Embrace Autumn’s Splendour: 5 Must-Do Activities in Cornwall

As the leaves turn golden and the air takes on a crisp chill, autumn in Cornwall is a magical time of year. Whilst still in denial that Summer (did it really happen?) is over, thoughts have started to turn to wellies, Sunday roasts and woolly jumpers, so it seemed a good time to share our favourite Autumn activities. With its stunning coastline, charming villages and fabulous local produce, West Cornwall offers the perfect destination for your autumn or October half-term getaway. Here we’ll guide you through a few of our favourite things to do, whatever the weather.

Wrap up warm and head out for a walk

Take advantage of Cornwall’s breathtaking coastal paths and woodland trails. It’s the ideal time of year for wrapping up warm and getting out for a walk. Explore the rugged beauty of the North Coast between Sennen and St Ives, a dramatic section of coastline with a number of great pubs on the way and taking in the section around Botallack Mine, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively take a gentler option and walk from the historic town of Penzance to the beautiful harbour village of Mousehole; passing Newlyn enroute, one of the largest fishing ports in the UK and central to the fishing industry in Cornwall. You can stock up on some wonderful fresh fish, beautiful cheeses, visit Jelberts the famous and super simple ice cream parlour and even visit the Fermentary, a small business that produces fermented foods and drinks using traditional methods, try their Zinger Water Kefir for instance! I definitely recommend heading out for a walk before dusk, if you are lucky you might witness one of Cornwall’s magnificent sunsets. For more inspiration and some guided circular walks all around the area, download the iwalkcornwall app.

Tin Mines at Botallack-North Coast Cornwall UNESCO Heritage Site

Pick your own Pumpkins!

Embrace the essence of autumn with a delightful trip to one of West Cornwall’s picturesque farms. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to handpick your very own pumpkins, it’s an adventure for all the family, and you can even involve your dog in the fun. Then get your pumpkins back to your cottage and let the creativity flow by carving these beautiful gourds into spooktacular masterpieces!” Make sure to capture those Instagram-worthy pictures from field to finished article!  Our favourite farm is Trevaskis, Connor Downs, near Hayle. Set among 28 acres of beautiful countryside, Trevaskis Farm is a great day out, pumpkins will be picking soon but you can also wander the orchards, visit the farm park, eat at the restaurant (don’t miss the incredible array of cakes!) and then stock up on all your essentials, and plenty of treats from the fabulous farm shop, don’t miss the award-winning home-reared British Lop pork. Dogs are welcome on leads, but not inside the restaurant or farm-shop, as it’s a working farm and prone to mud in the wetter months, wellies are advised!

Wild Swimming followed by Hot Chocolate

Be Brave; the sea is at its warmest in the Autumn so why not get in that beautiful crystal-clear water for a quick dip and rejuvenate body and soul in the process.  Make sure you check the sea conditions before venturing in, and if you don’t think sea swimming is for you, then get all the same benefits with a visit to Cornwall’s celebrated Art Deco Sea water lido on Penzance’s Promenade.  If visiting the Lido, you can cheat and book yourself a session in the geo-thermally heated pool – after an invigorating swim in the main pool of course! What could be better after your swim than treating yourself to a warming cup of hot chocolate, at a nearby café, complete with marshmallows and whipped cream – you have earnt it after all!  After much research, Stones Reef at Praa Sands gets my daughter, Poppy’s vote for favourite hot chocolate in the area!

Wild Sea Swimming West Cornwall

Sunday roast followed by board games by the fire

Picture your perfect Sunday, a lazy morning reading papers, a brisk, revitalising walk along the coast to a wonderful local pub for a traditional Sunday lunch and then cosy up back in the cottage, light the wood-burner and gather around the table for an afternoon of board games.  There are so many fabulous places to find a great Sunday lunch, but our favourite would have to be The Gurnards Head. Set off the road between St Just and St Ives (B3306, near Zennor, probably one of the most beautiful roads in the UK so maybe have a drive before your walk!) Walks from the Gurnards Head are plentiful, just a 5 minute stroll from the pub and you find yourself on the cliffs and coastal path, there is a relatively short loop you can do which takes about 30 minutes or a longer walk towards Zennor and back through the fields.  The food at the Gurnards Head is kept simple, the menus are short, fresh and seasonal and can change daily depending on what is brought to the back door. After a long, relaxing lunch you can either retire to the bar area, get a table by the fire and crack out the cards or return home and let the competition start, the perfect way to spend quality time together.  Many of our beautiful properties have a good supply of board games but remember if there is a family favourite best bring it along with you!

