When trying to save money, staycations in the UK can be a great alternative to going abroad for your holiday.
But even then, trips within the UK or down to Cornwall can still end up costing a lot, especially when you’re bringing the family with you. However as a Cornish local who lives in this beautiful county, I know there are ways to visit Cornwall on a budget without spending a fortune!
1. Plan in lots of walks
It sounds obvious, but when Cornwall has so many amazing outdoor spaces to explore, going for walks/hikes is one of the best free activities you can do here. Go find some of Cornwall’s most incredible views along the South West Coast Path, or explore our countryside and woodland walks.
2. Pack a picnic for lunch
If you’re going on outdoor adventures, a pub lunch here and there can quickly add up – especially if you’re walking along the coast stopping at beach bars along the way too! Save some money by packing a lunch in a backpack with you, and of course plenty of hydration too. There’s something very romantic about sitting on the cliffs looking out to sea surrounded by delicious food and loved ones anyway!
3. Look in newspapers & online for entrance fee deals
The West Briton publishes several pages of offers, discounts and vouchers each week, with some fantastic entry fee offers, from places like Trebah Gardens and the Eden Project, to Flambards and Hendra Aquapark. You can also check online on discount sites and do a Google search of the place you want to visit, plus the words ‘voucher codes’ and you’re bound to find a great deal somewhere.
When we were growing up as kids, I don’t think my mum ever paid full price for entrance fees anywhere! Discounts are very easy to find.
^ Seaglass necklace kindly gifted by Love Kernow Jewellery
4. Pack for all weathers
Look, let’s face it – there is a possibility that the weather won’t be perfect during your stay here in Cornwall. But that’s okay! Rain or bad weather means everywhere is a little bit quieter, and there’s still lots you can do.
Just in case, always pack for both sun and rain. Not only do I mean walking boots, wellies and rain-coats, I also mean pack some kind of entertainment for in case you’re stuck indoors for a day or two! Think movies, books, board games etc…
5. Try alternative accommodations
Hotels, holiday parks and AirBnbs aren’t the only options when visiting Cornwall. Yes, we have some amazing options if you’re looking for the mid to higher end, BUT there are plenty of other, quirkier options that could save you money and give you a more unique experience.
Why not try camping? Or glamping in a yurt, shepherds hut, or even hiring a campervan for the weekend? A surefire way to save money and travel in style.
6. Sign up to newsletters
A few months before you plan to visit Cornwall, start doing some research for places you’d like to stay, eat and visit, and sign up to their newsletters! Hotels, holiday parks, restaurants and attractions will regularly send out emails with offers and discounts inside to incentivise people to book a last minute stay, or to book a table or ticket.
7. Visit out of season (if you can!)
Cornwall’s busiest times are obviously July and August, due to school holidays and preferential weather, although June and May can get quite busy too. My recommendation would be to visit between late April and mid-May, or September to early October for the nicest weather, beautiful nature and more peaceful experience. It’s also much cheaper to stay places when it’s out of season and not in school holidays, and even cheaper if you’re happy to try some of the colder months too!
8. Go self catered
Hotels are a wonderful treat, of course – who doesn’t love being waited on hand and foot? But when you opt for a self catered accommodation for your Cornwall holiday, it means you don’t need to pay additionally for all your meals, and you can cook in a kitchen for much cheaper. Self catering accommodation often has all the facilities you’d want from a hotel, but with your own kitchen to save you money on food during your stay.
9. Visit free attractions
There are so many things you can do for free here in Cornwall that doesn’t just involve ‘going to the beach’. We have plenty of free attractions too, such as visiting St. Michael’s Mount (you can walk around the island and get views from outside the castle without paying an entrance fee), exploring old mining engine houses at Wheal Coates, or head to Heartlands to visit their gardens and large outdoor adventure play area.
10. Look away from the coast
In terms of accommodation and places to stay in Cornwall, you’re going to be paying a premium to be situated near the coast. Who doesn’t want to stay right near the beach on their holiday, right? But heading inland a bit could save you a lot of money when it comes to hotel and self catering prices, and going to less touristy areas (ie. away from Newquay, Falmouth and St. Ives!) could benefit your wallet.
However, just remember to account for travel to and from the places you actually want to visit during your stay, as well as parking costs if you’re not staying near by – as these can add up too!