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Pictures of Cornwall

A county in England


About the county of Cornwall

Think of Cornwall and immediately there springs to mind a vision of Atlantic rollers tumbling over jagged rocks to lash against towering cliffs. This is Cornwall's northern coast, which for centuries has taken a pounding from the turbulence of a 3,000 mile ocean. This part of Cornwall is dominated by Celtic mystery, tales and legends of King Arthur and his dramatic legendry castle perched on a rocky outcrop above Tintagel. In stark contrast to the south lies a softer channel coast of a more gentle nature, it has stormy seas, but these are less significant for here although the coast encompasses a wealth of headlands, there are the flat estuaries of the Helford, Fal and Fowey Rivers.

Wedged between Cornwall's coastal waters is a hinterland made special by a wealth of magnificent gardens where the growth of exotic plants and flowers is encouraged by a pleasant mild climate. But inland Cornwall still has dramatic landscapes of which Bodmin Moor is one. The moor is a place of high peaks and mystic pools, it has hauntingly beautiful places such as the Golitha Falls where the River Fowey tumbles from the high granite uplands, flowing through wooded valleys to join with the sea. But when storm clouds gather the moor appears sinister and forbidding. Even more extraordinary are the countless stone relics found among the moor-land wastes, they may not be as imperious as Stonehenge, none-the-less, they hold the secrets of a Cornwall of 4,000 or more years ago.

Here in this land of many contrasts visitors will find enchanting fishing villages, picturesque stone cottages, quaint harbours, vast beaches, historic churches - some standing close to the sea, and a myriad of ruined mines perilously perched above the wild Atlantic ocean. Small coves and almost white sandy beaches can often be found lying peacefully at the end of a winding leafy lane, undisturbed by the passing of time and looking as if no man has been there before.

St.Ives is a painters paradise, Penzance tingles with legends of pirates, Newlyn harbour is often delightfully crowded with trawlers, Zennor is the perfect "stone village" and Newquay and Bude offer superb surfing, excellent sands, and a wealth of places to explore. St.Nectan's Glen, a peaceful wooded valley filled with birdsong is made more vibrant by a fall of foaming water tumbling through a hole in a stone basin, this is a tranquil, "off the beaten track" spot, with magical views all around.

Palm trees flourish in the Roseland peninsula's sheltered climate, St.Mawes is dominated by Henry VIII's mighty castle, at St.Anthony's Head a lighthouse guides sailors to the safety of the Carrick Roads, and Portloe lies at the foot of a valley leading into Veryan Bay - this is every bit the quintessential Cornish fishing village with boats hauled onto the beach. At Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula changing light off-sets the natural colours of the serpentine rocks, these form a dramatic backdrop for the cove's pale sands. Near Lizard Point in spring-time the ancient Church of St.Wynwallow has snowdrops and daffodils growing from its graves, here too, there is a lighthouse to guide vessels round the oft storm-ridden point.

Of its strange customs, Cornwall's ancient Floral Dance still survives in the old town of Helston, and a spiders web of narrow lanes lead through matchless green countryside to the beautiful Helford River, with its oyster beds, sailing boats and wooded banks. A footpath takes you through the woods to Frenchman's Creek, made famous by Daphne du Maurier.

So here you have it all, lazy days on quiet sandy beaches, fishing in and around quaint harbours, surfing in the wild Atlantic, sailing in the coastal waters of the channel whilst exploring pretty creeks, investigating a wealth of ancient sites, enjoying sights and sounds of age-old Cornish customs, viewing magnificent coastal moonscapes or watching the sun rise while the gentle surf trickles over your feet. Yes, there is the "new" Cornwall with its flamboyant surfing beaches, crowded bars and newer attractions, such as the amazing Eden Project, but for the many it will always be the quiet enchantment, prettiness of the countryside, quaint coastal villages with tumbling streets and old inns. Above all of this, it is the grandeur of rain lashed tempestuous seas leashing their might against huge granite cliffs that will call you back to this mysterious land time and time again. For it is simply unforgettable!

Recommended towns & villages to visit in Cornwall

Newquay Harbour tide out

Newquay (147 Pictures)

What a rare blessing Newquay has in its mile upon mile of sheltered, golden beaches that offer a safe haven for sun-worshippers and surfers alike...

The harbour at Portloe, Cornwall. One of Cornwall's prettiest coastal villages

Portloe (5 Pictures)

"One of the least spoiled and most impressive of Cornish fishing villages" - Sir John Betjeman (famous poet 1906-1984)..

Beautiful beach at Sennen Cove, Cornwall

Sennen Cove (30 Pictures)

Sennen Cove lies at the foot of steeply rising slopes to which old whitewashed cottages cling haphazardly around the hillside...

Watergate Bay

Watergate (6 Pictures)

Watergate occupies a lovely location between the picturesque fishing harbour of Padstow and the exciting surfing beaches of Newquay...

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Recommended attractions in Cornwall

Lanyon Quoit, Cornwall

Lanyon Quoit (3 Pictures)

In this moorland area thick with pre-historic remains, this is the most accessible and without doubt the most famous of all the.....

Seaton Valley Country Park, Cornwall

Seaton Valley Country Park (7 Pictures)

Opened in 1998, Seaton Valley is the newest of Cornwall's four Country Parks. The Local Nature Reserve is popular with.....

The Shire Hall, Bodmin, Cornwall

The Shire Hall (2 Pictures)

This beautifully preserved building is one of Cornwall's gems from the 19th-century. The Shire Hall was built in 1838 and shows.....

Truro Cathedral, in the heart of the Georgian city of Truro, Cornwall

Truro Cathedral (22 Pictures)

A former 16th-century parish church once stood on the site of this sumptuous cathedral, which was designed by John Loughborough.....

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Cornwall Articles


The Minack Theatre
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