Cornwall Towns - A-Z of Cornish towns and villages

Cornish Towns, Villages and City

As well as having some of the most beautiful coastal scenery to be found anywhere, Cornwall is home to some fascinating towns and idyllic villages. The list below includes all the major towns and villages in Cornwall. For a full list of places in Cornwall, large and small, check out the gazetteer.

  • Altarnun
    Altarnun is named in the Domesday Book as Penpont but takes its present name from the 6th century church of St Nonna , where St Nonna’s altar was originally preserved. several legends of early celtic saints describes how they used to carry a portable stone altar with them. the modern spelling of... more
  • Bodmin church, St Petroc's
    Bodmin is the former county town of Cornwall. It was the only Cornish town to be recorded in the Domesday Book, which was actually lodged in the town’s prison during the First World War. The name is derived from Bod-minachau, meaning the home of monks, suggesting that it was originally a religious... more
  • Boscastle
    Boscastle is a tiny port with a natural harbour, set in a narrow ravine, and boasts some very attractive thatches and white-washed cottages. Before the railways, Boscastle was a thriving port, serving much of North Cornwall. It has come to prominence recently as a result of the terrible floods of... more
  • Bude breakwater view
    Seaside resort Bude is so far along the north Cornish coast, it's practically in Devon. But that doesn't stop visitors flocking here for Bude's beautiful beaches, superb surfing opportunities and laid back beach town vibe. Facing head on into the Atlantic, this stretch of coast is wild and... more
  • Kit Hill Chimney, Callington
    Callington is a small town with a population of around 4,500 situated in the beautiful area of south east Cornwall. It is 6 miles from the lovely Tamar valley and 14 miles from Plymouth. Once a busy mining area, its main industries are now farming and tourism. Callington... more
  • Commercial Square - Camborne
    Camborne is a comparatively recent town. Much of its growth was associated with the mining boom in the early 19th century. Before this, Camborne Churchtown was a small hamlet surrounded by moorland. It was only one small place among a cluster of other villages, most of which were larger. The... more
  • Camelford
    Camelford is an attractive, ancient town straddling the A39, which runs between Bude and Wadebridge. As implied by the name, the town is situated on the River Camel. This name was believed to have been a contraction of Camalanford, from cam, meaning crooked, alan, meaning beautiful, and ford. The... more
  • Tall Ships in Charlestown Harbour
    Located about a mile outside the town of St Austell is Charlestown, an amazingly pristine, unspoiled example of a late Georgian working port. It was constructed between 1791 and 1801 by Charles Rashleigh, entrepreneur and member of the local landowning family, in response to the growth of the... more
  • Delabole slate quarry
    Delabole village is situated about a mile from the North Coast of Cornwall. It is close to Camelford, Tintagel, Boscastle and Port Isaac and is thus in the heart of King Arthur Country. The area abounds with castles and battle sites. Delabole is the third highest village in Cornwall, almost as high... more
  • Falmouth quay
    Intriguing old buildings, narrow streets and steps, and a whiff of smuggled spirits on the salty air… Welcome to Falmouth, the elegant Georgian town that's the heart of Cornwall's maritime heritage. From the small fishing boats at the Prince of Wales pier to the bespoke yachts in Pendennis Shipyard... more
  • Fowey Rooftops to Polruan
    Fowey is a bustling small port which still has a busy commercial life in addition to providing attractive moorings for leisure boats. Its harbour is flanked by fourteenth century blockhouses, one in Fowey and one on the opposite side of the river in Polruan, from which chains were once suspended to... more
  • Hayle Harbour
    Hayle Harbour Entrance Situated on the opposite side of St Ives Bay, Hayle is famed for its three miles of golden sand. The beaches start at the mouth of the estuary, which is regarded as an international quality bird-watching spot. Sightings include avocets,... more
  • Gillan Creek - Morning Light
    Helford Swans Long ago, Helford Village was quite an important port. This is difficult to believe today as one approaches the sleepy little place on the banks of the Helford River. Trading ships once brought French rum, tobacco and lace from the continent and the... more
  • Meneage Street - Helston
    Coinagehall Street - Helston Helston is perhaps most famous for the 'Furry' or Floral Dance held on the 8th May, unless this falls on a Sunday or Monday when it takes place on the preceding Saturday). On Flora Day the streets are thronged with thousands of... more
  • St Mary's Harbour - Hugh Town
