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When you think of Cornwall, you don’t instantly think of it as a winter holiday destination. In fact, it’s one of the most summery places to visit in England! There are a million benefits to visiting Cornwall in winter, though, and if you’re searching for the best places to stay in Cornwall in winter it seems that you’re well aware of them!
With no crowds at all, cheaper accommodation and next to none of that unbearable summer traffic that plagues Cornwall’s roads, what’s not to love?
Some places in Cornwall are much better to stay at in winter than others, though. You’ll want to stay somewhere that isn’t a complete ghost town, has lots of cosy pubs to snuggle up in, and, of course, has excellent accommodation options!
Having been to Cornwall more times than I can count now (and it’s definitely over 40!), with a good number of those visits being in winter, I know a thing or two about where is best to stay in the colder months. And I’m going to share that with you.
Let’s get started!
The Headland Hotel, Newquay
Probably the ultimate place to stay in Cornwall in winter, The Headland Hotel sits on top of a cliff overlooking Fistral Beach, the UK’s most famous surfing beach.
The waves have a reputation for being huge here – and they’re never bigger than in winter! From your room at The Headland Hotel, you’ll be able to cuddle up in bed as you witness the raw power of the Atlantic ocean crashing into the beach and the cliffs just outside the window!
So The Headland’s location is perfect for storm watching in winter, but it’s also perfect for another reason – it’s in Newquay, one of the liveliest towns in Cornwall! Unlike many towns in Cornwall, Newquay keeps its buzzing atmosphere year-round -ou’ll never find yourself feeling like you’re in a ghost town.
Obviously, visiting Newquay’s beaches is the top thing to do in the town, but it’s also filled with a wide range of fabulous restaurants, the Newquay Zoo, and the Blue Reef Aquarium. If you’re wanting to blow the cobwebs away, you could also embark on the 11 mile Newquay to Perranporth coastal walk.
Obviously, the best way to recover from your excursions out into the cold is at The Headland Hotel’s spa, where you’ll find top-rated treatments, a sauna, a steam room, and a hydrotherapy pool. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a day exploring Newquay in winter.
Double rooms cost around £169 per night. Check availability here!
Shellseekers Guest House, Looe
Unlike Newquay and St Ives, with their wild winter waves, Looe is the Cornish town to visit if you’d prefer some peace and tranquility.
Shellseekers Guest House, a small, independently-run B&B, is the ideal hotel to stay at during your winter trip to Looe as you can guarantee you’re in good hands. It’s owned by a local couple, and nothing is too much trouble for them!
At just a short walk away from Looe Harbour (which you’ll be able to see from your room!), you won’t have to walk far to escape the cold winter weather! It would be tempting not to leave at all, though, since the views are so spectacular.
There are plenty of things to do in Looe no matter the weather. You could visit the Looe Monkey Sanctuary, the Old Guildhall Museum & Gaol, or head out to the nearby Carnglaze Caverns for an underground adventure. If you’re feeling like something less active, there’s always strolling the harbour and town, doing some window shopping, or going for a leisurely walk along the beach.
One of the best things about Shellseekers is their breakfast – which is included in the price of your room! You get a choice between cooked and continental, and everything is cooked to order. Yum!
Double rooms cost around £90 per night. Check availability here!
The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth
Overlooking Falmouth Harbour, The Greenbank Hotel is easily one of the best places to stay in Cornwall in winter. Thanks to its student population, Falmouth comes alive in winter, and its laid-back vibe is contagious!
Whatever the weather, there are tonnes of things to do in Falmouth. Start your day with a hearty breakfast at The Greenbank, then head straight to Pendennis Castle, which was built for Henry VIII in the 1540s!
From there, be sure to head to the Falmouth Maritime Museum if it’s raining, or if the weather is on your side, take a brisk winter walk along the coast before strolling the town’s picturesque streets. If you’ve still got time, window shopping in Falmouth is fabulous – it has a ton of cool vintage clothing and record shops.
After a busy day of exploring, you’ll be glad to have booked at The Greenbank – it’s just a stone’s throw away from the town centre, so everything is right on your doorstep. You’ll be able to watch the sunset over Falmouth harbour right from your room – you can’t get much better than that!
Double rooms cost around £139 per night but can be as low as £99 as part of their ‘winter getaway’ package. Check availability here!
The Alverton, Truro
The cathedral city of Truro is the perfect location for a winter holiday in Cornwall. Located right in the middle of the county, this is the best place to stay in Cornwall if you’re wanting to explore Cornwall’s attractions on winter day trips from the city. After all, the Eden Project is just a 30-minute drive away and the surf town of Perranporth is just a 20-minute drive away.
