Budget, Cornwall, UK

Complete Cornwall Roadtrip Budget

Are you starting to plan your Cornwall roadtrip and have no idea what to budget for? This article is for you! Cornwall is the southwestern region of the UK and is typically not where most international tourists flock to. In actuality, this is where most families and residents of the UK tend to go on holiday. It has a beautiful coastline, is littered with fishing villages, and is sprinkled with sandy beaches.

In this article, I’m going to outline my entire Cornwall roadtrip budget. This will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of your expenses while road-tripping around the UK or more specifically, the coastal region of Cornwall.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Cornwall Roadtrip Overview:

View overlooking the beach in Port Isaac, Cornwall. In the foreground that are clusters of pink flowers and beyond the town there are rolling green hills

This Cornwall roadtrip budget consists of my personal expenses over the course of a 5-night and 6-day road trip. I was travelling with a friend of mine so keep in mind if you are travelling solo or with more people, your expenses will look different.

I shared certain expenses with my friend (ie. accommodation and transportation) so in the budget outline, I list the total we paid and what that meant per person. For my food and excursion expenses, I listed what my individual costs were! But of course, food budgets can vary from person to person.

This road trip took place in June, and it is important to note that prices might have been different since we were travelling during the school holidays. I was also living in London at the time of this road trip so this budget does not account for the costs of flights arriving to the UK. It does, however, account for our car rental and other transportation costs.

Stops along our UK Roadtrip including Bath, Cornwall and Jurassic Coast
Bath (left), Cornwall (middle) and Jurassic Coast (right)

I want to note that we didn’t spend the entire 6 days in Cornwall! Here is a quick summary of our itinerary!

Starting from London we took the bus to Bristol to pick up the car rental. We spent the afternoon in Bath on the way to Cornwall. We based ourselves there for 4 nights and then drove along the Jurassic coast on the way back to London. Next, we spent one night in Bournemouth in order to have a bit more time on the Jurassic Coast. And the last day, we stopped by Stonehenge on the way back to London and dropped the car off outside of the city.

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Accommodations Expenses:

a view out of the window of our Airbnb in Cornwall. The photo is taken from inside looking out their window on their beautiful patio and in the background you can see their spacious gardens!

🏨 Total: £ 373.75 (or 186.88 per person)

We decided that the best way to explore the region was to choose a central Airbnb and then take day trips from there. This worked really well for us and it was nice having one Airbnb to deal with instead of having one each night. We felt like we could unpack and get set up rather than live out of a suitcase every day.

I absolutely loved this Airbnb. The family was so kind and their property was gorgeous. They had beautiful gardens and we felt we were in the heart of the countryside. 10/10 would recommend staying there on a Cornwall roadtrip! We also spent one night in a cheap Airbnb in Bournemouth on the way back home.

That means we spent £62.29 per night on accommodations (or roughly 31.15 per person). As I mentioned earlier, when choosing our Airbnb we were looking for something we felt was central to the region so we could visit as much as possible. We also chose something that would accommodate our car. I wouldn’t say that we splurged for this Airbnb, but we did choose one that had nice views and space!

This airbnb not available or not exactly what you’re looking for? Explore more options below! Or check out this even cheaper hostel on Hostelworld!


Transportation Expenses (gas, parking and car rental):

A girl walking towards the wind in St. Michaels Mount in Cornwall, her scarf blowing behind her.

Total: £546.5 (or 273.25 per person)

Transportation is where we spent the most money on our trip, but we believed that having the ease of moving about when and where we wanted to was something we prioritized. It saved us the time and hassle of trying to navigate public transit!

🚌 Total Bus: £ 24

We spent our first travel day taking the bus from London to Bristol. This was just under a 3-hour journey and was only £ 12 per person. We then picked up our car rental in Bristol and returned it just outside of London a few days later. We found the cheapest tickets using Omio. It compares train and bus prices so you can find the best deal!

