Not just a county of superb scenery and fabulous beaches, Cornwall is also home to plenty of history, culture, art and gastronomic delights. Cornwall is the least populated of the counties in Britain. It lies in the South West of England and borders Devon. It is rugged in the west and has a softer coastline to the south. Land's End is the extreme south-westerly point on the British mainland. The Isles of Scilly lie 28 miles south west of Land's End.
It is indeed beaches, however, for which Cornwall is best known. 80% of the county is surrounded by water, giving it the longest stretch of coastline in the UK at 435 miles. In fact, it is impossible to be more than 16 miles from the sea anywhere in Cornwall, which explains why the county has such a reputation for magnificent beaches. And with over 300 beaches to choose from, it's a well deserved reputation!
Cornwall is also home to some of the finest gardens in the UK, due to it's mild climate. The best know example is probably the Eden Project near St Austell, but there are also plenty of other superb gardens open to the public. The Eden Project has the world's largest greenhouses and inside the biomes are plants collected from all over the world. Vegetable gardens and planted landscapes are part of the attraction. The lost gardens of Heligan near Mevagissey are also one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The gardens have a wonderful collection of plants, trees and shrubs.
With strong maritime links, Cornwall has several world class attractions with a salt water theme. The National Maritime Museum (Falmouth), the National Seal Sanctuary (Gweek) and Blue Reef Aquarium (Newquay) are all worth allocating some time to visit.
Truro city is well known for its cathedral, open spaces and cobbled streets. The cathedral is one of only 3 in the UK with 3 spires. Construction began in 1880 and the cathedral was the first to have the, now traditional, 9 lessons and carols on Christmas Eve. The Royal Cornwall museum is the oldest in Cornwall and is the leading museum for Cornish culture.
Historically tin mining was important in the Cornish economy. Mining, fishing and agriculture have declined and Cornwall is now mainly dependant on tourism. The area is noted for its moorland landscapes and varied coastline and has extensive stretches of golden sands which attract many visitors. Newquay's Fistral beach is probably the best known surfing beach in the British Isles. It hosts International surfing competitions and has many surf stores and hire-shops in the town, making it a popular destination for surfers.