Home to crashing waves, pretty coastal towns, and incredible landscapes, the county of Cornwall can be found in South West England. Once there, you’ll soon discover millennia worth of history, an incredible foodie scene, and some breathtaking scenery. Here’s how to spend a weekend in Cornwall, as told by a local!
I’ve spent many years living in Devon and the beautiful county of Cornwall has never been too far away. Growing up, day trips to the pretty region, which even happens to have its own language, were a regular occurrence and once you visit Cornwall for yourself, you’ll soon discover why it’s perfect for a weekend break.
A weekend in Cornwall Itinerary & Map
During this 48 hours in Cornwall itinerary, there are ample places in which to enjoy refreshment; both hotels are also home to a bar and restaurant. There is one ferry en route, on which you’ll have to pay a small crossing fee. However, the savings in both time and fuel by taking the ferry as opposed to driving around the peninsula are well worth the extra cost.
Check-in: The Cornwall Hotel & Spa (check prices and availability here). If you’re looking for a little taste of luxury during your time in Cornwall, be sure to check in to the four-star accommodation on the fringes of St Austell. Close to the picturesque village of Charlestown, the hotel itself is home to an infinity pool and sauna, meaning that you won’t be disappointed should you opt to book a room!
Mevagissey: Head to the pretty village of Mevagissey if you want to experience a true taste of authentic Cornwall. The iconic double harbour port is characterised by countless fishing cottages and boats swaying in the sea breeze. A little outside of town, you can discover the first vineyard in the UK, as well as a magnificent castle, that of Caerhays Castle.
Charlestown: The tall ships Poldark Town lies on the fringes of St Austell and is just a ten to fifteen-minute drive away from the Cornwall Hotel & Spa. Home to the largest shipwreck museum of its kind in the world, you could easily spend a few hours spying Poldark filming locations and frequenting one of the many quaint coffee shops in town.
Fowey: Once home to the famous writer, Daphne du Maurier, Fowey is a pretty village on the mouth of the River Fowey. Despite what you might think the name ‘Fowey’ is actually pronounced ‘Foy’ (just another example of how British place names are pronounced completely differently to how they’re written!) Highlights of this postcard-perfect town include a town museum, several quaint eateries, and Readymoney Cove, a beautiful sandy cove flanked by the ruins of a castle.
Read more: A guide to the best things to do in Fowey
Polperro: From Fowey, you’ll need to take the Bodinnick car ferry to reach the other side of the River’s Mouth (check here for further ferry information). From there, it’s a drive along narrow country lanes until you reach the quaint village of Polperro, where you’ll have to park around a kilometre from the historic village centre.
A pretty fishing village surrounded by the sea, Polperro is largely pedestrianised and is characterised by its secluded port and many traditional cottages. Aside from coastal walks to nearby villages, one of the top highlights of Polperro is the Shell Cottage, an abode decorated in hundreds of shells during the 20th-century.
Read more: A guide to the best things to do in Polperro
Check-in: Port William Inn (check prices and availability here). If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of busy everyday life, then do yourself a favour and check in to the Port William Inn. Located in a small hamlet along the South West Coastal Path, once there you’ll find little by way of attractions and absolutely no phone signal (don’t worry, there’s still phone signal!)
Port Isaac: The 14th-century fishing village of Port Isaac first rose to prominence thanks to the Pilchard industry several centuries ago. Now, these small fish are known as ‘Cornish Sardines,’ while the village makes much of its profit from tourism.
In the past decade, the incredibly popular ‘Doc Martin’ TV show has been filmed in the village, leading to a surge of international visitors paying a trip to Cornwall wishing to see the TV series’ filming locations for themselves. Other highlights of Port Isaac include pretty architecture and several quaint coffee shops.
Read more: Doc Martin filming locations
Port Quin & Doyden Fortress: From Port Isaac, it’s a short ten-minute drive to the pretty hamlet of Port Quin. However, be sure to drive carefully as you’ll need to drive through the narrow streets in the heart of Port Isaac’s centre. From there, the roads are particularly steep and narrow in order to reach Port Quin. With little by way of attractions, the pretty fishing hamlet of Port Isaac is home to a beach and a 19th-century folly that can be admired from afar, Doyden Fortress.
Daymer Bay & St Enodoc’s: After wandering around Port Quin and enjoying the views of Doyden Fortress, carry on driving along the coastline until you reach Daymer Bay. One of the best secret beaches in Cornwall, it’s also in the area where you’ll find St Enodoc’s a church once lost to the sand dunes that surround it. The beach itself is sandy, the water beautiful, and the reflections cast by the long waves make for the perfect spot in which to capture the sunset.
Rock & Porthilly: From Daymer Bay, walk along the headland (or beach, but watch out for the tide times), towards the pretty villages of Rock and Porthilly. Popular in the summer months, once there you’ll soon discover a wide range of bars and eateries, as well as a small selection of boutiques and sea-inspired shopping.
Read more: A quick guide to Rock and Porthilly