It is of little surprise that demand for property on the Cornish coast remains so high.
Cornwall is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations, known for its clear turquoise sea, beautiful beaches, excellent surfing and pretty coastal walks.
Cornwall is home to some of the UK’s finest restaurants and excellent local produce; visitors and residents alike enjoy the Cornish clotted cream, ice cream and of course the local special – a Cornish pasty.
Dotted along the Cornish coastline are pretty fishing villages, port towns and many exquisite coastal homes.
When looking for a property in Cornwall whether it’s as a main residence or a second home it can be difficult to decide the best location, here we consider some of the most desirable areas of Cornwall and why properties here are so sought after.
In this blog, Garrington Property Finders aims to provide an overview highlight some of the best places to live on the Cornish coast.
St Ives is one of the better known Cornish towns, famed for its pretty terraced cottages, independent stores, many impressive places to eat and as the location of a Tate Gallery.
The town has a wealth of boutique, quirky shops which can be found on roads such as The Didgey, Ayr Lane and Fore Street, along with many excellent places to eat, many of which have views out to sea.
St Ives is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Cornwall.
As a place to live St Ives is a treasure trove of places to enjoy, with many hidden down small back streets and there are beautiful sandy beaches nearby such as Carbis Bay.
The Camel Estuary which runs from Rock on one side and Padstow on the other down river into Wadebridge is one of Cornwall’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, being set inland the area is largely protected from the strong winds at sea thus making the area popular with those who enjoy water sports.
There is sailing, water skiing, wind sailing and water skiing available in the area. Nearby Polzeath, which is at the mouth of the estuary where it meets the sea, has a large sandy beach which has world-famous surfing waters.
There are a range of amenities in the area including a bakery, butcher, delicatessen and many excellent places to eat and drink. For golfers, located near Wadebridge is the renowned Championship St Edonoc Golf Club.
Rock and Padstow are well-established holiday destinations, in more recent years newer detached properties some within small, exclusive developments where a collection of homes are built, have been added to the original properties in the area, which now rarely come to the market and often see competition in the bid to secure them.
Fowey, pronounced ‘Foy’, is a quintessential Cornish town sheltered on the west bank of the River Fowey estuary, on the south coast.
The small town of Fowey in south Cornwall is often considered to be one of the best preserved waterside towns with many medieval and Georgian buildings and its historical harbour.
Fowey has a rich history as a port and naval town, later known for exporting China clay mined at St Austell, which continues today. Fowey is now a popular destination for many maritime vessels including yachts, trawlers, and the occasional cruise ship.
Although dating back to before the Norman invasion, the old part of the town is now mostly made up of 18th and 19th century pastel-coloured terraced buildings on very narrow streets. Fore Street and Market Street are lined with independent shops, cafes, and restaurants; further inland are more modern 20th century houses and bungalows set on wider streets.
Fowey is also within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, surrounded by beautiful Cornish coast and countryside on the western side of the Fowey estuary, at the mouth of the River Fowey.
Like many Cornish towns and villages, Fowey has been the inspiration for many authors and artists; Daphne du Maurier lived in the area for many years and the Fowey Art and Literature Festival is held every May to commemorate the month of her birth.
The nearest railway station is four miles away at Par, with a direct line to London Paddington. The nearest bridge to cross the River Fowey and head east by car is around seven miles north at Lostwithiel. There are regular ferries from Fowey that cross the river to the east bank: a foot-passenger ferry to Polruan, and a car ferry to Bodinnick.
Properties in and around Fowey often boast spectacular views and surroundings.
Falmouth, on the south coast, is Cornwall’s second largest town after St Austell. Although Falmouth only really began to develop in the mid-16th century, it has a rich and varied history.
Henry VIII built Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle as fortresses to defend the Carrick Roads Estuary against invasion by the French and Spanish.
In the late 17th century, Falmouth became the base for the Post Office Packet Service and the mid-19th century saw the development of Falmouth Docks and the arrival of the railway line.
Now a university town, Falmouth School of Art was founded in 1902 and became Falmouth University in 2012, specialising in the creative industries.
Attractions include Pendennis Castle, the National Maritime Museum, beaches and water sports, many art galleries, gardens, independent shops, restaurants, and bars.
