Activities & Attractions in Devon & Cornwall
Yes, you could simply relax at your luxury pad and enjoy all the amenities at Great Trethawle during your stay in this spacious luxury Cornish retreat. However, if you do wish to venture out and explore, you are pefectly positioned for direct access along A38 to Plymouth, both Dartmoor & Bodmin Moors plus the north and south coasts of Cornwall, with an abundance of different beaches to suitl all! In fact the are so many interesting places to visit that you will have to return to Great Trethawle numerous times, during different seasons and times of year, so that you can really experience all this stunning part of the UK has to offer.
Below are a few suggestions of local attractions & places to eat, it’s always good to browse the Visit Cornwall website for their latest blogs and suggestions. In addition car travel times have been included so you can plan days out. (NB. Travelling by train is far more eco-friendly and highly recommended in summer months, as parking and driving in some of the cornish narrow roads can be more stressful. The nearest station for GT is Liskeard where there is ample parking). Nearby are a range of diverse beaches, a wide variety of activities, Wildlife Parks to visit, numerous National Trust houses and gardens to explore, plus importantly a plethora of fine Cornish and Devon pubs and eateries to sample during your stay!
BEACHES – North vs. South Cornwall
South Coast beaches
Looe Beach: The most commercial and popular nearby beach – a child friendly, sandy beach with good facilities. Very busy over the summer and bank holidays. To access this beach you will need to walk through the high street. Easily accessibility for less mobile and disabled persons. No dogs allowed on the main beach, however Looe East beach which adjoines the main one does allow dogs. TT: 22 mins / 10.5 miles / PL13 1BU
Whitsand Bay: Golden sandy beach stretching for over 4 miles – Short steep walk down, check the tides before you go, as less beach at high tide. Dog-friendly all year. TT: 21mins 13.4 miles / PL11 3AZ
Seaton Beach: A grey shingle beach, rugged coastline & great rockpools. Easy parking, right next to beach + various choices for eating and drinking – the Beach café a pub The Smugglers Inn & The beach House. Dog-friendly all year. TT: 20 mins / PL11 3JD
Downderry Beach: Links up with Seaton Beach at low tide. Easy access steps alongside the ‘Inn on the Shore’ pub, which boasts an excellent outdoor seating area with great views. Dog-friendly all year. TT: 23 mins / PL11 3JY
Portwrinkle: A more Shingle-style beach with rockpools, short walk down a slope to the main beach. Well placed café the ‘Jolly Roger’ is next to the car park. TT: 22 mins / 13 miles / PL11 3BU
Kingsand & Cawsand: Popular adjoining fishing villages with smaller sandy/pebble mix of beaches. Quaint inter-connecting streets, one main car park at Cawsand, – much smaller car park at Kingsand. Sandy (small) beaches good for swimming, plus a few pubs to chose from. If you like walking this is a great place to park and join the SW coastal path. TT: 33 mins /19 miles/ PL10 1PG
Talland Bay: Small beach with Limited parking. The roads accessing this beach are narrow, so do not drive if you have a large vehicle or don’t like reversing! There is a good café which is open seasonally. You can gain access to the SW Coast path to Polperro.TT: 27 mins / 16.7 miles / PL13 2JA
Lantic Bay: A sheltered cove with lovely sand and a few patches of shingle. It’s fairly remote, so expect a walk as the nearest parking is 20 minutes walk, there are no nearby facilities, plus access to the beach is via a steep cliff path – so do not attempt this with less able-bodied persons or small children! TT: 28 mins / 18 miles / PL23 1NP
North Coast Beaches
Crackington Haven: An attractive, well known, popular and very accessible inlet beach beneath formidable cliffs, but at the end of a valley. TT: 58 mins/ 34 miles / EX23 0JG
Crooklets: Although a little pebbly at the top, this beach has a huge expanse of golden sand and rock pools to explore, once the tide goes out. Clean and safe, it’s popular with families and surfers alike. Dogs are only allowed seasonally. Several activity companies located here. TT: 1 hour 10 mins 45 miles / EX23 8NF
