To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we wanted to share the love with our top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall.
From contemporary authors, such as Liz Fenwick and Jill Mansell, to classics from Daphne Du Maurier, it’s no secret that Cornwall and romance practically go hand in hand.
So sit back with a cup of tea (and maybe a cheeky biscuit) and take a look at our top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall. We hope you love these books just as much as we do.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier
Haven’t we all dreamed of a romantic getaway with a reckless and menacing, yet altogether rather handsome, pirate? In Frenchman’s Creek, one of Du Maurier’s most famous novels aside from Rebecca, we see Dona, Lady St Columb, do just that.
Set along the Helford river in South Cornwall, this is a classic Du Maurier story blending romance with suspense and adventure. Oh, how we swooned!
But can this dangerous love entanglement last? Those who have read it will know, while those who are yet to discover this wonderful novel will find out.
The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick
This is one of our favourite romances set in Cornwall.
When it comes to writing about this beautiful county, Liz Fenwick has been frequently heralded as the ‘Queen of the contemporary Cornish novel’. With unforgettable characters, a tantalising secret, and a heartbreaking romance, this novel is an engrossing story guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.
Set partly in wartime, it’s full of Cornish history, featuring a great deal of the Falmouth area which many local readers will recognise, including Mawnan Smith church, The Ferryboat Inn, and Trebah bay where many soldiers famously set off from in pursuit of the D-Day landings.
The Cornish Village School series by Kitty Wilson
The Cornish Village School series is an absolute joy to read and a breath of fresh air when it comes to writing laugh-out-loud romantic comedy set in Cornwall.
Set in the fictional village of Penmenna, follow Rosy Winter’s story as a compassionate and lovable headteacher, who adamantly does not want anything to do with love.
Except, when handsome TV gardener, Matt, comes to the village and Rosy ends up spending a lot of time with him, she can’t fight the attraction that seems to pull them together.
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
A romance set against the backdrops of Cornwall in the 1920s which is full of splendour and artistic reverence. When young and naïve Lou meets the wild and wondrous Cardew siblings, she’s invited to step into the world of glamour and lavish parties of the era.
As the summer goes on, Lou finds herself more and more drawn to the handsome brother, and the subtle hints of attraction dotted throughout the book are guaranteed to delight any ardent reader of romance.
Set at a time when the world was full of glitz and dreamy glimmer in the 1920s, this book is perfect for fans of The Great Gatsby.
High Tide by Veronica Henry
Described by Veronica Henry herself as being set in a ‘fictional Fowey’ town, this book is a gem to fall in love with, featuring heart warming and relatable characters trying to make their way through the inevitable highs and lows of life – and wrangle unexpected romances along the way.
With narrow winding streets, the tinkling chatter within teashops and cafes, and a beautiful beachside setting to make this book the perfect go-to, you can be sure to turn the pages and find yourself firmly planted in Cornwall.
Kook by Chris Vick
Although a romance, this striking novel is also as dark and brooding as the storm clouds above the sea. When fifteen year old Sam moves to Cornwall and makes friends with a group of passionate surfers, he also falls for the wild and turbulent Jade, who longs to catch the biggest wave around and become a world-famous surfer, no matter what the cost.
With enough heart and vigour to make you want to run towards the sea, this book is powerful – and might just make you want to pick up a board and go surfing yourself along the shores of Cornwall’s coastline.
It Started With a Secret By Jill Mansell
With so many bestselling novels to her name, Jill Mansell’s most recent book is set in Cornwall featuring Lainey, a woman who is absolutely ready to leave love behind and start fresh with a new life beside the sea. There’s just one problem.
She can’t deny the spark between her and her new boss’s perfectly charming (and extremely attractive) grandson, Seth – who already has a seemingly wonderful girlfriend.
But when neither Lainey nor Seth have been completely honest with each other, does that mean there’s hope on the horizon for a future?
Blue by Lisa Glass
Get lost in the sand, sun and waves as you get swept up in Iris and Zeke’s love story, remembering to hold on when the sea gets a little too choppy, and discover a gorgeous beach read with plenty of spark, love and heart.
This fantastic sun and surf romance series is largely set along Fistral Beach in Newquay, filled with surf culture here and there and a romance to keep you hanging on to every word.
Lisa Glass spends a lot of time writing her books in Newquay itself, which works wonders for putting you right there in the novel as you turn each page.
A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley
The latest summer read by successful author Phillipa Ashley sees the fictional town of Porthmellow aiming to host their annual food festival. Sam Lovell, the organiser of the event, was looking forward to it all … except when their star guest pulls out of the festival, it means someone else has to step in.
That someone else is London chef Gabe Matthias who Sam knows all too well and hoped she would never have to see again.
With many recogniseable little spots of Cornwall popping in and out of the book, this is a fantastic summer read which will have you dying to whip the sunglasses and sunscreen out.
Poldark series by Winston Graham
How could we write about love stories set in Cornwall and not include one of Cornwall’s most celebrated love affairs? Captain Poldark and Demelza’s romance has remained popular across generations and, in a time when life and love is hard, this seemed the perfect place to almost end our countdown of top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall.
Do you have any more suggestions for romantic reads set in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below.