The 10 Prettiest Villages In Cornwall




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Hey there, fellow travellers! Are you planning a trip that involves taking a road trip through the beautiful Cornish countryside? 

Well, then, let’s take a delightful journey through Cornwall’s ten most beautiful villages. Tucked away in the southwest of England, Cornwall offers a treasure trove of charming hamlets, each with its own unique appeal. From the famous Port Isaac of “Doc Martin” fame to the artistic haven of St. Ives, where creativity meets the sea, we’ll explore these picturesque spots.

Whether you’re a fan of historic cottages covered in flowers or dramatic coastal views, this guide will reveal Cornwall’s hidden rural gems that you won’t want to miss!

How Many Villages Are There In Cornwall?

Cornwall, located in the southwestern part of England, is home to numerous villages scattered across its diverse landscape. While the exact number of villages in Cornwall can vary depending on criteria and boundaries, there are over a hundred villages within the county.

These villages range from quaint fishing hamlets along the rugged coastline to inland settlements steeped in history and rural charm. Cornwall’s villages collectively contribute to the region’s unique character, with each offering a distinct blend of culture, heritage, and natural beauty, making Cornwall a captivating destination for those seeking to explore its picturesque countryside and coastal treasures.

10 Most Scenic Villages In The Cornish Countryside

1. Port Isaac

Port Isaac, located on the north coast, is possibly the loveliest village in Cornwall that is renowned for its narrow streets, coastal ambience, and quaint whitewashed cottages. It’s also famous for being the filming location of the popular TV series “Doc Martin.” A leisurely stroll along the south-west coast path, which meanders along the rocky coastline, offers not only outstanding natural beauty but also stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. 

As you wander through Port Isaac, you’ll find charming holiday cottages tucked away in the village’s nooks and crannies. You will also find the Squeezy Belly Alley, which is considered one of the narrowest streets in Britain. Overall, it offers a cosy retreat for visitors seeking the quintessential Cornish experience.

2. Mousehole

Nestled on the south coast, Mousehole is a charming village with its own tiny harbour. White-washed cottages, colourful fishing boats, and a small sandy beach create a picturesque setting that has been a magnet for artists and photographers. Don’t miss the mesmerising Christmas lights display during the holiday season, where the village transforms into a magical wonderland. 

If you visit the village during this time, you will find illuminated narrow streets, which create a warm and inviting atmosphere that enchants both locals and tourists alike. Mousehole’s vibrant character and rich maritime history are best explored by taking a stroll along the coastal path that reveals hidden coves and stunning sea views.

3. Mullion

Mullion is an idyllic hamlet which is Lizard Peninsula’s largest village. This quaint village is known not only for its outstanding natural beauty but also for the surfing beaches that surround it. The waters around the village offer quite a challenge, attracting surfers who seek the exhilarating waves of the Cornish coastline. 

Winding streets lead you through the heart of this charming village, where you’ll find traditional fishermen’s cottages adorned with colourful blooms. While exploring the village, make sure to visit the local shops, where you can discover unique souvenirs and trinkets to remember your visit. Mullion offers a tranquil escape and a taste of authentic Cornish life.

4. Mevagissey

This quaint fishing village on the south coast is situated near the town of St. Austell. It is a paradise for beach lovers and those who appreciate the beauty of a traditional Cornish fishing port. Its tiny harbour is a bustling hub where fishing boats bring in the day’s catch, providing an authentic glimpse into the village’s maritime heritage. 

Mevagissey’s local shops offer a variety of artisanal goods and seafood delicacies that make for delightful souvenirs. The coastal path around Mevagissey rewards hikers with stunning sea views and the charm of the village is best experienced by taking a leisurely stroll along its narrow streets.

5. Polperro

Polperro, situated on the south coast, is one of Cornwall’s most scenic fishing villages. It is known for its cobbled streets and quaint fishing harbour where visitors can relax and unwind. The village’s narrow streets wind their way through the picturesque surroundings, leading to the harbour, where colourful fishing boats gently bob on the water. 

