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Not just for summer: Why you should visit Cornwall in Spring

Cornwall may be the UK’s most popular summer holiday destination, but those in the know visit in the spring.

It’s quieter, cheaper and even prettier, and the ideal time of year to escape the city for cool coastal capers without the crowds.

Spring arrives earlier in Cornwall than elsewhere in the UK, making it the perfect place to shake off the winter blanket and come out of hibernation

From sea swims and surfing to wild walks and freewheeling fun, it’s the season to spring into action with rosy-cheeked adventures to boost fitness, enjoy pristine landscapes and chase off the winter chills. 

Cool Cornwall beckons visitors to make the most of Cornwall during the spring by presenting lots of ways to experience our sea-lashed county before the summer crowds descend. 

“Spring is my favourite time of year to get out and explore Cornwall,” says Elliot Walker, editor of Cool Cornwall.

“After the short, cold days of winter, I can’t wait to hit the cycle trails, enjoy dawny surfs before work and explore the coast and beaches during the longer evenings. The wildlife is out in abundance, wildflowers are sprouting underfoot, and the landscapes are still empty and untouched before the holidaymakers arrive in their hoards.”

There’s so much to do in Cornwall at this time of the year. Cool Cornwall suggests these top experiences to make the most of Cornwall in the spring.

Sea dips

Cold water immersion is good for your health, especially when done in the beautiful surroundings of coastal Cornwall.

As the sea is still fresh in springtime, only short, sharp dips are recommended, but the experience is unforgettable.

The tidal pools at Bude, Porthtowan, Treyarnon, and Priest’s Cove are among Cool Cornwall’s best wild swimming spots, although discovering new swimming spots is all part of the adventure.

Wild coastal walks

As winter lifts its spell, there’s still time to get up and make the first set of footprints on empty beaches, scale rugged cliff-tops with only seabirds for company and meander across moorland without a soul in sight.

Crest the peaks of Bodmin Moor in early spring at sunset, and you might see a magical murmuration as you set your eyes on the coast to your north and south.

Seaside saunas

The latest trend to hit our shores is seaside saunas.

These mobile sweat boxes have been popping up on beaches in Cornwall and beyond.

Not only are these saunas good for your health, but they’re the perfect way to warm up and take in the views after a sea dip, bracing walk, or some other outdoor activity on the Cornish coast.

Hit the waves

While we all love long summer days of mellow surf, spring waves are more powerful, consistent, and less crowded.

Yes, it’s also a little colder before the water has warmed up in the sun, but advanced winter wetsuits are toasty even on the coolest spring days. Mawgan Porth, Fistral and Sennen Cove are among Cool Cornwall’s favourite surf beaches where local surf schools line up to provide tuition.

Spring flowers

During the spring, the cliffs are carpeted with gorse and wildflowers, while the gardens are awash with magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons.

It’s a magical time to explore the coast and countryside on wonderful wildflower walks.

Hidden beach cafés

The season starts early for Cornwall’s hidden beach cafés, which offer tasty treats to accompany scenic views of beaches, coves, and dramatic coastline.

They’re ideal places to rest and refuel on tasty food during springtime excursions on the Cornish coast.

Castaway on a paddleboard

Spring is a great time to cast away on a paddleboard to explore the nooks and crannies of the coast.

Time a trip with the spring tides and paddle along the sheltered estuaries of the Helford Passage, the Gannel and the River Fowey, or set off on a paddleboard tour from Carbis Bay or Gyllyngvase.

Uncrowded cycle trails

Cornwall’s most popular cycle routes get crowded in the summer but are a real treat in the spring.

Favourites include the 18-mile Camel Trail, which winds its way along the Camel estuary and river between Padstow and Bodmin Moor.

There’s also the Coast to Coast between Portreath and Devoran, as well as mountain biking trails at Lanhydrock and Cardinham. 

Beach picnics

Picnics, barbecues and alfresco dining don’t have to be saved for summer days.

Visitors can wrap up warm and enjoy a delicious spread for a spring picnic on the sand or light a fire to toast marshmallows and warm a pan of hot chocolate.

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