Cornwall is home to a sub-tropical climate, glorious gardens, dramatic coastlines, and stunning castles. The most south-westerly county in England is also home to some of the best views in the country. Beauty, is, they say, in the eye of the beholder, and so while some would argue that it’s the bleakness of Bodmin Moor that’s beautiful, others would say it’s the spring flowers in one of the myriad gardens. Then there’s the coastline. Dramatic and raw on the north coast, gentler and more forgiving in the Helford. There’s one thing you can be sure of, and it’s that you will find your own beautiful Cornish view. While you look and consider what it is, here’s some inspiration with 10 of the best views in Cornwall.
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We recognize that there are different types of beauty. And so, in looking at Cornwall’s best views – we’ve opted to categorize the views you can expect in Cornwall – and how and where you’ll find them. Let’s kick off with an iconic view of Cornwall.
Best Beach View in Cornwall – Kynance Cove
Generally recognised as one, if not THE most beautiful beach in South Cornwall, Kynance Cove on the Lizard has white sands, an aquamarine sea and ancient rock stacks of the green and red stone found here. Kynance is one of the most painted and photographed places in Cornwall, this, complete with the stunning contrast between the white sand and the colours of the rock stacks makes it for us, the best beach view in Cornwall. If you’re looking for other great beaches in South Cornwall, then our guide here gives you all their details, including how to get there, where to park and what to expect.
If you’re planning on staying on the Lizard peninsular, then our guide to the best places to stay is here.
Best Historic View of Cornwall – St Michael’s Mount
The tidal island of St Michael’s Mount is linked to Marazion by a man-made causeway, which only adds to the myth and legend that this gorgeous castle island is drenched in. There are stories of Jack the Giant Killer as well as Tristan and Isolde (there’s more in our guide to St Michael’s Mount here). There has been a trading post on St Michael’s Mount since the first century AD and it is a truly iconic view of Cornwall.
From afar, the sight is arresting – and you can wake up to it each morning, and one of my favourite places to see the Mount is from the comfort of my own accommodation. And there are some amazing Cornish glamping sites – with amazing views of the Mount, where you can watch the sun both come up and go down over the Mount.
Best Industrial Heritage View in Cornwall – Botallack Mine
You don’t need to have read (or watched) the Poldark series by Winston Graham to appreciate the raw beauty of the view at Botallack in West Cornwall. This area is a former tin mining area between Pendeen Village and St Just in Penwith and it’s littered with abandoned mine buildings that speak of the industrial past of the county. The area is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cornwall and Devon Mining Landscape. This entire site is free to enter and is part of the South West Coast Path, it’s easy to visit from St Just (as it’s just a short wander). It’s been (more) famous since the site was used as the Wheal Mine for the 2015 TV dramatization.
The Most Magical View in Cornwall – Tintagel Castle
Separately the historical facts and the myths out at Tintagel is hard. The castle here, or what remains of it, is now managed by English Heritage and is a great place to visit – there’s more on visiting Tintagel and other stunning Cornish castles here. It was a 12th-century writer, Geoffrey of Monmouth who named the castle the place where King Arthur was conceived. The combination of the legends and the rocky headland here combine to make this a stunning and incredible view in Cornwall – and for me the most magical. Tintagel is one of our must visit Castles in Cornwall (there’s more here)
The most famous of the best views in Cornwall – Land’s End
You simply cannot write about the best views in Cornwall without mentioning Land’s End. Land’s End, is, as the name suggests, the most westerly point in England. Visitors have made pilgrimages here for more than 10,000 years, but it wasn’t until the coming of the railway that mass tourism here took off. The Great Western Railway reached Penzance in 1859 and brought with it visitors, which then led to the building of hotels and accommodations here. The view in Cornwall that you can’t miss, no matter how cheesy, is the iconic Land’s End signpost. It’s been here since the 1950s and while you’ll now have to pay £10 to get an official photo taken, it’s still one of the most iconic views of Cornwall.
