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Seven reasons to visit Cornwall in January

Cornwall is a fabulous place to visit all year round. We tend to think of Cornwall as an idyllic summer holiday destination, but January is a great time to visit.

Once the hectic Christmas and New Year periods are over, and the fabulous Christmas Markets and Food Festivals are finished for the season, Cornwall empties. This means January is a spectacular time of year to enjoy Cornwall. Here are seven good reasons why you should spend time in Cornwall in January.

Beaches all to yourself

During the summer, the popular beaches are full of holidaymakers, but in January, you’l have the beaches all to yourself. Although the weather may not be 100% kind in January, wrap up warm and make the most of those empty beaches. Padstow is a great base to explore some of the best sandy beaches such as Harlyn, Harbour CoveConstantine BayHawkers Cove, and Trevone. The choices are endless, with so many great spots on the North Cornish Coast such as Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Porthcothan, Bedruthan and Kynance Cove.

The beaches also open up to your four legged friends, with a lifting of the seasonal ban which runs from 1st July to 31st August (or 15th May to 30th September on the most popular beaches).

Winter Walking

The dramatic coast of Cornwall really comes to life in the winter months. The wind and crashing waves on the beach and the rocks. With over 400 miles of beaches and coastal paths there are plenty of options to choose from. You don’t need to stick to the coast, there are plenty of inshore moors and ancient landscapes to explore.

Take a look at The National TrustSouth West Coastal Path, and I Walk Cornwall for some winter walking ideas. In the Padstow area, obvious choices are The Camel Trial or the Saints Way, with great views of the Camel Estuary. Check out our guide to coastal walks near Padstow.

Winter Surfing

There’s something special about empty beaches, winter winds and consistent surf. Winter surfing offers perfect waves as well as some spectacular surfing challenges. As you’d expect, winter waves tend to be larger and more powerful, providing great opportunities for experts. Depending on the conditions great surfing spots include Harlyn, Mawgan Porth, Fistral and Sennen, Crantock Beach and Perranporth Beach.

You can check out the surf quality with live webcams on the main surfing beaches in Cornwall.

Storm Watching

Cornwall’s wild and rugged coastline are perfect for storm watching. Watching crashing waves and swirling currents battering the coastline. Its dramatic and exhilarating to watch the storms this time of year.

There are some amazing places to watch the Atlantic waves crash along the coast. For some of the best storm watching in Cornwall such as The Rumps, Polzeath, Stepper Point, Padstow, Trevose Head, near Padstow, Bedruthan Steps and Watergate Bay. Some of these spots offer shelter depending on the prevailing winds. The promenade at Penzance is a great spot as big waves have been known to crash over the road.

Quiet restaurants and warm fires

January is a great opportunity to enjoy quiet restaurants and take advantage of Padstow’s top restaurants which are usually booked up well in advance. Although some restaurants may be closed, you’re spoilt for choice, and its a great time to chat to the staff and locals too. 

Enjoy the warm fires and welcoming bars, pubs and restaurants that take on a more intimate nature. Relax and enjoy.

Indoor Attractions and Activities

January in Cornwall can easily be bright and sunny, and maybe a chance to enjoy some wild swimming, it can also be windy and rainy. Enjoy a wide range of indoor activities such as a trip to the Eden Project. Plus there’s a fabulous choice of museums and art galleries. Here are some more ideas for rainy day activities.

Wild Swimming

Now more popular than ever, Cornwall has some of the most picturesque spots to take a dip this time of year. From rock pools to larger sea pools, check out our guide to wild swimming locations. You could also explore the Jubilee Pool in Penzance which is both sea water and warm geothermal.

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