A peaceful and picturesque destination, Polperro is a traditional Cornish fishing village. The pretty harbour allows visitors to explore the charming nooks and crannies and savour the tranquil atmosphere that defines this quintessential Cornish village. It is also home to the iconic Blue Peter Inn, where you can savour local flavours while enjoying the coastal ambience. 

6. St. Ives

St. Ives, located on the north coast, is an artistic haven with a village centre brimming with art galleries that showcase the creativity inspired by the stunning coastal landscapes. The town’s long sandy beaches are a magnet for beach lovers, and the crashing waves provide a soothing soundtrack to your visit. 

Beyond the beaches, you can explore the iconic St. Ives Castle, perched high above the town, offering both history and panoramic views of the Cornish coastline. The winding streets of St. Ives lead to hidden gems and reveal the town’s vibrant, artsy spirit, making it a must-visit destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

7. St. Mawes

St. Mawes, on the south coast near Falmouth and Truro, is a quaint fishing village with a distinct charm. St. Mawes Castle, a Tudor fortress, stands as a historical landmark in the village, offering a glimpse into the region’s past. St. Mawes is also home to a variety of holiday accommodation options, including pretty cottages that provide a cosy retreat for visitors seeking a tranquil escape by the sea. 

There’s a beautiful beach known as Tavern Beach, which is perfect for beachcombers and sunbathers. The village itself offers local shops and restaurants where you can savour the flavours of Cornwall’s culinary delights.

8. Tintagel

The Tintagel village in North Cornwall is steeped in legend and history, famously associated with the mythical King Arthur. Tintagel Castle, perched dramatically on the rocky coast, is a must-visit historical site where you can explore the ruins and imagine the tales of knights and legends that once echoed through its walls. 

The tiny village of Tintagel offers charming holiday accommodation, and a boat trip from the village’s small harbour allows you to uncover hidden coves and discover the rugged beauty of the coastline. At low tide, you can even walk across to the island where the castle stands, adding a touch of adventure to your visit.

9. St. Agnes

St. Agnes is a sleepy village nestled on the Northern coast of Cornwall. It is situated in a region that has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The coastal path that winds along the village’s rocky coast offers stunning sea views, making it a favourite spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts. 

It is a short distance away from the World Heritage mining sites of Cornwall, making it the perfect pick for history enthusiasts. Besides, the Trevaunance Cove beach, which is located nearby, is an excellent place for swimming and other water sports activities. Overall, its picturesque setting and serene ambience exude the coastal charm that most Cornish villages are known for, providing a peaceful retreat for tourists.

10. Rock

On the north coast, Rock is a popular destination for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts. The long sandy beach, aptly named Rock Beach, offers ample space for relaxation, and the clear waters of the Camel Estuary are perfect for swimming and boating. The village is known for its local shops, where you can find unique souvenirs and beach essentials. 

Rock is also a hub for holiday accommodation, with a range of options, including pretty cottages that provide a comfortable base for exploring the area. A visit to Rock allows you to experience the vibrant seaside atmosphere of this charming Cornish village while indulging in beautiful beaches and a variety of water-based activities.

Final Words

In conclusion, Cornwall’s ten most beautiful villages beckon travellers with their timeless charm, rich history, and breathtaking coastal vistas. From the narrow streets and colourful fishing boats to the artistic allure and rich heritage, each village offers a unique slice of Cornish life. 

Of course, there are many other villages scattered around the county that you can visit. Some examples include Marazion, which is near the famous St. Michael’s Mount, and Sennen, which is located near Land’s End. However, the ones we have mentioned are some of the most popular destinations that you can pick. 

Whether you’re drawn to the legends of Tintagel, the tranquil beaches of St. Mawes, or the picturesque harbour of Mousehole, Cornwall’s coastal treasures have something for everyone. Embarking on a trip through these scenic villages is a journey through the heart of Cornwall’s culture and natural beauty, making it an unforgettable destination for all.

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