Cornwall sits proudly on the South West tip of England and boasts three hundred miles of coastline. It has a peninsula of sweeping beaches, moss-covered river valleys and beautiful moorland finishing at the world-famous Land’s End. With unrivalled scenery and beautiful coloured villages including Polperro, Mevagissey and Port Isaac, here are the most beautiful harbourside towns to visit.
The romantic and picturesque village of Boscastle on the north coast of Cornwall was once home to both busy fishing and stoneworking trades. The village sits high above the harbour and is flanked by a breathtaking rugged and rocky coastline, perfect creative inspiration for numerous artists and writers.
In addition to the stunning natural beauty, Boscastle has a plethora of galleries, potteries, pubs and even a museum of witchcraft. An ideal base for walking and a fascinating link with times past, Boscastle is an essential stop-off for any visit to the West Country.
Looking for a pit-stop? Set above the lovely Trebarwith Strand, the Mill House pub is located between the picturesque Boscastle and the fascinating Port Isaac. The former corn mill nestles in its own seven-acre wooded valley and offers accommodation in addition to well-kept ales and fine food.
Situated on the Roselands peninsula near to Truro on the edge of Gerrans Bay, Portscatho is a delightful part of Cornwall and a great area for walks around the harbour, the coastal path and the nearby beach. The steep slope down to the beach means that the views from the village itself are exceptional in all directions.
Portscatho is popular with foodies and is known for its outstanding food shops, restaurants and pubs. Portscatho is a great destination to spend an afternoon nurturing a pint of Cornish ale, a cream tea or a traditional pasty. The village also hosts a vibrant fish festival in August.
Looking for a pit-stop?Basically located in the sea, Tatams in Portscatho is the number-one spot for a shot of finest Olfactory coffee with unblemished views of gorgeous coastline. Perhaps not the most luxurious of places to sit on a rainy day as there is no indoor seating, but pure gold when the suns out.
One of the most popular destinations in Cornwall, Polperro is a largely unspoilt fishing village on the southeast coast. The beach here is small and sandy and sports a fabulous little tidal pool ideal for first swimmers. Pretty cottages cling to the steep hillside of this quaint and picturesque harbour.
Free from traffic, Polperro is equally enjoyable for browsing, wandering and eating with its many independent shops, noteworthy seafood restaurants and galleries. The relaxed town is also a great starting point for cliff walks in both directions with fantastic views.
Looking for a pit-stop? The oldest pub in Polperro, the Three Pilchards is situated on the quay where fish have been landed by local fisherman for centuries. Being steeped in charm and history, this family-friendly pub is popular with locals and visitors alike.
The word picturesque could have been coined for Port Isaac. The narrow winding streets are lined with whitewashed cottages, many of which are now listed due to their historical importance and pleasing aesthetic. Wander down to the harbour where you will find local fishermen landing their daily catch each morning.
Port Isaac is set amidst rugged and magnificent scenery on Cornwall’s North coast from where you can begin stunning coastal walks, visit Polzeath Beach or head out on a boat trip. Port Isaac has become a popular stop-off with fans of the TV series Doc Martin starring Martin Clunes which is filmed here.
Looking for a pit-stop? Near to the ancient fishing village of Port Isaac and nestled within a secluded cove lies the award-winning Port Gaverne Hotel. This 17th-century hideaway has a 5 star AA rating and food to match. Awarded the ‘top food pub’ in Cornwall in 2017, the inn serves “ultra-fresh, coastal, no ego food”.
Mevagissey is an attractive village and fishing port five miles south of St. Austell. This was once the centre of Cornwall’s pilchard fishery with boat building traditions dating back to 1745. The village still boasts a working harbour with local fisherman heading out each morning.
The name Mevagissey is derived from the names of two saints, St Meva and St Issey and dates back to 1313. From the top of Polkirt Hill, there is a great view over the cobbled streets, the harbour and the yachting pool. Mevagissey is also ideally located for a visit to the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Looking for a pit-stop? The Sharksfin is an excellent place to stop for a drink and a quick bite to eat before exploring this picturesque and historic harbour. A traditional yet stylish bar and restaurant, the Sharksfin is decked out with a vibrant interior and has a menu with an American twist.