Things to do - Cornwall

Mystical, majestic and modern, Cornwall is packed with superb landscapes, beautiful beaches, brooding moorlands and amazing towns. The sheer size of the rugged cliffs and thunderous waves on beautiful remote beaches are just a couple of the sights that resonate with anyone who has ever visited this remarkable area of the UK. Cornwall has long been a favourite for holidaymakers and not just for its magnificent landscapes. There is history, sports and culture with attractions for everyone.

History can be seen all around with small villages where fishermen still risk their lives out at sea, a most unforgiving environment if the weather suddenly changes. Watching the fishermen mending their nets, leaving the safety of the harbour and then bringing home their catch for the local restaurants, is a good way to immerse yourself in the day to day tapestry of Cornish life.

Cornwall is not just about ancient and medieval sites. A substantial part of the history includes tin and copper mining. One of the most interesting historical attractions is the King Edward Mine Museum at Troon. This is a superb example of a preserved mine site that has been restored by English Heritage. You can take a tour of the working mine and guides will show you how the locals helped to shape mining history.

Set adjacent to the 7.5 mile Great Flat Lode Walking/Cycle Trail, if you want a change from days spent on the beach, this is a great way to enjoy something different on your Cornish break.

Cornwall is renowned for its temperate climate and offers long sunlit days when the beaches are the most attractive place to be. You can relax and sunbathe or try something different like the Big Blue Surf School at Bude. This is the place to go and try your hand at surfing. Courses are available for families and you don't have to be an adult. Anyone over the age of eight can join in and beginners are made extremely welcome.

Similarly, if you have always wanted to try sailing, Bowman Yacht Charters at Falmouth is a great company that offers day sailing, weekend breaks or longer charters. Enjoy a different perspective of Cornwall by sailing along the coastline and stopping in one of the many marinas. Here you can enjoy your evening meal either on board or in a local waterfront bistro.

With a coastline that covers some 300 miles taking in both the English Channel and the Irish Sea, Cornwall is unsurpassed for its scenery and diverse culture. Heading slightly inland, another popular place to visit is the Hidden Valley Gardens at Treesmill. There are three acres of gardens with specialist plants that include exotic Japanese varieties and some easily recognised Mediterranean favourites. The garden is open from March until October and is a must for fans of horticulture.

The unexpected grandeur of Bodmin Moor never fails to take away the breath of new visitors to Cornwall. Tales told of legendary characters are part of the fabric of Cornish life and locals are always keen to talk about their beloved part of the world.

Farmland is in abundance in Cornwall with some areas still retaining a medieval aura where you can find Celtic stone circles and burial barrows. Evidence of early settlers is shown in the prehistoric remains in the moor's museums.

There are many old villages and coastal towns to visit. Charlestown is just one of the wonderful small ports that retains its unspoiled Georgian heritage. Famous for its artist's enclave, St Ives is another amazing town to visit for anyone who loves painting, poetry, arts and crafts. The galleries at Penzance and Truro are well worth seeing and paintings by Cornish artists can be found for sale at Fowey.

Penzance is the most westerly large town in Cornwall. Here you can have a fabulous night out at the Acorn Theatre which has an enviable reputation for performing arts and exciting live music gigs. Performers from both the national and international circuits are found in this most affordable venue. This is one of the main centres in the West Country for theatre, dance and music and everyone is welcome.

In addition to its many other attractions, Penzance has recently been dubbed as a gourmet capital in the UK and the town boasts some of the most exciting restaurants in the area. You can combine a night out at the theatre with a meal in either a modern restaurant or in a 300 year old historic pub which offers rustic seafood and local dishes.

Cornwall for a holiday or short break has so much on offer that it continues to outshine many other holiday destinations in the UK.