Harbour Holidays

Ten Reasons to Visit Cornwall this September

Updated September 2023

Summer in Cornwall was packed with a heady mix of rain and shine, beach life and buzzing festivals across the county. Yet with the prospect of balmy weather, warm waters and a line-up of events on land and sea, there are lots more reasons to visit Cornwall in September. Once the summer crowds have dissipated, the atmosphere calms down a notch, crowd-free beaches flaunt their charm and there is still plenty going on. In fact, September is our favourite month, as we can relax and enjoy the space and beauty of Cornwall at its best.

1. Quieter Beaches
While we love summer in Cornwall, sometimes there is barely a patch of sand to lay your blanket on in the holidays, and parking can be a nightmare at the most popular beaches. But come September, the scene is totally transformed and there’s plenty of space to enjoy the golden sands and foamy breakers to your heart’s content. Once schools have gone back, even on the sunniest September day you can pull up close to the beach and enjoy plenty of room for your beach towels, barbecue, wind break and boards.

2. Warmer Water
After being warmed by the rays all summer long, sea temperatures are at their highest in late August and remain comfortably warm throughout September and into October. Which makes it a great time for a dip in the sea without a wetsuit – whether it’s a quick plunge into a tidal pool, bodysurfing through the breakers or a wild swim from beach to beach. If you’re a surfer, you can enjoy the waves for longer in a summer wetsuit and even wear a shortie wetsuit or boardshorts on the warmer days.

3. Fine Weather (hopefully)
Everyone has their fingers crossed for an Indian Summer. Sometimes we’re lucky, sometimes we’re not. But whether we get wall-to-wall sunshine all month long or not, we can usually be assured a good dose of warm weather in September. Which makes it ideal for making the most of long days at the beach, sunsets on the sand and getting out to enjoy the great outdoors.

4. Cheaper Seaside Accommodation
Once the school holidays are over, the high season accommodation prices drop so you can pick up prime-location holiday cottages in Cornwall for considerably less money than you would in the summer. Bag a family beach house for a snip of the price than in peak season, or find a post-summer deal in a countryside hamlet close to the coast. September is still popular, so book a soon as possible, while there is plenty of choice for holidaymakers who want to take a mellow, post-season break in Cornwall.

Estuary View

5. Space in Restaurants
Here in Padstow, we have some fantastic restaurants, but the best ones are often booked up months in advance in the height of summer. When it comes to September, the crowds thin and demand eases, so you’re more likely to get a reservation or a walk-in table, whether it’s a family pizza at Caffe Rojano, lunch at Rick Stein’s Café (pictured below) or a special meal out at The Pig at Harlyn Bay.

Rick Stein’s Café, Copyright James Ram

6. Swell Time for Surfers
Surfers relish the September swells when long-travelled waves deliver powerful, quality breakers on to our shores. If you’re into surfing, this is a great time to visit Cornwall as the waves in September tend to be a little more reliable than at other times of year. Plus, the sea is still warm so only a summer wetsuit is required for wave-riding fun.

7. Magical Month for Music
Cornwall doesn’t grind to a halt when the kids go back to school. On the contrary, there is plenty going on throughout September and into October, especially for music lovers and festival fans. You can see Ocean Colour Scene and the Wurzels – and enjoy a Cornish cider or two – at the Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival (8-10 Sept) in Penhallow. Meanwhile, on the south coast, the Looe Weekender (15-17 Sept) promises three days of free live music in and around the charming harbour town, and St Ives lays on a two-week celebration of music and arts during its September Festival.

8. Fine Festivals for Foodies
See local chefs in action and sample stunning seafood dishes at the inaugural Newquay Harbour Festival (16 September), get your chops around a Cornish pasty at the Redruth International Mining & Pasty Festival (8-10 September), and roll out into October to celebrate the mighty mollusc at Falmouth Oyster Festival (12-15 October).

9. Take a Hike
September is a fantastic month for walking some of the South West Coast Path. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold for a saunter along the cliff tops to enjoy breathtaking views, explore hidden coves, step foot in World Heritage Mining Heritage and spot the wildlife reclaiming their territory from the holiday makers.

Walking in Cornwall

10. Step Back in Time
A collection of historic Cornish properties and estates temporarily open their doors during England’s Heritage Open Days Festival (8-17 Sept). This presents an ideal opportunity to explore interesting and beautiful places for free, some of which would otherwise be off limits to visitors. This year you can visit the likes of Bodmin Keep, St Lawrence’s Church, Godolphin House and Gardens, and various National Trust properties including Trerice and Cotehele. Checkout www.heritageopendays.org.uk for entry dates and info.

For more information about holidays in Padstow and the surrounding area of North Cornwall in September, please get in touch or check availability at https://harbourholidays.co.uk/properties/

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