Autumn in Cornwall – A great time to Visit

With Autumn officially starting around the beginning of the third week of September it can be one of the best times to visit Cornwall. Although the children have gone back to school, and along with them the bulk of the summer holiday makers, the weather can be just as good. This can be the ideal time to get out and explore Cornwall and maybe enjoy a few highlights.

Please, read on, there is even a short video to show you what you are missing.

Date: 1st September 2020

Before you start reading this why not take a look at our video ‘Cornwall in the Cold’

Whilst there are food events year round in Cornwall it seems that the biggest and best are in the autumn. We couldn’t tell you the exact reason for this although we suspect it is a mixture of the run up to Christmas along with it being the right time of year for certain seasonal produce and harvest time.
Heading the list are the long running favourite, the Falmouth Oyster Festival along with the Great Cornish Food Festival held in Truro’s city centre.
There are other food festivals on during the summer, for example the Newlyn Fish Festival is held on August bank holiday. Whilst this is a great day out the crowds are not for the faint-hearted. On the other hand the autumn food festivals are a much more relaxing experience of pottering between food stands and watching cookery demos.
There are many great reasons why autumn might quite possibly be the best time to visit Cornwall. Its been a very strange year for us all and its especially important to check if things are on and open and of course you will need to book.


Everybody knows that summer is best for surfing? Well, actually no. In theory the Cornish summer brings with it wall-to-wall blue skies and a constant supply of small, but perfectly formed waves.
Unfortunately the only one of these you can rely on is the consistently small surf. There are always a few good days in the summer but if you want the very best Cornish waves then try any time but summer.
Whilst spring is a great time for surf the water is cold. In autumn you get pretty much the same quality, long range swells but the water is about 5 C warmer. Also, you have the bonus of there not being ninety people all trying to catch the same wave.


It’s amazing the difference a week can make. If you turned up at, for example, Perranporth beach in mid-August you might well have trouble finding somewhere to put your towel.
Turn up at the same beach in late September, and whilst you might not have it to yourself, you will certainly have room to spread out.
Choose one of Cornwall’s lesser known beaches and you may well find you have the beach to yourselves, and even if you are not lucky enough to be experiencing one of our legendary Indian summers the sea temperature will still be the warmest it gets.

Moody Skies over Crantock Beach

St Ives and small villages.

You might not be a fan of having to squeeze your way through the throbbing holiday throngs as they aimlessly bob along, randomly pointing at things. This could describe many of Cornwall’s prettiest towns and villages; not just St Ives but Polperro, Port Isaac or Padstow for example
Fast forward to autumn and things will have quietened down somewhat. However, you won’t be faced with rows of closed shops and cafes as the tumbleweed blows down the street, like it used to be mid-winter. Cornwall has moved with the times and now caters for the out of season visitor.
Storm Watching
Whilst winter inevitably brings with it at least one big storm, the same is generally true of Autumn. This is the time of year when we’ve seen some of Cornwall’s most impressive storms and iconic images have been taken.
October in particular is often a good month for storm-watching. In fact it was mid October that the mighty “Great Storm of 1987” hit with hurricane force 12 winds. This was also the time of year when the first of the massive 2013/ 2014 storms hit and beautiful Porthleven made it onto the cover of half the national newspapers.
Whatever the reason it can be pretty spectacular, but also dangerous, so please take safety advice seriously.

Gardens and woodland walks.

Cornwall is well known for its gardens and most people would think of visiting during the spring. Whilst you might catch a carpet of bluebells or camelias in bloom that is only a small part of nature’s yearly show. Autumn arguably rivals spring with its dazzling display of reds and golds. This is the perfect time of year to get out your wellies or walking boots and head out for some woodland walks. Mid October to mid-November are a great time to catch the autumn colours.
But it isn’t just the leaves turning golden. With Cornwall’s extra mild climate it is this time of year that the sheltered gardens of the south coast show their sub-tropical credentials. Visit the likes of Trebah and Glendurgan gardens and their Southern hemisphere plants burst into flower whilst banana trees and giant rhubarb reach their full size.

The Mud Maid at the Lost Gardens of Heligan (Credit - Cornish Holiday)

The Mud Maid at The Lost Gardens of Heligan (Credit – Cornish Holiday)

The Giants Head at the Lost Gardens of Heligan (Credit - Cornish Holiday)

The Giants Head at The Lost Gardens of Heligan (Credit – Cornish Holiday)

Value for money Holiday Accommodation.

