Hidden Cornwall: 7 beautiful spots to visit off the beaten track around Britain’s favourite county

Here are some secret spots to add to your itinerary.

Who doesn’t want to hit the road in the direction of cream teas, pasties and some of the most beautiful beaches the country has to offer?

So where can you go to avoid the crowds? Here are some of the county’s lesser known hotspots…

1. Gwennap Pit

Looking like an eerie alien landing site from the air, Gwennap Pit is actually an amphitheatre near Redruth made famous by the founder of Methodism, John Wesley.

Made by mining, the circular hollow has great acoustics and Wesley used to preach there in the late 1700s. On summer Sunday afternoons it now plays host to musical events and open-air theatre.

2. Porthgwidden Beach

Visitors to St Ives often head straight for Porthminster and the surfer’s paradise of Porthmeor, but between the two is the lesser-known and smallest beach, Porthgwidden.

Accessed by a narrow walkway past the former fisherman’s houses, it’s an east-facing sun trap, perfect for families and overlooked by rocky crags on both sides.

3. The Ferry Boat Inn

Sitting on Cornwall’s pretty Helford river, this cosy pub in the village of Helford Passage dates back to the 16th century and overlooks the beds of the Wright Brothers’ Duchy oyster farm. Come for a stroll on the beach opposite and then tuck into the catch of the day.

4. Nanjizal Beach

This one’s properly off the beaten track. In fact, you can only access it from the South West Coast Path from Land’s End to the north or Porthgwarra to the south, but it’s worth making a detour for.

At low tide, it’s possible to see the remains of a shipwreck from 1912, and the south side features the Song of the Sea, a narrow rock arch worn away by the sea.

5. Lantic Bay

Another one for keen explorers, Lantic Bay rewards hikers with one of the most stunning views in Cornwall.

Park at the National Trust car park at mile east of Polruan near Fowey and follow the way-marked footpath across the road and into a field. Crest the brow of the hill and you’ll see the beautiful cove and sandy beach carved from the rocks at your feet.

6. Gunwalloe Village

The Lizard Peninsula, the southernmost tip of mainland Britain, is well known for its romantic spots, including Kynance and Mullion Coves. But less often on visitor’s itineraries is the village of Gunwalloe, which sits among the sand dunes and cliffs of the Lizard’s west coast.

Its tiny church, with a detached bell tower embedded in the cliff, is one of the oldest in the Domesday Book and the nearby 500-year-old Halzephron Inn is a former smugglers’ haunt, boasting views across Mount's Bay.

7. Sandbar at Praa Sands

If dining by the sea is on your list, you don’t get much closer than at the Sandbar, which affords panoramic views as you tuck into seafood on the terrace.

On Sundays it offers a popular Roast on the Coast carvery, which can be a cosy way to while away a rainy summer’s day as the elements rage outside the picture windows.

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