Visiting Cornwall in May

Spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner. May is the perfect time to visit Cornwall, just before the beaches become crowded, but late enough into the year that the summer sun is beginning to take hold. Sunset sea dips, beach BBQs, salty skin and wild waves: Cornwall doesn't get better than this. 

Wild swimming

May's warmer climate means the ocean beckons, turning turquoise beneath blue skies. Cornwall is full of wild swimming spots where you can take your first dip of the season, from calm harbours to secluded sea pools. The water may still be cooler, but we find it the ultimate morning revitaliser or evening cool-down after a long day in the sunshine. Read our blog on the best wild swimming spots.

Catch a sunset

May is also the month where the evenings remain light and the days get longer. This means it's also a great time for a late evening sunset, after you've basked in the extra hours of sunlight. Kick back on the sand with a refreshing drink in hand or dine at a seafront restaurant as the sun slowly dips into the horizon- wherever you are, a Cornish sunset never disappoints. Read our six must-visit sundowner spots.

See the first wildflowers

Cornwall's clifftops burst to life in May with sea pinks, and its rural spaces become adorned with hyacinths and scented azaleas. Simply stride out on a coast path walk to see the flora wake up, with a backdrop of endless sea vistas. For any keen gardeners, scout out Pencarrow House and Gardens near Bodmin, Godolphin Woods near Helston, Enys Gardens near Penryn and Glendurgan near Falmouth for beautiful carpets of bluebells– a sure sign that spring has arrived in the county. 

Discover a secret beach

With temperatures taking a big leap in May, the warmer climate may tempt you to the sand. But instead of settling for the well-known beaches, why not make an adventure out of it and discover a secret cove? Cornwall is bordered by miles of dynamic coast path, its intricate map of cliffs, caves and rock formations often concealing, or revealing, hidden beaches which are little known to the usual visitor. Stride out along the South West Coast Path and see what you can spot, or read some of our favourite hidden beaches here.

Taste the ocean

Cornwall is home to many highly esteemed seafood restaurants, and with a supply of fresh fish readily available along its coastlines, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Visiting in May means you can sample some of the county’s best cuisine before the queues begin to form, and you can secure a table at eateries that are often fully booked later in summer. You may even be able to dine al fresco if the weather is right! Try Nathan Outlaw’s in Port Isaac, Rick Stein’s famous Seafood Restaurant in Padstow or The Fish House at Fistral for a critically acclaimed dinner.

BOOK YOUR STAY IN MAY