Harlyn Bay: Definitely considered a favourite family beach with lots of space for all! Fairly big car park which is extends up from the beach. Fun waves, great for body surfing, swimming, sea kayaking. It faces north and is about 3 miles west of Padstow. TT: 53 mins mins / 36 miles / SN: PL28 8SB
Hayle: This fabulous sandy beach is nearly 3 miles long and enjoys great views across to Carbis Bay and St.Ives. A safe beach for learner surfers and supported by RNLI lifeguards. TT: 1 hour 12 mins / 52 miles / SN: TR27 5AP
Newquay: Probably the most famous surfing area of north Cornwall, with Fistral beach being the epicentre. There are 15 beaches facing in different directions, so handy for all levels of surfing ability. Check the surf conditions to decide the best one. (47 mins /33miles) List of Newquay Beaches
Northcott: A small, somewhat rocky beach, some good waves, but not for beginners. Attractive sand is revealed at low tide, plus a small stream crosses the beach. Honesty box car park. TT: 1 hour 15 mins / 46 miles / EX23 9ED
Padstow: Is immensely popular, made famous local restaurateur & celebrity chef Rick Stein. There are an abundance of excellent places to eat, interesting shops, plus 3 nearby white sandy beaches; Hawker’s Cove, Harbour Cove and Rock beach, all highly rated. TT: 1 hour / 36 miles / PL28 8RR
Treyarnon Bay, St Merryn is a wondeful stretch of sand, a popular west-facing surfing beach, slightly closer and about 55 mins drive. PL28 8JP
Polzeath: Probably one of the most popular, therefore busiest beaches for families and people learning to surf. It’s flat with lovely sand and good range of bars/places to eat located on the beach itself in summer. TT: 1 hour aprox / 30 miles / PL27 6SS
Sandymouth: A sandy beach which has a surf school – west facing – a mix of sand, pebbles, craggy rocks & streams. This is a National Trust beach now, so fairly well organised parking. TT: 1 hour 20 mins / 347 miles SN: EX23 9EG
Summerleaze: Only a short walk from the vibrant town centre beach, this is Bude’s main beach and boasts excellent water quality plus a sea pool! TT: 1 hour 20 mins / 47 miles / EX23 8HN
Trebarwith Strand: A popular attractive beach west facing, only 2 miles south of the historic heritage site of Tintagel, it’s easily accessible and owned by the National Trust. TT: 1 hour / 33 miles /PL34 0HB
Widemouth Bay: Great views, large sandy beach, stretching 2 miles across, with a big car park, cafés at either end of the surrounding cliffs. Lots of space for everyone to enjoy themselves, check the wind direction before heading there as it is quite exposed, facing west. TT: 1 hour 3 mins / 41 miles / EX23 0AH
NB. There are some fantastic Devon beaches as well. These are the best rated ones at the time of writing this, (all within 1-1.5 hours away) : Bantham, Bigbury, Blackpool Sands, Babbacombe, Wembury, & Salcome.
Bodmin – 45 mins Drive | 23.7 miles
Moving inland, Bodmin Moor offers miles of open landscap with spectacular scenery and historic mining heritage. Here you can explore Cornwall’s two highest peaks Rough Tor and Brown Willy. There are many areas of historic interest – Bronze Age hut circles, a Neolithic Tor Enclosure and the foundations of a Medieval chapel. Head to the Cornwall Guide to read more about the stone circles, King Arthur’s hall and Jubilee Rock, The moorland village of Minions is well worth a visit as here you will find the Hurlers stone circle, the magnificent Cheesewring and Cornish mining heritage.
Dartmoor – 35-45 mins | 17-22 miles (depending on your route choice)
There is so much to see and do on Dartmoor, with its magnificent granite Tors and rugged moorland to hike around; Tree Top climbing, Horse riding, electric bikes to hire, gorges and impressive waterfalls, historic places of interest, Llama walks, Sculpture school and Gallery, glorious gardens and ancient woods. Best to check out their website for What’s on at Dartmoor.
Is less than 10 mins from Great Trethawle! A fun full-on activity day with a mix for all ages and levels: Coasteering, a 500m zipwire, plus a giant swing 150-feet up, for the adrenaline junkie in your life! The inflatable ‘Aquapark’ is the largest water park in the South West, excellent outdoor fun for all the family, just book online for slots.
T: 01579 308204 | PL14 3PJ
An 800m ‘Go-karting’ track to race around, great outdoor fun – also at Adrenalin Quarry, so you can enjoy a full day of outdoor activities in one location. Just off the A38 in Menheniot, less than 10 mins drive from Trethawle!
