Photo: Andy333/Shutterstock

The Most Remote Region in England Is Also One of the Sunniest and Most Beautiful

Insider Guides
by Morgane Croissant Jul 7, 2023

It may be hard to believe, but there’s a place in England where the sand is fine and white, the sea is turquoise blue, and the sun shines more than just about anywhere else in the country. In this dream-like place, you can surf, you can sunbathe (and even get a tan), you can hike coastal paths, valleys, and moors, and you can stuff you face with cream teas and pasties. You guess it, Cornwall, England, is a must-see when in Britain. Lucky for you, it’s only a direct train ride away from London.

Where is Cornwall?

Cornwall is a county in southwestern England. The county, said to be the most remote in the country, forms a peninsula that juts into the English Channel and the part of the Atlantic Ocean known as the Celtic Sea. The county is home to Lizard Point, the most southerly point in all of Britain.

Cornwall is also considered one of the world’s six Celtic nations.

Is Cornwall in Wales?

Cornwall is not in Wales, it is in England. Wales, which is its own country and not a county, is further to the north.

Is Cornwall a country? A town?

Cornwall is a county in England. It is not a town and neither is it a country. The countries that form Britain are England, Wales, or Scotland. The countries that form the United Kingdom (UK) are England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

There are many towns and cities outside of England called Cornwall; in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, Canada, as well as in the states of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia; and more in the US.

What does Cornwall mean?

The traditional language of the county is the now almost-extinct Cornish language, a Celtic tongue closely related to Welsh and Breton. In Cornish, the county’s name is Kernow, from the word kernou meaning “horn” or “headland” which describes perfectly the shape and geography of this county.

What is the Duchy of Cornwall?

The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate created in 1337 belonging to the oldest son of the British monarch. Under Queen Elisabeth II, the estate was held by then Prince Charles. Since the ascension of King Charles III to the throne, the Duchy is held by Prince William, his eldest son. An official 2022 report estimates the value of the estate at more than $1.2 billion.

The Duchy of Cornwall comprises a financial investment portfolio, as well as 129,604 acres of land mostly located in the southwest of England. The Duchy manages and generates revenue from the land and the properties that are on it.

Not all of Cornwall is owned by the Duchy, only 18,661 ares of it.

Who are is the Duchess and Duke of Cornwall?

The Duke of Cornwall is Prince William, the eldest son of King Charles III. Prince William also holds the titles of Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge.

The Duchess of Cornwall is the Princess of Wales, born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton. She also holds the titles of Duchess of Cambridge.

How far is Cornwall from London? How to get from London to Cornwall?

From London to the the administrative centre of the county, i.e. the city of Truro, there is a distance of around 285 miles. By car, the trip between the two cities takes around 5.5 hours.

If you’d rather not drive, you can easily take the train from London with Great Western Railway (GWR). There are trains between London Paddington station and Pezance, stopping at over a dozen small Cornish towns along the way. (Penzance is the terminus of the GWR route and a town on the tip of the Peninsula.) Trains between London and Cornwall run multiple times daily, and the journey takes between five and six hours. Consult GWR’s routes map to see all the stops.

Is there a sleeper train from London to Cornwall?

The Night Riviera Sleeper, run by Great Western Railway (GWR), is a sleeper train that travels between London Paddington and Penzance in Cornwall at night, every day, except Saturday.

The train leaves from London Paddington just before midnight and arrives in Penzance in the morning between 8 AM and 9 AM, making multiple stops along the way.

The reverse journey, from Penzance to London paddington, runs every night except Saturday. The train leaves Penzance between 9 PM and 10 PM and arrives in London around 5 AM.

Aboard the Night Riviera Sleeper, you can choose to travel in a seat, in a single-occupancy cabin, or in a twin cabin. There is a lounge on board where passengers can purchase beverages and snacks, and room service is available.

What is Cornwall famous for?

