Cornwall is an incredible place for a multitude of reasons, but for many people, being so close to the...
Cornwall is rich in culture and heritage, going back to its days as a famed mining and fishing county. In more recent times, the county has become famous for its arts and the natural landscape, attracting visitors the world over. Consequently, there is no shortage of activities in Cornwall and there’s something for everyone so let’s dive in and take a look at the best that Cornwall has to offer.
Families will not come away from Cornwall disappointed. There is a plethora of fun and adventurous activities in Cornwall for parents to do with their children for an energetic and satisfying day out.
Hidden Valley is one of Cornwall’s secret gems, hidden away near Launceston and founded in 1994. It started life as just a treasure hunt and play area but has since expanded to include a wide variety of activities.
Keep your kids engrossed with the puzzle trails and the maze, find your way to the Forbidden Mansion, take in the stunning sights in the gardens and the village of Tremuddlewick and take a light railway trip all the way back to the cafe. There’s an adventure for all and enough fun to fill a whole day, especially if you get lost in the maze!
The Watering Hole serves homemade food and offers a complete takeaway service. After refreshments, you can head into the gift shop full of knick-knacks sourced from local suppliers, all with a quintessential charm to them that rounds off the day nicely.
Flambards Theme Park in Helston boasts a large range of activities to keep families engaged. Have some family fun at the mini-golf course or the Formula Kart Track. For those seeking a high octane thrill, check out the Sky Force or the Hornet Rollercoaster. Take a ride on a classic swinging pirate ship or for those looking for a more relaxed time, you can explore the Victorian Village as well as a number of other historical exhibitions.
To get the most out of Flambards, you can buy a season pass that grants you entry on any day the park is open or you can buy a special ticket that gives you access to the park for a week at the price of one day though all the days must be consecutive.
Based in Wadebridge, Camel Creek Adventure Park is a vibrant and fresh experience for families. There is a wide range of activities on offer from pony express rides to exploring the reptile house to the family-favourite rollercoaster, Air Bender.
There is a wide selection of places to stop for lunch or a treat, including an ice cream parlour and a chocolate factory and the park, also offers educational points and workshops for school trips, helping to give kids a well-rounded experience.
Trethorne Leisure near Launceston hosts a wide range of activities for families. The farm area offers opportunities to pet a variety of animals, including goats and horses and there is a bowling alley near the arcade rooms, along with a dodgems area. Children can have hours of fun in the play area, sliding down the drop slide, navigating the rope bridges in the pirate ship experience and navigating obstacles to get to a tunnel slide opening out onto a ball pool.
Grown-ups can also find plenty of fun to be had on the extensive golf course Trethorne is famous for and there are a couple of restaurants at the park, one catering to a finer quality experience and the other catering to a quick, easy lunch in between activities.
Going to the zoo is always a popular family treat. Located inside Trenance Leisure Park, Newquay Zoo provides 13 acres of exploration and dozens of different animals to see from African lions to snowy owls to red pandas, nyalas and pygmy goats. There is an animal for every animal lover out there and there are even adoption packs for some of the animals like the Humboldt penguin. This contributes to the daily care of the species in the zoo and also goes toward global wildlife conservation work.
The animal experiences on offer give visitors a more intimate chance to get to know the animals, enriching their time at the zoo. Experiences are available with the lemurs, the red pandas and the Humboldt penguins, giving you a chance to feed them and step into their enclosures for a closer look.
There is also a Wild Learning scheme for school visits and other types of lessons, making a family’s time here educational as well as enjoyable.
From mammals, lizards and birds to fish, the Blue Reef Aquarium – also in Newquay – provides an opportunity for families to escape into an aquatic world and get a close-up view of the fish living there.
Located on Newquay’s beachfront, families can visit 40 themed habitats that expand all the way to foreign, far-off seas. The variety of animals is staggering as well from freshwater turtles to pufferfish and the underwater tunnel allows for an immersive experience as reef sharks and shoals of brightly coloured fish swim all around you. Don’t miss the Giant Pacific Octopus either, one of the aquarium’s biggest attractions. Did you know octopuses have three hearts?
