Falmouth can be busy in the summertime, especially because it’s sometimes contending with students and tourists. 

This means it’s not the best place to stay if you’re looking for somewhere quiet!

Plus, it’s not quite as quaint as other spots on this list. 

But otherwise, it’s a fantastic Cornish town (it’s my favourite!) and would be a fun place to visit for groups, families who like lots of activities or even couples who want to stay somewhere with a bit of buzz. 

See all of the best things to do in Falmouth here.

Where to stay in Falmouth

The Sandy Duck

The Sandy Duck is a guesthouse with rustic yet stylish rooms with big windows and state-of-the-art furnishings.

The contemporary bathrooms have deluxe toiletries, and a delicious breakfast is included in room rates.

Click here for rates.

The Falmouth Hotel

The Falmouth Hotel is located just 800 metres from Pendennis Castle and is very close to the centre of the town.

The large period property has a pool, spa and bar, and the rooms are welcoming and well-furnished.

Click here to read more.

St Micheal’s Resort

For a slice of luxury in Falmouth, try St Micheal’s Resort.

With a stunning indoor pool, spa and well-kitted-out fitness centre, St Micheal’s Resort is the place to stay in Falmouth if you want to be pampered!

The rooms are bright, spacious and modern, with very comfy beds and luxury bedlinen!

Click here for more information.

Port Isaac: where to stay in Cornwall for traditional life

The sound of seagulls fills the air in the cove of Port Isaac, a charming fishing village turned TV set!

This tiny village is where Doc Martin, one of ITV’s most popular shows, was filmed. Do a walking tour to see some of the filming locations (you can’t miss Doc’s house!) and learn a little about the village’s history. 

One of the best things to do in Port Isaac is to grab some fish and chips and eat them on the harbour, breathing in the salty air as the water laps the sand’s edge. 

Port Isaac’s on a rollercoaster-like, yet staggeringly beautiful part of the coastal path – one way leads to Tintagel and the other leads to Polzeath.

If you don’t fancy a full hike, you could summit the cliffs to the nearest viewpoint. 

Nearby attractions include the castle at Tintagel, the Camel Estuary, the National Trust-owned village of Boscastle and Bodmin Moor; although buses aren’t great (and trains are non-existent) in this part of Cornwall, so it’s not somewhere I’d recommend staying if you don’t have a car.  

As Port Isaac is a small, rather enclosed village, it’s heaving in the summer months.

Don’t think about bringing a car here – the roads are narrow and cobbled and the streets are often jam-packed with tourists! 

There are also not that many places to stay in Port Isaac – but if you book early or stay in the shoulder or off-peak season, you might have the chance to fully soak in the atmosphere of one of Cornwall’s best traditional fishing villages. 

Where to stay in Port Isaac

The Gallery

The Gallery has beautiful panoramic views over the harbour from its tiered garden.

The guesthouse has individually decorated rooms that are brilliantly cleaned and all have their own en suite bathroom.

Click here for more information.

The Slipway

The Slipway is a Grade II listed building that used to be a smuggler’s hideaway around when it was built in 1527. There are cosy and homely bedrooms on site, each with an en suite bathroom.

The hotel is right by the sea, and the Harbourside Cafe and Terrace is on site.

Click here to read more.

Old School Hotel

The Old School Hotel is one of the most unique places to stay in Cornwall. It’s the setting of Louisa’s school in Doc Martin, and it used to be a school from 1875 until the 1980s.

Each room, which are decorated tastefully, is named after a school subject, with an en suite bathroom.

Here is some more information.

Click here for my full places to stay in Port Isaac post.


Aerial view of Padstow in Cornwall, UK

Enliven your tastebuds in Padstow!

This harbour town, brimming with character, is renowned for its high-end restaurants, many serving Cornish seafood

Known for being Rick Stein’s Cornish base, Padstow has earned the name Padstein by some locals; many who disapprove of the gentrification of the town, which remains a huge problem in Cornwall. 

You can help combat this by opting to stay in local guesthouses or hotels rather than Airbnbs, more on that below!

