Having only lived in North Cornwall - Bude to be precise - for three years, some may say that I am simply not local enough to possibly know where the good spots are in this beautiful part of the world. Wrong. As someone who loves to get out and about to clear the cobwebs, I have made sure that every free weekend, morning and evening I have is spent exploring this gorgeous area – sampling everything from the best coffee shops and wine bars, to discovering cafes that actually sell things like turmeric lattes and kombucha!
Okay, so we may not have Amazon same day delivery or even Deliveroo, but who needs them when you are less then seven minutes from a stroll on the beach and no further than 8 hours from the next perfect sunset – when you need some time to unwind, there really is no better place to be! But how do you make the most of it when you only have a few days? Well, take some tips from the local and we can guarantee that you will have the most picturesque, adventure-filled getaway to date. And if you need somewhere fabulous to rest your head throughout your stay, then check out our selection of accommodation in North Cornwall.
For when you just want to explore:
If you’re after a day out in North Cornwall, off the beaten track, filled with fabulous views and a good dose of sea air then Millook beach is the one. The roads to get there are, hmmm, interesting, but once you’ve experienced the Cornish lanes and arrived at your destination you’re never going to want to leave. The inland walks are great for getting you out of breath and the cliff top coast path is simply stunning with far reaching views out to sea, back inland and way down the coastline – it really is a destination you have to experience to understand quite how spectacular it is.
If, however, you’re after a more chilled experience, then simply pack some snacks, head down to the beach and get comfy. This is one of the best unknown surf spots in the area (not that we told you that) and if you get there on a good day you can sit and watch some of the world’s top surfers doing their thing.
Other similar places to visit in the area are the beautiful Bossiney Bay, which has a huge 60-foot high, 20-foot wide cave to explore, and if you’re headed in the opposite direction, then Duckpool beach is guaranteed to provide a quiet spot when other areas are absolutely buzzing.
For when you just want to eat:
I’m not going to start banging on about where to find the best pasty in all the land because, let’s be honest, there is more to experience than pastry, meat and potatoes. North Cornwall is really great at good food that tastes and looks delicious, and if you pick the right places, is locally sourced too.
A Sunday in the colder months isn’t really a proper Sunday until you’ve eaten a roast, and my top pick has to be The Coombe Barton Inn at Crackington Haven. The vibe inside this waterside pub is chilled and funky and every roast I’ve had there has been really huge and really tasty. And if you want to really feel like you’ve earned it, you can even walk there from Millook along the coast path – taking roughly two and a half hours, it really does give you a spectacular way to burn those calories and see the area.
I may not be a fan of a pasty, but I am a girl that loves a proper Cornish cream tea, and my ultimate destination for this is the Rectory Tea Rooms. Set in the grounds of a stunning farm, the beautiful courtyard is the perfect suntrap in the summer for sitting and eating copious amounts of sandwiches, cakes and scones. Small tip though, don’t bother eating anything for breakfast or lunch beforehand, and you probably won’t need dinner after – the portions are so wonderfully huge you will be full for days (and what you don’t eat they package up for you to take home!).
For when you just want some retail therapy:
St Ives, Padstow, Rock – all beautiful towns with adorable cobbled streets and adorably expensive boutiques that you have to oh-so-adorably elbow your way into. No, I‘m kidding, they are really beautiful spots - but what if you want this sort of vibe while shopping without the hundreds and hundreds of fellow tourists?
Port Isaac has some really fabulous independent shops that sell everything from your souvenirs to unique fashion pieces that haven’t been mass produced in China. For interiors, I am totally obsessed with Bleujen in Bude. If I could up sticks and move my two dogs, fiancé and myself into their shop I would. Think hanging plant pots, sumptuous velvet cushions and one of a kind ornaments – basically if you’ve pinned it on Pinterest, they probably sell it.
Believe me when I say this really is just a snapshot of all the wonderful things you can experience when staying in North Cornwall. In my opinion, the best way to explore it is often the simplest way – with a big bag of snacks, your loved ones and armed with a comfy blanket for when you find the perfect vista. For the where to stay bit, don’t forget that we have a really wonderful collection of places to stay in North Cornwall that will make your visit that extra bit special.