The Best Photoshoot Locations in Cornwall
Whether you're looking to come down to Cornwall to shoot your next campaign, are looking for a place to have your engagement photos taken, or are just a photo enthusiast and really want to shoot in beautiful places, I've compiled a list of some of my favourite places to shoot in Cornwall. This is definitely not the full list, because, I'll be honest, I haven't yet managed to shoot EVERYWHERE I want to in this beautiful county! But I've been to many of them, and I can only urge you to visit them all... they are some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
Without further ado, here is a list of the best photoshoot locations in Cornwall!
1. Helford River
The Helford river is located near to Falmouth, and is a large estuary running into Falmouth Bay. Lucious green forests run all along its banks, with sweet little beaches all along it. Some of the most popular beaches include Greeb beach, and the Ferry Boat Inn. The famous Trebah Gardens also run down to the river. The Helford has to be one of the most beautiful places in the county, especially in the spring on a sunny day when the flowers come out along the coastal paths! This location is perfect for lookbooks, editorials, or commercial fashion shoots.
2. Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove has to be one of the most iconic locations in Cornwall. Photographed hundreds upon thousands of times, but for good reason. Located on the western tip of the Lizard Peninsula, it's quite secluded so expect a bit of a drive to get there. Kynance is certainly at its most beautiful when the skies are blue and the sun is out, but don't discount it when it's grey. I photographed this editorial at Kynance Cove when the sky was overcast, and it's "epicness" isn't diminished at all! This location is the perfect backdrop for lookbook shoots, or editorials.
3. Loe Bar at Sunset
Many people might see Loe Bar and not find it particularly special. It's just another beach in Cornwall, with sand and cliff edges. However, I truly find Loe Bar beach comes to life at sunset in the autumn and winter, when the sky is clear, and the sun sets directly in front of the beach. It has got to be one of the most stunning sunset spots in the whole county! Sadly, I'm yet to successfully do a fashion shoot with a sunset on Loe Bar (the last time I shot there, we had thick cloud!) but one day, I will succeed! This location is perfect for fashion editorials, as well as surf or swimwear brands.
This is one of my first recommendations without having actually had a chance to shoot there myself yet, but I have visited Mousehole (pronounced mousol - not mouse hole! *don't make my mistake*) plenty of times (as well as worked on a shoot there whilst I was still working for Frugi), and it is such a picturesque, quaint little town that it can't be left off the list! If you're after traditional fishing village vibes, with fishing boats, and ice cream shops, this is the place for you. I highly recommend giving it a visit! This location is perfect for commercial brands wanting the quaint, English village look.
Located on the far western tip of the county, almost at Lands End, Porthcurno is the beach that everyone photographs and pretends their in the Carribean, when in fact they're still in the UK. But for good reason! This beach has the whitest sand in the county, the clearest waters, and some of the most beautiful clifftop views I've ever seen. A regular filming location for Poldark, you'll understand why. It's well worth the drive, I promise! This beach is perfect for swimwear brands, or fashion brands wanting that Caribbean vibe, without the expensive plane ticket!
Zennor is a personal favourite location of mine, purely because it is so rugged and barren. Located a couple of miles away from St Ives, you'll be amazed by how barren this area of the county really is. With nothing but rolling hills, ragged cliff tops covered in granite boulders, and epic seascapes, you'll get here and never want to leave. This is perfect for photoshoots involving anything epic, or with a big story to tell. Expect it to be quite windy, all year long!
7. St Ives
St Ives is incredibly famous, so it would have been silly for me not to mention it. With some of the cutest streets you've ever seen, it's got to be one of the most photographed villages in the country, let alone Cornwall. It can be very busy, so I recommend shooting anything in St Ives in the low season (late Autumn and Winter). Yes, it will be cold, but you'll get that lovely soft light Winter brings, and you won't have too many people getting the way of your shot. St Ives is perfect for fashion brands wanting beautiful street backdrops, or seaside town vibes, without having to fly to Italy to get them! *Note: I couldn't find a photo of the village of St Ives in my database, so I'm sharing a lovely one from Country Living Uk*
8. Gwithian Beach
Gwithian Beach is one of the biggest surf spots in Cornwall, making it perfect for surf and sportswear brands. When the tide is out, the expanse of sand is vast, and when the sea is rough, it can provide some pretty incredible backdrops. One of the parts I love the most about Gwithian though, is the rocks and rock pools all along the beach. There aren't many places I've been in Cornwall that have rock formations quite like this. They're very popular with children to play on, obviously, so I'd avoid shooting there on the weekends if you can! Gwithian is also surrounded by beautiful sand dunes, which are some of my personal favourites to shoot in.
