Unique Places in Cornwall

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Cornwall

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    The Seal Sanctuary at Gweek

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Feb 17, 2006

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    Gweek is a tiny village at the head of the Helford River and is worth a visit in itself.

    But it is also the home of the National Seal Sanctuary, which acts as a refuge and a hospital for seals in trouble, often baby seals abandoned on the beaches for some reason. The infant seals are nurtured always with the idea that they will return to the sea, and most of them do so when big enough to survive on their own. Some seals arrive at the Sanctuary in a very sick and injured condition, some are close to death. The dedicated veterinary team will often work through the night to do everything possible to stabilise the seal's condition.

    Very few seals remain in the Sanctuary when they are returned to health, but some of them, because of their injuries would not be able to live alone and they can remain in the Sanctuary.

    There are 10 outdoor pools, some equipped for underwater viewing - don't be surprised to see the seals watching YOU!

    To get there, see the map inside. When you arrive by car at Helston, head for R.N.A.S. Culdrose on A3083 (signposted Lizard), drive along this road to the roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout (signposted St Keverne). About ½ mile along on the B3293 road, turn left and follow the signpost to Gweek. When you arrive in Gweek village, turn right just before the "Gweek Inn" pub and follow the signs to Seal Sanctuary.

    Entrance fee is 8.50GBP, children cheaper

    A seal mother and baby in the wild
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    Crackington Haven

    by evaanna Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Crackington Haven in North Cornwall is Cornwall's highest coastal point, offering great views of the sea and the cliffs. The village lies very close to the sea here, separated from it only by the road. With lots of parking space, it makes a good starting point for scenic walks on the coastal footpath.

    On the way to Crackington Haven, Cornwall
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    Seals in Cornwall

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Feb 20, 2006

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    The grey seal is the seal of exposed rocky coasts. In world terms they are quite uncommon, perhaps numbering about 300,000. The British population is nearly half that number, mainly in Scotland. South-west England is the southernmost limit of its breeding range in the East Atlantic. Nowhere is it found in large numbers, although about 300 may dwell in the local "capital", the Isles of Scilly. There, pups are born on remote and uninhabited islets.

    On the mainland, most seals are born on small, tidal beaches at the back of sea caves. These caves are some of the wildest and most beautiful of the few really wild places remaining in southern England. Usually, they have a deep water entrance, and often they run into the cliff for 100 metres or sometimes even more. When storm seas run, then caves are filled with boiling, seething water. It is hard to imagine anything surviving in such places. Nevertheless, they do. And of course they are totally inaccessible for any hunters

    These photos were taken in the Scilly Islands

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    Cornish country lanes

    by evaanna Updated Feb 11, 2005

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    If you come to see Cornwall as a tourist for just a few days, you visit the seaside, the castles and all the major tourist attractions. What you often miss is the great Cornish countryside with its narrow lanes, lovely hills and valleys, old trees overgrown with ivy and an abundance of flowers and birds. As it was spring when I was there, my friend took me to see one of the country valleys, more like a ravine really, with masses of early spring flowers sheltered there from the cold wind. I took a photo of the old stone bridge that my friend says is called Polbrock Bridge, south of Wadebridge on the Camel Trail going towards Bodmin. She couldn't even describe how we got there it was so complicated, but she certainly knew her way as she drove at what for me was a terrifying speed on those narrow winding dirt roads. Anyway, you could try to find the valley and the bridge if I tell you that the nearest little village is Ruthernbridge. If not, just go and explore Cornwall - it is worth it. And don't miss their cream teas and Cornish pasties on the way!

    Polbrock Bridge, Cornwall
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    A Very Specialized Ship

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Feb 13, 2006

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    (February, 2004 trip) - This view of the outer part of Falmouth Harbour was taken from the observation area at the top of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. At centre stage is a brand new ship, built in China, specially designed to install off-shore wind generators. The MV Mayflower Resolution is equipped with six huge jacks (visible here as those brownish parts) that can maintain the ship steady off the ocean bottom in up to 100 feet of water. Also visible is the white & red 300 tonne capacity crane that the vessel will use to carry out its function of installing heavy wind tower segments and the turbine on-top. The ship normally carries a crew of 34 but will house 60-70 crew and 3000 tons of equipment when it deploys on a normal voyage to install up to 10 wind generator complexes per trip. I was interested to see this vessel because we had already seen two land-based windfarms just outside Truro along the high ground traversed by the A30 highway. By the way, thanks to the Carrick Roads estuary at the mouth of the Fal River, Falmouth is the 3rd largest deep-water port in the world, after Rio de Janeiro and Sydney!

    The 'Mayflower Resolution'
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    Country Lanes

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 28, 2006

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    (December, 2005 trip) - There is such an abundance of roads and lanes in England that it seems there are always three or four ways to reach any desired destination. One particular stretch of the A390 highway leading into Truro often becomes very congested, and it happens to be between the houses of my wife's sister and her parents. No problem, one day we just took the twisting scenic route to bypass it all, even if it was little more than a single lane with traffic in both directions!

    It turned out to be a very enjoyable drive, you would really think you were miles into the countryside instead of simply bypassing a major route inside Truro! The photo shows another side-road off this path, requiring a ford across the River Kenwyn at New Mills, if you really want to go in that direction. There is a handy water elevation marker on the right side of the roadway so you can judge whether you are up for a fight against what could be a strong current, depending on recent weather conditions. This river very shortly enters Truro itself and I made several in-town walks along it's banks using the 'The Leats' pedestrian way.

