The stomping grounds of proud locals and a magnet for awe-struck visitors, harbours in Cornwall provide the perfect spot to take a step closer to the sea. Whether you are looking to immerse yourself entirely with a refreshing dip or enjoy a more sedate pace and sit back drinking in the views, a trip to this sea-hugged county wouldn’t be complete without a visit to some of its prettiest harbours.
Tucked within a yawning amphitheatre of towering, unsheathed cliffs, Boscastle’s natural harbour is a raw beauty. Home to a picturesque village and etched with worn footpaths, it is the perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by for a while and breathe in the salty sea air.
Making regular appearances in period dramas including the BBC’s Poldark, Charlestown is a real time-trap. Grade-II listed, it has roots dating back to the 18th century and is home to a resident (as well as visiting) fleet of tall ships.
Flaunting picture-postcard aesthetics, Coverack harbour is overlooked by a steep hill dotted with fishermen’s cottages and cute shops. Sprinkled with little boats and enjoying gorgeously blue waters that become even more inviting in summer, it should definitely be on your list.
Well, we couldn’t miss Padstow! Lucky enough to have a beautiful harbour right on our doorstep, we would definitely recommend strolling the waterfront with ice cream in hand or popping into one of the many restaurants right on the harbour.
A hub of activity and spot for reflection, Mousehole was once West Cornwall’s main fishing port until the 16th century. Jaw-dropping year-round, it is well worth visiting at Christmas when its beautiful light display sends multi-coloured rays scattering across the water.
Sat a little way out of the village of Mullion, Mullion harbour is still used by a small number of fishermen and is a popular spot amongst local school children for harbour jumping and swimming. Looked after by the National Trust, it is flanked by dramatic cliffs and lapped by sparkling seas.
A 13th century fishing village, Polperro’s harbour played a central role in the thriving pilchard industry for centuries, before it became a popular haunt for smugglers. Fortunately, these days the dubious exploits of smugglers have long been conscribed to history and Polperro is a gorgeous spot for relaxing in the sunshine!
Synonymous with storms in Cornwall, Porthleven’s harbour is a tranquil haven in summer and cinematic experience in winter. A popular spot for everyone from foodies to surfers to photographers, it had to be on our list of the prettiest harbours in Cornwall.
Taking the starring role in the much-loved TV series Doc Martin, Port Isaac is a quintessentially Cornish fishing village. Surrounded by steep cliffs, it’s beautiful harbour was once used to transport raw materials and goods around the world.
The muse of countless artists and creatives for years, St Ives’ harbour is a must-visit. Bathed in a unique light and flaunting dreamy tones throughout the year, you can enjoy a bracing winter walk along the harbour whilst summer calls for sun cream and sketchbooks.