The English county of Cornwall is mostly famous for its beautiful and rugged coastline dotted with quaint small towns which attracts tourists, hikers, and surfers in droves when summer rolls along. But beyond the storybook little harbor towns and the sand beaches backed by green hills or rocky cliffs, it is well known for being the birthplace of Cornish pasties. A pasty is an individual-size hand pies of shortcrust pastry filled with meat and vegetable, crimped at the edge, and baked until golden brown. This protected regional specialty used to be the traditional lunch of Cornish miners. Another culinary specialty attributed to Cornwall is cream tea. Cream tea is a meal or snack consisting of a cup (or several) of loose-leaf tea accompanied by a scone (or several) cut in half and smeared in jam and clotted cream (in that very order). Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream is the most famous of all and one you ought to try out at least once.

Where is Doc Martin filmed in Cornwall?

The fishing village of Port Isaac in Cornwall.

The fishing village of Port Isaac in Cornwall. Photo: ian woolcock/Shutterstock

The hugely popular English series Doc Martin, about an asocial and hemophobic doctor who moves from London to a small seaside town in Cornwall, was filmed in the small villages of Port Quin, Port Gaverne, and Port Isaac. Doc Martin ran for 70 episodes over 10 seasons, from 2004 and 2022. Tours of the series’ filming locations are available.

Where is Poldark filmed in Cornwall?

Poldark, a period drama about a British army officer who comes back home to Cornwall after taking part in the American Revolutionary War, was aired in the late 1970s and a new version ran from 2015 to 2019. The series was filmed in multiple locations throughout the county, including, but not limited to, Gunwalloe, Botallack, Porthgwarra, Gwennap Head, Bodmin Moor, and more. You can take Poldark tours of Cornwall.

What’s the weather like in Cornwall?

Coastal scenery in Cornwall, England

Photo: Andy333/Shutterstock

Cornwall has a temperate oceanic climate characterized by mild and relatively wet weather throughout the year. The average annual temperature hovers around 11°C (52°F), with summer temperatures at around 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) in July and August. These months also offer the best sea swimming conditions, with an average sea temperature of 17°C (63°F). The winter months are cooler, with the coldest being February. The region experiences its highest rainfall in December, although precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. Despite the rainfall, the county generally enjoys more sunshine than other parts of the Britain.

Where to stay in Cornwall?

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

Pedn Olva

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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Pedn Olva is a three-star hotel located in the extremely popular Cornish town of St. Ives. The property faces the sea and many of its rooms offer beautiful views of the dreamy turquoise waters of the area. The rooms are all decorated with taste and in a cosy and homely style that will make you feel at home instantly. Breakfast is served daily and there is a popular restaurant-bar on site. There is an outdoor pool and the beach is just steps away if you prefer the refreshing water of the sea, want to surf, or just feel like taking a walk on the white sand.

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Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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The Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa is located just seven miles from Lizzard Point, the most southerly point in all of Britain and a National Trust site. The four-star property is set on top of a cliff, facing the Celtic Sea and providing guests with beautiful views of the rugged landscape of the county. The decor is classic and elegant lending to an atmosphere of comfort and luxury. There is a gym, an outdoor swimming pool open throughout the year, and a spa equipped with an indoor hydrotherapy infinity pool, a steam room, a sauna, and more. Spa treatments such as massages, facials, and more are also available. There is a restaurant suitable for all dietary needs, and there is a bistro for cocktails, afternoon tea, and a less formal dining experience.

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Hotel Penzance

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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The Hotel Penzance is located in the seaside town of Penzance, the terminus of the Great Western Railway route that links London to Cornwall, and a popular vacation destination. The four-star property looks like a large, elegant, and comfortable family home and consists of 25 chic rooms and suites that are mere steps from the beach, and only four miles away from the famous tidal island of St Michael’s Mount. The views of the sea from the hotel are exceptional and so is the included breakfast and the service at the Beach Kitchen, the on-site restaurant (you can even order your food to go.) There is a beautiful grassy outdoor space where guests can relax and admire the landscape, and an outdoor pool.

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