If you’re planning a trip to Cornwall and are wondering what your Cornwall road trip could look like or what you should do with your time there, you’ve arrived at the right blog post. In this blog post, I am going to share a 2-week Cornwall road trip itinerary with you, going from North Cornwall to South Cornwall, jam-packed with all the best adventure on offer in this beautiful place to visit in England.
I will be taking adventures from my best things to do in Cornwall blog post and plotting them on a route that will take you on an epic Cornwall road trip. It will encompass all of the adventures I’ve been on in Cornwall and more: beach time near St. Ives and Newquay, visiting Padstow, scenic drives around Zennor and Cape Cornwall, visiting Land’s End and St. Michael’s Mount, as well as exploring the Roseland Peninsula and the Lizard Peninsula.
Of course, this Cornwall road trip itinerary is going to assume you have a car with you. I’m not sure it would be of any use for me to write an itinerary for you whilst staying at your hotel lol. However, if you have booked to stay in one place during your time in Cornwall, you may want to use this post to inspire a day trip in Cornwall or to add an extension to your existing booking.
Make sure you check out my UK road trip planning guide and my UK road trip checklist so that you are fully prepared for this Cornwall road trip itinerary! After all, road trips are the best!
Looking for a shorter Cornwall road trip itinerary?
- 1-week road trip itinerary for Cornwall: south to north
- 4-day road trip itinerary for Cornwall: Padstow, Land’s End and the Eden Project
- 3-day road trip itinerary for Cornwall: Treyarnon Bay, Padstow and Newquay
Other blog posts you might find useful…
- The best things to do in Cornwall
- Villages and towns in Cornwall you must visit
- The best Airbnb stays in Cornwall
- The best beaches in Cornwall
- Padstow: the best things to do
- Newquay: the best things to do
- The best things to do in Devon
- The best places to visit in the UK
- How to plan your UK road trip
- Van life in Europe: a bucket list of Europe road trips
A 2-week road trip itinerary for Cornwall...
I’m going to begin this Cornwall road trip itinerary at Port Isaac in Cornwall (somewhere you’re likely to drive near if you’re coming to Cornwall from other parts of England), and end this road trip itinerary on the Roseland Peninsula. I’m going round Cornwall from North to South, but there’s no reason why you can’t do it the other way around!
My itinerary also assumes that you are already in Cornwall for Day 1, so make sure you allow enough time to get to Cornwall the day before so that you are ready for adventure as soon as you wake up! The driving time for each day indicates the total time spent in your car or van that day, so you can factor this into your exploring.
This is a 2-week road trip itinerary for Cornwall, but there’s no reason why you can’t adapt it to be longer, taking your time to spend 3 or 4 weeks completing this route! On days where you want to take it slower in this 2-week itinerary and I’ve suggested a couple of activities or places to visit, you might like to prioritise and choose one so that you can take it all in. Another way to slow it down would be to skip a couple of stops and spend longer in your favourite, must-see places in Cornwall.
I’ve spent many months in Cornwall in my van, so if you’re looking to spend a bit more time and make some more stops, or if you’re looking for the best wild camping spots in Cornwall, be sure to check out my Cornwall Google Map Legend.
Drive to Cornwall via the Atlantic Highway
Why not start the fun before the Cornwall road trip itinerary even begins!? The Atlantic Highway (A39) is the perfect route into Cornwall for catching more of those stunning coastal views. Follow the A39 down to Port Isaac through Bude, going through Devon and Somerset on the way for more stunning views of southwest England!
Heading to Devon before you go to Cornwall? Here are the best things to do in Devon.
Day 1: Port Isaac
Port Issac has a magical feeling about it. There’s something about it that doesn’t feel real. It feels like you’re walking onto a film set… Oh wait, you are! But it’s real-life and really lived in quintessentially fishing village. Port Issac is where ITV’s Television Show, Doc Martin was filmed so if you’re a fan… make sure you go on a walking tour whilst you’re here!
Nestled in a small bay on the jagged Northern coastline of Cornwall, the small village of Port Isaac is postcard-perfect. The cobbled streets feel like a gorgeous walk through history and rumour has it, the fish finger sandwich from Chapel Cafe is to die for! Make sure you grab one of these for lunch or dinner, and that you have a chance to walk along the harbour front/ coastline.
If you’re looking at doing watersports near Port Isaac, check out Cornish Rock Tors activities, based in Port Gaverne, if you’re looking to go paddleboarding or sea kayaking.