So, what are the best things to do in Padstow? Other than eating, you can enjoy attractions like the National Lobster Hatchery or the historic palace of Prideaux Place

Of course, one of the main activities involves walking around the quaint harbour, perhaps picking up a coffee from Cherry Trees Coffee House on the way. 

Padstow Sealife Safari offers excursions out onto the nearby ocean, where you can look out for dolphins and seals, or you can explore the Camel Trail by foot or bike. 

Alternatively, there are some beaches near Padstow; the town is only just inland and is in striking distance to Polzeath and Harlyn Bay

Food-wise, I recommend Paul Ainsworth’s Caffe Rojano and Prawn on the Lawn. Rick Stein’s fish and chips are ever-popular, but you can enjoy much cheaper fish and chips elsewhere in Cornwall!

Padstow’s a vibrant and ever-popular destination for foodies, but personally, I find it a bit too much of a high-end destination; sophisticated restaurants aren’t usually my thing, and I much prefer the food scene in laidback Falmouth! 

Where to stay in Padstow

The harbour of Padstow with dark storm clouds hanging over it. You can see the water in the harbour and historical buildings of the town.

The Old Custom House

The Old Custom House is a cosy hotel overlooking the Camel Estuary and is located in the heart of Padstow.

The rooms are beautifully decorated and offer stunning views of the harbour.

The hotel also has an award-winning restaurant that serves delicious seafood dishes.

Click here to read more about staying at The Old Custom House

YHA Treynaron Bay

YHA Treynaron Bay is an affordable hostel, located just a short drive from Padstow harbour and offers comfortable dormitory-style accommodation.

The hostel has a communal kitchen, dining area, and lounge, and guests can enjoy stunning views of the sea from the outdoor terrace.

Click here to read more about YHA Treynaron Bay and to book


Aerial view of the village of Mousehole. From the vantage point, you can see the sea and harbour, with the village spreading out and fields behind.

Dreamy Mousehole is a pint-sized village with fishing cottages sprawling down to a minute harbour. 

Its name isn’t due to the village’s size; it’s thought to derive from the Cornish word moeshayle. 

While Mousehole is one of the most beautiful places in Cornwall, it’s also steeped in history, with an abundance of fascinating tales from when it was invaded by the Spanish to the tragic Penlee lifeboat disaster. 

Take in the history on a walking tour, or visit the Mousehole shop, visit the traditional Ship Inn or take a boat trip around the coastline!

Sitting just a short drive from Penzance, Mousehole’s in a prime position to see other West Cornwall attractions like Land’s End and St Ives. 

While Mousehole is without a doubt the most stunning place to stay in Cornwall, it does come with some drawbacks.

Summers are crowded and costly, and the town doesn’t feel very authentic – it’s somewhat been taken over by cottage rentals! 

So, it’s not the place to go for an authentic Cornish experience – but when it comes to Cornwall’s most beautiful villages, it certainly excels. 

Where to stay in Mousehole

Looking Mousehole historic harbour

The Ship Inn

A traditional pub and hotel, The Ship Inn is situated in the centre of Mousehole; it’s the perfect combination between comfort and tradition!

The rooms have plush beds, some with breathtaking views of the harbour, and beautiful furnishings.

The pub serves a range of local ales and classic pub grub.

It’s ideal if you want to stay in the heart of the village but still relax in comfort!

Check out rates for the Ship Inn by clicking here.

The Old Pilchard Works

If you’re looking for a two-person apartment in Mousehole, consider the Old Pilchard Works.

This flat used to be a pilchard press, back when fishing was the main tourist industry in Mousehole.

Nowadays, it’s a modern space, with high-tech kitchen gadgets and a bright, comfortable bedroom.

Click here to read more about it!

The Lizard Peninsula

Beautiful sunrise at Church Cove on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall

Feeling jaded from Cornwall’s over-touristy towns? Head to the rugged Lizard Peninsula, one of the wildest places to visit in the southwest!

The peninsula is the southernmost part of mainland UK, stretching down around 10 miles until it terminates at Lizard Point, the furthest south point in the UK. 

The peninsula is dotted with tiny villages, including the fishing village of Cadgwith which is as unspoilt as you’ll get in modern Cornwall. 

