Ten of the best must do activities in CornwallBack to latest posts
Cornwall has long been a popular UK holiday destination for very good reason: there’s just so much to see and do. And whilst it might sound clichéd, whatever your age and your interests, there’s something here for everyone.
Holiday Cottage Compare explores 10 of the best must-do activities across this wonderful county.
Cornwall: the jewel in the South West
Cornwall can be found on the rugged south western tip of England, formed of a peninsula of wild moorland, sandy beaches and rocky coastline, which comes to a dramatic point at Land’s End.
Cornwall’s north coast is known for its craggy coastline and towering cliff faces whilst its south coast features miles of sandy beaches, dotted with picturesque harbour villages, such as Falmouth, Mevagissey, Polperro and Fowey.
Beaches such as Newquay and Polzeath attract surfers the world over whilst the many quaint fishing villages provide the perfect opportunity for less action packed exploration!
The popular television series ‘Poldark’ was filmed in Cornwall, whilst Port Isaac provided the backdrop for the hit ‘Doc Martin’.
Food lovers flock to Cornwall to taste local delicacies such as freshly caught crab and lobster, served up by many of its Michelin starred restaurants, owned by the likes of Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth in Padstow, Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac and Chris Eden in Portscatho.
Ten of the best things to do in Cornwall
No visit to Cornwall is complete without having tried at least one of the activities off this bucket (and spade!) list:
1.Take a sea safari to spot dolphins, seals and whales
A sea safari is the perfect opportunity to explore Cornwall’s vast coastline from an entirely new perspective.
Discover hidden caves and all manner of sea birds nesting in the crevices of vast cliff faces from a fast RIB, designed to tour the coastline with ease before heading further off shore in search of dolphins, seals and whales. You might even get to see a basking shark if you’re lucky!
2.Get lost in the Lost Gardens of Heligan
With more than 200 acres of grounds to explore, Cornwall’s most secret of gardens, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, offer a fantastic day out for everyone – even if you don’t think looking round gardens is your thing!
Inside you’ll find bamboo tunnels, huge tree ferns, picturesque lakes, palms and woodlands, as well as farm animals and wildlife. They also have a great café and some of the most delicious, locally made ice cream.
3.Dig your way to Australia
Ok this may well be a sizeable challenge but what child, sitting on the beach, armed with a bucket and spade, hasn’t wondered what will happen if they dig and dig and dig?
Cornwall offers some of the most wonderful sandy beaches and your little (and big!) ones will happily spend hours building sandcastles, filling up the moats and burying their parents. Great sandy beaches worth a visit include Polzeath, Praa Sands and Perranporth.
4.Cycle the Camel Trail
The Camel Trail is the perfect family activity, largely because, as an old railway line, it’s a relatively flat 18 mile trail (so it’s great for all ages) and also because the route takes in places like Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow – making it ideal to stop off for refreshments along the way.
Plus there’s no need to bring a bike with you – you can easily hire them once you get here.
5.Go rock pooling
Cornwall’s incredible coastline means that you’re never far from a rock pool which is a great way to spend a few hours with the kids, as they hunt for anemones, crabs and pipefish amongst all the seaweed.
All you need is sturdy footwear and a net! Great places for rock pooling include Mawgan Porth, Treyarnon Bay and St Mawes.
6.Relax in the tropical climate (of The Eden Project)
Just occasionally, the weather can be somewhat inclement in Cornwall (ok, maybe more than just occasionally!) so if it does turn out to be a rainy day and you’re looking for some heat, then why not head over to Cornwall’s world famous Eden Project?
Find out about tropical, sub tropical and temperate climates and what grows best in each. And explore the huge biomes and landscaped spaces. Perfect for all ages.
7.Visit Merlin and the birthplace of King Arthur
If you want to experience the wild winds of the rugged north coastline, there’s no better place than Tintagel Castle to try to hold on to your hat! Allegedly the birthplace of King Arthur, it’s an exposed site, with incredible sea views and totally open to the elements – a truly invigorating and magical experience! Managed by English Heritage, there's now even a new footbridge which has reunited the two separated halves of Tintagel Castle for the first time in more than 500 years!
8.Swim back to the 1930s at the Jubilee Pool
This stunning Art-Deco lido is a quirky triangular shape, with gentle curves, overlooking the sea at the Battery Rocks in Penzance. Originally opened in 1935 for Silver Jubilee, the Jubilee Pool was recently refurbished in 2016 and is now the jewel in Penzance’s crown, attracting over 40,000 visitors of all ages each year.
Work is currently underway to heat a part of the pool to a permanent 35C using natural geothermic energy - meaning the pool can be used all year round.
9.Watch a play at The Minack Theatre
There cannot be a theatre in the UK where the seats have better views than the Minack Theatre! Carved into the hillside, overlooking Porthcurno and the Atlantic beyond, this is an experience to top all theatre experiences.
The cliff top amphitheatre plays host to a wide variety of performances, from May to September. Bring a cushion, a picnic and a mac!
10.The Tate at St Ives
The Tate at St Ives is a wonderful gallery in yet another incredible location which showcases the works of artists with connections to the St Ives area, including Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon and Patrick Heron.
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this Art Fund Museum of the Year (2018) Winner is the perfect place to immerse yourself in British art from the 16th century to the present day, as well as international modern and contemporary art. Don’t forget to pop into the nearby Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Looking to book a holiday cottage in Cornwall?
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Our easy to use website mean you can find your perfect Cornwall cottage in just seconds. Or if you would rather we did the not-very-hard work for you, drop us a line via our concierge service and we’ll email you a list of all our properties that fit the bill!