Away from the most popular beaches, celebrated restaurants and well trodden tourist trail, Cornwall still has a wealth of hidden gems to explore. But keep them to yourself…

Words: Nicola Smith

On the coastal road between St Ives and St Just, on Cornwall’s windblown Penwith Peninsula, lies Morvah Schoolhouse (, comprising a gallery, café and arts and craft shop, with a venue showcasing the work of local artists and makers. From paintings and jewellery to ceramics and photography, creations are inspired by the surrounding rugged landscape. The upstairs gallery boasts stunning rural and sea views, while the café serves tasty local fare.

The Lizard is also home to Kestle Barton (, another secluded art gallery on a farmstead high above the Helford River, 10 minutes’ walk from Helford village. The gallery features four exhibitions a year (April to October) from artists with a local connection, and guests can help themselves to refreshments using the ‘honesty box’ tea hut. Kestle Barton is also home to five holiday lets comprising three ancient barns, a farmhouse and a cottage.

Just 300m from the South West Coast Path, near the fishing village of Gunwalloe, you’ll find the 500-year-old Halzephron Inn ( Alive with smuggling history, its timbers and bar are salvaged from past shipwrecks and there is even a tunnel behind the fireplace…

In addition to offering expansive views across Mount’s Bay, it is a perfect place from which to walk the cliff path to Lizard Point, the most southerly point of the British mainland, before returning for some hearty food.

Not far away, between Praa Sands and Prussia Cove, sits lesser known Kenneggy Beach, a crescent of golden sand accessed over the rocks from Prussia Cove at low tide. A popular place for rockpool enthusiasts and snorkellers, its challenging access keeps visitor numbers low, while high tide sees the beach disappear completely…

In a slate quarry near Tintagel, just a mile from Trebarwith Strand beach, lies an off-grid Danish Cabin with bar and walls that fold down, its lights, fridge and beer pump powered by a combination of waterfall and solar power ( At Kudhva – Cornish for hideaway – The Danish Cabin is the result of a Carlsberg UK-sponsored project designed to reconnect people with nature. The cabin can sleep six in two mezzanine bunk beds and two downstairs sofa beds, and guests can spend the days surfing, foraging, swimming or walking the coast. Kudhva also has other wild camping options on site, including its wonderful architectural tripod cabins and tree tents.

Southern comfort

Between Falmouth and Truro, Loe Beach Café ( can be found at the bottom of a steep hill in the village of Feock, at the head of the Carrick Roads. The café was made from the timbers of a schooner 100 years ago and today this beach hideaway attracts a loyal clientele of locals, as well as watersports enthusiasts seeking tasty sustenance – from bacon, egg, halloumi and avocado breakfasts to ‘filthy fries’ with West Country melted cheddar. As for its brilliant Friday Fish ’n’ Chip nights…ssshhh!

If you’re searching for a staycation hotspot for your Cornish break, try these top Cornwall hotels.

Check out more coastal places to stay in our dedicated section.