Best Time to Visit Cornwall

When Is the Best Time

Cornwall is a beautiful destination that visitors from across the UK and Europe love to visit throughout the year. However, every season is different, and you might not enjoy your visit if you’re going at the wrong time.

You’ll want to consider the time of year that’s best for the sites you are planning to see. We offer excellent tips about where you should visit during each season to make the most of your time here.

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Read our complete Cornwall season guide (with weather, activity, and outfit tips) below the best time tips:

Best Time to Visit Cornwall

The best time to visit Cornwall is in the summer, from July to August. During that time, the weather is excellent with the highest temperatures. Months with fewer crowds and mostly pleasant weather are May, June, and September.

July and August see an average high temperature of 19°C (66°F), and you will enjoy about seven hours of sun a day. Rain is experienced throughout the year in Cornwall, but the higher temperatures in the summer make up for this.

Best Time to Visit Cornwall for Cheap and Fewer Crowds

The best time to visit Cornwall for fewer crowds and cheap trips is during the winter. Apart from Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the crowds are very manageable between November and February.

If you are looking to enjoy slightly warmer weather, May, June, and September are good months to visit without the bigger crowds. Apart from the UK school half terms, you’ll find this to be a good time to visit to experience fewer crowds and lower prices than the summer months.

Best Months to Visit Cornwall: Shoulder Seasons

The best months to visit Cornwall are during the shoulder seasons. During May, September, and October, visitors still enjoy good weather and fewer crowds. Make sure you avoid the May and October school half-terms, as the crowds do pick up again during these times.

While our British weather can be very hit-and-miss, you’ll get some lovely days most years during these months. Popular tourist attractions, such as The Eden Project, are more manageable during this time on weekdays.

Best Time to Visit Cornwall Gardens

The best time to visit Cornwall gardens is spring. While the gardens are beautiful between March and October, visitors will see the most impressive floral displays between March and May.

Camellias bloom from December each year, and daffodils are often seen in January. From March onwards, the flowers are in full bloom, and you’ll see beautiful rhododendrons and magnolias throughout the county.

Best Time to See Whales and Dolphins in Cornwall

Between April and November is the best time to see whales and dolphins in Cornwall. For the highest chance of seeing these creatures, the end of summer and the start of autumn records the most sightings. They are most commonly seen along the coast near Penzance.

You’ll find tours departing from Falmouth, Penzance, and Padstow, which take you out to sea to have a greater chance of seeing dolphins up close.

Recommended Tours

The Doc Martin tour and the 5-Day tour from London (covering Devon and Cornwall) are absolute must-to tours. Visit the image above and read the reviews and tour details, please. You will love them!

SEASON GUIDE | Weather – Crowds – Activities – Outfits

Every season is worth visiting. We provide you with tips for each month with details about the weather, hotel rates, crowds, and the best things to do during each season.

Spring: March to May

Spring in Cornwall sees high temperatures of 15°C in the day and lows of 5°C at night. Up to 13 days of rain can be expected each month. The rainfall decreases to nine days by May, when the temperatures also begin to rise.

What to Wear/Outfits: During a spring trip to Cornwall, you’ll want to pack for all eventualities. Each month, you’ll need sweaters and coats, and ensure you have rain gear with you at all times. While you may be able to get away with t-shirts or shorts in May, this is unlikely unless it’s an unusually warm year.

Crowds/Rates: Crowds in the Spring in Cornwall vary depending on the week and month you choose. Avoid Easter and the few weeks schools are off during this time, and the school half-term in May. You’ll find the rest of the weeks this month to be very pleasant for touring around Cornwall, and the prices during the other weeks are low to average for hotels.

Things to do: During a spring visit to Cornwall, it’s the perfect temperature to hike the South West Coast Path for a day or two. You’ll also want to visit the gardens of Cornwall during this time, such as Cotehele House gardens.

Spring is a great time to try surfing if you are feeling more adventurous and offers the perfect size waves in comparison to the rest of the year.

I love this season in Cornwall, as it can also be a great time for viewing marine life in Cornwall, such as seal pups on the beaches.

Summer: June to August

The summer months in Cornwall see high temperatures of 20°C in the day and a low of 12°C at night. Each month will experience between nine and ten days of rain, but the length and intensity of these showers will vary.

What to Wear/Outfits: During a summer visit to Cornwall, you’ll want to pack your shorts, t-shirts, and swimwear. However, as with anywhere in England during this time of year, don’t get too carried away with your summer wardrobe.

Add in raincoats, umbrellas, and sweaters to avoid getting caught out during the rain showers and colder nights.

Crowds/Rates: Summer is one of the most expensive and busy times in Cornwall. After the first two weeks in July, when schools have finished for the summer, you’ll find prices are almost double that of the rest of the year for accommodation.

Book well in advance if you are planning to visit in the summer holidays to avoid disappointment.

Things to do: With the improved weather, summer is a great time to enjoy spending time at one of Cornwall’s many beautiful beaches. Beginners may enjoy learning to surf at this time of year, as the waves are much gentler than in the winter months.

The summer is an excellent time to visit the Isles of Scilly, which are located just 35 miles off the coast. This is also a great time to visit St Michael’s Mount, and you’ll find operating hours at many attractions to be increased during July and August.

Autumn: September to November

During Autumn in Cornwall, expect high temperatures of 18°C during the day in September, dropping to lows of 7°C at night by the end of the season. September sees 11 days of rain, but this increases to 16 days in November.

What to Wear/Outfits: While September can sometimes have lovely warm weather still, you’ll want to pack some of your winter clothes at this time of year. By November, it can be very cold at night-time, so you’ll want to wear jeans, fleece jumpers, or thick coats. The weather is very unpredictable at this time of year, so ensure you are ready for rain most days if you are opting to spend time outdoors.

Crowds/Rates: September still sees some of the end-of-summer visitors, but by the second week of the month, crowds drop off substantially. Avoid the last week of October, which is the UK school half term. Otherwise, the rest of the season is quiet in Cornwall and offers great deals on accommodation.

Things to do: During the autumn, you’ll find some great food festivals take place in Cornwall, such as the Great Cornish Food Festival and the Falmouth Oyster Festival. Autumn offers similar conditions to spring for surfing, although the water is a few degrees warmer.

It’s a great time of year to enjoy walking along the beaches, and you’ll find by the end of September, you are often the only one exploring the beaches in Cornwall. Popular areas such as St Ives are well worth exploring at this time of year, as you’ll finally find the streets to be less crowded for walking around.

Winter: December to February

In the winter months in Cornwall, expect high temperatures of 9°C in the day and just 4°C at night. Rain can be expected up to sixteen days each month during the winter.

What to Wear/Outfits: Wrap up warm for a winter visit to Cornwall, especially if you still hope to spend time outdoors exploring the beaches and gardens. You’ll need good walking boots, a warm coat, and many layers to make the most of this season. Ensure you have an umbrella with you every day so you can still enjoy your activities this month.

Crowds/Rates: Christmas and New Year’s Eve now attract heavy crowds to Cornwall each year, with families escaping the cities in the UK for this more peaceful location. Apart from those two weeks, you’ll find it to be one of the quietest times of year to visit Cornwall. Expect great deals on hotels in January and February, although some attractions may be closed for the season.

Things to do: Many popular attractions are still open during the winter months, so it’s a great time to explore these without the crowds. Winter is a good time to visit the Eden Project and the National Maritime Museum, which are still open seven days a week.

It’s the perfect time of year to visit the beaches for walking, especially if you are visiting with a dog. Finally, at Christmas time, don’t miss out on the Christmas events, such as the Winter Gift Fayre in Truro.

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