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Southern England's wildest county, with 1,086km of coastline sticking raggedly out into the east Atlantic, Cornwall holds a special kind of allure to travellers. From the singular identity of its inhabitants to the startling landscape and provision of historical and cultural highlights, it's a region very much unto its own.

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Inevitably for a county with such spectacular seaside, Cornwall's pretty harbour villages and towns are a first stop for many. Families and surfers will find much to love in the resort of Newquay, itself a swift schlep down the coast from the foodie havens of Padstow and Port Isaac, as well as the winning sands of Rock and Polzeath. Bleak Bodmin moor to the east has hiking, cairns and a famous mythical beast, while the charming fishing villages and rolling grasslands of the Lizard peninsula to the south offer a wealth of timeless charm. 

Strike out west to the headland of Land's End and you'll find some of Cornwall's finest coves, monolith-dotted moorland and a famous clifftop theatre, as well as delightful towns like St Ives and Penzance (with the island of St Michael's Mount just off shore). But wherever you head, Cornwall makes for an alluring break.