Things to do in North Cornwall

A walker at Pentire headland

Whatever the weather, North Cornwall offers opportunity to get outside and closer to nature. The spectacular coastline offers days out to the beach, visits to sheltered harbours and exposed headlands to explore. Younger members of the family can tick off lots of the ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ too.

Picnic like royalty

What tasty local delicacies can you add to make your picnic that extra bit special? Local Cornish treats such as pasties and cream teas are a favourite. During the autumn there are plenty of hedgerows to forage for blackberries and sloes. They freeze brilliantly and here’s a twist on the traditional scone recipe to try.

Fruit scone

Blackberry and Apple scone

Celebrate the apple harvest with this delicious scone recipe from blogger Sarah Clelland, that features in the National Trust book of scones

Some of our favourite picnic spots to try

Pentire orchard

Picnic at Pentire (near Polzeath) 

Pentire headland, near Polzeath, is ideal for picnics. A restored orchard, outdoor and undercover courtyard seating or sat on the clifftop overlooking the sea; there are options galore.

A sea view from the cliffs at Carnewas at Bedruthan

Carnewas at Bedruthan 

Since Victorian times, Carnewas has been a firm favourite for those looking for the perfect picnic spot; boasting dramatic cliff top views and a picnic area adjacent to the visitor facilities.

Sandymouth beach at low tide

Sandymouth (near Bude) 

Unlike many tidal beaches, Sandymouth has large areas of grassland on the cliff tops making this the ideal picnic spot whatever the time of day.

Find your way with a map

Why not follow one of our downloadable trails at Boscastle?

For those keen on finding refreshment along the way, here are some walks with a café in North Cornwall.

If you want to add an extra challenge to your walk why not use a compass? 

Child using a compass in the garden at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

How to read a compass 

Finding your way with a compass may seem tricky at first, but with this quick and easy guide, you'll be on the right track in no time at all.

How many different wild flowers can you spot?

Can you name any?

Top tip: you’ll find some of the best wildflower meadows at Pentire headland (near Polzeath) and Cubert Common (near Holywell) or along the coast path at Duckpool.

Orchid

Eight things to spot in a summer meadow 

Find out what you could discover in our meadows this summer, from courting insects to orchids.

Watch a bird

Do you know the species? Don’t forget… there’s no such thing as a seagull. You can look out for sea birds such as fulmars and guillemots along the coast all year round.

Farmland species are easiest to spot during the autumn. Trevose and Pentire (near Polzeath) headlands are home to many including goldfinch, linnets and skylarks. If you're lucky you might catch a flock of starlings 'murmuring', or flying together in sweeping motions from field to field.
Looking after our feathered friends at home becomes all the more important as we approach winter so why not have a go at making a bird feeder?

Birds in your garden

Go stargazing

How many constellations can you see? Can you spot the International Space Station?

Top tip: Carnewas at Bedruthan has been awarded Dark Skies status making it the ideal place to look up into the night sky.

A magical night-time scene photographed by Steven Hanna

Top tips for stargazing 

You don't need to be an expert to spot stars, satellites and planets. Just follow our top tips for a stargazing experience from the comfort of your garden. It's also no.27 on our list of '50 things to do before you’re 11¾'.

Watch the sun set

Just sit back and enjoy. Don’t forget autumn brings with it some absolutely stunning sunsets to marvel at. Keep a camera handy and perhaps share your snaps using #NorthCornwallNT.

Let's see your best sand sculpture

Fun for all the family whether you're wearing flip flops or wellies. You could even run your own mini competition amongst family and friends. Let your imagination run free.

Create some wild art
Children with their finished sand sculpture of a dinosaur
Create some wild art

Find out more about how you can start ticking off your '50 things' here.