Traditional fishing cottages sprawl down to the scenic cove, which is sandwiched between the Lizard’s landmark cliffs, and gently lapping waves kiss the sands. 

There’s an abundance of other fishing villages dotted around the Lizard Peninsula (although Cadgwith is my favourite), or you can stay in local places like St Keverne

Kynance Cove is definitely the most popular place on the Lizard – but the rest remains relatively rural, rugged and untouched.

There are a few campsites on the Lizard, along with a few guesthouses, pubs with rooms and even a few hotels. 

If you’re looking for an uber-luxurious stay in Cornwall, the Lizard might not be for you – it’s also not the spot if you want tonnes of attractions, restaurants and bars in easy reach. 

But if long countryside walks with some of the most incredible views in the country, beautiful beaches and cosy evenings in pubs are your thing, you’ll adore staying in the Lizard! 

Where to stay on the Lizard Peninsula

View of Kynance Cove

Cadgwith Cove Inn

This charming pub is located in the heart of Cadgwith, with cosy rooms with modern yet traditional furnishings boasting amenities such as flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi.

From some rooms, you can even enjoy spectacular vistas of the sea!

The inn also has a restaurant that serves a range of incredible dishes – I had the best pasta I’ve ever had outside of Italy here – as well as a bar where local singers chant Cornish songs every Friday night.

Click here to read more about this inn!

Housel Bay Hotel 

Housel Bay Hotel sits right by Lizard Point and dates back to the late Victorian era.

It boasts well-furnished, modern rooms and some of the best views in Cornwall – the Cornish coast path runs right through the garden!

There’s also a restaurant, bar and private beach on site.

Check it out by clicking here.


Fowey in South Cornwall

The historic town of Fowey has been attracting travellers for decades – it was good enough for Daphne Du Maurier in the 1960s!

It’s a charming harbour town sitting where the River Fowey (which flows from Bodmin Moor) meets the sea. 

While it’s only a small place, the winding streets are packed with activities, including the Fowey Museum, Shrew Books and the Fowey Aquarium.

Boat trips and watersports are available right from the town’s centre, and just a short walk away, you’ll discover Readymoney Cove, a sandy beach which is one of the best spots for paddleboarding in Cornwall!

Enjoy stunning views from the coast path; from Fowey you can hike to nearby South Cornwall towns and villages like Par and Polperro, passing epic sandy beaches like Lantic Bay and Llansalos Beach along the way. 

Fowey is pronounced “Foy”; locals say “that’s so it rhymes with joy”.

There’s definitely something about this town that lifts my mood whenever I visit. 

It’s larger than villages like Port Isaac and Polperro but still retains the same feel as a fishing village. 

But there are attractions for all ages here, along with a handful of excellent restaurants (I love the pizza and waterside views at Bufala!). 

It’s not somewhere you’d go to party – there’s not much in the way of nightlife – but for families, couples or solo travellers, Fowey is certainly a joy. 

Where to stay in Fowey

Narrow Streets of Fowey

Trethewey Guest House

Located a five minute drive or 15 minute walk inland, Trethewey Guest House offers a friendly welcome, with well-furnished, comfortable rooms providing tea and coffee facilities.

Breakfast is exemplary, and the hosts are happy to help with any questions you may have about your stay.

Click here to read more about the guest house!

The Ship Inn

Experience the charm of an authentic Cornish pub when you stay at The Ship Inn!

Nestled in the heart of Fowey, this traditional inn offers comfortable rooms and a prime location near the harbour.

Immerse yourself in the cozy ambiance of the pub, serving a variety of local ales and classic pub fare.

Or relax in well-appointed rooms, complete with modern amenities.

With its central location and warm hospitality, The Ship Inn is the perfect choice for an unforgettable stay in Fowey.

Click here to book now and discover the allure of this delightful inn.

Trenython Manor Hotel and Spa

This elegant hotel is located just outside of Fowey (about a 10 minute drive away) and features a spa, swimming pool and outdoor terrace with views over the Cornish coastline.

The rooms are tastefully decorated, and the hotel has a high-end restaurant and bustling bar.

Click here to read more about Trenython!

