If you’re visiting Cornwall for a holiday or road trip, make sure you make the most of it by being organised & planning ahead!
There’s nothing worse than going on a trip somewhere and wasting loads of time faffing about because you’re unsure what to do and you haven’t planned in advance (or worse – get home afterwards and realised you missed out on the best bits!).
This is why I would strongly recommend planning ahead and creating an itinerary for your trip to Cornwall. It doesn’t have to be hour by hour strict and formulated – but having a rough idea of the things you want to do and see on each day is really useful, and you can adjust as you go.
Table of Contents:
But first, here are some FAQs and things to consider when planning your trip…
How many days do you need to visit Cornwall?
It really depends what you want to do during your trip and how many days is actually viable for you! It is possible to do a whistle-stop tour of a specific area in 3 days, and if you don’t mind driving around a lot, it is possible to touch on the key highlights in a week or 10 days. But you might be knackered afterwards and you’ll miss a lot if you try to cover a larger area in a shorter space of time!
When visiting a new place in the UK (like our recent trip to the Lake District), I try to remind myself that we can always come back again in the future to do another part/section of that area, if it’s too stressful to fit it all into one visit.
So for example in the 7 day itinerary that I’ve put together, I’ve just included all of the highlights of the SOUTH of Cornwall (from Newquay downwards). It just means that you might want to consider another trip at some point to cover the NORTH of Cornwall.
It really just depends on how much rushing around you really want to be doing and how important it is for you to see as much as possible (or if you’d rather a more relaxing trip)!
When is the best time to visit Cornwall?
Peak season in Cornwall is always July and August due to school holidays, so if you’re able to avoid these times that would probably be best as the roads, towns and beaches won’t be quite as busy.
My favourite months in Cornwall are the shoulder months, like May, June, September and October. Cornwall is beautiful in late Spring and early Autumn, and it still stays pretty warm at these times (just not QUITE as busy!).
Okay, now onto the step by steps of how to plan your visit to Cornwall…
1. Decide how to get to Cornwall
There are several options for how to get to Cornwall, and which one is right for you will depend on what you plan to do once you get here. If you’re going to be hopping around to lots of different places, you will want a car to make sure you can access everywhere you need.
However if you’re staying in one area (eg. Newquay, or St. Ives), you might be fine with using public transport like trains and buses to get around. Getting the train to Cornwall is the most environmentally friendly option, if that works for you during your trip as well.
Cornwall also has an airport in Newquay as well, so if you’re unable to drive or get the train there are links from major cities in the UK down to Newquay airport as well.
2. Book your Cornwall accommodation
Accommodation in Cornwall gets booked up pretty far in advance, so I’d suggest booking this as soon as you can. There are so many amazing places in Cornwall to choose from, from luxury hotels and holiday villages, to quirky glamping options and budget friendly camping options.
Check out my ‘Where to stay in Cornwall’ section on my blog for my personal recommendations!
Top tip: Always book direct with the hotel/holiday park/campsite as they’ll usually price match any booking sites!
3. Research the best places & things to do in Cornwall
Research is so key when putting together a plan for your trip to Cornwall, because you want to make sure you’re making the most of your visit! I personally love scouring Instagram hashtags of locations to get inspiration, and of course remember to check out the categories on my blog to help you too:
- View my personal recommendations of the best restaurants in Cornwall
- View my suggestions for the best beaches and coast path walks in Cornwall
- View my recommendations for activities and things to do in Cornwall
It’s also really important that you have somewhere to STORE all of this research and information that’s easily accessible while you’re on the go, and so you can reference it easily when planning your itinerary. I use my Travel Planner templates whenever I’m going on a trip to somewhere new so I can easily add links and ideas on the lead up.
4. Plan out your Cornwall itinerary
This is the fun part! Now that you’ve collected all your research for the best places and things to do in Cornwall, you’ll want to create an itinerary for each day of your trip.
As I say, this doesn’t have to be a rigid plan with precise timings if that’s not your style, but having a list of at least ideas for what you’ll do on each day means you’ll waste less time and truly make the most of the time you have here.
I love using my Travel Planner templates for planning out my itineraries because you can add dates and details, share with friends & family to collaborate, and also view them in calendar view as well!
If you’re looking for my recommended itinerary for a 7 day trip to Cornwall, I’ve built this in to my ‘Cornwall Travel Planner’ template so it’s ready to go (but it’s also customiseable too) – plus a 100+ item packing list too!
5. (Make a rainy day plan!)
The one downside of planning a staycation to Cornwall is that there is of course the potential for rain during your trip. A little bit of rain shouldn’t put you off this beautiful county though, and it’s still possible to do plenty of coast walks and outdoor activities in the drizzle, however for those days when it’s absolutely tipping it down and stormy, you probably will want to have a back-up plan in place!
You can download my free guide to Rainy Ideas in Cornwall below for inspiration :)
6. Create a packing list
Once you know what you’ll be getting up to and where you’ll be going on your visit to Cornwall, it’s time to pack! I personally find it helpful to have a packing list with everything on it that I can check off as I go along, making sure we have all the essentials for the trip.
In my Cornwall Travel Planner template I’ve included a 100+ item packing list with everything you could possibly need on your holiday, specifically tailored for Cornwall!
Obviously everyone’s needs will be different depending on who’s going on your trip and what you’re doing and where you’re staying, but I’ve tried to include all possibilities in the list (including stuff for babies, dogs, and camping if you need! You can easily remove sections of the list if need be).
7. Prepare for your trip before you leave!
Depending on your situation and how long your trip is, there are certain things you’ll want to do before you leave – such as emptying the fridge, sorting care for your pets, or even putting together a play pack for the kids so they don’t get bored and rowdy in the car or on the rain! Again, having a place where you can store all of these reminders and checklist items can be useful so it’s all in one place (and I’ve built this in to my travel planners as well).
Introducing the Cornwall Travel Planner & 7 Day Itinerary!
Plan out your next Cornwall adventure with this customisable travel planner, with built-in 7 day suggested itinerary!
Store your trip info, inspiration, to do lists and plan your full Cornwall itinerary in detail using this template built in Trello. Access and reference easily on the go thanks to the Trello app too! (You’ll receive a video tutorial showing you how to use and customise the template too).