10 reasons to visit Cornwall in winter

Crisp winter days exploring Cornwall

Ruth Sneddon

Forestipedia writer | Helping you to discover the best places on your travels

Most people associate Cornwall with a summer seaside holiday. But have you ever visited in winter? From daffodils in December to surfing in February, winter shines a new and unexpected light on this beautiful county.

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1. The summer crowds have all gone home

With nearly 300 miles of coastline and some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK, it’s not surprising that Cornwall is a popular summer destination. But when the summer crowds disperse you can have Cornwall all to yourself. And somehow its beauty shines all the brighter in the solitude of a winter’s afternoon.

2. The climate is mild, even in winter

Daffodils in December? Cornwall lies on the eastern edge of the Gulf Stream, which means that its winter temperatures are comparable to Mediterranean resorts such as Benidorm, Nice and, Naples. This makes it one of the warmest counties in the UK and yes, daffodils can often be seen in December.

Cornwall Harbour boats

Daffodils at Cornwall Harbour

3. The gardens are beautiful all year-round

Those mild climates make winter a delight in the many famous gardens of Cornwall. Llandyrock, Trebah, Trelissick and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are all open throughout the winter and you can marvel at the year-round colour.

4. The storms are spectacular to witness in winter

When the winter storms unleash their power, the Cornwall of Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn comes to mind. Waves crash against harbour walls, rain lashes in off the coast and it’s exhilarating to witness (before snuggling up in a cosy cabin, protected from the elements!)

Stormy winters sunset at Kynance Cove

Stormy winters sunset at Kynance Cove

5. The walks are wonderful when you’re wrapped up

The scenic beauty of Cornwall, filtered through the winter sun, is one of the county’s most rewarding pleasures. Wrap up warm, head for the South West Coastal Path and take in the stunning views.

6. The Christmas lights are shining bright

The twinkling Christmas lights, reflecting off the sea down at Looe and Polperro harbours will warm your heart. What could be more festive than browsing the craft stalls of the Christmas market for special gifts?

Mousehole Harbour in Cornwall

Mousehole Harbour in Cornwall

7. The surf is up – in a wetsuit!

Driven by low pressure systems off the Atlantic, the waves pound up the Cornish coast in winter. The fair-weather surfers are long gone, leaving this vast playground to the real enthusiasts.

8. The beaches are dog-friendly

Most dogs love beaches, but as a dog owner you may have noted that beaches aren't always very welcoming to dogs. However, from October to March, most lift their restrictions and miles of deserted beaches are opened up to dog walkers. Surely, nothing is more energising than a winter walk along a windswept Cornish beach with the dog excitedly chasing the waves.

Winter walk along Fistral beach

A winters walk along Fistral beach

9. There’s ice skating at the Eden Project

The ice rink opened in October and doesn't close until the end of February so you can experience something akin to the North Pole as well as visiting the rainforest and wandering around the Mediterranean, all in one day.

10. The wildlife in winter will surprise you

From tawny owls calling on the night air, to salmon swimming upriver to spawn, to pods of seals off the coast, there is a lot going on in the winter and it’s a great time to do some wildlife watching.

Wild ponies on Bodmin Moor

Wild ponies on Bodmin Moor

4 reasons to stay at Deerpark in winter:

  1. The cabins are cosy for couples and great for groups. Cabins have up to 4 bedrooms, all with private outdoor hot tubs – spectacular in the winter and perfect for stargazing!
  2. It’s perfectly located. From the sheltered south coast to the wilderness of Bodmin Moor, from to the rugged north coast, to the world famous Eden Project, it’s a great base for exploring Cornwall.
  3. Your Forest Ranger works all year round and you will learn so much about winter wildlife if you take the opportunity to explore the forest with him.
  4. Deerpark is a peaceful haven, hidden from the world. Your chance to be completely "off-grid" for a few days while you make plans for the year ahead!

Discover for yourself the many delights of Cornwall on a winter break in the forest. Book your Cornish staycation today.

Family in the hot tub at Forest Holidays

Family time in the hot tub...perfect!

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