Cornwall is one of the most unique parts of the UK. It boasts stunning beaches, charming villages, exquisite views, and a relatively warm climate. It is, without a doubt, an unmissable destination for travellers visiting England.
But Cornwall is packed with towns and villages, which can make it overwhelming to figure out which is right for you. That’s exactly why we put together this article for where to stay in Cornwall.
This guide was written by travellers for travellers. It lists the best towns and villages in Cornwall and organizes them by your travel need.
So no matter what you’re looking to do, you’ll be able to find the town or village of your dreams.
Let’s jump right into where to stay in Cornwall, UK.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Cornwall
- Where to stay in Cornwall first time – St Ives
- Where to stay in Cornwall on a budget – Penzance
- Best area to stay in Cornwall for nightlife – Newquay
- Coolest place to stay in Cornwall – Bude
- Best neighbourhood in Cornwall for families – Looe
- Explore the Cornwall Coastal Path and prepare for breathtaking views
- Relax on the golden sands of Porthminster Beach
- Surf or lounge at spectacular Porthmeor Beach
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Cornwall
- Cornwall Neighborhood Guide
- Cornwall’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- 1. St Ives – Where to Stay in Cornwall First Time
- 2. Penzance – Where to Stay in Cornwall on a Budget
- 3. Newquay – Best Area to Stay in Cornwall for Nightlife
- 4. Bude – Coolest Place to Stay in Cornwall
- 5. Looe – Best Neighbourhood in Cornwall for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Cornwall.
Best Hostel in Cornwall: easyPZ Backpackers Penzance
This is our pick for the best hostel in Cornwall thanks to its great location, comfortable accommodations and its affordable pricing. Guests of the hostel can enjoy a large kitchen, a relaxing social room, and plenty of board games and books. They’ll also have access to a delicious and free continental breakfast.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Cornwall: Amazing apartment with bay views!
Enjoy the picturesque views of St Ives harbour that you’ve come to enjoy from the comfort of your own home with this ideally situated apartment. You’ll be mere minutes from the city centre, the beach and the surf. There’s plenty of activities supplied for rainy days as well ( come on, this is England).
If you’re looking for something slightly bigger, check out these epic lodges in Cornwall, all set in the countryside with incredible views!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Cornwall: Sea Jade Guest House
Located in the northern village of Bude, this guest house boasts a fantastic location. It is close to a variety of restaurants and cafes, as well as the town centre. Comprised of seven rooms, this guest house is outfitted with charming and modern necessities. Guests can also enjoy a delicious breakfast each morning.View on Booking.com
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Cornwall
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Cornwall is a massive and spectacular county located in southern England. It is one of the most isolated and unique parts of the country and is a popular holiday destination for domestic and international travellers. The Cornwall places of interest are scattered around the county.
Cornwall covers an area of more than 3,560 square kilometres. It is comprised of hundreds of colourful towns and charming villages that each offer distinct character and diverse beauty.
To help you plan your holiday to Cornwall, this guide will take a look at the five best towns and villages organized by interest.
St Ives is a popular tourist town that’s located in southern Cornwall. It has a number of high profile attractions and white-sand beaches, and it also boasts a good selection of shops, restaurants and cafes.
Travel southwest from here and you’ll arrive in Penzance. It’s where you can enjoy a vast array of shops, historic pubs, stunning views and a relaxed way of life.
Travel north along the coast to Newquay. The surfing capital of the UK, Newquay is a lively and vibrant town known for its beautiful beaches and stunning coastal scenery. It’s also where you’ll find the best nightlife in Cornwall.
Head north from here to Bude. The northernmost village in Cornwall, Bude offers the best of both worlds. Here you can enjoy great food, drinks and sightseeing, as well as unique nature and unparalleled views.
And finally, travel back to the southern coast to Looe. A town split into two parts, Looe has a fantastic selection of activities and attractions perfect for a family day out. From basking on the beach to animal encounters, Looe is a village that has it all!
Still not sure where to stay in Cornwall? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Cornwall’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best towns and villages to stay in Cornwall. Each is a little different from the last so be sure to pick the one that’s right for you!
St Ives is our pick for where to stay in Cornwall if you’re visiting for the first time. It is set in the south of Cornwall and is known for its white-sand beaches, winding narrow alleys, colourful fisherman’s cottages and its myriad of shops and pubs.
