Cornwood Travel Guide

Discover the best things to see and do in Cornwood, Devon, with our comprehensive travel guide featuring information on local attractions, culture, food, and more.

A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Cornwood, Devon

Cornwood, located in the West Country of England, is a charming village that offers a glimpse into the traditional British way of life. With its scenic countryside setting and a plethora of cultural and natural attractions, it’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and culture enthusiasts alike. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your visit to Cornwood:

Introduction to Cornwood

Cornwood is a quaint village in South Devon, situated near Dartmoor National Park. It’s known for its picturesque countryside scenery, consisting of rolling hills, dense woodlands, and serene valleys. The village itself is dotted with charming stone cottages, ancient churches, and quaint villages pubs.

The history of Cornwood dates back to the Saxon era, and there are traces of its ancient past throughout the village. Today, it’s a thriving community, home to friendly locals, lively markets, and a multitude of events throughout the year.

List of Places to Visit in Cornwood

Cornwood has something for everyone, from historical landmarks to natural wonders and outdoor adventures. Here are some of the must-visit places in Cornwood:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Cornwood Heritage Centre: This museum showcases the history and culture of the village, with interactive exhibits and displays. It’s a perfect place to learn about Cornwood’s past and heritage.

  • St. Michael’s Church: This ancient church dates back to the 13th century and is known for its stunning architecture. It’s a perfect place to soak in the peaceful atmosphere and admire the intricate details of the building.

  • Leywell Iron Mine: This historical landmark is a reminder of Cornwood’s industrial past. The mine offers a guided tour to learn about the area’s mining history and see the remnants of the mines.

Natural Attractions of Cornwood: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Dartmoor National Park: Only a few miles from Cornwood, Dartmoor National Park is a vast wilderness area with stunning landscapes and a wealth of outdoor activities. It’s a perfect spot for hiking, cycling, horse riding, and wildlife watching.

  • Burrator Reservoir: A peaceful lake in Dartmoor with beautiful surroundings, perfect for a relaxing day out, with walking and watersports available.

  • Cadover Bridge: A perfect place to view the River Plym, and take a dip, fish or have a picnic.

  • The Longstone: It’s a massive granite rock situated on top of a hill, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Cornwood

Cornwood is a paradise for adventure junkies, with a plethora of hiking and biking trails that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Some of the most popular routes include:

  • Dartmoor Way: This 45-mile circular route winds through the heart of Dartmoor, offering stunning views and picturesque villages. It’s a challenging route that requires proper planning and preparation.

  • Drake’s Trail: This scenic route covers 21 miles from Plymouth to Tavistock, winding through the countryside and waterways. It’s perfect for leisurely days out.

  • The Cornwood Loop: A moderately challenging route, which includes sections of the Dartmoor Way and Drake’s Trail, taking in stunning scenery and picturesque villages.

Best Things to Do in Cornwood: Activities and Tours

Cornwood offers an array of activities and tours that can appeal to a wide range of interests. Here are some of the best things to do during your visit to Cornwood:

  • Horse Riding: Take advantage of the scenic countryside setting and go on a horse-riding adventure. There are several riding schools and guided tours available in and around the village.

  • Fishing: The River Plym is a popular spot for fishing, perfect for those looking to catch trout or salmon.

  • Watersports: Burrator Reservoir offers opportunities for paddle-boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing during the summer months.

  • Food tours: Join a culinary tour of Cornwood, and indulge in local delicacies, such as fresh seafood, traditional cheeses, and locally farmed meats.

Week-Long Itinerary for Cornwood

Day 1: Arrive in Cornwood and explore the village’s attractions, including St. Michael’s Church and Cornwood Heritage Centre.

Day 2: Head to Dartmoor National Park and explore the wilderness area, including the Dartmoor Way or Drake’s trail.

Day 3: Visit the Burrator Reservoir and enjoy a day of watersports or relax on the picturesque riverbanks.

Day 4: Take a fishing trip on the River Plym and try your luck at catching salmon or trout.

Day 5: Join a horseback riding adventure and explore the village’s surroundings and countryside.

Day 6: Join a food tour of Cornwood and indulge in local delicacies, such as fresh seafood, traditional cheeses, and locally farmed meats.

Day 7: Depart from Cornwood and explore the nearby attractions, such as Plymouth or Tavistock.

Food and Drink Scene of Cornwood

Cornwood offers an array of culinary delights, from fresh seafood to traditional pub grub. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages in Cornwood:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Devon Cream Tea: A traditional English specialty consisting of scones, clotted cream, and jam, served with a cup of tea. It’s a perfect snack during a leisurely walk or bike ride.

  • Fresh Seafood: Cornwood is located near the coast, offering access to the freshest seafood. Enjoy freshly caught fish, crab, and lobster at one of the many local restaurants or pubs.

  • Farm-to-Table Dishes: Cornwood is surrounded by farmland, offering access to locally farmed meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Indulge in a farm-to-table meal at one of the many local pubs or restaurants.

Local Beverages

  • Cider: Devon is famous for its cider, and Cornwood offers several local varieties that are a perfect accompaniment to a traditional pub meal.

  • Local Ale: Cornwood has several local breweries that produce unique and tasty ales. Sip on a pint of ale while enjoying the scenic countryside setting.

