…and I’m only kind of half joking.
If you read my ‘August in Cornwall is…’ blog post last week, you’ll have seen me mention how crowded it gets here during this season. I’ve already heard four separate stories this week from people who have spent 8 hours in their car trying to get back home into Cornwall and it’s only 1 week into August!
Trust me folks, it’s no fun.
There are definitely certain places that are worse than others though, and in particular, there are 3 towns that have well known reputations for being HELL-ON-EARTH-BUSY at this time of year.
…And yet, I may have visited every single one of them last week because SCREW IT, as a local I deserve to enjoy my county despite the traffic and crowds, right?? Here’s why they’re still worth visiting:
1. St. Ives
This beautiful harbour town with its cobbled streets and 3 stunning beaches is incredibly popular with tourists, and for good reason! It is the epitome of Cornish seaside living, with the iconic white and granite houses, independent galleries, shops & restaurants, and the big art deco landmark that is the Tate gallery.
^ The lovely Niki modelling for the camera so that I didn’t look like a total idiot on my own, THANKS GURL
The parking situation in St. Ives is no fun in Summer, for sure. There’s a large car park with overflow facilities at the top of town (it’s a LONG and difficult walk back up!) but if you get there later than midday it’s likely even that will be full. Just something to bare in mind!
It is, however, one of my favourite towns to spend the day walking around – icecream in hand – exploring little shops and getting lost in side alleys. The sea is always an incredible colour and you can’t help but take a quick paddle!
My fave time to visit: February or March – I love how the town feels during Winter; it’s empty but cosy at the same time somehow!
Okay so I went in the evening at about 9pm last Friday, so the traffic and crowds weren’t as bad as they would have been during the day, but hey! Newquay definitely has the worst reputation for being incredibly busy during August, as it’s a very popular holiday destination for families and surf lovers alike.
If you do feel the need to head over for a visit, the only thing I can suggest is to get there incredibly early (like 8am early) and don’t try to leave until after 8pm! If you stick around these times then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy this fun town, with loads of shops, amazing restaurants and (of course) world famous beaches to explore!
My fave time to visit: April & May – visiting in Spring means you can still benefit from all the shops & restaurants being open for business, and the beaches being (potentially!) swimmable, but with less crowds!
Everyone knows how much I love Falmouth, but even for me it can be pretty daunting to visit during Summer! The roads to and from Redruth are single lane, and traffic can be a huge pain (especially thanks to the current Treluswell roundabout roadworks… WTF Cornwall Council?!), but once you’re there I promise it’s worth it.
Again, there are so many quirky shops and eateries to visit, but the harbour and beaches are something else! If you want to escape the crowds a bit, take a walk around Pendennis castle to take in the incredible coastal views, or just go chill on Gylly or Swanpool beach. They do get busy in August but where there’s a will to find a free spot of sand, there’s a way!
My fave time to visit: June or September – you still get the lively buzz of the town, but the traffic is not quite as bad.