I will be traveling to England in mid-July and would like to visit Cornwall. What city/town would be a good central base to explore that area?
We stayed in St. Ives as our home base. It has a fairly commercialized harbor front, but some really lovely twisting lanes and quieter areas as you move away from the harbor. We found that to be a nice blend as a tourist. There are several hotel and dining options, and the beach is lovely there as well. I think it makes a nice home base in Cornwall. We traveled by train out of Penzance (back to London) which I think is probably less touristy and less interesting than St. Ives from what I could tell. Happy travels!
Will you rent a car?
Yes, Sasha, we plan on renting a car.
There is a sweet little village called St Erth, quite close to St Ives. I went there to a reunion of my husband's Cornish family a number of years ago. No doubt staying there would be less expensive than fashionable St Ives and it is just a few miles away.
St Agnes would be my pick.
If you drive down the Lizard , have a look here for some pure charm !http://www.cornwall-online.co.uk/kerrier/coverack.htm
Mevagissey is a beautiful fishing village.
Polperro or Mevagissey.
Truro is about the most central position for doing day trips.
We rented a house in St. Ives and with a car there is lots to see around there just make sure if you do rent that you buy a parking pass for the parking lot closest to your base for the week, it's cheaper. We did sailing, drove to a mine, down to Land's End and St. Michel's Mount, did a zip line, discovered little villages along the coast, then we drove up to Bude to spend a few more days at a B&B as Tintangle and Port Isaac (where they film Doc Martin) is close and along the way we stopped in Padstow to go to a Rick Stein restaurant (only did the café). Lots to see and do plus the lovely beaches.
We rented a house near Porthleven and stayed on the Lizard Pennisula. Not crowded, a little cheaper and incredible. Look up pictures of Kynance Cove and you will see it is unreal!