T: 01579 347229 | PL14 3PJ
Looe Glass Bottom Boats
Find out what is beneath you in the shores off Looe on the Nautilus – check this Facebook page for regular updates and news.
Clip ‘n Climb, Plymouth
This great centre boasts a huge range of climbing challenges for all ages and abilities. A great physical challenge and indoor experience, you will certainly build up an appetite for your lunch!
T: 01752 717567 | PL6 5AA
Boat Trips, Plymouth
Take to the water from nearby Plymouth – Tours of the Naval dockyards, alternatively book a relaxing cruise up the Tamar River to Calstock. Travel by boat using the Cawsand or Cremyll ferries, short trips as well from Plymouth.
T: 01752 253 381 | PL1 2NX
Adventure Bay Surf School
Learn to surf, Paddle Board or try Coastering. Whitsand beach is safe and sandy, run by a friendly bunch that are keen for you to learn and enjoy.
T: 07722 913 206 | PL10 1JX
The Eden Project
A complete and full day out at this unique location. You can simply walk around the amazing biomes and enjoy the well established extensive range of flora, however now there are more high-octane experiences available, such as a zip-wire across the quarry, a scary giant swing and seasonal ice-skating rink indoors.
Contact | PL24 2SG
Cawsand Kayak and SUP Hire
Just turn up at the beach at Cawsand or call. It’s a great sheltered place to launch from and the water is usually crystal clear.
T: 07814 226892 | PL10 1PG
South West SUP
WSA SUP Foundation Instructor Training & General Tuition, check out their website for various special deals and general information. They are based at Firestone Arch, Royal William Yard in Plymouth. (Make a day trip of it SUP then lunch/dinner in one of the many on-site eateries).
T: 07898 984497 | PL1 3RP
If you are partial to a round of golf – experiencing new courses and greens on your holiday in Cornwall, then you have various choices. These clubs are the closest.
Cart-ridge These shooting grounds and gun shop are locaetd only 15 mins drive from Trethawle. These well run by the very friendly Dingle family.
Walks from Liskeard | PL14 6BW
6 mins / 2.5 miles
There are some excellent circular walks in and around Likseard listed here with downloadable maps.
The South West Coastal Path
The SW Coast path runs for 630 miles in total and is the UK longest and best loved National trail. Find out a suitable route for your day out.
If you enjoy exploring and walking you are definitely in the right county! In addtion to both moors close by there’s a few other routes to check out:
Golitha Falls, St Cleer – 7 miles | 11 mins
Oak lined river walk, uneven paths great all seasons. Glorious cascades of fast flowing water in the valley. This walk through a National Nature Reserve is just under a mile if you do the circular walk. Car Parking is across the road and there is a café and Inkie’s Smoke House BBQ in summer months.
Siblyback Lake | PL14 6ER
– 6 miles | 14 mins
This walk circles around the lake, you can run, walk or cycle the circular 3.2 mile path. It’s very dog friendly and the terrain is a mix of track, woodland and then crosses the Dam on the final stage. You can hire a Tramper Mobility Scooter if required. website
Kilminorth Woods, Looe | PL13 2NE – 9 miles | 25 mins
Parking is easy – you can begin this walk at Millpool Carpark, and enjoy a fairly sheltered walk through the woods, along the Giant’s Hedge then descends down towards West Looe River then pops out across a bridge to East Looe and Banjo Pier. You can then pass along the beach, through Looe’s oldest narrow streets and buildings before returning to the car park. A 3 mile/4.8km walk.
Mount Edgcumbe | PL10 1HZ
– 19 miles | 35 mins
A highly recommended area to visit if you enjoy rambling. There are many configurations of walks for all abilities. Walking around Mount Edgcumbe country park is great place to start, it overlooks Plymouth sound and the River Tamar. The South West Coast Path runs through the park for 9 miles (14 km) along the coastline.
– 18.3 miles | 33 mins
There are so many configurations of great walks and hikes around this Penninsular – just search the internet for Maker-with-Rame for the latest updates on over 13 walks and trail routes.
Polperro Harbour | PL13 2RB
– 17.2 miles | 28 mins
A figure-of-eight walk around the fishing village and headlands surrounding Polperro, passing the net loft perched above the harbour, the Victorian sea pool, undulating route along the coast path – the harbourmasters route to the lighthouse. 2.9 miles/4.7 km
Eating & Drinking
There so many fantastic pubs and restaurants nearby. Here is a small selection for you to try out whilst visiting if you fancy an night out – go on you deserve it you’re on holiday!
