Guide To South East Cornwall
South East Cornwall is often not as well documented as it’s busier and more commercial sister, the North coast. Due to the lack of surf and less of the big named restaurants, it remains a bit quieter but all as beautiful. With long stretches of golden beaches, calm swimming waters and quaint little villages, it’s most certainly worth visiting.
Kingsand & Cawsand
The first spot you’ll find when following the coast along the South, is the twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand. Originally Kingsand was in Devon and Cawsand in Cornwall, separated by a river. However a decision was made to rejoin Kingsand to Cornwall and the villages are now often referred to as one as there’s little to define the boundary. The villages are a beautiful place to visit and it’s often referred to as ‘The forgotten corner of Cornwall’ so you will find it slightly quieter than other places. The water that surrounds is often calm and easily enjoyed for swimming or paddleboarding.
Next up is Rame Head; this headland is a beautiful spot to head to for sunset or a gentle wander. The silouhette of Rame is easily identified due to the medieval chapel which sits upon the top of the headland. This area is steeped in history, with ian age forts and coastal defences in the area. There’s a spacious car park here to head to and walk the coastline, it’s around one hour to walk from here to Kingsand Cawsand and relatively flat too.
Above Kingsand & Cawsand, you’ll find Maker Heights. An old military barracks which is now a popular campsite and arts space. You’ll find two sites up here; Maker and Seaforts. Seaforts housing luxury clamping tents and both sites offer pitch up camping. There’s also two fantastic cafes, Canteen at Maker and The Guardhouse Cafe at Seaforts.
Mount Edgcumbe is a beautiful site to wander around. With a grand family stately home and immaculate gardens; this is one of the only places you can wander gardens for free so very worth taking advantage of! It’s also coastal and you’ll find a lovely little beach at the bottom with views across to Plymouth. There’s cafes, gift shops and a pub here plus ferry points to boat over to Plymouth or around the coast to Cawsand.
Whitsand Bay is a beautiful long stretch of beach. You’ll find a car park, incredible views and a stunning lifeguarded beach here, not to mention a fantastic coastal path walk. The beach is accessed down steps so not ideal for anyone with access concerns. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay nearby, I highly recommend the adorable glamping site, Tregantle Eco Glamping.
Around the coastline and you’ll find the popular seaside town of Looe. In the South East of Cornwall, it’s easily accessed from the A38 or on the branch train line from Liskeard and is always popular in the summer seasons. The town offers so many boutique shops, pubs, bakeries and more so you have all you need for a day trip or a short holiday.
Talland Bay is a sweet little cove to visit between Looe and Polperro. It’s a popular spot to head to from either side, when walking the Coastal Path. The bay is great for swimming and paddle boarding as the water is often nice and calm, they also have a lovely cafe down there for lunch or snacks. One of the best parts of Talland Bay is Talland Bay Hotel which is incredible!
Next is a beautiful harbour village, one that brings joy to many through the warmer months. Polperro is a very charming village; based on the South coast between Looe and Fowey. A historic smuggling harbour, its now a very popular place for visitors as it’s picturesque, has a lovely harbour to swim and enjoy, ample amenities and the starting point for many beautiful coastal walks.
Time for some beautiful beaches! Lantic Bay is a picture postcard beach in Cornwall; the rugged coastline, rolling green fields and the sheltered bay offering crystal clear waters. It was once a well kept secret, and for good reason. You won’t spot Lantic Bay from the roadside, which makes the journey down not for the faint hearted. Lantic Bay is a National Trust owned beach, so it is well signposted. It is a shingle beach, with calm waters as it’s sheltered by the cove. There’s often boats anchoring up for the day and plenty of people splashing about in the water.
Polruan is one of the quaintest fishing villages in Cornwall, with three sides offering waterside frontage and a view of Fowey just across the way. Polruan is a small village, the less busy and lesser visited neighbour to the ever popular Fowey. Offering only a few pubs, cafes and other amenities, it’s a lovely place to visit to enjoy the peace and quiet of the area.
Fowey is a quaint and delightful town on the South coast of Cornwall, near the big town of St Austell. It is waterfronted by Fowey estuary and is a very popular holiday destination for tourists. With the narrow streets, boat trips and up market restaurants, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the more popular places in the South East. It’s colourful and vibrant but charming, you can easily pop here for a morning, afternoon or stay here and explore the area at a slow pace over a few days.
Charlestown is one of the most unique spots in Cornwall and will be a popular one for any Poldark fans out there! This small village is based around the harbour which houses the famous tall ships and features the Shipwreck Museum. The harbour walls offer a nice spot for a dip and there’s also numerous great eateries in the area to make for a perfect afternoon.