Property styles range from Georgian and Victorian period houses to generic estate houses and sleek contemporary properties.
Falmouth has three railway stations with services to Truro, where there is a direct line to London Paddington. There are major road routes radiating from the town to the rest of the county.
On the eastern side of the Fal Estuary is the south facing, harbour village of St Mawes which is also within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty along with many of the other places with included in this article.
Much of St Mawes surrounding are owned by the National Trust, preserving the area and it’s buildings of note.
St Mawes has an array of amenities meaning residents don’t have to travel far for the most of their needs, there are also several places to eat and drink including two public houses.
One of the West Country’s most exclusive destinations St Mawes is home to both Idle Rocks Hotel and Olga Polizzi’s Hotel, Tresanton which both attract visitors to the area.
Padstow is a charming town on the north coast that still has a busy working harbour and offers a range of activities and attractions.
In the area surrounding the town there are many beautiful coves and beaches, including the popular Harlyn Bay Beach, Trevone Bay, and Harbour Cove. Polzeath Beach is ideal for beginner surfers.
Padstow’s narrow streets are lined with independent shops, art galleries, and restaurants, including the famous Seafood Restaurant owned by Rick Stein, and his other eateries.
Padstow is home to the annual May Day festival, where the town celebrates with music, dancing, and Cornish traditions.
Newquay, on the north coast, is primarily known for offering the best surfing conditions in the UK.
The town’s vibrant surfing culture and accompanying surfing industry, attracts thousands of visitors every summer. Newquay has nine accessible beaches including Fistral Beach, which hosts international surfing competitions and the annual Boardmasters Festival: a five-day event with music, surfing, skateboarding and BMX competitions.
Newquay’s transport links include a railway station connecting to London Paddington with one change at Par. There are good road connections to other parts of the county, and Cornwall Airport Newquay is three miles outside the town.
The Duchy of Cornwall estate has led the development of Newquay’s new residential suburb, Nansledan, built using traditional Cornish construction methods and materials by local craftsmen.
Newquay offers a range of amenities, including independent shops, cafés, and restaurants.
Penzance and Newlyn
Penzance is a pretty town in the far west of Cornwall, retaining lots of character with its Georgian and Victorian architecture.
Penzance, along with the neighbouring town of Newlyn, is well known for its art culture, theatres, museums, and music venues. Independent shops and restaurants can be found in Causewayhead and Chapel Street, which also boasts an independent cinema, the Admiral Benbow pub, and the iconic Egyptian House.
The town’s transport links include a train station with a direct service into London Paddington, and good road connections radiating out to the rest of the county. There is both a ferry and helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly.
Attractions include the Jubilee Pool, an Art Deco open-air lido on the beach, and there are views of St Michael’s Mount across Mount’s Bay.
Looe, on the south coast, is a scenic town of two halves separated by the East Looe River.
Although distinct in their differences, East Looe and West Looe are definitely one town and it has a close-knit community.
East Looe’s sandy beach has made it a draw for tourists with shops, hotels, pubs, and restaurants. West Looe has more of a village feel with less amenities, but it has a dog-friendly pebble beach with rock pools, and boasts The Sardine Factory with its Michelin Bib Gourmand award.
Luckily, East and West Looe are connected by a Victorian seven-arch bridge allowing easy movement between the two. Each area has quaint narrow streets with period buildings dating from the Tudor to Victorian eras; many are listed with National Heritage. There are larger, more modern houses built further inland and up the steep sides of the valley, affording some fantastic views.
Looe’s New Year’s Eve fancy dress party, ending with a firework display from Banjo Pier, is one of the most popular New Year celebrations in the UK.
Looe is well-linked by road to other towns and villages, and its railway station connects to London Paddington with one change at Liskeard.
There are many picturesque villages throughout Cornwall, one fine example is St Clement, located on the banks of the Tresillian River within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
From the river banks many enjoy watersports such as kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding and sailing.
Nearby is the city of Truro for a wide range of amenities and excellent transport connections including regular trains to London Paddington.
Buying a property on the Cornish Coast
Cornwall is a beautiful county with many picturesque coastal towns and villages. Our local experts would be delighted to assist if you’re looking for a property to buy along the Cornish coast.
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