Cosy Bar Gurnards Head near Zennor, St Ives

Halloween Fun in Cornwall

If you’re visiting during late October, don’t miss the spooky Halloween festivities. Many Cornish villages really go to town with front gardens and houses decorated to the max.  Many of the big attractions also host Halloween-themed events, from haunted house tours to pumpkin carving contests. Dress up the kids, yourself and of course the dog, and join in the Halloween spirit for an unforgettable autumn experience.  Our favourite for Halloween trick or treating is Mousehole; it seems the whole village enter into the spirit and competition is high for the best decorated and spookiest garden/ house.  Without a doubt down one of the small, unsuspecting side streets you will find the answer – I will say no more, you will know when you’ve found it!! For those with young kids who want to trick or treat, make sure you only knock on doors which have a lit pumpkin outside.  The fun starts early for the younger children, usually at dusk; the scarier costumes tend to come out a little later! Once you have filled your baskets with sweets, stop in at The Old Coastguard Hotel for a much-needed glass of something!

West Cornwall offers a treasure trove of autumn delights, whether it’s picking pumpkins, exploring scenic trails, enjoying wild swims and hot chocolate, relishing Sunday roasts and board games, or embracing the Halloween spirit, this corner of England has something special for everyone. So, why wait? Book your autumn or October half-term holiday in West Cornwall now. I list below a small selection of our Cornish cottages with availability this autumn, all of which are ready to welcome you, your family and your furry friends to experience an unforgettable autumn getaway.

Discover Our Beautiful Homestays
Mousehole Cottage

Lovely detached Cornish Cottage close to the heart of beautiful Mousehole Harbour, with private parking, a garden, wood burner for the chillier evenings and a great selection of board games!  Sleeps 6, dog friendly.  Check out our October Half Term Special Offers.

The Summer House

Stunning detached property set above the beautiful village of Mousehole, spacious and stylish interior, private garden, parking for two cars.  With two beautiful bathrooms and plenty of hot water for your post-swim warm up! Sleeps 6 (max 4 adults), dog friendly.  Special offers running from September through to 19 October.

Porth Nanven Cottage

Beautiful detached Cornish cottage set at the end of a magical valley near St Just, with two comfortable bedrooms, two bathrooms and a spacious sitting / dining room.  With footpaths from the doorstep leading in every direction, a short walk down to the sea at Porth Nanven Cove, an exhilarating walk along the South West Coastal Path to Sennen Cove or a stroll up to the local market town of St Just.  Special offers running from September to 19 October.

Brook Cottage 

Magical Cottage set in Cot Valley, near St Just, set in beautiful surroundings with sub-tropical garden and brook running through it.  Reverse level property with beautiful views down the valley towards The Brisons which sit approximately a mile out to sea.  Large sitting room and well equipped kitchen both leading onto large decked balcony.  Three bedrooms, sleeping 5.  Parking and dog friendly.

Why foodies will love West Cornwall

As the time for your Cornish holiday approaches, you’re sure to have glistening visions of warm sandy beaches and explorations of the local area for the first day of your trip in mind. A visit to the nearest supermarket that looks exactly like the one you find yourself in every week at home, complete with glaring lights, busy aisles and plastic packaging, is slightly less appealing. If you’re a foodie, you’ll feel quite at home in West Cornwall.

Butchers, growers, makers

When some of the highest quality meat and veg is on our very doorstep, the appeal of supermarket ‘convenience’ has become less and less as we turn our heads to the butchers, growers and makers that are introducing the next level of Cornish cuisine to our plates. The hustle and bustle of traders and friendly faces in the monthly farmers markets and local food hubs offer a tantalising taste of what our local artisans have up their sleeves, as many of us have been feeling the need to replenish our larders a little more frequently with food that feels a lot closer to home than what we can purchase in the large national supermarkets.

Rich heritage

It’s not only locals who are beginning to more readily embrace the rich food heritage that Cornwall has to offer. More and more visitors to our shining shores are coming to realise that there is much more to experience than the same old brands you’ll find on the supermarket shelf. Influenced by the landscape and the lives of the working men and women who have inhabited Cornwall for centuries, the history of Cornish food is a relationship entwined with the geography of the place – from coastline to farmland, across the county. Famed for the culinary treasures that hail from the county, West Cornwall is a bustling hub of home-grown wonders, so it comes as no surprise that locals and visitors far and wide are increasingly looking to incorporate some of the best produce in the UK into their food shop.

Cornish food to your door

With such a rich array of Cornish food on offer from friendly faces right in West Cornwall, you need look no further than your very own doorstep for the highest-quality homegrown produce. At Stylish Cornish Cottages, we know that it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you’re new to the area. This is why we are proud to partner with the multi award winning Cornish Food Box Company to offer all of our guests the ability to pre-order a selection of local produce delivered to your door, to save that dreaded trip to the supermarket on your first day.  Choose from fresh local and seasonal vegetables, fruit, free range meat, fish and seafood to alcohol, chocolate, cheeses, bread and much more, not to mention locally made ready meals for the freezer.  Ordering is really simple, either on-line or over the phone (but must be done in advance), to top it off you will be given a discount code by Stylish Cornish Cottages to get £5 off any order over £50.

