If you only had 3 days in Cornwall, here’s how you should spend it…
…or maybe I should say, this is how I would spend it. But to hell with politeness.
I often get asked where to go and what to do by people visiting Cornwall for a long weekend, and while it is incredibly difficult to condense this beautiful place into just 72 hours, I always find myself coming back to the same recommendations.
Last month I had the opportunity of showing two international bloggers around Cornwall with VisitBritain, but even then we only had 2 full days to explore the sights, so I’ve tweaked the itinerary to fit a full three day trip!
Also it’s worth mentioning that my below recommendations really only includes the very South of Cornwall. My stomping ground is the ‘deep South’ and there’s a whole load of North Cornwall and the Roseland that I’m yet to explore, so I have left those out of this 72 hour guide (but one day I’ll include them!).
Get ready for a hike! My first recommendation obviously has to involve my childhood hang out spot on the South West Coast Path; Wheal Coates. I’d suggest starting at Trevaunance Cove in St. Agnes and carrying on the coast path up around the Heritage Coast to St. Agnes head and eventually Wheal Coates and Townroath Engine House. This spot has the most epic views with Cornwall’s mining culture!
You can continue this walk and stop for a croque monsieur and a hedghog icecream for lunch at Chapel Porth beach, or carry on to Porthtowan beach and enjoy a meal at the Blue Bar.
Depending on your speed, this walk can take anywhere between 1 and a half to 2 and a half hours, so double that if you need to go back to get the car after lunch!
Get yourself down the coast to St. Ives Bay, and remember to take the coast road along Portreath and Godrevy cliffs! You can stop off at the many picnic spots along the way to admire the views; including Hell’s Mouth and Godrevy Lighthouse itself!
Carry on to St. Ives town itself and spend the afternoon exploring the town with all it’s quaint white houses and boutique galleries (or the Tate Gallery if you fancy!), or hang out at one of its beaches; both Porthminster and Porthmeor are absolutely stunning on a clear day.
There are plenty of delicious bars and restaurants in St. Ives, but one of my favourites has to be the Rum & Crab Shack… if you love a good cocktail and fresh seafood, definitely check this out for dinner!
Head down towards Land’s End and stop off for a walk along the cliffs at Porthcurno, get a glimpse of the Minack Theatre (or feel free to switch this day around if there’s a performance on in the evening – you don’t want to miss that!!), and head down to the beach to paddle in the crystal clear waters. I personally haven’t done this in years but I can’t wait to next go down there!
You can then take the coast road from Porthcurno through Newlyn and Penzance for a snapshot tour of Cornwall’s beautiful fishing harbours, then finally come to a stop in Marazion, where you can find the awe-inspiring view of Mount’s Bay and St. Michael’s Mount.
The Godolphin Arms is a great spot for lunch, with views out to the bay, and once you’re done (depending on the tide) you might be able to crossover on the Giant’s causeway across to walk around the castle too!
Once you’re finished exploring, hop in the car for a short drive to the stunning Rinsey head, for wild views of the Atlantic and more Cornish heritage engine houses. From here, you can also drive to Porthleven for the evening. There are heaps of great restaurants and bars here, and the harbour is beautiful in the sunset!
If you’re up early and the sun is shining, I’d totally recommend a quick stop to Kynance Cove on the Lizard. It’s infamous rock formation make for great pictures, and the water there is stunning (sadly I’ve only ever been there when it’s foggy! But I’m looking forward to visiting in the sun).
The Lizard is a beautiful area and could warrant three days to itself, but I’ll just include two spots in this mini-guide. From Kynance Cove, journey through the wilderness of the Lizard to the adorably quaint Helford village, where you can walk on the path along to Frenchman’s Creek, or stop for lunch in the Shipwright Arms – or both!
I can’t have a 72 hour guide that doesn’t include my favourite spot in Cornwall, so – if you have time and you’re STILL keen for more walking – I’d totally recommend heading to the other side of the Helford and exploring Mawnan for an hour or two.
Once you’re done there, you can take the coast road (the scenic route of course) over to Falmouth. Start at Gylly beach for a relaxing stroll or even an hour SUP session out on the water, and head to Pendennis Castle and views from the Point.
Then in the evening you’re basically spoilt for choice in Falmouth; it’s a student town so there are loads of bars and great restaurants. My personal favourite is Wildebeest; a totally vegan cafe that’s open on Friday and Saturday evenings (you have to book though, as it’s only small!).
How would you spend 3 days in Cornwall?
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