Day 2: Polzeath
Today it’s a beach day, and Polzeath is one of the best beaches in Cornwall for it! Polzeath beach is a family-friendly beach with lots of places to eat. It’s one of the best places in Cornwall for surfing, as well as boogy boarding and other watersports. Check the tides and swells on the Magic Seaweed App.
See more useful travel apps in this blog post.
You can also do outdoor activities like Archery at The Point near Polzeath beach with Cornish Rock Tors.
Days 3 & 4: Padstow
Padstow is a wonderful Cornish fishing village and somewhere that you must stop on your Cornwall road trip. There are so many things to do in Padstow, you can easily fill two days with adventure here: wandering around town with a coffee, cycling the 18-mile Camel Trail, trying a coastal hike or surfing/stand-up paddleboarding at Harlyn Bay.
Make sure you finish one day with some of Rick Stein’s fish and chips – trust me, it’s worth it! Finish the second day here watching the sunset at Treyarnon Bay.
Day 5: Watergate Bay
Watergate Bay is one of my favourite beaches in Cornwall and a must-do on this Cornwall 2-week road trip itinerary. The views across the ocean are stunning, and make sure that you do the coastal walk from the main beach heading north. Enjoy another afternoon at the beach with a surf and a dip in the ocean, and enjoy dinner at the beach hut right on the beach front (book in advance as it gets really busy). If you’re going to Cornwall in summer, keep an eye out for the Wavelength Drive In Cinema and the Zen Den pop up yoga tent with a view!
If you’re looking for parking near Watergate Bay, you can park at the bottom by the beach or further up by West Country Surf School or The Hangout Cafe. For parking a van, parking up at The Hangout on the grass for a day is £3.50.
Days 6 & 7: Newquay
One of the highlights of this Cornwall road trip itinerary for me is Newquay, a place that stole my heart and that I have spent a lot of time in. From surfing on Fistral Beach to walking along the esplanade with an ice cream, there are lots of great things to do in Newquay for you to choose from. There’s even coasteering if you’re looking for something more adventurous. Make sure you don’t miss the many coastal walks here, including the walk across the Newquay headland.
Day 8: St Agnes
St Agnes is one of my favourite villages in Cornwall, and the St Agnes Heritage Coast is absolutely stunning. Head to the Sorting Coffee House and/or St Agnes Bakery for breakfast/brunch and then do the Wheales coastal walk.
For afternoon swimming on day 8 of this Cornwall road trip itinerary, try Chapel Forth Beach or Perranporth Beach, or go to one of the famous todal pools in Cornwall, such as Porthtowan or Perranporth. If you want to combine you walking and swimming for the day, time the Chapel Forth to Porthtowan walk at low tide so that you can dpi in the tidal pool before you head back!
Day 9: St Ives
St Ives is one of the most popular places to visit in Cornwall. There are lots of things to do in St Ives, including taking a surf lesson, enjoying a coffee in the harbour, visiting some of the art galleries (such as the Tate St Ives) and then grab some dinner in this lovely beach town.
If you want to watch the sunset in St Ives, I’d recommend watching it at Porthmeor Beach or Gwithian Beach, with views over the Godrevy lighthouse. If not, sunrise tomorrow morning will be beautiful!
Day 10: Penwith Heritage Coast
The drive between St Ives and Sennen Cove is one of my favourite and most scenic drives in Cornwall. Short and sweet, and plenty of time for coastal walks and swim stops! Make sure you take the coastal route and not the more direct route that Google Maps will give you so that you can take in all the views. There are so many stops you could include, but some of my favourites are…
Stop for a cup of tea and a wander around Zennor, a lovely village in Cornwall.
Portheras Cove and Pedn Vounder beach are great swim spots, and they are two of the best beaches in Cornwall!
Cape Cornwall is where the Atlantic current changes and so you get some great, dramatic views of the sea here. If you fancy a long walk, try the 10km loop walk down to Pendeen Watch lighthouse.
Whitesands Bay at Sennen Cove is famous for its white sand (hence the name), turquoise water and also for being a great surf spot – especially for beginners. Sennen Cove is a great beach day and very popular with surfers. From here, you can do the Sennen Cove to Land’s End walk.
