While I’ve only lived in this stunning county for two years, three years short of neighbour and tourism rival Devon, I’m already hooked on the stunning landscapes and green spaces. It was a fatal attraction, really, for somebody with a master’s in landscape archaeology largely unable to separate the concept of green space from environmentally-engineered-over-thousands-of-years-space. But nevertheless, there are few areas of England that can compare to Cornwall with the exception of Devon with its two moors (both national parks) for stunning scenery. Here are some of my favourites.

Hell’s Mouth on the North Coast

Some of the most attractive and rugged landscapes for which Cornwall is best known is on the north coast. Most of it is on the northern end heading towards the Devon border but the coast around Hell’s Mouth between Hayle and Redruth is simply breathtaking.

This image was taken just to the north of the coastal entrance to Tehidy Woods in an area known as Godrevy Heritage Coast. Hell’s Mouth and Godrevy are in the first bay. Beyond that is towards Hayle. Slightly further still (but can’t see it here because of the headland) is St. Ives Bay. There’s some good walking along here and Tehidy Woods itself and people visit Godrevy as it’s one of the best places to see seals lounging on the beach. Gorgeous coastline as it heads northwards towards Devon.

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The Train Ride Between Lelant Saltings and St. Ives

For me, the only train ride that beats this one for landscape is the journey out of Exeter St. Davids heading southwest. This journey is much shorter and a landscape photographer’s dream. The image below is Hayle Beach – several miles of golden sand which rarely has a large number of people. Tourists prefer (perhaps because of the amenities) to go to St. Ives or Carbis Bay.The journey starts at Lelant Saltings. The first thing you’ll notice when boarding the platform is the floodplain in front of you. This is home to some protected bird species. The ride hugs the coastline before bursting out to an impressive coastal view starting with Hayle beach (see image), behind some trees again before coming out again to overlook Carbis Bay before finally coming to an end at St. Ives railway station. It’s one of the busiest branch lines in the country and one of the best views.

The Penwith Landscape

I said above that I love rugged coast and moorland. Bodmin Moor is one such option but another is Penwith – the little knobbly bit at the end of the peninsula. The area I mean begins west of St Ives as the town gives way to coast-hugging heath all the way to Land’s End. Before you get there though, you’ll go through tiny villages and heather-covered land dotted with signs of the county’s industrial past such as Engine Houses like this. I must have taken a detour on my last drive because I didn’t recognise the landscape. I wanted to take a photograph of an engine house I snapped in January last year in glorious sunshine. But no matter, this one was more extensive and peaceful, being off the main road.

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Falmouth Harbour

My first favourite urban landscape (and probably the one I’ve photographed the most) is Falmouth Harbour. It’s still a working docks and the second deepest natural harbour in the world which is why it’s never really faded as a port up against much bigger competition in Southampton and Plymouth and survived the end of the clay and tin trade. It’s not a large port but still an important one. It’s also managed to survive thanks to the tourist trade and the activities of the local university. It’s also (in my humble opinion) the most attractive of all commercial docks. The two images below were taken at different times – one in August 2014, the other around May 2017, both of Falmouth from the water.

river fal falmouth from the river
copyright: MG Mason 2014

The mouth of the Fal River is protected by two castles. On the Falmouth side at Pendennis Point is Pendennis Castle. On the other side at St Mawes is… St Mawes Castle. I sometimes drive to Pendennis Point to go for a run along the coast. This is a view of St. Mawes and the castle from the same boat in the second image.

Those are my favourites so far! I’m sure I’ll revise and review this list at some point though.








Published by MG Mason Creative

I'm Matt, a freelance writer, writing mostly about education, early career recruitment, tech, B2B and professional services. Dabbling with landscape and nature photography too. For this content , please look at my main site linked below. I'm also a self-published author, creator of the quirky crime comedy book series Salmonweird. If that's what you're looking for, then good news! The village has its own website listed below.

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