The best coastal view in Cornwall – Cape Cornwall
While Land’s End might be the true far west of Cornwall, it is a tad manufactured there these days (and often crowded), if you’re looking for wild coastal views of Cornwall, then you’ll need to head a little further north to Cape Cornwall. It’s easiest to visit Cape Cornwall from St Just, as you can easily walk to this National Trust managed area. Cape Cornwall is just 4 miles north of Land’s End and it was until the 19th century thought to be the most westerly point in Cornwall. The landscape here is harsh, natural and stunningly beautiful.
Best stage view in Cornwall – the Minack Theatre
You don’t need to come to a performance at the Minack Theatre (easiest visited from Penzance) to experience the incredible views from the audience here, but you do need to come here for one of the most incredible views in Cornwall. Built into the vertiginous cliffside, near Porthcurno. This working, open-air theatre was the brainchild of Rowena Cade and perhaps you’ll need to really concentrate if you come to a performance here because the views will take your breath away.
Best wild view in Cornwall – Bodmin Moor
The bleak heather-covered terrain of Bodmin Moor has evidence of Bronze Age inhabitants, some mature oak trees and ceremonial stone circles. Bodmin Moor is one of Cornwall’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, bisected by the busy A30, and while the moor is generally flat, the views from the top of Stowe’s Hill – rising just 381 metres are glorious, as are the views of the Cheesewring, a formation of circular granite rocks balanced on top of each other and eroded by the wind – said by legend to be the result of an epic struggle between giants and saints. Our guide to the best things to do in Bodmin is here.
Best Garden View in Cornwall – the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Now, this is a tough one. Cornwall has some fantastic gardens. Truly amazing gardens. Obviously, there’s the Eden Project, Lanhydrock is pretty spectacular and I do love Glendrugan, especially in the spring. But for the combination of the sheer diversity and its history, I have to go with the Lost Gardens of Heligan as the best garden view in Cornwall. Because, well look. The team at Heligan really opened the magic of gardening to the entire family. Take any non-gardener here and they’ll find magic.
Best night sky views of Cornwall
Cornwall is, as you’ve guessed by now, renowned for stunning views. And that doesn’t change after dark. The county is now the holder of two International Dark Sky Park Designations with the prestigious International Dark Sky Association. The first was Bodmin Moor, awarded in July 2017, and the second, more recently in 2021 are the skies above West Penwith. There are only seven areas in the UK holding this prestigious designation, and Cornwall proudly has two of them. Of course, the challenge with finding the best views of Cornwall at night is that it’s dark and even with minimal light pollution you’ll want to avoid venturing too far onto Bodmin Moor, or the rugged landscape around West Penwith for the sake of safety. Far better to find yourself a remote hideaway with little light pollution in Cornwall, open a good bottle of wine, and watch Cornwall’s stunning night sky. And there are some fabulous options available.
Here are some of the best places to see Cornwall’s night sky from the safety and luxury of your own cabin, cottage or even luxurious safari tent. Even better, they come with hot tubs for that extra little bit of indulgence.
Travel Tips for Exploring Cornwall
BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN CORNWALL
- Sykes Cottages for fabulous holiday homes
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- Glorious places to stay with Rural Retreats.
- Booking.com for hotels & B&B.s
Read about Cornwall in these incredible books
Here’s how to get to Cornwall
Book the best tours and guides on GetYourGuide
Book Trains & Buses with Omio
Check Megabus timetables and fares to Cornwall here.
Rent a Car with Discover Cars
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Final Words on the Best Views in Cornwall
No matter what type of view you prefer Cornwall has you covered. It’s hard to pick my favourite, the bluebell woods at Glendurgan are glorious, Kynance Beach is stunning and I adore Cape Cornwall as much as the industrial heritage of Botallack. The ruins of Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave give rise to childhood memories of adventure, myths, and legends, and of course, watching the night sky from this gorgeous area of the country that is the holder of two Dark Skies Awards is pretty darned spectacular too. What’s your favourite view of Cornwall?
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