Its also home to two high-profile attractions, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Tate Gallery, where you can see incredible works of art by local artists.
This vibrant and busy seaside town is also where you can excite your sense and dine on some of the best seafood in the UK. Whether it’s a plate of fish and chips or a bowl of fresh mussels, St Ives is a town where you can eat very well! It’s also home to some of the best cottages in Cornwall and you don’t have to look too hard to find an epic place to stay.
Things to See and Do in St Ives
– Choose from a wide selection of beers at Pilchard Press Alehouse Micropub.
– Dig into a hearty Sunday roast at The Castle Inn.
– Eat delicious seafood at The Ocean Grill.
– Explore the Cornwall Coastal Path and prepare for breathtaking views.
– Go coasteering and explore the stunning cliffs around St Ives.
– Grab a pint at The Sloop Inn, the oldest pub in St Ives.
– Relax on the golden sands of Porthminster Beach.
– See an incredible display of artwork at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.
– Surf or lounge at spectacular Porthmeor Beach.
– View an incredible collection of iconic 20th-century art at the Tate Gallery St Ives.
Best Hostel in St Ives: Cohort Hostel, St Ives
This recently renovated hostel is located in the centre of St Ives. It’s close to the beach, great shops and lots of cafes and pubs. Rooms come complete with pod bunk beds, each with its own light, socket, USB plug, and storage locker. There’s also an in-house bar, lounge and laundry facilities.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in St Ives: Amazing apartment with bay views!
Enjoy the picturesque views of St Ives harbour that you’ve come to enjoy from the comfort of your own home with this ideally situated apartment. You’ll be mere minutes from the city centre, the beach and the surf. There’s plenty of activities supplied for rainy days as well ( come on, this is England).View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in St Ives: Palma Guest House
The Palma Guest House gets our vote for where to stay in St Ives. It’s situated at the heart of the city in St Ives’ vibrant nightlife district. Offering two comfortable guest rooms, this property has a range of facilities and features including a sun deck and free wifi.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in St Ives: The Queens Hotel St Ives
A fantastic bar and a great location – it’s no wonder we love this hotel! Set in central St Ives, this hotel is within walking distance of popular attractions. Rooms are relaxed and clean, and each is well outfitted for a comfortable stay.View on Booking.com
Set on the south coast of Cornwall, Penzance is a tropical paradise. Boasting one of the mildest climates in the UK, here you can enjoy warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and even naturally occurring palm trees. Who says you need to leave Great Britain to enjoy a little fun in the sun!
Penzance is also our pick for where to stay if you’re travelling on a budget. Not only is this village home to our favourite hostel, but it’s where you can find a good selection of good value and cost-conscious accommodation options.
Love to shop? Well, Penzance is for you. This village is the commercial centre for the Land’s End peninsula and has everything from high street stores to independent boutiques.
Things to See and Do in Penzance
– Admire the architecture and detail of the Egyptian House.
– Dine on tasty British fare at Harbourside Café.
– Enjoy the food, drinks and atmosphere at Admiral Benbow.
– Explore the shops of Chapel Street
– Go for a swim at Jubilee Pool, the UK’s biggest art deco seawater lido.
– Marvel at the luxurious sub-tropical plantings at Morrab Gardens.
– Stroll along the lengthy 1840s-style promenade.
– Take a day trip to nearby magical and mysterious St Michael’s Mount.
– Tuck into a splendid plate of fish and chips at Market Place Fish Bar.
– Wander around the Tanglewood Wild Garden.
