Cornwall is beautiful all year round, but there’s something magical about the cooler months in The Duchy. Windswept beaches shimmer in the low sunlight, crashing waves roll ashore as winter storms create dramatic coastal scenes, and traditional Cornish pubs light log burners to keep guests warm and cosy.
Here’s our pick of the best things about Cornwall in the autumn and winter months.
There’s no better feeling than watching a storm rage outside on a dramatic day in Cornwall whilst you’re cosied up inside sipping on a hot chocolate. The Fish Sheds at West Portholland is the perfect place to do just this – especially snug when the log burner’s lit too!
Whatever the weather, there’s nothing quite like wrapping up warm and heading out to the coast. Whether it’s the dramatic sights of Pedn Vounder, rugged views along Godrevy and Gwithian on the north coast, or the calmness of our sheltered Porthluney Bay here at Caerhays, each seascape looks completely different throughout the seasons. After all, no two waves are ever the same and you’re likely to have the beach to yourself!
Perfect for those days when the coast is perhaps a little too wild, take shelter in one of Cornwall’s many beautiful woodlands and wander through the fiery, auburn colours of autumn. We highly recommend exploring the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan, or making the journey to Tehidy Woods. Make sure the little ones bring their wellies so they can go puddle jumping!
Explore the most popular seaside towns
Meander along the cobbled streets of St Ives, explore Cornwall’s smuggling history in Charlestown, take a pew on the harbourside at Padstow and watch the world go by in Mevagissey. These tourist hot spots get extremely busy in the summer but at this time of year, it’s likely you’ll only be sharing the sights with a handful of other people. Plus, there’s more chance of finding a parking space!
In a year like no other, Cornwall does have one major advantage over the rest of the country…Its temperate Oceanic climate means outdoor events happen all year round! Catch a show under the stars at the legendary Minack Theatre, go on a magical journey of outdoor performances through Tehidy Woods with Rouge Theatre, or gather around giant feasting tables at Nancarrow Farm for a rustic evening of wining and dining. You’ll make memories to last a lifetime.
Because why should you have to leave part of the family behind? Roughly two-thirds of all 300 Cornish beaches are dog-friendly all year round but the ones that do impose a dog ban in the summer generally lift them in the winter – so there’s more to explore if you bring your four-legged friends with you! There are just 5 beaches where dogs are banned permanently (see a full list here). Porthluney Bay at Caerhays welcomes dogs all year round.
Make a day of it
There’s a common misconception that Cornwall essentially closes in the winter months but in reality, the county’s most popular attractions like The Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount are great for family days out from Oct-March, with some offering off-peak prices and concession rates. That’s the beauty of this time of year in Cornwall – you can make the most of the quietness and visit the places that are usually packed in the summer at your leisure!
Relax and restore
There’s something extremely primal about autumn and winter in Cornwall. When you arrive and first lay eyes on the sea, a feeling of calm washes over you and regular life worries fade away. No matter where you stay on the Estate, you’re only ever walking distance from the coast, so we guarantee you’ll leave feeling revitalised and refreshed – Vitamin Sea is included free of charge with all Caerhays Holidays!
Take a look at autumn/winter availability here.