Cornwall Itinerary: 7 Days and How to Spend Them

Prepare for a week of coastal walks, Cornish fine-dining and world-class culture with this guide to the area.

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Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall

Latin Americans would call it an empanada, but we’ll stick with a good old traditional Cornish pasty. It’s the same thing, except cooked slightly differently, so imagine you’re in the heart of South America, as you traipse along the Cornish Coastal Path. That part of the world is also brought to the fore in the Eden Project, with its rainforest biodome. The area is also one of the warmest and sunniest parts of the UK, even if it’s not quite the Amazon.

But you didn’t come to the South American rainforest, did you? You decided (quite rightly, we might add) to vacation in this city. We've already decided on the best areas to stay in Cornwall, so now let’s look at some distinctly Cornwellian (not a word) customs and qualities. Read Treasure Island to learn about the historical pirate tradition and chat to locals to hear how smuggling was a very real problem in the region…not that they’d remember, as it was in the 19th century, but they’re bound to have an embellished story or ten. Hang out in some of the quaint villages and enjoy fish and chips in an old pub by one of the colourful harbours.

So let Plum Guide be your cap'n as we guide you on a trip through this pirate-infested land on your Cornwall itinerary of 7 days.

Day 1

Perhaps you’re staying in St Ives at a lovely (we’d expect nothing less) Plum Guide home. The village juts out from the northern side of Cornwall, as if poking out into the sea to get a better look at Ireland and Wales. Explore the exhibits of the Tate St Ives Gallery and study the works in the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Take a boat trip to the Seal Island, which is a seal island, in that it’s an island with seals. Return to land and fill yer bellies at the Sands Restaurant or the Story by the Sea. For a more casual evening, dine at the Balancing Eel.

Day 2

Remain in St Ives on your second day and check out the Leach Pottery gallery. Walk to the St Ives Head for sea views and admire the charming St Nicholas Chapel.

Grab lunch at the Lakeside Cabin Café, the Silco Searoom or the Cornish Deli. The former two upscale eateries afford great views of the water, while the latter takes quaintness to a new level. You’ll feel like you’re in a dollhouse.

Pop on your bathing suits and go to the Porthmeor Beach, the Porthgwidden Beach or Porthminster Beach. Basically, it’s all about the Porth. Read Treasure Island and imagine the terror fun you’d have encountering a bunch of swashbuckling pirates on the beach. Sunbathe to peak lobster shade and wait for the sunset.

Day 3

Remember all that time ago, when we were comparing Cornwall to South America? It’s time to check out the vast biodomes of the Eden Project. Delve into the dense jungle terrain and search for Colonel Kurtz.

In the blink of an eye you’ll move from the Mediterranean to the Amazon, and back again before lunch. Speaking of which, there’s an eclectic menu at the restaurant, while the Baobab Bar serves up rum cocktails.

Day 4

Not far from the Eden Project lies the Historic Port of Charlestown, which has a fun playground for the kids (well, obviously for the kids…unless…).

Fill up on fish and chips at the Boathouse Charlestown, and use that new-found energy (that won’t typically follow a meal of fish and chips) to bound on down to the Cornish Coastal Path (which stretches for more than 600 miles around the circumference of Cornwall, so you won’t get too far). Reach the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which has its own tea room beside the Victorian Gardens.

If you decide to head a little east from Charlestown, grab a bite at Edie’s Kitchen. Celebrating something special like a birthday in Cornwall and looking for something a little more upmarket? You deserve it, after those ten minutes of walking. Head to Falmouth for the stylish Restaurant Four.

Day 5

We’re way past halfway on our Cornwall itinerary of 7 days…so where next? Everyone is always raving about Newquay, in the north-eastern corner of Cornwall, so there must be something to it, right? Well, for starters, it’s a surfer’s dream, with the big waves on the Fistral Beach and the Watergate Bay Beach. Rummage through the subterranean tunnel of the Blue Reef Aquarium and imagine you’re swimming with the rays and sharks, but not being torn apart by them. ‘Ah, how the tables have turned,’ you’ll mutter to your meal, as you tuck into the seafood at the fine-dining hub, the Scarlet Restaurant.

Day 6

Move east to the Carnewas at Bedruthan Steps, which comprises an array of stacks and steps and rock formation things in the water. Dine at yet another classy joint in the form of the Samphire Restaurant or the Beach View Restaurant. Your bellies are by now getting quite full from all the fine dining…and don’t forget the Cornish <s>empanadas</s> pasties.

Day 7

On the final leg of your Cornwall itinerary of 7 days, we’re going to leave it up to you. Yes, finally, some autonomy. Do you want to watch a play by the sea in the open-air amphitheatre of the Minack Theatre? Or would you prefer to wander around the Pendennis Castle that was built (not literally) by Henry VIII? You could always continue along that Cornish Coastal Path until you reach Land’s End, a headland famous for being…the land’s end – the westernmost part of mainland England.

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