    Hugh Town is the de facto capital of the Scilly Isles. Located on St Mary's this charming little town is where the majority of visitors to the islands will spend the majority of their time. Whether Hugh Town is actually a town or village is up for debate. With a population of just over a thousand... more
  • Porthcressa beach - St Mary's
    The Isles of Scilly is an archipelago of five inhabited islands, St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes, and some 150 islands and rocks. The islands lie 28 miles off Land's End, the most South-Westerly point of the UK, and have a total population of just over two thousand. The... more
  • Kingsand
    These days it is hard to mention Kingsand without including its neighbouring twin village of Cawsand, but things weren't always this way. In fact up until the mid-1800s the two villages were actually in different counties with the boundary once marked by a small stream. Today it is difficult to... more
  • Launceston Castle
    Launceston is the ancient capital of Cornwall and still boasts a medieval south gate and the ruins of a castle. In the 11th century Domesday Book it is described as the property of Count Robert of Mortain. At that time it had 2 mills, 40 acres of pasture, 3 slaves, 1 villager and 13 smallholders in... more
  • Liskeard Town Centre
    The ancient stannary and market town of Liskeard is situated in South East Cornwall, close to the popular resorts of Looe and Polperro. The town lies above the Looe river valley, about 14 miles west of the River Tamar. The main London to Penzance railway and the A38 road make Liskeard particularly... more
  • Looe - Cornwall
    The popular seaside resort of Looe is made up of East Looe and West Looe, located either side of the river. The two Looes are joined together by a bridge across the Looe River, and have subtly different characters. East Looe is home to the harbour and main shopping centre while West Looe is quieter... more
  • Lostwithiel Riverside
    Lostwithiel is situated in a beautiful wooded valley at the tidal reach of the River Fowey. Located in central Cornwall, it is within easy reach of both coasts and the moors and is well placed for exploring the county. The name comes from two Cornish words meaning the place at the end of the... more
  • St Michael's Mount - Best View
    The attractive old town of Marazion is a popular destination for beach holidays and water sports, including windsurfing, kite-surfing and sailing. The name Marazion has erroneously been referred to as Market Jew but is believed to be derived from the old Cornish Marghaisewe, meaning Thursday market... more
  • Mevagissey Harbour
    Mevagissey is an attractive harbourside village which was once the centre of Cornwall’s pilchard fishery and which still boasts a working harbour, with a few dozen small fishing boats. It has a tradition of boat building dating back to 1745. Many of the old buildings, constructed of cob and slate,... more
  • Bodmin Moor View
    Minions is the highest village in Cornwall, high up on Bodmin moor in South East Cornwall, not far from Liskeard. Most of the village is over 300m above sea level. The name derives from Minions Mound a barrow to the west of the village. The village has a pub, a restaurant and cafés in addition to... more
  • Mousehole from the pier
    Mousehole is a picturesque fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall, just a few miles west of the market town of Penzance. The village has a rich history and was famously sacked by the Spaniards in July 1595 when the entire village, apart from one house, was burnt to the ground. That house... more
  • Mullion Harbour cottage
    Mullion is the largest village on the Lizard and has shops, inns, cafes and restaurants, craft shops and art galleries. There is a golf course close to Mullion and this area has a good range of holiday accommodation, ranging from self-catering to hotels. In the centre of the village, the mainly... more
  • Newlyn Harbour Boats
    Situated a stone's throw from the larger town of Penzance, Newlyn is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the United Kingdom, with over 40 acres of harbour. The industry is one of the most important in the county, contributing millions of pounds to the Cornish economy each year. All sorts... more
  • Great Western Beach - Newquay
    Contents Surfing in Newquay Newquay Beaches History of Newquay The Huer's Hut Things to do Newquay Nightlife Eating Out The Boardmasters Places near Newquay Newquay - Good to Know Newquay Video Tour The North coast town of Newquay is best known for being Cornwall's surf city, as well as its... more
  • Padstow Quayside
    Tucked inside the Camel Estuary, popular Padstow is a smart little harbour town. It balances a working fishing fleet with being a top visitor destination, famous as a high-end foodie hotspot. However, there's a lot more to this busy port than fish and fine dining. The town's little old streets are... more
