West Cornwall

While most visitors head for the tourist honey pots of the north coast, the wild west of Cornwall receives fewer visitors outside the major draws of St Ives and Land’s End. But the real beauty of this corner lies off the beaten track: it’s a land where stone monuments rise up from the hilltops, ancient moorland butts up against gorse-topped cliffs, and forgotten mine stacks stand out in relief against the skyline.

With its sparkling seaside setting and artistic connections, the attractions of St Ives are very well known, and the town can feel uncomfortably crowded between July and September; visit in early spring or autumn and you’ll find things quieter. Similarly, the main beaches around Gwithian, Sennen and the Lizard can be very busy, but many more remote coves can be reached via the coast path. And for a real escape, the lesser-visited islands of Scilly feel like a whole different world.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout West Cornwall.