    The second photo shows my car parked beside the single-lane road while I had a look at the ford. A very friendly gentleman emerged from the nearby houses, while walking his dog, and we had a pleasant discussion regarding how deep the water can get and what the weather is like in Canada!

    The Depth Gauge Says 'OK' A Single Lane Heading Away from the Ford
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    Hell's Mouth - in a beautiful way...

    by MISSQT Updated Mar 13, 2004

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    Behind Godrevy lie cliffs of dark slate and shale with enthralling names like Hell's Mouth and Deadman's Cove.

    Me and sisters/friend spent a lot of time mucking about in the caves, exploring and admiring it's beauty... I recall that we posed in the caves for a picture - just like Charlie's Angels - see my travelogue.

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    St. Agnes Museum

    by rexvaughan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    One of the purposes of our trip was to see if we could find information about my wife's family. Research by some other family members had indicated that for about 3 generations in the 18th and 19th Centuries they had been miners in St. Agnes, today a village of about 2200 people. We did a little more research at the County Records Office in Truro, but wanted to see what we could find in their old home town. It felt a little strange, almost nostalgic, to walk the streets of this little town knowing that my wife's ancestors had doubtless traveled the same area years before.

    The museum is quite small but is a wonderful chronicle of the town's history and is surrounded by a 2 acre cemetery which I understand was formed there in 1876 and includes the former mortuary chapels in which the museum is housed. They have recorded the names of all the people buried here, but alas my wife's family was not among them. However, a very kind gentleman who was on duty that day became excited at the prospect of discovering more for her. He took her name and addresses and promised to do further research and let her know what he finds. When we hear from him I will update this tip.

    Even if you are not interested in geneaology, there is an excellent display on the mining history with lots of tools, photos and other documents related to it. Also there are interesting displays related to the migration of miners from the area and the local scene during the two world wars. It is a wonderful place to get a taste of the character and history of the local area and St. Agnes in particular.

    Penwinnick Road, St Agnes

    The Museum is open 10.30 - 17.00, Mon, Wed and Fri until 19 Oct; daily until 26 Oct; then closed until Easter

    Part of the burial grounds Cornish Beam Engine model Lady Agnes masthead Old photo of miners The museum
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    Family History sources

    by rexvaughan Written Nov 5, 2007

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    If you have any interest in Cornwall family histories and genaeology, there are two places in Truro that will be of interest. My wife's family came from Cornwall, probably in the 19th Century and we had traced about 3 generations to the St. Agnes area. We went to the Cornwall Records Office even though we did not have an appointment which is normally required. Since it was a Tuesday and not terribly busy, the kind lady there worked us in and was most helpful in finding the old parish records (both Church of England and Nonconformist) for us to search for ancestors. We were able to find a little info which we did not know before.

    A second source we were told about by the helpful lady at the records office is the Cornwall Family History Society. Unfortunately they were closed on Tuesday so we did not get in. However they have a website that will give you access to a lot of information. Some requires a membership and fees but the amounts are quite small.

    The County Records Office is in a very unimpressive building in Truro just off the A390 which is also Treyew Road. There is a Sainsbury's at Treyew and Station Roads and it is just to the right and behind as you face Sanisbury's. Phone (0)1872 323127; website: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=307

    The Cornwall Family History Society is at 5 Victoria Sqaure in the center of Truro. Phone is 01872 264044. Website: www.cornwallfhs.com/

    County Records Office Family History Society

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  • St Mawes, Cornwall

    by Mariajoy Updated May 26, 2006

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    A 10 minute drive and a short ferry ride brought us to the delightful little harbour town of St Mawes with the usual array of cream tea shops and fish and chip shops, art galleries displaying the talents of local artists and the usual tourist tacky shops. Needless to say it rained on the day we visited.

    St Mawes
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    Eden Project (IV)

    by munki Written Apr 10, 2005

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    Don’t let the crowns, the restaurant, the huge souvenirs shop, toilets, cash machines put you off. It makes sense to avoid weekends and public holidays or at least to try to arrive at 10.00 am when the gates open.

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    Eden Project (VI)

    by munki Written Apr 10, 2005

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    You can also enjoy the view of the beautiful outdoor landscape where plantations of different crops (hemps, tea, lavender, wheat, bamboo) are mixed with colourful garden flowers and both metal and wood sculptures.

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    Eden Project (XI)

    by munki Written Apr 10, 2005

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    There are four palm trees and some marvellous metal sculptures in the centre of the biomes. My visit was at the end of March and there were lots of colourful tulips and other flowers inside and outside the biomes.

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    St Materiana's Church

    by freya_heaven Written Sep 14, 2004

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    St Materiana's Church was built in the 1000s, The church has a wonderfully atmospheric position on the cliff top above Tintagel Castle. All my churchyard sunsets photos on this page were taken here.

    It is believed that St Materiana's Church is the oldest surviving church in Cornwall. The old graveyard is a fantastic mix of Celtic & traditional christian gravestones, many leaning in different directions.

    St Materiana's Church, Tintagel
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    Geevor Museum

    by freya_heaven Written Sep 14, 2004

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    Geevor Tin Mine near Penzance, was a working mine until it shut in 1990. The mine reopened again in 1993 as a museum

    Today you can walk through 18th century tunnels, learn how we obtain tin and the lives of the miners through the centuries. The miners showers & locker rooms are as they were left 14 years ago. They have exhibitions, and interactive displays, something to keep everyone interested.

    The Museum is open daily, the underground tours are less frequent thoughout the day in the winter. Admission £6.50.

    Geevor Tin Mine
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Cornwall Hotels

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Cornwall Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Cornwall off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Cornwall sightseeing.
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