Here’s our top travel tips for getting around in Cornwall and making the most of your travelling time:
What a difficult question to answer! In truth, Cornwall is beautiful to visit at any time of year. Millions of visitors flock to our county to enjoy the British summer, and the blues of the ocean when it’s a sunny day can’t be beaten. It’s a very popular destination in the school summer holidays, especially with so many family-friendly visitor attractions.
But Cornwall can be equially as beautiful outside of the main season. Our rugged and dramatic county comes into its own in the quieter months. Many of our gardens and country estates are beautiful in spring when new blooms peek through, and many of our coastal landmarks are incredible to see in the winter months.
It will take over two hours to get from the east of the county to the far west, and our main road across Cornwall is the A30. There’s work going on at the moment to widen this notorious stretch of road, which can have lengthy traffic jams in peak season. These works are due to be completed by the end of 2023.
Sat-nav can help you with finding your way around the county, but always look out for local signage. Technology doesn’t always account for the narrowness of Cornish lanes or restrictions that might be in place.
It’s always handy to have spare change to pay for parking, so keep some pound coins in your car. We recommend downloading the JustPark app, as this allows you to pay for the majority of Cornish car parks on your phone.
The roads will always be quieter outside of peak season, and many people tend to head out to visit attractions for around 10am in the morning, making this quite a busy period in school holidays. It can be busy getting to attractions until mid afternoon. You may find that it is easier to book a space at popular attractions later in the afternoon.
Changover day – the day when lots of people check out of their holiday accommodation and new people arrive – is often Saturday at many Cornwall destinations. While the roads are likely to be much busier on these days, you might find that it is a quieter time to visit tourist attractions.
Be mindful of traffic throughout the summer – but especially around the bank holidays as well.
Cornish lanes can be tricky to navigate for those who are not experienced at driving on narrow roads. Be mindful of other drivers and take a note of passing places, as it is courteous to reverse to your nearest passing place if you meet a car coming towards you.
Be patient when driving on country roads, especially if you are not used to them. There’s definitely a tractor factor in Cornwall – you’ll get stuck behind a slow-moving farm vehicle at some point!
Make sure you pick up a copy of our Best Days Out Cornwall guide whenever you see it. For longer car journeys, make sure of our Kids Eye-Spy page! It’s a handy checklist of fun things to see and do with the kids, and will help ease some of those travel blues as you move from place to place!