Travel to Cornwall from
the rest of the UK is becoming easier all the time, Improved road and
air links are shortening travel times and broadening the range of
available travel options.
Nearly five million people visit Cornwall
annually, most during the summer months, so you'll find it easier to
get here, and to get around, off season, when the roads are less
crowded and fares and accommodation rates more affordable.
Train services to destinations in Cornwall are operated by First Great Western and Virgin Trains.
There are direct main line services from London Paddington, and
Waterloo, Bristol, Birmingham and connecting services from all over the
UK. The mainline service from London Paddington takes abour five hours
with stops including Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth, St Austell, Truro and
Hayle. For service information and booking visit the National Rail Enquiries website.
line services run to Falmouth, St Ives. Newquay, the Looe Valley and
the Tamar Valley. These scenic branch lines provide fabulous views of
the Cornish coast and countryside. For more details including fares and
timetables go to carfreedaysout.com.
Newquay Cornwall Airport,
the largest commercial airport serving Cornwall, is situated at St
Mawgan on the North Cornwall Coast about three miles North East of
Newquay. The airport is undergoing a period of rapid expansion with
plans for a new terminal building to accommodate growing passenger
numbers. Seven carriers currently operate flights to more than 20 UK
and European destinations including London Stansted, London Gatwick,
Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Dublin, The Isles of
Scilly, Jersey, Alicante, Girona, Chambéry, Dusseldorf, Geneva and
Zurich. British International operates a helicopter service to St Mary's and Tresco in the Isles of Scilly from the Penzance heliport.
travel is the route most prone to seasonal variations. In the summer
months most self-catering accommodation is booked Saturday-to-Saturday,
so it's advisable to travel on any other day of the week if possible.
West of Exeter, the main Cornwall arterial route is the A30 which, for
the most part, is fast dual carriageway. The completion of the Indian
Queens to Bodmin dual carriageway section of the A30 has reduced
journey times to mid and West Cornwall significantly, but remaining
short stretches of single carriageway continue to provide the potential
for congestion during July and August. Check the online road traffic
informations sites listed opposite for details of the current
Local bus services in Cornwall are provided by First
Group and Western Greyhound.
Regular mainline services run from Penzance to Plymouth,
en route stations include St Erth, Hayle, Cambourne, Redruth, Truro, St
Austell, Par, Lostwithiel, Bodmin Parkway and Liskeard. Branch line services
run by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership offer some of the most scenic rail journeys
in the UK, traversing stunning coastal routes, river crossings and wooded
valleys and visiting picturesque towns and villages including St Ives
and Carbis Bay, Penryn and Falmouth.
As well as an abundance of quiet country roads, Cornwall
provides a number of traffic-free cycle routes. National Route 3, known
as the Cornish Way, connects Bude in the North East of the county to Lands
End in the South West, via either St Austell or Newquay on Route 32. Route
options include the Clay Trails - a series of traffic-free routes around
the Eden Project in the heart of Cornwall's china clay country. Route
32 includes the Camel Trail, which runs from Bodmin, through Wadebridge
to Padstow along the Scenic River Camel estuary. The Mineral Tramways
route connects the North and South Coast from Devoran to Portreath, following
the route of an historic mining tramway that is now part of the Cornish
mining World Heritage site. For more information about cycle routes in
Cornwall visit the Sustrans
The South West Coast Path runs from Minehead to Poole Harbour
encompassing 630 miles of coastal walking. As well as linear routes, there
are numerous circular walks incorporating a section of the path. Distance
and terrain varies from level walks of less than a mile to 8 mile walks
with steep climbs. What they all have in common is stunning coastal scenery, abundant
wildlife and historical and cultural heritage dating from the iron age
through the industrial revolution to the present day. The Official
Guide to the South West Coast Path has details of all of them, information
about temporary path closures and other news and GPS tracks for download.
Several ferry crossings operate on Cornwall's rivers and
as well as providng a shorter more convenient route to your destination,
they offer a rich travel experience in themselves. The King
Harry Ferry, which crosses the River Fal bewtween Trelissick and Philleigh
on the Roseland peninsula, was voted one of the world's ten top ferry
crossings. Other scenic ferry crossings include the Fowey
to Mevagissey ferry, The
Black Tor passenger ferry from Rock to Padstow, the Fowey
to Polruan passenger ferry and the Fowey
to Bodinnick car ferry. For details of other ferry services, boat
trips and river-based services and events see the Fal
River Links website
Whilst the car can be the most convenient way to travel
in Cornwall, during the summer season traffic volumes can make it a frustrating
experience. Congestion on major routes, parking cost and availability
and restricted access are all problems you should expect to encounter
when travelling around Cornwall by car in the Summer months. If you really
must take the car you can avoid some of the worst problems by making use
of one of the increasing number of park and ride schemes available. Park
and ride schemes operate, among other places, in Truro, Falmouth, Plymouth,
St Ives, Padstow and Looe.