Visiting Cornwall in May

Spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner. May is a great 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. Take advantage of warmer waves, flowering woodlands and historical celebrations in our pick of May happenings.

See the first bluebells

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. Cornwall is abundant in gardens rich with blooming spring flowers, and May in particular is a great time to visit, showcasing the best of nature’s colour palette.

Helston Flora Day

This spring festival is held annually in May to celebrate the end of winter and mark the arrival of new vitality and fertility, with the trees and flowers bursting into life. The houses and shops around the town are decorated with greenery and floral arrangements, expressing the spirit of renewal. The thud of the big bass drum starts the heart as well as Helston’s ancient Flora Dance, where townspeople dance up and down streets decked in flora and fauna. Watch dances at 7am and 5pm, the children's dance at 10am, a midday procession at noon and the Hal-en-Tow which re-enacts the battle between St George and the dragon.

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.