  • Penryn Market Street and Town Hall
    Penryn Town Hall The Borough of Penryn was enfranchised by the Bishop of Exeter in 1236 and in 1259 Henry III granted a weekly market in the town. Around the same time, Penryn was granted a Charter Fair to be held yearly on the Feast of St. Thomas the Martyr (... more
  • Penzance Dock
    Contents Chapel Street Penzance Festivals What to See in Penzance Penzance Video Tour The name Penzance is derived from the Cornish Pen Sans, meaning holy headland, as a chapel once stood on the point to the west of the harbour more than a millennium ago. The town received various Royal... more
  • Perranporth Beach
    Back in the 19th century, Perranporth was a typical Cornish tin mining village, albeit overlooking a huge expanse of sandy beach. Today it is one of the most popular resorts on the Atlantic Coast with few obvious signs of its industrial heritage. Perranporth is without doubt home to one of the... more
  • Polperro Harbour View
    Just south of Looe is the smaller port of Polperro. A surfeit of touristy gift shops do not quite manage to spoil this quaint old Cornish fishing village whose narrow streets and pretty cottages remain undeniably attractive. Many of the cottages are covered with a profusion of flowers in summer and... more
  • Polzeath
    Polzeath is a small village on the headland opposite Padstow. It was a favourite haunt place of the late poet laureate, Sir John Betjeman and is celebrated in some of his verse. There are many local shops, providing everything required for the holidaymaker. Within the village are a number of pubs,... more
  • Port Isaac
    Port Isaac, with its winding streets and busy harbour, has been a fishing village since the 14th century where it provided one of few havens along the otherwise rugged North Cornwall coast. Its granite and whitewashed old cottages are extremely photogenic, and it's a real pleasure simply to stroll... more
  • Porthcurno Cove - High tide
    Porthcurno was once an important place on the map. It was the centre of world telecommunication and, until recently, there was a training school for that industry to which people came from all over the world. The Porthcurno Telegraph Museum remains as a testament to the past. It incorporates... more
  • Porthleven - Cornwall
    Porthleven is the most southerly working port in the United Kingdom and boasts a picturesque harbour, with some interesting old buildings. The harbour faces south west into the prevailing wind and consequently the harbour construction and sea walls are massive. During winter storms, people visit... more
  • Porthtowan Beach
    Set in narrow winding valley flanked by impressive granite cliffs is the seaside village of Porthtowan. The village itself is not by any stretch of the imagination picturesque but nevertheless it has a great beach and a wealth of heritage. A little over a century ago the scene was very different.... more
  • Portreath Beach from West Hill
    Portreath is a small resort with a very narrow harbour located about 5 miles north of Redruth. It was once a busy port, importing coal and exporting copper but now only sheltering the occasional fishing boat. The original loading ramp can still be seen in the village. Copper ore was transported... more
  • Fore Street - Redruth
    The village of Redruth began to take shape in the 12th century. It developed around the ford, some distance away from the parish church. This was typical of many Cornish parishes. The church with its surrounding cottages, is overlooked by Carn Brea across the parish boundary. The oldest part of the... more
  • View across the Camel to Rock
    The town of Rock is located across the Camel estuary from the fishing port of Padstow. For somewhere so sandy Rock might not seem like the most appropriate name. However, it comes from the local quarry where the rocks were used as ballast by sailing ships which had unloaded their cargo across the... more
  • Gorran Haven Beach
    The Roseland Peninsula is an attractive area of quiet beaches, impressive coastal and river scenery and picturesque villages, within easy access of Truro, Falmouth and St Austell. What is often thought of as the capital, St Mawes, can be visited by passenger ferry from Falmouth. One of the most... more
  • Royal Albert Bridge - Saltash
    Saltash is known as the Gateway to Cornwall, as it lies just across the River Tamar from Plymouth. Travellers arriving in the county by train will cross the Royal Albert Bridge, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous railway bridge across the river completed in 1859. One of the first sites as you cross... more
  • Whitesand Bay - Sennen Beach
    Sennen Cove boasts one of the loveliest stretches of sand in Cornwall, Whitesands Beach, and still retains much of the atmosphere of an old fishing village. Tucked away, just behind Land's End the cove receives the full force of the Atlantic ocean making it a popular spot with surfers and hosting... more