🚗 Total Car rental & Insurance: £ 411.51      ⛽️ Total Gas: £ 90.69

I personally think if you’re planning on exploring Cornwall, a car is necessary to get around. When we were trip planning, it didn’t look like there were many train options in the area and rather than trying to navigate bus schedules we opted for a car. We also found the best deals using rentalcars.com! It was super easy to find the perfect car that fit our needs for a good price, I’ve used them for my past few roadtrips and definitely recommend!

🚨 Important Reminder: most car rentals in the UK will be manual cars. There are options for automatic but they tend to be more expensive. They also drive on the left-hand side of the road in the UK.

I will note that the roads in Cornwall varied from high to lower visibility. There were definitely moments when they were very tight roads and stone walls or large hedges lining the street impacting your visibility. It is entirely doable but there were some tense moments for sure.

🅿️ Total Parking: £ 20.3    

Most of the time parking was free by snagging a spot on the street. I would say that roughly each day we had one spot that required us to pay for parking in one of the lots or garages which cost roughly £ 4-6 for a few hours. The most expensive spot we paid for parking was at Lands End.

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Food Expenses:

Cornish pasties and fish and chips from Cornwall, the perfect road trip snack

🐠 Total: £100-120 per person (roughly)

For this particular trip, we didn’t necessarily want to splurge on food. Our Airbnb had a kitchen so this is where we saved some money by buying groceries. We did of course eat out at a few restaurants, one specifically which is quite well known is Rick Stein’s Restaurant in Padstow. But most of the time we were snacking on Cornish pasties or making food back at the Airbnb.

PRO TIP: Cornish pasties were the perfect filling and cheap snack to get in Cornwall. They are super popular in the region and were really tasty. Cornish pasties were historically made as lunches for mine workers going underground because they were a full meal wrapped in a pastry. They are a really great on-the-go snack!


Excursion Expenses:

A girl looking at the view from Tintagel Castle. The HIGHLIGHT from our Cornwall road trip!

🏰 Total: £40.3 per person

We did 2 main excursions in Cornwall: Tintagel Castle and Lands End. Tintagel was amazing and was a highlight of our trip for sure! It’s known as King Arthur’s Castle and is a really beautiful spot to visit. I highly recommend it! Lastly, we stopped by Stonehenge on the way back to London, another British icon!

We did plenty of other excursions that were, in fact, FREE! We spent time hiking, exploring cute coastal towns and visiting sandy beaches! So there in fact ways to keep your activity expenses low while visiting Cornwall!



Miscellaneous Expenses (gifts, souvenirs etc.):

The moody Cornish Coast with jagged rocks and blue waters

💸 Total: £10-20 per person

I didn’t buy many gifts or souvenirs. We bought thank-you gifts for our Airbnb host because they helped us out on our first night. And besides that, I personally bought a magnet and one or two small gifts. Most things we came across weren’t too expensive.


Summary: My personal Cornwall Roadtrip budget was roughly £630.43  (or 105.07 per day).


Going on a roadtrip in Cornwall was an amazing decision however if you want to see this area of the UK and are NOT interested in driving, there are many tours out there that do the work for you! For example, I found a 5 day Tour of Devon and Cornwall from London! Don’t skip this area in the UK, find a tour that works for you!


Cornwall Roadtrip: Final Thoughts

Complete Road Trip Budget for Cornwall

I was very pleasantly surprised by this region of the UK and our drive back towards London was also incredibly beautiful! Honestly, a Cornwall roadtrip was the easiest way to get around. I find you have so much more freedom and flexibility when you have your own car and don’t need to rely on other timetables during your day.

I also found that it was very easy to keep our expenses low in this particular region of the UK. Finding an Airbnb with a kitchen was definitely a game changer and even the fact that there were many free activities to do helped keep things cheap! Just goes to remind you to escape London every now and then and explore more of the beautiful regions of the UK!

Planning another road trip in the UK? I’ve put together another Road Trip Budget that explores the North, Wales and Scotland!

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Caity Zagar

Travel Planner & Blogger

Welcome to CZ Phones Home! I’m here to help make your travels easier by giving you tips, advice and inspiration to make your trips memorable!

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