Cornwall is a beautiful county in the South West of England. It’s famous for its stunning coastline and cliffs, ancient castles and magnificent gardens.
Cornwall has so much to offer alongside the popular tourist attractions – it also boasts some lovely towns with their own history and culture!
We’ve rounded up 11 of the best towns in Cornwall that are worth adding to your list of things to do in Cornwall!
St Ives is a town known for its fishing and is one of the most visited places in Cornwall.
Its picturesque harbour attracts tourists from far and wide to admire the views, experience the holiday atmosphere and most probably enjoy eating some fish at one of the award-winning seafood restaurants.
Attractions in St Ives include the Tate Gallery, Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the St Ives Brewery.
There’s also a wide variety of shops and restaurants to enjoy in this vibrant town.
The town is also home to several art galleries, including the Tate St Ives.
Falmouth is a large town on the River Fal in Cornwall. It’s home to the reputed world’s third-largest natural harbour and is often referred to as the ‘sailing capital of Cornwall’.
Attractions in Falmouth include Pendennis Castle, Gyllyngvase Beach and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to enjoy in this bustling town, offering a welcome combination of unique independent retailers alongside well-known high street names.
Polperro is a small village on the south coast of Cornwall, England. It’s a popular tourist destination boasting beautiful coastal scenery and a traditional fishing harbour.
Attractions in Polperro include the Polperro Model Village and the Polperro Heritage Museum of Fishing and Smuggling. There are also plenty of pubs and restaurants to be found along the narrow streets of this beautiful village.
The beach in Polperro is small and sandy, reached by some steep steps.
Penzance is the most westerly town on the British mainland and is home to the Jubilee Pool – one of the largest open-air swimming pools in Europe.
Attractions in Penzance include The Morrab Gardens, St Michael’s Mount and the famous open-air Minack Theatre.
There are also plenty of pubs, restaurants and small independent shops in Penzance.
If you’re looking for a beautiful coastal town to explore, look no further than Looe Cornwall.
With its charming cobbled streets filled with shops and restaurants, there’s plenty to do in this picturesque town.
Looe Island is also located just off the coast of Looe and is a popular tourist attraction. Looe Island is open to visitors from Easter until September and can only be reached on official, organised trips and access by foot is not allowed. Full details and booking information can be found on the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website.
Padstow is a charming fishing port and popular tourist destination in Cornwall.
It’s famous for its annual Christmas food festival, held every year – but there are plenty more things to enjoy while you’re here, throughout the year.
Attractions in Padstow include the National Lobster Hatchery, the Padstow Museum, a bike ride along the Camel Trail, sailing across the Camel to visit the village of Rock or taking a surf lesson at Harlyn Surf School.
Newquay is a town on the south coast of Cornwall and is known for its surfing beaches.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Newquay Cornwall, from incredible beaches and stunning coastal walks to some great attractions and top dining experiences.
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly destination or something a bit more adventurous, Newquay is perfect for everyone.
Newquay is home to popular tourist attractions such as Newquay Zoo, Fistral Beach, the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Lappa Valley and more.
You can also find world-class surfing at Fistral Beach, where lessons are available for all abilities and ages.
Truro is the only city in Cornwall and is the commercial and administrative capital of the county.
Truro is located slightly inland in the centre of western Cornwall, about 9 miles from the south coast. Three rivers run through Truro; the Kenwyn, the Allen, and the Truro River join the River Fal further downstream.
Attractions in Truro include the Royal Cornwall Museum, The Hall for Cornwall, the Cathedral and more. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants and pubs to be found in this vibrant city.
St Austell is a large town situated on the south coast of Cornwall, about 15 miles from Truro.
Attractions in St Austell include the St Austell Brewery, the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Pinetum Gardens.
The town of St Austell is also home to many picturesque independent shops, including surf and gift shops. There are also plenty of restaurants and a great selection of pubs.
Beaches in St Austell include popular Porthpean with its rock pools and cafe and the large Pentewan beach with caves to explore, surfing, kayaking, and swimming opportunities.
Bodmin is located in the centre of Cornwall and is one of Cornwall’s oldest towns.
The city is home to Bodmin Jail, a former prison built in 1779. The jail also houses an impressive museum with many interesting facts about life as a prisoner back in Victorian times – perfect for history lovers.
The Bodmin and Wenford Railway is a popular tourist attraction offering rides along 6.5 miles of track through picturesque Cornish countryside with its impressive viaducts.
A short 20-minute drive from the town of Bodmin is Bodmin Moor, a popular destination for walkers and hikers. You can take a variety of walks and hikes that range in difficulty to see old standing stones and burial mounds.
Bude is a seaside town located on the north coast of Cornwall.
Popular attractions in Bude include Bude Sea Pool, Tamar Lakes, Bude Castle Heritage Centre, and the unusual yet now quite well-known Bude Tunnel!
Related: Things to do in Bude
There are plenty of beaches in the Bude area, including the popular Widemouth beach in the south, where you can learn to surf or enjoy the golden sands and explore the rock pools.
Bude has some fantastic cafes and restaurants as well as several pubs – perfect for a night out or to enjoy the views of Bude’s beaches.
We hope this list of the best towns in Cornwall to visit on a caravan holiday has been helpful. There are, of course, many more beautiful locations in Cornwall worthy of a visit even during the rain – one thing is for sure, a return visit is likely!