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Cornwall in October for 3 nights...doable and worth it?

we will be traveling through England for 2.5 weeks. tentatively our plan is to fly in to London, rent a car, spend a night somewhere part way to Cornwall, and then do three nights in Cornwall and then to Bath and make our way north. My question is, is Cornwall worth it for 3 nights? it is so far away from everywhere else we plan on going but it just sounds so beautiful. All I care to see are cute small towns along the coast, St Michaels Mount and Tintagel Castle (it sounds beautiful, don't care about king Arthur). Currently I'm thinking we should stay somewhere in the middle of those two destinations and just do a day trip to see st michaels mount and drive around that Peninsula there and then be done with that most western point. Speaking of Penwith Peninsula, is that worth it? or are their similar sites more eastern cornwall? I have been to England a few times now but I've never seen the southwest of the country. Any thoughts would be Appreciated!

Posted by
5360 posts

As much as I enjoyed Tintagel I wouldn't make the effort to travel all the way there just to see it. I would recommend the Dorset and Devon coast. Plenty of picturesque villages and stunning coastline much like Cornwall but with the benefit of better transport links and less logistical nightmares.

Posted by
278 posts

We looked into that and decided on Lynton and Exmoor National Park, Valley of the Rocks. This is a day trip from Bath for us. Cornwall was just too far away for a day trip. We will travel through Exmoor NP, to the coast and Porlock. We may make a detour or two but that's the idea.

Its a hard choice, but if the drive or timing are too stressful I vote for a more relaxed option.

Posted by
1540 posts

I hiked in Cornwall for a week - several years ago and loved the whole area.
One of my favorite towns was Padstow -
There are great little hotels/inns right on the harbor.
(and of course several places to enjoy Cornish Pasties )

Posted by
2447 posts

Exmoor is indeed a very scenic area and not such a long drive as going to Cornwall - despite having slow roads through places like Porlock. Exmoor is also doable as a day trip from Bath but most accommodation in Bath is pricey so you will get more bang for your buck staying elsewhere in the south-west. However, the character of Exmoor is different to Cornwall as the coast falls steeply from moors to a mainly rocky north facing coast. The coast of Cornwall has rocky sections and some high cliffs in places but the beaches are mainly golden sand. Southern Cornwall has extensive rias (sea water flooded creeks) which are very attractive.

It is not easy to get out of Bath onto the M5 (interstate) that will take you to Exeter where you take the A30 orA38 to Cornwall.

If you wish to see historic sights only about a 45 minute drive from Bath, consider Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey - which are just over the M48 Severn Bridge in Wales.

PS. You don’t say where else you are planning on going. You could easily just spend a week in the south-west and still not see everything. If going to Exmoor, be sure to visit Dunster, Selworthy and Lynmouth.

Posted by
6725 posts

That's a long drive on the day of arrival, so maybe stay in the vicinity of Salisbury on your day of arrival. You could fit in Stonehenge as a bonus since it is close. Cornwall is worth a visit. The area by Tintagel castle is beautiful, but the castle itself is a ruin only. You don't need to go to the castle to witness the scenery. South of there is Port Isaac, St. Ives, Land's End, etc.. Keep in mind that the roads in Cornwall are windy and narrow so it takes longer to travel between places than you might think.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks everyone, this really helped. We've decided to save Cornwall for hopefully the next time we are able to go to England and we'll do Dorset instead! I feel much better knowing we are saving hours with travel time and can still get a good feel for the english coast but much more central to where our next stops will be ( bath, cambridge, York area and Edinburgh).