(It is advisable to check their websites, social media or on Trip Advisor before you set off, for seasonal opening times and up to date reviews).
The Hayloft Restaurant, Menheniot, PL14 3PJ
The Sportsmans Arms, Menheniot, PL14 3PJ
The Crows Nest Inn, Liskeard, PL14 5JQ
The Albion, Liskeard, PL14 4AA
Tapenades, Liskeard, PL14 3PF
Fat Frog Café, Liskeard, PL14 3JJ
The Copley Arms, Nr Seaton, PL11 3HJ
The Plough, Nr Liskeard, PL14 4PN
Heskyn Mill Tideford, PL12 5BG
Scholars, St Germans, PL12 5LG
The Sardine Factory, Looe, PL13 2BX
The Plough on The Quay, Looe, PL13 1AH
Squid Ink Restaurant, East Looe PL13 1AT
The Old Sail Loft, West Looe, PL13 1AP
Ocean & Earth, Looe, PL13 1BP
Viceroy Indian Restaurant, Looe. PL13 1AE
The Rifle Volunteer, PL18 9HL
Foreign Muck, Saltash, PL12 6AB
Just Be, Saltash, PL12 4EH
The Edgcumbe Arms, PL10 1HX
The View, Whitsand, PL10 1JY
The Weary Friar, Pillaton, Nr Saltash PL12 6QS
The Finnygook Inn, Crafthole, Torpoint PL11 3BQ
The Rod & Line, Tideford, PL12 5HW
The Who’d Have Thought it, Nr Saltash PL12 6TG
The Devonport Inn, Kingsand
The Eliot Arms, PL12 5NR
The Cornish Arms, Tavistock PL19 8AN
The Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, PL19 8BB
Plymouth – Far too many to list all of them – here is a cross section of a few, please feel free to feedback your discoveries and experiences, good and bad!
Wildlife & Parks
Wild Futures, The Monkey Sanctuary
Visit the 40 monkeys & learn about this important primate welfare centre in Cornwall with the added bonus of a lovely sea view from the sanctuary.
22mins | PL13 1NZ
Porfell Wildlife Park & Sanctuary
Get up close to exotic animals including lemurs, wallabies, meerkats and reptiles in this well kept small wildlife park.
14 mins | PL14 4RE
The National Aquarium
This amazing, well run educational marine centre is located in nearby city Plymouth. They have an impressive array of fish, sharks, turtle and sea creatures. It’s the UK’s largest aquarium and definitely worth a visit.
40 mins | PL4 0LF
The Tamar Valley Donkey Park
A lovely place to visit with younger children, or just take a picnic and relax in the surroundings. Happy donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits & guinea pigs to feed and pet. In addition there’s a fun soft play area, cafe and seating indoors if the weather turns bad.
24 mins | PL18 9HQ
This Devon Zoo has a great team of dedicated staff with 72 mammals, 38 birds, 21 reptiles and 16 invertebrates, 5 Amphibian species to discover and enjoy – definitely a big day out.
40 mins | PL7 5DG
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
This sanctuary was established in 1958 – in Gweek, set on the picturesque Helford Estuary. At the sanctuary there are underwater viewing areas, quiz trails and the usual talks and feeding demonstrations.
1 hour 20mins | TR12 6UG
A great park and facilities this is not a huge park. However the aviaries are spacious and contain multiple species. Expect to see Penguins, Flamingos, Macaws with a fun farm pets corner where you can meet miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, cute rabbits and guinea pigs. There is an indoor play centre which the youngsters will enjoy!
1 hour 10 mins | TR27 4HY
National Trust & Gardens
National Trust Houses, Historic & Gardens
Bodmin Jail Experience | PL31 2NR
Bodmin & Wenford Railway | PL31 1AQ
Cotehele Calstock | PL12 6TA
Antony House & Gardens Torpoint | PL12 6TA
Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Park Cremyll | PL10 1HZ
Boconnoc Garden Lostwithiel | PL20 ORG
Buckland Abbey Yelverton | PL20 6EY
Lanhydrock Bodmin | PL30 5AD
Lost Gardens of Heligan St.Austell |PL26 6EN
N.B. Her’s an addtional guide of Cornwall’s top attractions & Best Days Out.
Stay local: For nearby suggestions check out – Visit Liskeard