Harbour towns are apparently very popular places to visit in Cornwall, which can also make them some of the busiest! So, which harbour towns should you visit in Cornwall if you want to avoid the crowds whilst still enjoying stunning scenery and the most picturesque of places? Find out in this blog post!
Here's a list of our top five harbour towns to visit in Cornwall without crowds, how to get there and what you need to know!
I admit Boscastle might not be the quietest of all harbour towns in Cornwall, but it is one of the most impressive! With it's weathered harbour wall set in a steep ravine on the rugged north coast, it's the perfect place for walking and exploring. It's remote, picturesque and also home to The Witchcraft Museum!
Getting there: Heading North / East on the A39 from Wadebridge, take a left turn off just as you're about to enter the town of Camelford onto the B3266, following it pretty much all the way to Boscastle. Post code for Cobweb Carpark PL35 0HG.
2) St Mawes
Situated on the mouth of the Percuil river, with blue water, sandy beaches and green rolling hills of the Roseland Peninsula as a backdrop, St Mawes couldn't be more stunning! There's even a medieval castle perfectly preserved and well worth a stop.
Getting there: Heading south on the A39 from Truro to Falmouth, take a left at the second roundabout (a left just after the Shell garage) onto the B3289. Alternatively, heading North from Falmouth to Truro, go right at the first roundabout just before the Shell garage. After the town of Penelewey, turn left at the crossroads and follow signs to the King Harry Ferry (£6 for a single trip in a car). Follow the B3289 through the town of St Just and on towards St Mawes. Postcode TR2 5AG.
Located near Penzance in West Cornwall, Mousehole is home to plenty of gift shops, galleries and cafes to keep you busy. At low tide, a sandy beach is revealed in the sheltering harbour walls and the characterful cottages make for a quaint stay. That said, the collection of Christmas lights on display through December make it much busier, and the narrow streets certainly don't make it desirable for driving through.
Getting there: Passing Penzance driving south / west on the A30, take a left turn onto the B3315 at the crossroads following signs to Newlyn. Our prefered route from Newlyn takes you alongside Newlyn Harbour via Strand and Cliff Road, and then follows the coastline to Mousehole. Use the main car park coming up on your left, postcode TR19 6PS, or if you're lucky you might get a spot on the harbour wall itself depending on the time of day and time of year.
Near St Austell on Cornwall's south coast sits the historic port of Charlestown, almost untouched by modern times. The harbour even features a number of famous old sailing boats, now dressed as pirate ships, which are open for exploring and sometimes used for the filming of TV Programmes.
Getting there: In St Austell, at the Mount Charles roundabout, turn off onto the road signposted for Charlestown on Charlestown Road. Follow this road and you'll come to two car parks on both your left and then your right. Postcode PL25 3NH.
Just a few miles from Looe lies the picture perfect port of Polperro. The cliffs are dotted with Cornish cottages, but well hidden in the lush jungle-like greenery, and the harbour may be full of fishing boats and yachts but the streets remain traffic free. The turquoise waters are great for paddling and there's also a natural pool perfect for swimming and playing just along the coastal path.
Getting there: Driving from Bodmin to Liskeard and Plymouth on the A38, take a right turn opposite the large lay by, signposted for Looe and West Taphouse. At the T junction, take a left turn onto the A390, followed by a right turn shortly after the 50mph speed limit is introduced in Middle Taphouse. Follow this road for about a mile until the T junction, taking a right turn onto the B3359. After about 8 miles, turn right at the next T junction onto the A387, signposted for Polperro. The car park will come up on your right just before a mini roundabout, with a tram service or the option of walking about half a mile down into the village. Postcode PL13 2PL.
What's your favourite place in Cornwall? Leave a comment below to let us know!