Visit This County For A Warm And Sunny UK Vacation

The U.K. isn't known for its warm weather. In fact, on average, summer temperatures only reach 48–64 degrees Fahrenheit. But one British County in southwest England is lucky enough to benefit as one of the sunniest places in the U.K.

Like the rest of England, Cornwall sees cold and snowy winters. But summer months bring sun, humidity, and average highs of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The Gulf Stream pushes warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean toward Europe. Due to Cornwall's southern position in England and its proximity to the Gulf Stream's effects, it sees warmer temperatures than the rest of the U.K. and other places in the world at the same latitude. Cornwall sees more than 1,500 hours of sunshine every year, offering an abundance of outdoor adventures for locals and visitors alike.

Popular destinations in Cornwall include Penzance, St. Ives, and Truro (among many others). The historic market town of Penzance has a giant Jubilee Pool on the seafront, and a beautiful harbor. St. Ives, known for its sandy beaches, is a busy fishing port and home to the Tate Museum. And Truro has a Gothic cathedral and is Cornwall's biggest shopping center. There's plenty to do in the county of Cornwall, and bonus — it's easy to get to by car, bus, or train.

How to get to and around Cornwall

Flying into Cornwall Airport Newquay is the fastest option to arrive at one of the sunniest places in the U.K. Alternatively, visitors can travel by ferry. Plymouth is the nearest ferry terminal and offers services (via Brittany Ferries) from France and Spain. For travelers in the U.K. with a car, it takes approximately five hours to drive from London to Cornwall. Since the sunny beach oasis can get quite busy in the summer, avoid traffic by driving outside peak hours.

More transport options include buses and trains. Traveling by bus takes longer than driving, approximately seven to eight hours, and costs roughly $80 roundtrip. National Express and Megabus are two recommended services when booking bus trips to Cornwall. Tourists traveling by rail can catch a train at London Paddington, which will take them to St. Ives station in Cornwall. Travel times average five and a half hours, often including one train switch at St. Erth Station. No matter which mode of transport is chosen, the journey to Cornwall is well worth the effort.

Once in Cornwall, getting around is easy. Drivers will appreciate the slow country roads, but for travelers without four wheels, don't worry, First Bus offers close to 100 routes throughout Cornwall. Train travel via the Great Western Railway is another fantastic mode of transportation to get around Cornwall. There are stations in main cities and near beaches, and the views from the tracks are stunning.

Best beaches in Cornwall for sunny days

The ninth largest county in the U.K., Cornwall offers tons of things to do. On a sunny day, the top choice is to spend time on the beach. While the U.K. has many scenic beach towns, Cornwall alone boasts 422 miles of coastline to explore. Those staying near St. Ives are treated to a bustling harbor, plenty of shops and outdoor cafes, and two large beaches: Porthminster and Porthmeor (as well as a few smaller beaches). Families will appreciate the calm water at Porthminster Beach, while Porthmeor is the best beach in St. Ives for surfing. Carbis Bay is also nearby, and the sheltered cove brings calm waters and tropical scenery.

Near Penzance, Porthcurno Beach is another favorite. The blue waters give Caribbean shorelines a run for their money, and the soft sand and gorgeous cliffs bordering the beach create a fantastic setting. The Minack Theatre sits uniquely atop the cliffs and offers fun events, like theatrical shows and guided tours.

More beaches worth checking out are Whitsand Bay, Watergate Bay, and Summerleaze. Whitsand is 3 miles of gorgeous sand, and while it may be trickier to get to, it's worth the rocky descent to the sand. Watergate Bay is excellent for water sports enthusiasts. And Summerleaze has it all. One of many under-the-radar destinations in England, Summerleaze is perfect for relaxing and watersports, and it also has colorful beach huts to rent and a sheltered sea pool.