Land’s End is famous for being the ‘end of England’ as it’s most westerly point. Grab a photo with the iconic sign before enjoying a coastal walk before sunset. Land’s End is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, surrounded on 3 sides by the Atlantic Ocean. The dramatic cliffs, soaring sea birds, famous Longship’s Lighthouse and ocean views make for some stunning walking trails, which form parts of the 630-mile South West Coast Path.
Day 11: Marazion
Marazion is one of the cutest villages in Cornwall, so on day 11 of this 2-week Cornwall road trip itinerary it’s best to set off early in time for breakfast/brunch here.
St. Michael’s Mount, one of the most iconic places to visit in Cornwall, is just off the Marazion coastline. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Cornwall and you shouldn’t miss it. How you get here is going to depend on the time and day you arrive. You can only walk across at low tide, but you can catch a little boat across any time, so check the times that the causeway is open here so you can plan your transport for the morning.
Day 12: The Lizard Peninsula & Falmouth
The highlight of Day 12 on this Cornwall road trip itinerary is the Lizard Coastal Walk. Park up at Kynance Cove, one of the best beaches in Cornwall and on everyone’s Cornwall bucket list, and follow this circular route along the coastal path towards Lizard Point and Lizard lighthouse, the southernmost point in the UK, and then back up through Lizard village to Kynance Cove. The loop should take you about 3 hours.
If you have extra time in the day, drive up to Cadgwith Cove for a walk along the coast, as it’s also beautiful! There is also a Cadgwith-Lizard circular walk if you would prefer that to the Kynance Cove walk.
For the evening, head to Falmouth for dinner. Falmouth is the 3rd largest natural harbour in the world, and one of the nicest towns in Cornwall. If you have time to explore, choose perhaps to visit Pendennis Castle, climb Jacob’s Ladder, a walking trail along the Cornish coastline, or to kick back on one of Falmouth’s beaches.
Day 13: The Roseland Peninsula
Rise early and catch the King Harry ferry over the Fal River to St Mawes. This chain ferry is one of only 5 in the UK, so it’s not only one of the most unique things to do in England but it will save you a lot of time driving round!
Once you’re back on land, it’s time to hit the road again and enjoy one of the most scenic drives in Cornwall: the Roseland Peninsula. The Roseland Heritage Coast is and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in England and absolutely stunning. There are lots of places to stop for walks, snacks or coffee, and to take in the view. Explore St. Mawes in the morning and grab coffee on the beach here. Then head up to St Just-in-Roseland to see the stunning church gardens.
In the afternoon, explore The Lost Gardens of Heligan near St. Austell, which have been restored and feature a jungle complete with its own Burma rope bridge, water features and ferns. I’d recommend at least half a day here.
If you don’t mind going back on yourself, The Hidden Hut in St. Mawes is great for dinner. If not, there are lots of great restaurants in At Austell or places to park up and cook for yourself!
Day 14: Carlyon Bay, the Eden Project & Polperro
Once you’ve had breakfast, head down to Carlyon Bay near St Austell for a morning swim. Carlyon Bay is a set of three beaches (Crinnis, Shorthorn and Polgaver), so take your pick! It seriously feels like a tropical holiday here. With the green tones of the countryside and the dark blue altlantic backdropping the bay, you get to see England in a very beautiful light.
After that it’s time to head to the Eden Project, one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions and home to the biggest indoor rainforest in the world. What you may be just as excited about is the the zipline you can do over the Eden Project. Yes, you heard! You can watch the footage in my vlog! Basically you get a bird’s eye view of the lot, and you can opt for the ‘big swing’ ride straight after for an increased dose of tummy dropping adrenaline. I would definitely recommend leaving at least half a day for the Eden Project during your Cornwall road trip as there is SO much to see in the different biomes. There is also a pretty epic live venue at The Eden Project and they hold ‘Summer Sessions’ every summer with a cracking line up of artists so should it fall on your visit – I believe you will not be disappointed. Check the line ups and dates here.
For the evening and final stop on this Cornwall road trip itinerary, head to Polperro, one of Cornwall’s best fishing villages to visit. Wander around the harbour, visit Shell Cottage and explore the Heritage museum before grabbing a sunset dinner. If you arrive early and you have time, consider visiting the Chapel Rock Tidal Pool or taking the coastal path walk to Talland Bay.
And just like that, our 2-week Cornwall road trip itinerary has come to an end!
Have you been on a Cornwall road trip?
Where are your favourite things to do in Cornwall? Anything you’d add?
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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