The best place to stay in Truro is The Alverton, which you’ll find in a 19th-century, Grade II listed building. Since the hotel retains so many of the building’s original features, staying here feels like a luxurious step back in time.
There’s nothing better than sinking into a steaming bath after a cold winter’s day exploring Cornwall, and The Alverton’s baths really are something to write home about – huge, freestanding tubs you’ll never want to climb out of!
Double rooms cost around £125 per night. Check availability here!
Pedn Olva, St Ives
St Ives is so unbelievably charming, and never so much as in winter when you can explore its quaint cobbled streets without the awful crowds that descend on the town in summer.
Having visited St Ives pretty much every year since I was born, I can’t recommend the Pedn Olva hotel enough for cosy winter holidays in Cornwall.
You’ll find the Pedn Olva hotel hovering over thirty feet above the sea on an outcrop of rocks, and its position looking out over the St Ives harbour simply cannot be beaten! Their rooms are all decorated with the coastal theme in mind, and, to top everything off, they’re dog-friendly!
St Ives is, in my opinion, one of the best places to stay in Cornwall in winter because there’s plenty to do year-round. Stroll along one of St Ives’ beaches, wander around ‘The Island’, explore the town’s many cute gift shops and don’t forget to visit the St Ives museum – it’s the go-to place to learn about the town’s history.
Although there’s lots to explore in St Ives in winter, you’ll find it difficult to leave the Pedn Olva – especially once you get seated in its fabulous bar and restaurant! With mesmerising floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea, brilliant food and friendly staff, this is one of my favourite places to eat in St Ives.
Double rooms cost around £130 per night. Check availability here!
The Old Custom House, Padstow
Holding a prime position on Padstow’s South Quay, you’re central to all the action at The Old Custom House.
Padstow should be on any foodie’s UK bucket list. You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to mouth-watering seafood options in this attractive harbour town. A good place to start, though, is the Old Custom House! Serving up fresh seafood, revamped pub classics and a range of award-winning ales, there’s no excuse not to indulge when you only have to walk upstairs to get into bed!
If the weather’s on your side, you should definitely take the short trip on the ferry from Padstow to Rock, Cornwall’s home to the rich and famous. The journey takes just 5-10 minutes, and it’s well worth it to be able to spot all the huge and extravagant houses and wonder who their owners are.
There’s no better winter activity in Cornwall than a coastal walk, and Padstow offers one of the most beautiful – the 6.8-mile walk to Harlyn Bay, one of the country’s best beaches! Be sure to wrap up warm before you take in the panoramic views from the South West Coast Path – chances are you’ll be the only people there!
Double rooms at the Old Custom House cost around £110 per night. Check availability here!
Mevagissey Bay Hotel, Mevagissey
Perfectly placed for you to take full advantage of the South West Coast Path, the Mevagissey Bay Hotel is a fabulous place to stay in Cornwall in winter. Not only is it ideal for hikers, but its unspoilt views over the sea make it the ideal place to relax and unwind on a Cornish winter break.
In winter, Mevagissey feels super tranquil and authentic – you’ll see none of the crowds that overcrowd its narrow streets in summer! Because of this, winter is the perfect time to wander around Mevagissey and take in its true beauty. From the Mevagissey Bay Hotel it’s just a 10-minute walk to the harbour, where you’ll be able to watch the fishermen unloading the catch of the day.
Mevagissey is also perfectly located for day trips. Many visitors use it as an overnight base to explore the Lost Gardens of Heligan, but it’s also close to the Eden Project and the Charlestown Shipwreck Centre.
What makes the Mevagissey Bay Hotel so wonderful for winter visitors is their guest lounge, which has a log fire! It’s the perfect place to wind down after a cold winter day spent outdoors. Can you get any cosier than that??
Double rooms cost around £75 per night. Check availability here!
Although most people don’t consider Cornwall as a winter holiday destination, that just makes it even better for those that do venture to Cornwall in winter. Uncrowded streets, empty beaches and spectacular winter waves are just a few of the rewards you’ll get for visiting Cornwall in winter.
I hope this post on the best places to stay in Cornwall in winter filled you with inspiration to book a Cornwall winter trip! Just don’t tell anybody else – we don’t want the secret getting out that Cornwall in winter is actually brilliant.
After all, half of its charm is feeling like you have the place to yourself!