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Car hire in Cornwall

Car hire in Cornwall

The most south-westerly point of the UK is the county of Cornwall, also known as Kernow to the locals. This wonderful area of England is full of natural beauty due to its rolling green countryside, long beaches and wild coast, all of which look like they belong in another country completely.

On top of this, there's plenty of history, great food and modern attractions to explore, which is made easier by hiring a car.

What I need to know

There is only one airport in Cornwall where you can collect hire cars from, which is Newquay Airport (NQY). You can choose between a number of different car hire companies here to find your perfect vehicle.

Alternatively, you can collect your car from the city of Plymouth in Devon and drive over the River Tamar into Cornwall. Either way, use our site to find your perfect hire car.

Where to pick up my car

If you're collecting your car from Newquay Airport, you'll find the car hire desks just outside the arrivals hall. This means you just need to find your provider to be directed to your pick-up point.

Alternatively, there are a number of city centre locations in Plymouth where you can collect your car, allowing you to find the most suitable option. There are also four car hire companies operating at Plymouth Airport (PLH), if this suits you better.

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  • “The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
    Diane T

Where to go

There are so many places to visit in Cornwall, that knowing where to start can be a fairly difficult option. Each area of Cornwall seems completely different, with the north and south coasts offering varied beach types while each has important historical sites.

Driving is one of the best places to view the county as it enables you to get around with ease, head out into the countryside and visit lesser-known areas.

Nearby Cornwall

While there are plenty of main roads throughout much of Cornwall, because the county is fairly rural, these can often give way to narrow and winding roads or country lanes. This means that extra care is needed when driving in Cornwall, as you may not always be able to see far ahead or be able to tell how narrow a road is. Speed limits throughout the county tend to be 30mph in built-up areas and 50mph on single carriageways.

Longer drives

To really appreciate the beauty of Cornwall, it can be a great idea to head down to Land's End, which is the most westerly point of England and offers amazing views out across the sea. It's almost a two-hour drive to Land's End from the Tamar Bridge via the A38 and A30, but once you arrive you can learn about the area's iconic history, grab some food and enjoy the numerous attractions on offer.

Eating and drinking

While you can get practically any food in Cornwall and it has great fine dining and local produce scenes, you can't really visit the county without trying one of its famous pasties. Cornwall prieds itself on the pasty and there's nothing like eating a fresh, hot one while taking in a coastal view. You'll also get great seafood - including classic fish and chips - as well as delicious locally-made ice cream.

Things to do

Many people come to Cornwall for the surfing and hiking opportunities, both of which are abundant. However, you should also be sure to explore the Lost Gardens of Heligan, walk through the rainforest at the Eden Project and jump on a rollercoaster at the Flambards Experience.

Sightseeing

There are so many places of historical significance in Cornwall that you won't be able to fit them into one trip. Highlights that are definitely worth a visit include the stunningly picturesque St Michael's Mount, Tintagel Castle and Minack Theatre, which still has shows performed there regularly.