Visit Cornwall’s Coastline

One of the most varied habitats in the whole of the UK

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The Cornish Coastline

The atlantic coast of north Cornwall stretches for over forty miles. It’s dramatic landscape sculpted by the tempestuous seas of the atlantic. With no inland area more that 20 miles from the sea it’s surprising how much is still not being explored.

Cornwall has one of the most varied habitats including terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the whole of the UK.

As well as to it’s local wildlife, Cornwall is on the map for more exotic visitors. A myriad of animals have been spotted on our coastline: turtles, giant ocean sunfish (which we see quite regularly in the summer) and bull sharks. This does come as a slightly bitter sweet treat as many are blaming global warming for the increasingly more frequent tropical wildlife appearances.

Cornwall: Outstanding Natural Beauty

North Cornwall or ‘An Tiredh Uhel’ in Cornish is an area of outstanding natural beauty and other only part of cornwall that is formed of carboniferous rock. Home 65 Parishes and also happens to be the home of Padstow sealife safaris.
The North coast is more exposed to the prevailing winds from the Atlantic Ocean compared to Cornwall’s south coast. Making our coastline far more dramatically rugged than the rest of cornwall; with many sheer cliffs and steep valleys. The north coast on the Celtic Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, is also more exposed and so the sea has a wilder nature. Don’t let that worry you though, we’ll never go out if the sea is dangerous and for the most part it’s not too choppy. The prosaically named High Cliff, between Boscastle and St Gennys, is the highest sheer-drop cliff in Cornwall at 223 metres (732 ft).

The Cornish coastline of 697 km (422 mi), is mostly occupied by high cliffs, but also featuring a variety of islets, stacks, coves and bays. Making it wild and romantic, an inspiration for many artists and playwrights like Rosamunde Pilcher, Nick Darke & Charles Causley.


Cornwall has the mildest and sunniest climate in the United Kingdom, with over 1541 hours of sunshine per year, with the highest average of 7.6 hours of sunshine per day in July. The Gulf Stream, bringing warm air from the Caribbean towards Europe makes Cornwall’s weather distinctly milder than other places in the world at the same latitude.

Also due to the Gulf Stream, Cornwall has the UK’s only area of subtropical climate, at the extreme south-west of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The sub-tropical nature has resulted in a number of botanical gardens, such as Trebah and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Cornish Flowers: Flora and Fauna

Cornwall is home to many rare flower species, especially at the southern end of the Lizard, due to its unique soil and geology. On the Lizard Peninsula, Cornish heath, butcher’s broom, early meadow grass and a wide range of clovers including the Lizard clover, brookweed and yellow wallpepper can be found. The north coast of Cornwall features maritime grassland, heathland and stunted woodland.

In fact Cornish heath the floral emblem of Cornwall. This may be partly because according to one story, when Joseph Arimathea first arrived in Cornwall looking for tin he had nowhere to stay, so he spent his first night on a bed of Cornish heather. In gratitude he blessed the plant and so it is a blessed plant in Cornwall ever since.

The view of the cliffs from the boat…