Best Hostel in Penzance: easyPZ Backpackers Penzance
This is our pick for where to stay in Penzance thanks to its great location, comfortable accommodations and its affordable pricing. Guests of the hostel can enjoy a large kitchen, a relaxing social room, and plenty of board games and books. They’ll also have access to a delicious and free continental breakfast.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Penzance: Self containt studio great for a small group
Property prices can run a little high in Penzance, but this property packs in a lot of value whilst still managing to keep the price point down. Find 2 friends to share with and you’ll be getting an absolute bargain with this Georgian townhouse.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Penzance: The Stanley
Thanks to its excellent location, this is our favourite hotel in Penzance. It’s within walking distance of top tourist attractions, as well as great eateries, pubs, cafes and shops. You’ll enjoy comfortable and well-appointed rooms with a range of excellent amenities.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Penzance: Union Hotel Penzance
This hotel is in an excellent location, just steps from the beach, and dining, nightlife and shopping options. They offer 28 comfortable rooms with a range of features, including free coffee and tea supplies. You’ll also be able to enjoy a gym, a terrace and a cosy lounge bar.View on Booking.com
Newquay is a village located in northern Cornwall known for its gorgeous beaches and striking coastal views. A popular resort destination, Newquay attracts tens of thousands of travellers every year to enjoy its stretches of golden sand and its fantastic conditions for surfing. As the UK’s premier destination for surfers, Newquay hosts a variety of world-class events all throughout the year.
But, there’s more to this coastal community than hanging ten. Newquay is also where you’ll find a vibrant and lively nightlife scene. It’s home to everything from rustic pubs to fun dance clubs, which is why it’s our pick for where to stay in Cornwall for nightlife.
Things to See and Do in Newquay
– Bask in the sunshine and enjoy the views at Lusty Glaze beach.
– Dance until dawn at Berties Nightclub.
– Drink beers at the Cribbar.
– Eat a delicious Sunday lunch at Merrymoor Inn Pub by the Beach.
– Eat amazing seafood at The Fish House.
– Enjoy a quirky night out at Whiskers.
– Go for a stroll along Towan Beach.
– Learn to surf at Fistral Beach.
– Party the night away at Basement Bar.
– See more than 1,000 rare and exciting creatures at the Newquay Zoo.
– Sip urbane cocktails at Tom Thumb Bar.
– View colourful fish, sea creatures and aquatic animals at the Blue Reef Aquarium.
Best Hostel in Newquay: Newquay International Backpackers
This homey hostel is ideally located in Newquay. It’s the perfect home away from home for surfers and party animals as its just steps from both the beach and great bars. This hostel has a sauna, a kitchen, a comfortable lounge and a garden with fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Best Airbnb in Newquay: A private cottage a short walk from town
Perfect for a group heading down to Newquay for a weekend of beach days and pub nights, you’ll never be too far from a refreshing pint with this self-contained cottage. The cool garden courtyard combo looks great for a night in. It could be a great spot to enjoy the illusive English barbeque if you’re lucky.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Newquay: Priory Lodge Hotel
The Priory Lodge Hotel is in a fantastic location for walking to the best bars, pubs and restaurants in Newquay. They offer comfortable and spacious rooms with modern amenities. There’s also a stunning pool, tennis courts and a sauna on site. All of this combined makes this our recommendation for where to stay in Newquay.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Newquay: Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa
This comfortable and elegant four-star hotel is ideally located in Newquay close to top tourist attractions and the beach. It offers a range of wellness facilities, including a swimming pool, fitness centre and an on-site spa. Each room is well-equipped with contemporary amenities to ensure a great stay.View on Booking.com
Bude is the northernmost town in Cornwall, sitting right on the border with Devon. A haven for outdoor adventurers, Bude boasts beautiful beaches, exquisite wildlife, great water quality, and fantastic conditions for surfing. It’s where you can enjoy everything from climbing epic sandstone cliffs and hanging ten, to lounging on the beach and basking in the sun.
Our pick for the coolest village in Cornwall, Bude is where you can enjoy the best of both worlds. As well as its spectacular scenery, Bude offers great shops, delicious restaurants, cosy cafes and plenty of things to see and do. You definitely won’t be bored by making your base in charming Bude.
Things to See and Do in Bude
– Dine on fresh seafood at Life’s A Beach.
– Eat a delightful tapas at Te Bank Tapas and Grill Restaurant.
– Explore the grounds of The Castle Bude.
– Kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast at Temple.
– Listen to great live music at Bar 35.
– Sip a glass of Cornwall wine at The Barrel.
– Soak up some rays at Crooklets Beach.
– Surf or swim at spectacular Summerleaze Beach.
– Swim in Bude Sea Pool, a man-made saltwater tidal pool.
– Unleash your inner archer with lessons at Red Elk Archery.
– Wander out to Compass Point.