  • Stippy Stappy - St Agnes
    St Agnes was yet another centre of the tin and copper mining industries in Cornwall. Many of the old engine houses can be seen around the area. The town church is worth a visit to see its unusual poor box. St Agnes boasts many cafés, restaurants, craft shops and galleries. Free car parking makes it... more
  • St Austell
    The old market town of St Austell is just a few miles from the coast and is one of Cornwall's biggest towns. It was for centuries an important mining town but it was a discovery in the mid 18th century that really put the town on the map.William Cookworthy, a chemist from Devon, discovered massive... more
  • St Breward Church
    The village of St Breward boasts the highest church in Cornwall at a height of about 700ft. The local feast day is on the Sunday closest to 22nd February. Special buns are baked, blessed and distributed amongst the local parishioners. Next door to the church is the only remaining pub, the Old Inn,... more
  • St Buryan Church
    St Buryan, named for the Irish Saint Buriana, is an attractive village located at the heart of the West Penwith peninsula. Granite cottages cluster around its central 14th century church, which acts as a distinctive landmark for miles around, and its circular graveyard. The church is a grade 1... more
  • Port Eliot - St Germans
    After the Conquest of Cornwall, the local church at St Germans became Cornwall’s cathedral from AD926, when King Athelstan made Conan the first Cornish bishop. In 1030, this was joined with the bishopric of Crediton in Devon and in 1050 the seat of the diocese was transferred to Exeter. The parish... more
  • Saint Ives Harbour
    Contents History of St Ives Art in St Ives "The Island" St Ives Beaches St Ia Church St Ives Harbour What's on in St Ives? St Ives Boat Trips Dog Friendly St Ives Nearby St Ives St Ives - Good to Know An Aerial Tour of St Ives Perhaps the loveliest approach to St Ives is by way of the train... more
  • St Just Signpost
    St Just-in-Penwith is the nearest town to Land’s End. It has an ideal situation for visitors to the far west of Cornwall as it is situated on the edge of the moors and close to the beautiful north coast, about 8 miles west of Penzance. Originally the centre of the tin mining industry in this part... more
  • St Keverne parish church
    St Keverne Church St Keverne is the largest village in the Helford area and somewhat unusual (for Cornwall) in that it is clustered around a central square. This attractive square contains a number of shops, 2 pubs (the White Hart and the Three Tuns), a handful... more
  • St Mawes Harbour
    The pretty village of St.Mawes looks out over the River Fal towards Falmouth. The old fishing port boasts steep and narrow streets rising from the harbour. Today it is a popular place for retirement and holiday homes and boasts an abundance of smart houses in addition to the traditional cob... more
  • View to Bumble Rock - The Lizard
    Lizard Point with its lighthouse is the most southerly point in Great Britain. It is famous for the local serpentine stone, a unique metamorphic rock which is dark green veined with red and white. Serpentine ornaments were particularly fashionable in Victorian times but the village still has... more
  • Tintagel - King Arthur Sculpture
    The name of Tintagel immediately conjures images of King Arthur and the legends associated with him. The ruins of Tintagel Castle brood over the coast, but no-one can say for sure whether this was really the place where Uther Pendragon seduced the Queen of Cornwall. The remains of the 13th-century... more
  • Torpoint Ferry
    Torpoint could be described as the gateway to Cornwall. It is situated on a peninsula in East Cornwall, across the River Tamar from Plymouth. A ferry connects Cornwall with Devon across the river these days, but there were always small boats ferrying people and goods across from Cornwall to England... more
  • Truro Cathedral
    Welcome to Truro, Cornwall's only city. The diminutive city isn't the county town (that's still Bodmin) and isn't even the county's largest town (step forward St Austell). However, it's Cornwall's administrative centre, and a very nice little city to spend time in. For locals, Truro is the place... more
  • Wadebridge Bridge
    One of the earliest recorded references to the town of Wadebridge was in 1313 when a market and two fairs were granted to Wade, within the manor of Pawton. At this time the town was in two parishes, Egloshayle and St Breock, on opposite sides of the River Camel. At this time, there were also two... more
  • Pendour Cove - Zennor
    The village of Zennor lies between St Ives and St Just, on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall. It lies above the high, rocky cliffs of the coast and the rugged, boulder-strewn, granite hills and moors. There used to be a stone quarry on Zennor Hill, and local granite was used to build much of St Ives... more