Moving to Cornwall: Area Guide

With beautiful beaches in the south and high cliffs in the north, Cornwall is a very special place to live in the UK.

As the homeland of the Cornish, Cornwall retains a distinct cultural identity that reflects its unique history. With mild winters and warm summers, Cornwall has the sunniest climate in Great Britain, letting you enjoy its natural settings and seaside to the full.

If you’re thinking of moving to Cornwall, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to give you a flavour of this wonderful area of the UK.

Where is Cornwall? 

Cornwall is situated in south west England, bordered by the Celtic Sea, the English Channel and Devon. It’s in the western-most part of the South West Peninsula of Great Britain.

A brief history of Cornwall

Historically, Cornwall was a celtic nation home to the Cornish people, and is the origin of the Cornish diaspora. In the Cornish language, Cornwall is known as Kernow.

The area was inhabited in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods, up to the Bronze Age. During the Iron Age, Cornwall was the home of the Celtic Britons.

In the Roman times, Cornwall had only four Roman forts. The most important figure of this period was King Mark of Cornwall, a semi-historical figure from Welsh literature, including the Matter of Britain, and Tristan and Yseult.

During the Breton-Norman period, the Cornish people were defeated in battle and the Cornish landowning class was dispossessed by Briton and Norman people. Soon, however, Norman absentee landlords were replaced by new Cornish-Norman ruling classes, such as Richard Rufus of Cornwall.

Since then, the area has long been famous for its fishing, tin mines and agriculture.

a cornwall coastal town

An in-depth look at Cornwall

Who lives there? 

As a quiet and peaceful idyll, Cornwall is much loved by retired people, but it’s also home to younger generations who appreciate the area for its breathtaking landscapes and economic diversity.

Types of property in Cornwall

You’ll be able to find all types of properties in Cornwall, from flats to terraced houses.

If you’re planning to move there, expect to pay around £600 per month for a one-bedroom flat, and around £700-900 per month for a two-bedroom house. Properties with three bedrooms or more usually enter the market from £1000 per month.

Cornwall transport 

Cornwall’s coastal towns are linked to the main railway that runs through its scenic beaches to Looe, Famlouth, Newquay and St Ives.

A large number of bus services run multiple routes inside the region, and you can also opt for the ferry.

Restaurants and shopping 

Cornwall has a strong culinary heritage. Its fertile fishing grounds gave birth to a famous local fish dish: the Stargazy pie. Cornish pasties are also extremely well known and liked.

The Port William

This refined restaurant with sea views is situated on the south west Coastal Path, in North Cornwall. The Port William is known for their Sunday lunch and you’ll also find specialty dishes from countries around the world.

Lewinnick Lodge

Perched at the top of the jagged Pentire Headland in West Newquay, the Lewinnick Lodge offers unrivalled views of the wild Atlantic and Fistral beach. It specialises in seafood, freshly caught in the sea nearby. Lewinnick Lodge has a restaurant, bar, beer garden, and sun terrace, so you can enjoy the scenic views all year round.

The Godolphin Restaurant

This restaurant, situated in Marazion, is best known for its breathtaking views. Here, you can find a Cornish and traditional English breakfast from 8am, and an all-day dining menu. The Godolphin Restaurant has expansive views over the Mount’s Bay and St Michael’s Mount. On the lower deck, they have a beach bar and dining area, along with a beach terrace in the open air.


Finisterre is a Cornish fashion brand for men and women. In 2013, it was launched to meet the needs of British surfers, offering practical designs and sustainable products.

Kernow Chocolate 

This family-run shop is one of the largest artisan chocolate makers, and has become a major tourist attraction for its excellent products. All of their chocolate is hand made. Any chocolate lovers should definitely pay a visit to Kernow Chocolate.

Port Isaac Pottery

Set in the beautiful location of Port Isaac harbour, this quirky pottery shop is situated inside a Methodist Chapel. At Port Isaac Pottery you’ll find a wide variety of gifts, including homeware, accessories and fashion items. The Chapel Cafè is also a nice place to relax and enjoy a homemade breakfast, lunch or cream tea.

fishing boats on a beach by a town in cornwall

Art in Cornwall

Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives is the Cornish branch of Tate Museums, providing an artistic hub for Cornwall’s culture-seekers. Tate formed a close link with St Ives when it took over the management of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in 1980. The gallery opened in 1993, and has been exhibiting works by artists who have lived or worked in St Ives. Since its launch, Tate St Ives has enjoyed an outstanding level of success, so much so that a new extension was completed in 2017.

Newlyn Society and Penwith Society of Arts

Newlyn Society and Penwith Society of Arts is a group of eighty-five professional artists who work with contemporary media, including painting, sculpture, photography, performance and printmaking. Regular exhibitions are run by the the Tremenheere Gallery in Penzance.

Socialising in Cornwall

Cornwall offers a whole host of activities to keep you busy. From party venues to quiet natural landscapes, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for.

Moving to Cornwall

If you’re keen on breath-taking views, nature, maritime wildlife and the arts, then it’s time to find a home in Cornwall.

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