Longing for those island vibes, sandy toes and the blissful sound of crashing waves? No need to go abroad this summer, Cornwall truly has you covered. Need to see it before you believe it? Take a scroll to be teleported to distant shores of crystal-clear water, white sandy beaches and magnificent sunsets. We’ll have you packing up the campervan in no time.
1. Bedruthan Steps
Take one look at the giant rock formations at the foot of the Bedruthan Steps and tell us they don’t remind you of Australia’s world-famous Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road. The Atlantic Ocean’s relentless erosive force has managed to break these towering blocks away from Cornwall’s shoreline, and the sight of them will have you gawking.
Be aware, the Bedruthan Steps themselves — a 149-step rusty staircase nestled into the damp cliff face — were damaged due to heavy rockfall and closed off a couple of years ago. The beach below is now only accessible at low tide when you can wander over from neighbouring beaches. Don’t despair, having to wait for ebb is worth your while, as this is when giant crystal-clear rockpools form at the foot of the ‘apostles’.
2. St Michael’s Mount
On the topic of apostles, doesn’t this next Cornish spot of beauty strangely resemble France’s famous abbey of Mont Saint-Michel? Take in the stunning sight of the castle of St Michael's Mount and you might as well be standing on the coast of Normandy.
The similarities really are uncanny. Both main buildings are proudly perched up on a tiny isle, both are only accessible by foot at low tide and… both are breathtaking. Even their names translate the same. Of course, one’s a castle and one’s a house of worship, but talk about an Un-English-looking spot!
3. The Lizard
There’s more to The Lizard than it being the most southern peninsula of England's mainland. Although its name derives from ‘Lis-ardh’, an old Cornish word for ‘fortress’ — this piece of coastline has a reputation for being impregnable and a little disaster-prone — one could argue that it actually has everything to do with the peninsula’s appearance. Being a bit of geological curiosity, the Lizard’s serpentine and scalelike rock formations do really give it an alien appeal.
If this scenic spot on the Cornish coast is lizardlike, its showpiece Kynance Cove is more of a chameleon. According to Visit Cornwall, it’s the most photographed spot in the whole county, and unsurprisingly so. Shades of dark green and red are interrupted by emerald en turquoise where the seawater meets the rocks of this captivating cove. And when the sunlight bounces off the white sandy beaches, well, you tell us England isn’t enchanting…
4. Porthcurno and Pedn Vounder
When it comes down to foreign-looking spots, these two gems are England's crown jewel. When you catch sight of Porthcurno and Pedn Vounder, two interlinked beaches tucked away in another southwestern Cornish corner, the first glimpse of them will make you blink twice. A steep and slightly tricky trail makes the upcoming beach day of dreams a little more interesting before your toes even touch the sand, but when wading through the unbelievably clear, almost completely see-through water you’ll know the ascent was worth your while.
Some say Porthcurno and Pedn Vounder remind them of the Caribbean. We would personally argue the particular and strangely rounded rocks transform a beach day in this area into taking a stroll through the Seychelles. Whatever tropical scene comes to mind, these beautiful beaches can’t be left off your ‘escape England’ itinerary.
4. The Minack Theatre
From the tropics to ancient Greece, nothing will make you forget you’re still (just about) in the UK more than setting foot inside the majestic Minack Theatre. This open-air amphitheatre is built into the cliff above Porthcurno Beach, the Atlantic Ocean its ever-glittering decor.
Attending any kind of event in the Minack Theatre is an unforgettable experience, artist, actor or audience alike. In addition to shows, the theatre is open to people just wanting to look around, but always be sure to book in advance if you don’t want to be disappointed. The jaw-dropping arena can’t be seen from outside the gates, and due to its popularity, entry tickets are rarely available on the day.
Keen to take in these stunning spots on the Cornish coast with your own eyes? Hurry to beat the summer crowds and head out west in one of our campervans available for hire in the UK.