Porthleven Food Festival | Stylish Cornish Cottages
Organisers of Porthleven Food Festival are hoping for a similarly busy event to 2018
Legendary Porthleven food market

One of the biggest celebrations of food that occurs every spring here in the south west is the Porthleven Food Festival. This year, after a two year break due to Covid, we will see a fresh array of producers, makers and chefs primed and ready to give you a taste of something really special. An award-winning, community-led, not-for-profit event, this year’s festival will take place in the charming harbour village of Porthleven from 22nd to 24th April, and is an absolute must-visit for anyone staying in the area. Run by the team behind the Food & Farming tent at the Royal Cornwall Show – showcasing quality artisan suppliers from across Cornwall and the south west – discover a food market populated with local artisans and their unique Cornish products, alongside stalls of street food to entice you with smells of seared meat, bubbling curries and seafood paellas.

Amongst a multitude of new faces, you’re sure to come across some familiar ones too, with a few of Porthleven’s finest due to make an appearance. The proudly Cornish Ann’s Pasty Lounge offers pasty crimping workshops by Ann herself alongside cocktail masterclasses, and the famed Origin coffee will certainly be on the scene. At the very heart of it all, find chef and owner of Kota and Kota Kai Jude Kereama at the Chef’s Theatre, where top chefs from across Cornwall and the south west bring their cooking expertise to the table, matched with the ultimate objective to ‘promote awareness of the extent and quality of locally produced food’. Watch and learn as these culinary experts cook live, creating amazing dishes using fantastic produce from across our county and beyond. For a next-level experience and for a complete immersion in to the local foodie scene the Porthleven Food Festival is not one to be missed.

Discover our beautiful homestays:

The Barn, Ashton

A deceptively spacious, single storey property in Ashton, near Porthleven. Sleeping six comfortably, the perfect location for exploring the whole area, with easy access to the Lizard and Lands’ End peninsular.  Good availability throughout late April – June.

Visit The Barn

Leskinnick Terrace, Penzance

A beautiful Victorian terraced town house, with private garden, located close to the centre of Penzance, a great position for exploring West Cornwall.  Sleeps three, with spacious living accommodation and garden with beautiful summer house.  The property is new to Stylish Cornish Cottages, so there is excellent availability from April onwards. Special offers apply throughout April (check out the Current Offers section of our website)

Visit Leskinnick Terrace

Rinsey Head, Near Porthleven

A spectacular cliff top property with incredible views in every direction, a really unique and special place to stay. Sleeps up to 10, with spacious living areas. Located close to Porthleven.  Limited availability in April, May and June.

Visit Rinsey Head

Lunch on the balcony at Rinsey Head

You can book your next Cornish escape in one of our Stylish Cornish Cottages here.

Porthleven Food Festival



Now in it’s 11th year the Porthleven Food Festival is being held from Friday 26th April to Sunday 28th April 2019.

Porthleven Food Festival includes: National and International Chefs theatre, numerous food stalls and street food, music and entertainment for all the family.  The festival takes place in the harbour town of Porthleven, near Helston in West Cornwall. It is all about the food with plenty of local chefs taking the stage in the chefs theatre. This year Anthony Worrall Thompson is back to open the festival. He is  followed by local celebrity chef Jude Kereama from Kota & Kota Kai in Porthleven.  There will also be demonstrations by chefs from local restaurants such as Bens’ Cornish Kitchen, Fifteen Cornwall, Porthminister Beach Cafe and Rick Steins in Padstow.

Food and Drink

Eat and drink your way around the town, trying out all the yummy food and drink outlets! Stop for a break and listen to a range of music performed at various stages round the town.  Join in a masterclass or two, this year these include: creating the perfect G&T, a cocktail masterclass or Beer tasting via St Austell brewery.  Or sketch your way round joining the festival sketchbook workshop.

Family Friendly

The Porthleven Food Festival is a family friendly event with a dedicated family field.  Activities this year will include circus skills, crafting tent and of course a bouncy castle.  There is a literary tent, food stalls and the odd bar or two in the family field to keep the adults entertained!


The fun continues in the evenings with The Shipyard Sessions (tickets required). There is plenty to eat and drink and a fireworks display at 9pm on Saturday night.

Things to know
Entry to the main event is free but tickets are required for the Shipyard evening music sessions and masterclasses.

Trading hours are 10am to 7pm

There is a festival campsite, tickets are from £18 for the weekend (Friday to Monday), booking advisable

Find all the information you need on: https://www.porthlevenfoodfestival.com/

Nearby Accommodation

If camping is not your thing, we have two lovely properties nearby.  Tivoli One is a beautiful Cornish Cottage which sleeps up to 5 people. It is available from Friday 26th April to Monday 29th April at the special festival rate of £400.  https://www.stylishcornishcottages.co.uk/accommodation/tivoli-one-cornish-cottage/

Alternatively The Artists Studio is available from Saturday 27th April, suitable for 2 people and priced at £60 per night, minimum 3 night stay.  https://www.stylishcornishcottages.co.uk/accommodation/the-artists-studio-praa-sands/