At Cornish Holiday we always try to offer value for money, often referred to as the shoulder season the autumn is quite possibly the best time of year to holiday in Cornwall. Not only have the crowds thinned and the damp cold Cornish winter hasn’t kicked in yet, but prices are significantly cheaper offering outstanding value.
If that wasn’t enough there is also every probability that availability won’t be an issue and you can stay when you want. Just check availability on our website


If you are a photographer you will know that light is everything. A low sun lighting up the view with golds and oranges can transform an otherwise average photo into a definite “keeper”. One of the great things about autumn is you don’t have to get up at 4 am to catch this “golden hour”. And think of the positives about the evenings drawing in; you can capture a stunning sunset and still be home for dinner.
There is also the matter of the subject of your photographs. With autumn comes a much more dynamic landscape with ever changing weather and nature. The rivers flow faster, the woods put on their autumn colours and the sea can explode into action. Oh, and you might just manage to get a photo of one of Cornwall’s many fantastic sights without someone licking an ice cream walking straight through your shot!

Indian Summers

Looking out of the window summer can sometimes seem like a distant memory as the winter perma-drizzle sets in. But it isn’t always the case. In fact it seems more often than not there is at least one prediction of an Indian summer. Whilst this might be wishful thinking it does actually happen from time to time. Even if it doesn’t there’s still every chance the weather will be as good, or better than the summer. You see, it is a little known fact that the best weather in Cornwall tends to be either side of the summer.

Credit: Website, The Best things to do in Cornwall.

Late autumn in Cornwall is a dramatic, inspiring time. Don’t miss out on the wild beauty of stormy skies, dark seas, ruby red sunsets and gigantic waves along the breath-taking coastline. Here are some fun things to try:

Fly a kite.

Mullion in west Cornwall is a favourite haunt for kite fliers. They even have their own dedicated kite shop. Owners John and Carolyn sell a huge variety from stunt kites to power kites and they especially recommend catching the wind on the cliffs above Kynance Cove.

Go foraging.

Foraging is a hugely pleasurable and rewarding pastime for all ages and is quickly becoming a popular activity throughout Cornwall. With plenty of wild foraging schools to help show you how it’s done, you’ll be cooking delicious recipes in secret coves in no time.

Build a late autumn palace at Marazion.

The sand here is perfect for constructing a fantasy castle. Use shells and stones to beautify your construction. Get inspiration from the real fairytale castle just out to sea on St Michael’s Mount.

Visit a food festival.

Cornwall has plenty of mouth-watering food and drink festivals this autumn from the annual Newquay Fish Festival to the Falmouth Oyster Festival.

Fish from the shore or the lakes.

Enjoy the excitement of fishing in a county surrounded by water and renowned for it’s fish. There are plenty of places to try your hand

Credit: Visit Cornwall.

Beach Fishing. (Credit – Pixabay)

Go horse riding.

Mount your steed and head for the surf at Perranporth. Exhilarating gallops guaranteed on a two hour hack over sand dunes and three miles of golden sand with nearby Reen Manor Riding who cater for novices as well as keen riders.

Heading to the Beach with Reen Manor Riding School.

Go beachcombing after a storm.

All manner of flotsam and jetsam gets washed in from the ocean. Mooring buoys, odd shoes, bottles, you name it. Have a competition to see who can find the most unusual thing.

Discover Cornwall on foot.

The South West Coast Path has over 300 miles of spectacular coastline and stunning scenery. The sheer variety of the Coast Path means that there are plenty of gentle stretches as well as dramatic headlands, steep coastal valleys, sheltered estuaries, busy harbours, intimate coves, moorlands and sandy beaches.

A winter Walk along the Beach.(Credit – Cornish Holiday)

Get a taste of Cornwall’s heritage.

Head to a medieval castle, a Tudor fort or an opulent Victorian mansion or delve further back in time by standing in the middle of a prehistoric stone circle or strolling around an Iron Age village.

Make time for art.

Cornwall has been a natural home to inspiration, art and ideas since the early 19th century. Whilst the Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum, The Minack Theatre and the Eden Project enjoy the beam of the international spotlight, outstanding local galleries and artists’ workshops are everywhere, showcasing Cornwall’s vibrant art scene.

Credit: Cultural Trip website

The colours.

From the moors to the cliffs, Cornwall turns into a carnival of orange and red in the autumn. What is usually green or purple turns to fire and the whole landscape changes from lush to dramatic.

Autumn light.

It almost always feels as though you’re on the verge of golden hour at this time of year in Cornwall, especially with so much sunshine burning through the clouds. Twin this with the auburn foliage and the whole of Cornwall seems golden. Great for photographers!

At Cornish Holiday we want you to be able to enjoy our properties and Cornwall for 365 days of the year. Offering, warm, cosy, clean welcoming self-catering accommodation, we want you to go home invigorated with wonderful memories which will last for ever.


Glorious Cornwall, stay with us and you will never want to go home!

At Cornish Holiday we offer wonderful, self-catering accommodation in Cornwall. With dramatic coastlines, years of mining history, rugged moorland, attractions and theme parks there really is nowhere better to spend time and create memories which will last forever.  Our properties are inspected every year and receive a star rating by Visit England, we are also members of PASC (Professional Association of Self Caterers), a wonderful way to reassure you and give peace of mind when booking your stay.
Every year Cornish Holiday donate to Cancer Research UK and by staying with us helps fund vital research.

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