March 25, 2024

Destination: Devon & Cornwall


In this article

How to Get From London to Cornwall

Located in south-west England, bordering the county of Devon, Cornwall is home to the most southerly point, Lands End and the most Westerly, Lizard Point.

The Cornwall coast stretches for 422 miles and over 25% of Cornwall is designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, or in the new terminology, a Natural Landscape. This provides an array of cliff top walks, golden beaches and rugged moors to explore whilst on holiday.

So how do you get from London to Cornwall? Our guide tells all...

Cornwall Harbour

Flying into London 

You’ll most likely arrive into London Heathrow Airport from the United States or Canada. If you are travelling from the East Coast of America you have the option to fly directly to London Gatwick also.  

From London Heathrow, the connection into Central London is very simple via the Heathrow Express. Running frequently it takes just 15 minutes and arrives in London Paddington where you will find your onward connecting train to Cornwall.  

If you fly into London Gatwick there are options to take an internal flight to Newquay Cornwall Airport and then train connections on to other Cornish towns.  

Without a further flight, you can reach Cornwall via Train in approximately 6.5 hours. From London Gatwick you’ll need to make your way into Central London and across to London Paddington where there are multiple departures daily to Penzance.  

How far is Cornwall from London? 

Depending on which part of Cornwall you are visiting it is between 260 miles (to Truro) and 310 miles ( to Penzance) Cornwall.

Car journeys are between 5 – 6 hours. Train routes from central London also take just over 5 hours so to avoid traffic on the motorways we would recommend using public transport. GWR provide trains multiple times per day from London Paddington and stop at towns through to Penzance.  

Truro is the only city within Cornwall, but other popular (and equally sized towns) include Newquay, Falmouth and Penzance. The major Cornish towns are well connected via a train network from London. 

The nearest international airport is London Gatwick and the smaller county airport is Newquay Cornwall Airport. For easy transport connections to Cornwall, we recommend starting your journey from Central London.

How to get from London to Cornwall 



London Paddington to Penzance service is the longest journey time at just over 5 hours. Depending on the exact schedule of the train it is likely to stop at popular locations such as Truro, St Austell, Bodmin Parkway. Other stations like Newquay, Looe, St Ives and Falmouth require a change in train to reach. 

Overnight train

The Night Riviera service (aka the sleeper train to Cornwall) runs six days a week from London to Penzance, taking 8h 5m to complete the journey on weekday services, and 8h 59m on the Sunday service. 

Operated by Great Western Railway (GWR), the Night Riviera calls overnight at Plymouth, Truro, St Erth and finally at Penzance, among several other stops. There is a range of accommodation options on board, from seats to double-berth sleepers.  

Car or private transfer

Since Britain is a relatively small country, especially when compared to much larger countries like the United States or Canada, driving from London to all corners of Cornwall is easily achieved in a day, with stops for rest.  

Without traffic it takes between 4.5 – 5 hours to reach Cornwall depending on how far south you are travelling. It is a reasonably easy drive if you rent a car. 

The roads are major motorways and A roads from London. But if you’re not sure about ‘driving on the left’ then a private transfer is an option.  

Where is Kernow in Cornwall? 

Kernow is actually Cornish for Cornwall. There isn’t a place or town named Kernow. Kernow is derived from the Celtic word ‘Kernou’ meaning ‘horn’ or ‘headland.’ 

The birth of Cornish as a distinct language dates to about 600 AD. Slowly over time the use of the language has declined with defining periods in history such as the Tudors and Roman invasions playing a role in the change. 

Present day, English is widely spoken in Cornwall with a distinctive Cornish regional accent.   

For guided tours in Devon and Cornwall, we offer you a range of walking and cycling options.

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