A Cornwall photo tour: our favourite locations

Botallack Mines in West Cornwall.

Cornwall in the UK's far south west is somewhere we return to over and over again…it’s where land meets sea, where wild coastlines and breathtakingly beautiful beaches give way to rolling countryside, where much of the traditional mining, fishing and farming industries have been replaced by creative pursuits, and where the people have always, proudly, marched to their own tune.

Here, HF Photography Leader Dan Ransley shares some of his favourite spots and takes us on a virtual tour of the place he loves to call home – take a stroll through his stunning photographs and let a little Kernow into your soul.

Dan's Favourite Places in Cornwall

1. Predannack; 2. Wheal Coates; 3. Porthguarnon; 4. Padstow Lifeboat Station; 5. Lizard Lighthouse; 6. Bedruthan Steps; 7. Godrevy Lighthouse; 8. Kynance Cove; 9. Penhale Sands; 10. Golitha Falls; 11. Botallack; 12. West Pentire; 13; Porth Nanven

Predannack, Cornwall

We start close to the Lizard Peninsula, where the dramatic cliffs of Predannack plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. The Lizard Peninsula forms the southernmost point of mainland Britain.

Wheal Coates
Predannack, Cornwall

Next, we move to the north coast, with an image of one of the iconic structures that attest to Cornwall's rich mining heritage. The Towanroath Engine House at Wheal Coates pumped water from the shaft of the same name, allowing miners to work at depths of over 600ft below it.

Porthguarnon, Cornwall

In the far west of the county, jutting out into the Atlantic, lies West Penwith. The spectacular granite coastline of this area features both fine expanses of sand like that at Porthcurno, and many rocky inlets like this one, towards Lamorna.

Padstow Lifeboat Station
Padstow Lifeboat Station, Cornwall

In clear weather, almost the full length of Cornwall's north coast is visible from Trevose Head, near Padstow. Padstow has had a lifeboat for 200 years, with the current RNLI boathouse and slipway built here in 2006.

Lizard Lighthouse
Lizard Lighthouse, Cornwall

Back in the south, Lizard Point has long been a hazardous area, and is surrounded by many hundreds of wrecks. The current lighthouse dates from 1752, but there has been a light guiding shipping from here since 1619.

Bedruthan Steps
Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall

The distinctive rock stacks of the Bedruthan Steps provide a dramatic vista for any walkers on this stretch of the South West Coast Path. It is thought the name originally came from the steps down the cliff to the sea below, but there's also the legend of the giant called Bedruthan who used the rocks as stepping stones.

Godrevy Lighthouse
Godrevy Lighthouse, Cornwall

Built on Godrevy Island, this lighthouse guides ships in St Ives Bay and is known to have inspired Virginia Woolf's 1927 novel To The Lighthouse. The name 'Godrevy' comes from the Cornish for 'little homesteads' - remains can be found throughout Cornwall of many such ancient settlements.

Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Returning to the Lizard, we visit the picturesque islands of Kynance Cove. The beach, which disappears beneath the waves at high tide, has many caves in the unusual red and green serpentine rock that is found in this area.

Penhale Sands
Penhale Sands, Cornwall

Close to Newquay, the magnificent sands of Penhale not only form an area of ecologically important dunes and provide some excellent surfing, but they are also the landing point of St Piran, the patron saint of Cornwall, and the site of St Piran's Oratory - one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain.

Golitha Falls
Golitha Falls, Cornwall

Head inland to discover that Cornwall also has much to offer away from the attractions of the coast. The River Fowey rises on Bodmin Moor, which was previously known as Fowey Moor, before wending its way through the ancient oaks of wooded nature reserves to reach the sea.

Botallack, Cornwall

Tunnels from the Crown engine houses at Botallack run out under the Atlantic for half a mile. During storms, miners in the tunnels could hear boulders being dragged across the seabed above them. At its height, close to 300 people worked at Botallack.

West Pentire
West Pentire, Cornwall

Not much can beat spending a day among the beautiful wildflower meadows of West Pentire. Buzzing with nature, the meadows provide a vital resource for insects and other life.

Porth Nanven
Porth Nanven, Cornwall

We finish our tour back out in distant West Penwith. The peaks of The Brisons lie a mile off Cape Cornwall and provide the backdrop for this sunset image taken from Porth Nanven, close to Land's End.

Been inspired? 

Discover the area for yourself on a guided walking holiday in Cornwall. Or join a gentle walking holiday or guided trail to discover Cornwall. You can also go it alone and explore under your own steam on a self-guided walking holiday in Cornwall.

Meet the HF Leader: Dan Ransley

Dan lives on the Lizard Peninsula in southwest Cornwall, from where he runs photography workshops & private tuition sessions as well as leading photography breaks for HF Holidays. He combines an enthusiasm for local history & nature with a love of creativity & extensive teaching experience to support guests seeking to improve their photography, from outright beginners through to accomplished professionals. His images have been used by many organisations worldwide, including major news networks & conservation charities. You can see more at  www.DanRansley.net.