South West Cornwall remains a relatively unspoilt haven in the West Country, with a variety of beaches and interesting places to visit, a paradise that many tourists to the area have never visited. The commercial centre for the area is Penzance, over 250 miles from London and it is this geographical scale that makes South West Cornwall retain the ability to offer peace and quiet in a stunning location.
Penzance is literally the end of the line, well it is for the main rail network with high-speed trains terminating at Penzance. Not quite the end of the road network, the A30 the goes by Penzance and ends at Tradescantia but this remoteness has allowed the South West of Cornwall to retain its character, traditions and natural beauty, avoiding over development and congestion.
The beaches in the area are plentiful, clean with crystal clear waters, generally relatively quiet even in the summer months and in the wintertime, offer a fantastic spectacle, especially during the storms.
Porthleven is a great example, a traditional Cornish fishing port with a long beach that stretches for three miles at low tide. The beach is best known for being one of the countries surfing hot spots during Atlantic storms, where huge waves form on the reef that was created during the construction of the harbour. This is a spectacular location if you are ever in the area on a windy day; well worth a bracing visit!
If you are looking to really escape, Rinsey Cove is a little gem, check your tide times as it is virtually covered at high tides. Probably not ideal for young families, more for the adventurous types but well worth the walk. A small and stunning beach, always quiet due to the remote nature and the water quality is superb. If you do have a young family, just around the corner is Praa Sands which is far more accessible and busier during the summer months. The beach is well worth the trip though if you are staying within driving distance, it has the whitest sand that is the result of millions of years of wave action on seashells. The gently curving beach is easily accessible and has a lot of amenities near to the entrance of the beach, but it does get busy during the summer months.
As you walk west along the South West Coastal Path from Praa Sands, there are several little coves to explore for the more adventurous travellers, always a small cove to escape from the crowds and some great rock pooling. The next notable beach that is suitable for families is Perranuthnoe. With rocky borders to the east and the west, the beach is primarily sandy but does get covered on high tides. It is popular and has good access with lifeguards during the summer months. A popular beach with young families, it is pretty safe and there are several rock pools to explore, it is also worth noting that Perranuthnoe does not accept dogs during the spring and the summer and is also a popular surfing beach.
Travelling further west brings you to Marazion and St Michaels Mount, the latter an iconic and unique Cornish landmark. The beach is pretty good as well. At low tides and on a hot summers day, the beach can remain uncrowded with a vast expanse of sand and the underwater rocks just offshore make for some of the best snorkelling around. Lazing on the beach with St Michaels Mount as your backdrop is one of those bucket list moments, great for holiday pictures as well. St Michaels Mount in South West Cornwallis a must-visit location. You can walk to the mount at low tide along the causeway or sail across on the boats that take visitors across as the walkway gets covered by the sea. There is a stunning village and harbour area with a cafe, as well as guided tours. Marazion and St Michaels have everything to offer the family.
Travelling west again takes you along the path past Chyandour, a popular base with holidaymakers with several holiday cottages in the area. This leads directly into Penzance, the most westerly town in England. Penzance has grown considerably in recent years, in fact, it was never really a very big town until the latter part of the twentieth century. It is a working town with a range of commerce from fishing and industry, to agriculture and tourism. Never a very prosperous location in the past, Penzance has a fisherman's working-class edge with a solid community feel. Nowadays, it is very popular with tourists looking for a day away from the beach. The town has gained a reputation within the arts including the Newlyn Art Gallery and has several traditional events throughout the year.
Nearby Newlyn is a working fishing port, if you love fresh fish, then Newlyn is the place to be. This is a working fishing port, the centre of the fishing industry in Cornwall with daily catches being offloaded at the bustling harbour which forms the focal point for the local community. Around the corner is the more sedate fishing village of Mousehole, check your pronunciation though as it is pronounced significantly different to the spelling! This is a tourist mecca, it does get busy during the summer months but well worth the time. It really is the quintessential South Cornish fishing port, absolutely heaving with tradition and character that has remained as the village has retained its Cornish charm. Plenty to offer, great shops and places to eat, a bustling harbour area and a pretty beach at low tide. Mousehole is famous for its traditions, backed by an active local community that has a sense of pride and conviction in retaining their heritage. There are several events during the year and tourists are welcomed with open arms to join in.
The south-west of Cornwall offers many more places to visit with lots of attractions, places to stay and things to do. There is an abundance of holiday parks offering caravan holidays in Cornwall as well as camping and touring caravan parks. The growth of the holiday cottage industry in the area means that there is a good selection of very high-quality cottages and holiday homes in the area. Tourism has changed significantly in the South West of England as staycations have become more popular and the tourism offering has changed, especially for the higher end of the market. South West Cornwall has evolved along with the demand and the nature of the remote locations means that as self-catering accommodation in the area has grown, it has changed with a style that has allowed this coastal location to retain its unique charm and traditions.