There is no doubt that Cornwall is a beautiful county. There is a reason that visitors, writers and in particular artists have been drawn here for centuries. Not only for the fabulous scenery, the rural charm and picture perfect villages but also the wonderful light. Its the same light that makes photography on Cornwall great too.
There are so many places to choose from for amazing photographic opportunities in Cornwall. But below are some of my personal favourites. The idea is to give you some inspiration of a few wonderfully photogenic and instagramable beauty spots. Some on the list are well known but hopefully there are also a few you won’t have heard of.
At the most easterly end of the sweeping cresent of St Ives Bay is Godrevy Lighthouse. It is one of my favourite places for a walk.
Godrevy Lighthouse was built in 1858 and stands on its own island about 300m off shore.
Winter or summer the clear water and long stretch of sands makes a stunning backdrop. Add to this the fact that the coves here are some of the best places to spot seals and you have the perfect combination.
St Nectans Glen
The legends and numerous ghost stories attached to St Nectan’s Glen make this a really interesting place to visit.
This deep wooded valley is meant to have been the home and burial place for Saint Nectan. Find out more about him and the stories about the glen HERE.
The most attractive of the waterfalls is undoubtedly the 60ft drop of water known as St Nectan’s Kieve. Here the river pours into a stunning natural basin and then out through a stone window before continuing its journey to the sea. There are so many gorgeous photo opportunities is this wonderful place.
Any one who knows me or has read this blog for a while knows that part if my soul lives on Bodmin Moor. I have written often about it’s legends and the ancient remains that you can find in this wild and rugged landscape. Read more HERE.
The vast horizons, the wildness and the dramatic rocky outcrops all make for great images. But this is a place to escape to and be alone with your thoughts.
Bodmin Moor is a region of Cornwall far less visited and less explored than the rest of the county. This therefore gives you the opportunity to capture unexpected and interesting images. The possibilities are as endless as the views.
Tucked away on the Roseland Peninsula Portloe is one of Cornwall’s prettiest villages. Its name comes from the Cornish meaning Cove Pool and the inlet certainly is a wonderful pool of deep clear water.
This sheltered harbour has a particular atmosphere. It was once home to a large pilchard fishing fleet but tales of smugglers and dark deeds abound.
In more recent times Portloe has been used as a location for film and TV and with good reason I feel. Like Bodmin Moor the Roseland is another overlooked region of the county. But the coastline here is just stunning, with plenty of walking and photographic opportunities. A great place to explore off the beaten track.
Everyone associates St Ives with painting. This small seaside town has as close an association with artists as it does with pilchard fishing. Despite being one of the most visited towns in Cornwall during the summer months it still retains much of its charm.
This part of the coast is famous for its clarity of light. All year round it is a wonderful place to spend some time. There is the Barbara Hepworth museum as well as the famous St Ives Tate.
But my advice would be to loose yourself in the tangle of opes and alleys and really discover this quintessential Cornish fishing harbour.
St Michael’s mount
There are some places that immediately spring to people’s minds when they think about Cornwall. St Michael’s Mount is definitely one of those places. And with very good reason. Whatever the weather, whatever the light this place never fails to impress.
There is just something so serendipitous about it’s location. A fairy tale castle on a rocky island within the sweep of a sheltered bay. Stunning.
There are other opportunities close by too. An ancient shipwreck in the sands. A hilltop folly with stunning views of the mount. And a mysterious headland where Choughs can be seen and tales of buried treasure are told.
Find out more about visiting the St Ives, Penzance area here.
Now under the care of the National Trust Chapel Porth is one of those beaches that I visit frequently. Especially in the winter. It is a wonderful stretch of coast of do some wave watching. And one of my favourite walks is to go along the beach at low tide from Porthtowan and then back along the cliffs on my return.
The remains of the old mine workings add another element to this already naturally beautiful scene. This is the wild north coast at its best I think.
Most people know Padstow. The Obby Oss and Rick Stein have made this little port town famous. I chose to include it in this list though because of the walking opportunities and the cracking views from the town. This is a different kind of coastal scene for Cornwall.
The Camel estuary is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Clear turquoise water weaves its way past Padstow and the opposite village of Rock out towards the open sea. At low tide wide golden sandbanks are exposed and the walk out towards Stepper Point and Butterhole beach is stunning.
This is another area of Cornwall that gets less visitors than it really deserves. This is Daphne Du Maurier country and her house is just a short walk from Gribbin Head. The most striking thing about this headland is the Daymark which stands 26m tall and painted with white and red strips.
But the promontory which separates St Austell Bay from the Fowey Estuary offers fabulous views up the coast. There is a lovely walk from Polkerris to Polridmouth beach which passes the daymark and takes in some of these fantastic views.
Holywell Bay has been made famous in recent years by the TV series Poldark. It is used as one of the main filming locations and the twin rocks make it easily recognisable.
Hidden in a cave at one end of the beach you will also find the very atmospheric natural well from which the beach gets its name. With or without Poldark this stretch of sand is a beautiful spot especially at sunset.
Choosing just 10 locations was difficult. It even felt a bit wrong narrowing down the list. There are so many more places I could gave included. And I considered listing 10 photographic villages, 10 beaches, 10 harbours etc perhaps something for the future but for now I hope you enjoy the places I have chosen here.I provide all the content on this blog completely FREE, there's no subscription fee. If however you enjoy my work and would like to contribute something towards helping me keep researching Cornwall's amazing history and then sharing it with you then you can DONATE BELOW. Thank you!