What to pack for a holiday in Cornwall

What to pack for a holiday in Cornwall
What to pack for a holiday in Cornwall

So, you’ve chosen Cornwall as your holiday destination of choice – a decision you certainly won’t regret. From its world-class beaches and picturesque fishing villages to its dramatic moorland and rich maritime and mining history, the county has so much to offer.


With its diverse landscapes, it can be difficult to know what to wear on holiday in Cornwall and, of course, this is very much dependent on the time of year you are visiting and how long you are staying. Below we have made a list of essentials that you should consider adding to your suitcase as well as some things to consider researching before you leave.

What to consider before your trip

If you’ve booked a stay with us at St Michaels Resort, you will be staying at one of the best spa hotels in Cornwall and whilst we will cater for all your needs, there are some things that you should check before you travel down to us.


·         Check the location of St Michaels Resort so you know the directions you need to follow before you set off. You can see our location here.

·         Especially during the summer months, the roads leading to Cornwall can get busy so if you are travelling down with children, then you should look at bringing entertainment in the car.

·         You will want to experience the stunning beaches that are on our doorstep, but if you’re not used to living by the sea, you may not know about the flag systems that are in place so it would be worth doing a bit of research about what the different ones mean.

Items to pack for your holiday in Cornwall

·         Swimming costumes, wetsuits and flip flops

·         Camera

·         Hiking boots and comfortable shoes

·         Clothing

·         Sunhats, sunglasses and suncream

·         Raincoat

·         Beach tent or windbreak

·         Other items you may want to bring

Swimming costumes, wetsuits and flip flops
Swimming costumes, wetsuits and flip flops

Beaches are one of the biggest attractions in Cornwall and Gylly beach Falmouth is just across from our hotel so an essential item when visiting us is to bring your swimming costumes. Even in the winter, you can still go for a dip in our swimming pool.


If you’ve got a wetsuit you might want to bring that as well so you can enjoy sea swimming, surfing or paddling throughout the year.


Claire is the writer behind the Tin Box Traveller blog and she says bringing swimming costumes and Dryrobes are essentials for any trip to Cornwall.


“You can't visit Cornwall without your swimming costume. We also take wetsuits as we know how cold the sea can be, even on a beautifully sunny day. Beach shoes are another must-pack item as there's a mix of sand and shingle in some Cornish coves.


“Our most recent trip to Cornwall was to a festival and despite happening in August there were some drizzly days. Our Dryrobes came in really handy for keeping toasty warm on the campsite and for walking around the festival each evening. The deep pockets were also ideal for keeping a stash of emergency loo roll dry!”


You should also bring some flip flops, especially if you are looking for a beach-filled break as they are not only comfortable for walking on sand, they are easy to take off and put on should you want a little paddle in the sea!


READ MORE: Choosing the right wetsuit for you


With beaches, woodlands, picturesque villages and harbours, Cornwall is home to spectacular scenery and views that you’ll want to remember forever. Bringing a camera and taking lots of photographs of the places you visit and the loved one or family you are holidaying with will mean that you have keepsakes to remind you of your trip to the Duchy for the rest of your life.


Rachael, who runs the family and lifestyle blog Lukeosauras and Me, highly recommends packing a camera for a trip to Cornwall.


“If you’re the owner of a DSLR camera, whatever you do, don’t leave it at home! Cornwall is an area of outstanding natural beauty and you’ll kick yourself if you don’t get a few holiday snaps along the way! From crystal clear seas, idyllic villages, colourful harbours, mountains of freshly baked artisan goods to the greenest countryside scenes you’ll ever see, Cornwall has it all.”

READ MORE: The view from here - Falmouth Sunsets

Hiking boots and comfortable shoes
Hiking boots and comfortable shoes

There are so many walks in Cornwall with the South West Coast Path running the length of the Cornish coastline and plenty of inland trails to enjoy too. There are even some beaches that require you to walk down uneven trails to gain access to their golden sands.


For these reasons, making sure you pack hiking boots, trainers or even comfortable wellies if you are visiting during the winter months is a good idea. Nobody wants to walk around all day in uncomfortable or wet shoes and for those of you planning to walk along Cornwall’s beautiful trails, then a good pair of walking boots should be right at the top of your packing list.

READ MORE: Four Falmouth walks with fabulous views


We’d recommend packing warmer clothes no matter what time of the year you are visiting as even in the summer, it can get a bit cold.


If you are planning BBQs for dinner or are looking to go for an evening stroll to catch the sunset, you may need a jumper or a fleece as summer evenings can get chilly quickly. Some beach fronts can be windy, and you can get cold very quickly, so it is always worth packing some warmer clothes.


If you are visiting in the summer, you can expect warmer temperatures and hopefully lots of sunshine. You should therefore certainly bring with you lots of shorts, t-shirts and warm weather clothes and hopefully, you can catch a bit of a tan during your stay.

Sunhats, sunglasses and suncream
Sunhats, sunglasses and suncream

When thinking about what to wear on holiday in Cornwall, something that can easily be forgotten is sun hats and caps. Wearing a sun hat is another way to keep harmful rays off your skin and if you don’t have a sun hat already, there are lots that are available online and in many high street stores.


If you are coming down on holiday to Cornwall in the summer, then bringing sunglasses are a must. Sometimes in the summer, it can be so bright that it can be difficult to see unless you have sunglasses on and if you are driving down, they will help with the glare that you can sometimes be affected by.


It is always wise to pack sun cream too as the lobster look will never be fashionable and it isn’t good for your skin. The sea and fresh air you will enjoy in Cornwall can be great for your skin, but too much sun is not, and you need to protect yourself from harmful rays. If you are going surfing or SUPing during your time in Cornwall, we’d recommend using sun cream that is water-resistant and has UVB and UVA protection.


To really look after your skin you should book a treatment with us as we have one of the best spas in Cornwall that is home to top-class facilities where you can enjoy a variety of massages and treatments from expert therapists.

Beach tent or windbreak
Beach tent or windbreak

If you are planning a beach holiday in Cornwall and will be exploring a few different beaches in the county, then you may want to bring a beach tent or windbreak with you.


A beach tent or windbreak is great if you have small children or dogs as they offer shade from the sun and shelter from any wind. There are lots of outlets in Cornwall where you can buy these products from, so it may be best to just pick them up after you’ve arrived in Cornwall.


READ MORE: Top 10 beaches in Cornwall


Unfortunately, bringing a raincoat is also a necessity. The weather in Cornwall can change in an instant and without much notice, so making sure you’ve packed a waterproof coat is certainly an essential item. In the winter months, you may want to bring a waterproof jacket that is also warm, but during the summer months, a light waterproof jacket will suffice.


Alexx, a solo travel blogger, who has visited Cornwall and shared her experiences on her Finding Alexx Travel Blog, talks about the importance of packing for changeable weather.


“Pack for very changeable weather. We were getting sunburnt in the morning, driving through rain and thick fog in the middle of the day, taking a nap and waking up to clear skies and a perfect sunset in the afternoon. Also, be flexible in your plans for the same reason.”

Other items you may want to bring

Here are some other items that you may want to bring with you on your holiday to Cornwall:


·         A book to read or iPad

·         Beach towels

·         Chargers for mobile phones and other electronic devices

·         A day bag/backpack

·         Reusable bottle

·         Travel snacks


These are just some of the essential items we’d recommend packing for a trip to Cornwall, but here at St Michaels Resort, we will help cater for all your needs. For articles like this, check out the blog section of our website.