Glamping in Cornwall with Unique Hideaways

Cornwall hideaways

While Cornwall’s brimming with exciting attractions, part of the joy of heading to such a scenic part of the country is finding quiet, secluded accommodation and just being – enjoying natural surroundings, taking short walks to explore the local area, and spending quality time with people you love. 

This is where Unique Hideaways comes in.

With a range of one-of-a-kind accommodation options across Cornwall, including yurts, houseboats and shepherd’s huts, these nearly-wild glamping options are fully self-catered and offer you a chance to step right into the heart of Cornish wilderness. 

While Unique Hideaways offer the chance to get up close and personal with nature, luxury is never compromised, with plenty of subtle touches to make your holiday as opulent as possible. 

Stay amid one of the county’s moors or stick to the coast and go glamping with sea views in Cornwall – it’s your adventure, and with a vast array of hideaways throughout the region, there’s something for every style!

Hotels/ guesthouses vs Airbnbs in Cornwall

ST IVES, CORNWALL, UK - MAY 13 : View of St Ives, Cornwall on May 13, 2021. Unidentified people

Are you thinking about booking an Airbnb for your next stay in Cornwall?

You might want to reconsider.

Many of these listings are actually second homes owned by non-residents.

Often, they’re left empty for most of the year, apart from a small chunk of time when they’re rented on Airbnb.

Renting their home for as little as a few weeks a year means they can avoid second home tax.

But the properties are still left empty for most of the year, which has caused a housing crisis in Cornwall, making it harder for local people to find affordable homes.

You can avoid supporting this by not booking an Airbnb.

Cottages that are solely holiday properties are better alternatives, as are campsites, hotels or guesthouses.

Where to stay in Cornwall FAQs

Thatched cottages at Cadgwith Cove, Cornwall, England

What is the best part of Cornwall to stay in?

It depends on what you’re after – different areas suit different people!

Popular towns include St. Ives, Newquay, Falmouth, and Padstow.

St. Ives has a picturesque harbour and beautiful beaches, whilst Newquay is a popular destination for surfers.

Falmouth has a fascinating history and a hip atmosphere (it’s my favourite town in Cornwall) and Padstow boasts delicious seafood and a charming harbour.

Which Cornwall town is best for a holiday?

For a beachy holiday, St Ives is the obvious choice, although it’s certainly not a hidden gem – it’s packed in the summer months!

An alternative could be Sennen Cove, which is much smaller but is home to some of the best beaches in Cornwall.

If you’re visiting out of peak season, consider the charming village of Mousehole.

What is the main town in Cornwall?

Truro is the only city in Cornwall; it’s the county town of Cornwall and has a population of approximately 23,000 people.

However, St Austell, Falmouth, Redruth and Camborne are all sizeable towns – St Austell is the largest town in Cornwall with around 27,500 people.

The most popular town that tourists visit is Newquay.

Where are the nicest places to stay in Cornwall?

There are so many incredible places to stay in Cornwall!

St. Ives is an amazing location that’s been inspiring artists for centuries – but it’s heaving in the summer months.

Other beautiful places to stay include Port Isaac and Mousehole, and I think Fowey and Looe are both wonderfully underrated too! 

How much does it cost to stay in a hotel in Cornwall?

The cost of a hotel in Cornwall varies depending on the time of year, location, and the hotel’s amenities.

On average, a 3-star hotel in Cornwall can cost between £70 to £130 per night, whilst a 5-star hotel can cost between £200 to £500 per night.

During peak tourist season, prices tend to be higher.

If you book off-peak (or in advance), rates will be a lot cheaper! 

Where to stay in Cornwall

Beautiful Dramatic Coastline on the Lizard Peninsula, in Cornwall, UK.

Whether you want to bask in the most amazing views of the South West Coast Path on the Lizard, dine on fresh seafood in Padstow, head out on a coastal retreat near St Ives or select from Newquay’s broad choice of accommodation, the best places to stay in Cornwall are beckoning to you! 

Campsite, friendly cottage or 4-star hotel – whatever your preferred accommodation, this region is brimming with fantastic places to stay. 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my Cornwall posts when planning your holiday, and if you have any questions feel free to reach out on Instagram

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