Love is in the sea air in Cornwall. If you’re looking for some time away this Valentine’s Day to focus on each other, there’s no better backdrop than a stretch of beach.
And with plenty of coastal activities and romantic restaurants serving up seasonal delights, you’re covered for date night and the day time, too.
Here’s our top things to do on a Valentine’s getaway in Cornwall, from laid-back sightseeing to evening dining.
The best thing about our retreats is that they’re all walking distance to the sand. Mornings are well spent lazing in your self-catering abode, but if you do want to venture out without heading too far or splashing the cash, these simple, close-to-home activities are perfect.
Set foot along over 300 miles of Cornish coast path. Whether you’re staying North, West or South Cornwall, you’re always close to a stretch of natural beauty, made for wildlife spotting and hand-in-hand wandering. Visit the South West Coast Path website for detailed walking routes, or simply head out and see what you come across.
February isn’t always known for its balmy days, but whatever the weather, pack up a picnic and dine al-fresco. If the sun decides to pop out, then find your favourite cove and set up blankets and plates for a grazing feast. Or, try one of our Cook and Carry recipes, perfect for taking straight from stove to sand.
Even on particularly rainy or chilly days, wrap up warm and bring a hot flask of your favourite drink – or soup – to enjoy in the fresh air.
You don’t need to splurge for that romantic spa experience. Cornwall’s fresh salty air, floral and herbal scents, and refreshing water make for the dream outdoor spa. Brace an icy plunge on your nearest beach, before running back to your retreat for a hot bubble bath, steamy shower, or maybe even a hot tub or sauna session. Follow this by a hot drink (or glass of bubbles) and a good book, enjoyed from your balcony or window seat. It’s spa indulgence, sea style.
If you and your partner are the active, adrenaline-seeking or outdoorsy type, you won’t be short on things to do in Cornwall. Whether on land or out at sea, get out and about during your romantic stay with one of these activities.
Feel the beat of your heart in the waves as you master the Cornish ocean. Surfing here is best on the North coast, where the Atlantic swell creates dramatic, clean lines of surf. February is also a great time to learn, with quieter seas. Book a session for two at Newquay Activity Centre, Kingsurf in Mawgan Porth or Big Blue Surf School in Bude.
Experience Cornwall’s incredible sealife on a wild safari out to sea. Padstow Sealife Safaris are running their boat trips throughout the Valentine’s period, and are a great way of seeing the beautiful scenery around the coastline. Choose from a variety of safaris including the seal safari, where you’ll spot grey seals basking on rocks out to sea, or the puffin safari which takes you to the nearby “Puffin Island” to spot a range of seabirds including razorbills and Guillemots. Or, take their general 2 hour safari where you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins alongside other sea animals.
There’s plenty to discover beyond Cornwall’s beautiful beaches. Hop in the car and head out on a romantic day trip to one of the county’s many attractions.
This cultural site is worth a visit any time of year, but it’s a perfect setting for a day out for two. Wander the exotic gardens and mesmerising biomes, dine in the Mediterranean kitchen and even enjoy an ice skating session, which are running until 19 February.
Image credit: Matt Jessop
Grand estates, wintry woodland, medieval gardens and historic manor houses. Cornwall’s various National Trust sites are seeped in romance, inviting slow Sunday strolls wrapped in woolly scarves. Explore their various sites here.
Cornwall is bursting with gardens, from tropical terrain leading to secret beaches, Japanese gardens with tranquil ponds, and richly planted allotments seeped in heritage. Try Trebah Garden, The Lost Gardens of Heligan or Glendurgan to watch in awe as nature awakes for a new year.
Image credit: Toby Strong
Cornwall has a thriving foodie scene with plenty of options for Valentine’s dinner. Here’s a sample, but check out our full restaurant guide for more options.
This famous Padstow Rick Stein restaurant is the ultimate Cornish fine-dining experience. With a romantic setting of the fishing village of Padstow, tuck into some world-class seafood.
Paul Ainsworth’s all day eatery puts a sophisticated twist on classic pub dining. For a more relaxed dinner which still wows the tastebuds, spend an evening here before checking out some of Rock’s local bars.
Beyond the delicious menu, what makes The Fish House so special is the incredible views over Fistral beach. Time your meal with the sunset for a spectacular experience, best enjoyed with a cocktail.
Take time for two on a Valentine’s escape by the sea, where you can cosy up in a shoreline hideaway with instant access to the beach. Browse our selection of romantic retreats below.