7. Chapel Porth
Did someone say "Poldark filming location?" Yep, Chapel Porth is very popular on the show, but for very good reason. This location has the best of both worlds: an epic, white sandy beach (which comes with beautiful caves!) and tall, beautiful cliffs. Oh, and if you're looking for something "iconically Cornish" to shoot, the Engine house on top of the cliff, only a few minutes walk from the beach is a must see. This location is very busy in summer, especially on a sunny day, so it's not an ideal place to want to shoot in the middle of high season, however I have shot there in the evening during late August, and there was barely a soul there! This is the perfect backdrop for brands looking to add an element of romance and adventure to their images.
9. Perranporth Beach
Oh, Perranporth has to be my favourite place to shoot anything commercial. It is a vast beach, complete with easily accessible sand dunes, and a very hand car park nearby. There is something about this beach which makes it a joy to shoot on, and has become my go to lately when I'm a bit stumped on where to take clients. One of the best things about Perranporth is certainly it's easy access, as well as how wide the sand dunes are, meaning that even if the beach is quite busy and you need to find a place to shoot, you won't have much trouble.
10. Holywell Bay
Holywell is certainly the most amply used location by the Poldark filming crew! And for good reason; it's really, really beautiful. I've actually only visited this beach once before, and sadly on quite a wet and windy day in November last year, but even then it was beautiful. I've seen countless images of it on sunny days, and I know for a fact it's stunning! So even though I've not actually shot anything there myself, I couldn't not include it! * Note, I didn't have a nice photo of Holywell, so here's one by @stovesincove :) *
11. Bedruthan Steps
The rocks off the coast of Bedruthan Steps might well be some of the most distinct in the county. But they really come to life on a sunny day, in the spring or summer, whilst the sun is setting. I was lucky enough to do a couple shoot here a couple of weeks ago, and we had the most beautiful evening I've seen in a very long time! This is certainly a very romantic location, but also a location that has some wonder to it; the perfect shoot locations for pretty much anything!
12. Kennal Vale
Kennal Vale is surprisingly somewhere that people often tell me they've never heard of... which baffles me because it's so beautiful, and being located so close to Falmouth, you'd think people would be there all the time! Kennal Vale is a section of woodland about 15 minutes away from Falmouth, and is in fact an abandoned gun powder production centre, as well as a nature reserve. The old abandoned buildings from the gunpowder days are still there, only they're overgrown and wild now. A raging river runs through the length of the woods, adding to the wild feeling of the place. I've shot here quite a few times, and it remains a firm favourite. I know I'll keep going back time and time again! This location is perfect for adventurous and outdoorsy brands, as well as softer and more feminine brands like bridal designers!
Oh my goodness, Tintagel is another place that I've not actually been to yet, but that is HIGH on my list of places to explore. Sadly, its quite a long drive away from Falmouth, which is the main reason I've yet to venture that way... but I'm going to ensure it happens sometime in the next 6 months; how could I not?! Half of what attracts me to this historic location is the stories it brings with it... legend has it that Tintagel was once the castle of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table! I've seen so many beautiful images of this location, so I know it's one not to be missed. Sadly, this is an English Heritage site, so getting permission to shoot here commercially could be fairly tricky, but if you're determined enough, I wouldn't let that stop you! *Note: Yep, I didn't have a shot of Tintagel either! So here's one for you from @getawaybreeze*
14. St Mawes
The seaside town of St Mawes is located on the Roseland Peninsula, and is said to be one of the wealthiest towns in Cornwall. It is home to many of the most beautiful hotels in the area, as well as some extremely sweet, old english seaside town vibes. Only a short ferryboat ride from Falmouth, it's very easy to access. I'd avoid driving there from Falmouth though... that will set you back and hour at least! This little village is perfect for english country brands, wanting that seaside town feel for their next shoot!
15. Rinsey Head
Rinsey Head is a cliffside area located between Helston and Penzance, nearby Porthleven. All I can say about Rinsey is that is one of the most beautiful south facing cliff walks in the area. Due to it's vast rock formations, it makes it a very popular rock climbing location, but equally a popular photoshoot location. If you want the epic cliffside feels to your photos, with a rugged vibe, without having to drive all the way to Zennor, Riney might just be a good option for you!
16. Bodmin Moor
If you've ever seen any work by David Simms, you'll have seen Bodmin Moor as the backdrop to many of his images. A flat, rugged, marchy land, Bodmin is also the location of many spooky tales for Cornwall. On a clear day, it looks absolutely beautiful, and on a grey, overcast day... it still looks beautiful. A word of warning though, it can be VERY damp and wet, and expect to walk quite a fair bit, but I know that it would make a stunning location for a shoot, especially a fashion editorial! *Note: yep, another place I don't have a photo of! Thanks @eva_the_kojak.thecat*
So there you have it, 16 of the best photoshoot locations in Cornwall. This county has so very much to offer, and vastly different environments that can be the backdrop to your shoots. Don't be put off by how far we might be, flights to Newquay from Gatwick are very affordable, and once you're here, you'll have forgotten how long it took you to get here anyway!