Best Hostel in Bude: Northshore Bude
This hostel is in the perfect location for exploring Bude with plenty of beaches, shops and eateries nearby. It provides clean and comfortable accommodations and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. You’ll enjoy a self-catering kitchen, a spacious TV lounge and a relaxing garden and BBQ area.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Bude: Charming conversion in an old Granary
Soak in all of Cornwalls historic charm from this cool little Granary-come-cottage. It’s perfectly situated if you’re looking to enjoy dramatic coastal walks and charming local cafe culture. It’s dog-friendly too if you’ve got a furry best friend.View on Airbnb
Best Bed & Breakfast in Bude: Sunrise Bed & Breakfast Bude
Sunrise Bed & Breakfast is situated within walking distance of Bude Sea Pool and is conveniently located for exploring the village. It offers a comfortable and stylish room with private bathrooms and amenities. You’ll enjoy a satisfying breakfast each morning, and there are plenty of cafes nearby.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Bude: Sea Jade Guest House
Thanks to its fantastic location, this is our pick for where to stay in Bude. It is close to a variety of restaurants and cafes, as well as the town centre. Comprised of seven rooms, this guesthouse is outfitted with charming and modern necessities. Guests can also enjoy a delicious breakfast each morning.View on Booking.com
Looe is a small and picturesque town located on the southern coast of Cornwall. Divided into by the River Looe, this town boasts a pretty harbour, pretty sand beaches and an absolutely stunning coastline. It’s where you can enjoy a variety of activities and attractions, as well as good shopping and delicious restaurants. That’s why Looe is our pick for where to stay in Cornwall for families.
An All-around holiday destination, there are plenty of things to see and do in Looe that will enchant travellers of all ages. From coastal hikes and days at the beach to animal encounters and historical landmarks, this small Cornwall town is bursting with opportunities for family fun.
Things to See and Do in Looe
– Dine on savoury dishes at Chennai Indian Fusion.
– Dive deep into local history at the Old Guildhall Museum & Gaol.
– Eat excellent fish and chips at The Coddy Shack.
– Enjoy a filling and delicious full English breakfast at Daisy’s Café.
– Learn about the fishing industry at The Old Sardine Factory Heritage Centre.
– Spend a day relaxing at Millendreath Beach
– Run, jump, laugh and plat on the sands of East Looe Beach.
– Take a day trip to the Porfell Wildlife Park & Sanctuary.
– Take a tour of The Monkey Sanctuary and learn all about these fascinating creatures.
– Visit nearby Looe Island.
Best Guest House in Looe: Bridgeside Guest House Looe
This charming guesthouse has a great location in Looe. It is close to restaurants and shops, as well as popular tourist attractions. You and your family can enjoy a variety of amenities, including a sun deck, and free wifi. There’s also a delicious restaurant and cosy lounge bar on-site.View on Booking.com
Best Airbnb in Looe: Rural sanctuary for a peaceful family retreat
This charming property gives you and your family your own piece of real British countryside to enjoy. The garden and pond are teeming with life, backed by the rolling cornish hills. There’s pub-grub & fish and chippy’s within walking distance for hearty British meals to suit all ages. Great place to savour some peace and quiet.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Looe: Meneglaze B&B
The Meneglaze B&B provides four-star luxury in the heart of Looe. Located north of central Looe, this B&B offers a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere and stunning views. The property is comprised of 4 cosy rooms with free wifi and a range of amenities. You’ll also enjoy a varied breakfast each morning.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Looe: Dolphin Guest House Looe
The Dolphin Guest House has a great location in Looe. It offers elegant Victorian accommodation with a vast array of features. Guests can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant. There’s also a relaxing sundeck on site. All of this combined makes this our number one choice for where to stay in Looe.View on Booking.com
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Cornwall
Cornwall is a little slice of paradise in the UK. It has stunning beaches, scenic views, world-class surfing and plenty of shopping, dining and nightlife options. A relaxing holiday destination, there’s something for everyone in Cornwall, UK.
In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best towns and villages to stay in Cornwall. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here’s a quick summary of our favourite accommodations.
easyPZ Backpackers Penzance is our number one choice for the best hostel in Cornwall thanks to its great location, comfortable rooms, and is a great value for travellers
Our recommendation for the best hotel is the Sea Jade Guest House. Located in Bude, this charming property is well equipped and centrally located. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a satisfying breakfast each morning!
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.