With summer upon us, what better time to pack up for a road trip and drive in the direction of the beach. Located to the far west of the U.K., Cornwall is a bucket list destination for an adventurous weekend away. From camping among the trees to chasing waterfalls, Cornwall is abundant with entertainment for adventure seekers. In this guide I share 4 adventurous things to do in Cornwall, along with some information on how to get there and what to bring to have a unforgettable trip to Cornwall.
1) CAMP IN THE TREES IN CORNWALL
If you’ve made the effort to drive all the way to Cornwall, you don’t really want to settle for a mediocre hotel or Bed & Breakfast. Instead, pack your sleeping bag and roll mat for a night spent suspended between trees! Kudhva offers tree tents to hire for the weekend, allowing you to fall asleep to firelight and wake up with the birds.
Although you won’t exactly be roughing it, with hot showers and kitchen facilities in the forest, Kudhva has all your needs covered whilst offering a tranquil escape in the hillside. Or, if sleeping wild is a little too extreme for you, the campsite offers Kudhvas (eco bedrooms on stilts) to hire which will still feed your outdoors cravings!
2) VISIT CORNWALL’S MAGNIFICENT WATERFALLS
Located an hour’s walk through the fields from Kudhva, is St Nectans Glen – a fairy-tale woodland with mystical waterfalls. Deemed an Area of Outstanding Beauty, it’s no wonder myths surround this place including ghosts, King Arthur and healing water. With tree covered ribbons, crystals and fairy rock stacks, there is an indescribable magical vibe to these woodlands.
Of course you will have packed your swimming gear, as taking a dip in the first waterfall provides a refreshing cool off from the country hike to arrive here. Although be warned: be sure to wear the wellies provided with your entrance fare as the riverbed is rather uncomfortable for barefoot hiking. Make sure you climb over and above the waterfall for optimum thrill-seeker views looking down into the pool!
3) DISCOVER CORNWALL’S EXCELLENT COASTAL HIKES
Hike, walk or meander, you set the pace using the sea as your guide to follow the South West Coastal path. With rugged coast lines and sheer cliffs Cornwall is not short of breath-taking scenery.
Why not add a pinch of culture and tie in your coastal hike with a visit to Tintagel Castle? Located on the cliff side, Tintagel provides coastal caves and hidden beaches that some choose to kayak to – just make sure you plan for the tide!
The coastal path from Port Issac to Port Quin should also be added to the adventure itinerary. Grab hiking snacks and lunch from Port Issac before you set off, then follow the coastal path south making sure you stop at the various vantage points to admire the view.
You can then retrace your steps back to the car along the coast, or complete the walk as a circular route travelling in land through fields and woodland.
4) LEARN TO SURF AND BODY BOARDING IN CORNWALL
Cornwall is a mecca for U.K. surfers and it’s no wonder seeing as there is an abundance of beaches to paddle out into the Atlantic Ocean. Fistral Beach, Gwithian Beach and Praa Sands Beach are among the popular surf spots.
Beaches with board hire and lessons close include:
- George Surf’s School, Polzeath.
- Trebawith Surf Shop, Trebarwith.
If you’ve never caught a wave before, it can be just as thrilling to ride the surf tummy down on a body board. Still providing you with the sense of sea adventure but no lessons or hours of practice needed!
HOW TO GET TO CORNWALL
The beauty of Cornwall does come at a cost, much like untouched New Zealand, to get to and around Cornwall you will need your own transport. So whether you are packing up the adventure wagon from the city or choosing to hire a camper van and make a mini-break out of your trip, it is vital you have your own means to travel.
Public transport to Cornwall from London involves expensive trains, taking over 5 hours to reach a town. You do have the option of taking a train to St Ives and then hiring a car or camper van for the last leg of your journey but be mindful of how much outdoors gear you can fit on the train! If you are driving straight from London to Cornwall it can be easily achieved after work on a Friday, arriving just after dinner. Then departing midday Sunday to reap a full escape from the city.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO CORNWALL
Packing for a U.K. adventure is always a challenge, even more so in the summer months, as you can truly experience four seasons in the space of 10 minutes. My answer to this? Layers! Interchangeable outfits – from vest tops, t-shirts to warm hoodies – means you should always be able to achieve the right temperature. And of course, it goes without saying that a rain coat is an essential to a Cornwall weekend!
If you’re planning on camping in the trees, you need to double all clothes you thought you needed for a regular camp (a tent on the ground!). Sleeping in a raised tree tent is both exciting and comfortable when done right. As the tent does not directly contact the ground beneath you, there is no insulation: if there’s a cool breeze and you’re only in pyjamas with a summer sleeping bag, you’ll feel it! This means you need to have a roll mat (or inflatable), thick sleeping bag, pillow, hat and one hundred more layers for the night time.
As with all U.K. outdoor weekends, if you plan on enjoying the sea, a bikini will not suffice. Even in the summer months, I’m so much happier in a full length wetsuit and can stay in the water far longer than if I was wearing my holiday swimwear. That being said, the U.K. has been known to experience unexpected heat waves, so if you own a shorty wetsuit, pack it just in case!
With an abundance of outdoor activities, Cornwall will scratch those itchy travel feet and can easily fill a summer’s weekend or make for a prolonged adventure exploring!
Have you been to Cornwall? If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below.
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Read More About Cornwall & The UK
- A Guide To Adventurous Activities In Cornwall
- A Complete Guide To Hiking Mount Snowdon
- Hiking The Pap Of Glencoe In The Scottish Highlands
- The Seven Sisters Day Trip From London
- 72 Hours In Ireland
We Are Travel Girls Senior Contributor Sarah Bryant
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Wow thank you so much for this post. I am heading down to St Ives in a few weeks from Bristol. I have now added to my itinerary a stop off in Tintagel to do the coastal walk as well as St Nectans Glen! It looks so beautiful I can’t wait. It is mad all of these places in the UK that we never hear about but look incredible.
So thanks again!
Lexie | http://www.trueyoulifestyle.com
Hi Lexie, awww so glad you’ve added St Nectans Glen! I’m currently in Cornwall again and spent the day surfing in Harlyn Bay – so if you are down this way again add that to your itinerary..!
How was your weekend?