The Best Places to Visit in Cornwall in Winter

Cornwall is always gorgeous but, in the cooler months, far from the crowds of summer holidaymakers, the coastline gains a quieter kind of beauty.

Land's End

The coastline of the Land's End Peninsula between St Ives and Penzance is one of the most beautiful in Britain, with rugged granite cliffs dotted with the ruins of old tin mines. World-famous for their mineralogy, the mining sites here are extremely well preserved.

Cornwall's best places

Autumn, winter and spring are good seasons to be in Penzance. The town is named "Pen Sans" in the ancient Cornish language, meaning "Holy Headland", referring to the headland extending past the western side of the harbour on which a chapel was established by early Christians well over 1000 years ago. An extra night here is recommended to explore all the historic beauty this town has to offer.

PenzancePenzance’s position – looking east towards St Michael’s Mount across the great stretch of Mount’s Bay – provides glorious view during the summer months. But, of course, during the out-of-season time, the scenery becomes even more dramatic, giving it an altogether different sort of appeal.

Still home to the St Aubyn family as well as a small community, the iconic rocky island of St Michael’s Mount is crowned by a medieval church and castle. The oldest buildings date from the 12th century.

Just over a hundred metres from the sea is one of Cornwall’s hidden treasures: the sub-tropical oasis Morrab Gardens. With its beautiful curving paths and banks of shrubs, its acacias and Japanese quinces, its elegant bandstand and cast-iron water fountain, it is a place to linger and explore the beauty.

Untitled-1A worthy place to visit is the Morrab Library. It is an independent library established in 1818, housed in a Victorian mansion in the beautiful Morrab Gardens, with an extensive archive detailing Cornwall’s rich heritage.

Summer lingers late and spring comes early in this far-end land. West of Penzance and further inland is the hidden treasure known as Penwith field. This is the least populated part of the peninsula, surrounded by high cliffs, swept by the Atlantic winds, and rising to high, rocky moorland at its centre. Its landscape is known as having a wild, ancient and mysterious character.

The weather in Cornwall offers some surprises all the way through the year. You could well encounter bright, summery days in November or February, or a spring day in December. Severe winters are extremely rare. The warm, moist southerly winds make the region a paradise for gardeners, holidaymakers and definitely for walkers.

The South West Coast Path

Why wait? Come and enjoy Cornwall in winter and discover the whole new world.

Holiday Highlights

  • Experiencing two World Heritage Sites, North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve, designated National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty.
  • Tracing the journey of the Coastguards who once patrolled the coastline for smugglers.
  • Spectacular views from remote moors, wild cliffs, golden beaches and unique geology.
  • Visiting locations brimming with literary and maritime history.
  • The sub-tropical temperatures on this wild and isolated section.
  • Walking the Lizard peninsula, with rare wildflowers and heather covering the landscape.
  • Spectacular and far reaching views of the coastline from Rinsey Head towards The Lizard.
  • Reaching the half-way point on the South West Coast Path in the village of Porthallow.

Originally published 25/11/15

Top posts

Routes on this trail

Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - North
7 to 9 nights
80 miles
From £910 per person
Westward Ho! to Padstow along the rugged coast of North Cornwall. Find Out More
7 to 8 nights
80 miles
Moderate / Demanding+
From £855 per person
Lyme Regis to Poole along the dramatic coastline of Dorset and the Jurassic coastline. Find Out More
Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South
6 to 11 nights
68 miles
Easy / Moderate+
From £775 per person
Padstow to St Ives along the Atlantic Coast section of the South West Coast Path. Find Out More
East Devon
4 to 5 nights
30 miles
Easy / Moderate+
From £515 per person
Exmouth to Lyme Regis along the Jurassic Coastline of the South West Coast Path. Find Out More
Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay
3 to 5 nights
28 miles
Easy to Demanding
Dog friendly
From £355 per person
Brixham to Exmouth along the beautiful coastline of the English Riviera. Find Out More
South Cornwall
6 to 11 nights
79 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £775 per person
Falmouth to Plymouth along the peaceful coastline of South Cornwall. Find Out More
Far West of Cornwall
4 to 7 nights
42 miles
Easy / Moderate+
From £480 per person
A walking holiday from St Ives to Penzance around the most western point of England. Find Out More
North Devon
7 to 12 nights
88 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £785 per person
Minehead to Westward Ho! along the North Devon section of the South West Coast Path. Find Out More