Where to Stay in Cornwood: Hotels, Hostels and Guesthouses

Cornwood has several accommodation options that cater to all budgets and preferences. Here are some of the best places to stay in Cornwood:

  • The Rising Sun: A traditional village pub that offers cozy rooms and an excellent restaurant serving locally sourced ingredients.

  • Moorland Garden Hotel: A modern hotel, featuring a spa, restaurant and a beautiful garden setting.

  • Old Smithy: A charming guesthouse set in a converted blacksmith’s workshop, offering comfortable rooms and hearty breakfasts.

What to Buy in Cornwood: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Cornwood is known for its local crafts, food products, and souvenirs. Here are some of the best things to buy during your visit to Cornwood:

  • Local Art: Cornwood has several local art galleries that showcase the work of talented artists. Take home a unique and beautiful piece of artwork as a souvenir.

  • Local Cheese and Meats: Cornwood is surrounded by farmland, offering access to locally farmed meats and cheeses. Take home a piece of Cornish cheese or a bottle of cider to enjoy at home.

  • Local Crafts: Cornwood has several local shops that sell handmade crafts, such as pottery, woodwork, and textiles. Support local artists and take home a one-of-a-kind piece of craft as a souvenir.

Local Culture and Customs of Cornwood

Cornwood is a friendly and welcoming village, known for its traditional way of life and community spirit. When visiting Cornwood, it’s essential to respect local customs and traditions, such as:

  • Paying respect to Historical Landmarks: Cornwood has several ancient landmarks, such as St. Michael’s Church and Leywell Iron Mine, that are sacred and must be respected.

  • Pub Culture: Pubs are an integral part of Cornwood’s way of life, and they are often the center of community events and gatherings. It’s a perfect place to meet locals and make new friends.

  • Farming Culture: Cornwood is surrounded by farmland, and farming is an essential part of the village’s heritage. Respect the countryside, and adhere to local guidelines when visiting farms.

Best Time to Visit Cornwood

Cornwood is a beautiful destination throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the summer months (June to September), when the weather is warm, and outdoor activities are in full swing. Autumnal colors during the months of October and November are also a beautiful sight.

Do’s and Don’ts of Cornwood


  • Explore the Countryside: Cornwood is located near Dartmoor National Park, offering access to stunning landscapes and outdoor activities.

  • Indulge in Local Food and Drink: Cornwood is known for its culinary delights, such as fresh seafood, farm-to-table dishes, and local ciders and ales.

  • Respect Local Customs: Cornwood is a traditional village with a strong community spirit. Respect local customs and traditions, such as paying respect to historical landmarks and supporting local businesses.


  • Leave Litter: Cornwood is an unspoiled natural setting, and it’s essential to keep it clean and tidy.

  • Trespass on Private Property: Cornwood is surrounded by farmland, and it’s crucial to respect the privacy of farmers and their properties.

Safety and Health

When visiting Cornwood, it’s essential to prioritize your safety and health. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Safety in Cornwood

  • Road Safety: Cornwood is a village, and roads can be narrow or winding. Drive carefully and always adhere to local speed limits.

  • Respecting Wildlife: Dartmoor National Park is home to several wild animals that must be respected. Keep a safe distance from animals and never feed them.

  • Water Safety: If you plan on watersports and swimming in Burrator Reservoir or other local waters, take precautions and ensure you are experienced and aware of the potential risks.

Health in Cornwood

  • Tick Awareness: Dartmoor National Park is known for ticks that can carry Lyme disease. Take precautions, wear light-colored clothing, use repellent, and check for ticks frequently.

  • Allergies: If you suffer from allergies, take precautions and carry any necessary medication with you.

Getting to Cornwood: Transportation Options and Logistics

Cornwood can be accessed by several different transportation options:

Airports Near Cornwood

  • Exeter Airport: The nearest airport to Cornwood is Exeter Airport, located approximately 25 miles away.

  • Bristol Airport: Bristol Airport is another nearby airport with more extensive domestic and international connections, but is further away, about 75 miles.

Bus Stations Near Cornwood

  • Buses from Plymouth city center runs to in and around Cornwood. The journey takes around 30 minutes.

Other Options

  • Car: Cornwood is just a few miles from the A38 dual carriageway, which connects the village to Plymouth to Exeter.

  • Train: The nearest station is Ivybridge, which is on the main line from London Paddington to Plymouth, and is only a few miles from Cornwood, where buses and taxis are available.

How to Get Around in Cornwood

Cornwood is a compact village that can easily be explored on foot or by bike. There are also several local taxis and buses that can take you around the village and its surrounding attractions. Driving is also an option, but be aware of the narrow and winding roads.

Where to Go Next from Cornwood: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Cornwood is located in a prime location, perfect for exploring other nearby destinations and attractions. Here are some of the best places to visit near Cornwood:

  • Plymouth: A historic port city located just a few miles from Cornwood, known for its maritime heritage and cultural attractions.

  • Tavistock: A charming market town located in the heart of Dartmoor, known for its beautiful architecture, local produce, and independent shops.

  • Salcombe: A beautiful coastal town located about an hour away from Cornwood, known for its stunning beaches, seafood restaurants, and quaint cafes.


Cornwood is a hidden gem in South Devon, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With a wealth of attractions, activities, and events, it’s an ideal destination for solo travelers, families, and couples. Plan your trip to Cornwood today, and you won’t be disappointed.