The Newquay experience continues with a trip to Pirate’s Quest Adventure Golf, an experience sure to bring new energy to the family-friendly sport.
The golfing experience transports you back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy, creating a fun and adventure-filled journey from the deck of the Royal Anne Galley – a real ship that sunk off the Cornish coast in 1721 – through a smuggler’s passage, Blackbeard’s Tavern and Davy Jones’ Locker and finally to the Captain’s ship. The experience is steeped in history, creating an immersive activity that is sure to entertain whether you’re there because you love golf, history or just really want to be a pirate when you grow up.
Situated near Penzance, Marazion Beach provides stunning views of St. Michael’s Mount and hosts a wide variety of activities that make it the perfect family day out.
Families can learn how to windsurf, kitesurf and paddleboard with special schools in the area, unlocking a plethora of activitiest in the water besides swim. For those looking for a quieter time, there are plenty of rock pools to explore along with a play park just above the beach.
Cornwall also provides a lot of opportunities for grown-ups to have fun in the county as well, with a host of activities any group of friends or family with grown-up children can enjoy.
Cornish Wave in Newquay provides a whole slew of activities for you and your friends to enjoy. Their coasteering adventures are one of their most popular and they’re not for the faint of heart. You can perform deep water jumps, partake in some rock climbing and explore whirlpools, gullies and caves along the coast. Feed the adventurer in you with this one of a kind experience.
Just in case coasteering isn’t for you, Cornish Wave also offers surfing lessons, yoga and wild camping, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.
Siblyback Lake in Liskeard is a picturesque, rich blue expanse of water nestled into the Cornish countryside. The lake path is a popular choice for walking, running and cycling and provides a great opportunity to soak in the sights of the lake, maybe even snap a few pictures of the woodlands and the wildlife. You can even try something you may never have done before and get in a spot of archery!
Out on the water itself, you can always find people kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. And if watersports aren’t for you, you can set up shop on Siblyback’s camping ground and extend your stay at the lake, giving you a chance to try everything in a more in-depth and immersive experience.
One of Cornwall’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bodmin Moor is a historical beauty, providing a wild heather-dotted landscape perfect for kiting, walking your dogs and observing wild ponies in their natural habitat. The church in the village of St. Breward marks the starting point of the Camel Trail, 18 miles long, mostly free of traffic and running alongside a disused railway line. The trail is free and suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users.
On the edge of the moor, you can find Bodmin Jail, which has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction. There are plenty of tours on offer, including the After Dark experience that starts at 9 pm and lasts for 6 hours, giving visitors an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a paranormal journey and learn techniques to communicate with spirits, such as Ouija Boards and Scrying. You can also experience the Dark Walk, a visual experience that uses special effects and technology to transport visitors through time and give them a taste of what the prison had been like in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The open-air theatre at Porthcurno boasts a stunning view of the ocean, providing a stunning backdrop to the plays performed on the stage. For the theatre lovers among you, the Minack offers a unique and authentic experience, showing all kinds of plays to ensure there’s something for everyone. You can even watch a workshop or a rehearsal in progress!
You can do more than just watch a play here though. You can visit the Minack Gardens, a paradise full to the brim of rare plants sourced from all over the world, providing a burst of colour on the cliffside with the opportunity to buy seeds of the plants in the gift shop and take a little slice of the blissful scenery home with you.
Paintball and laser tag are always popular pastimes for a group of friends looking for a little fun and adventure. For those who want a messy, hard-hitting day out, paintball is the way to go, with a wide range of outdoor locations from woodlands to marshes to ponds. Full safety guidelines and rules are given to you at the beginning to help you stay safe.
But if getting hit by paint isn’t your thing, try laser tag. The team at Big Dunks makes the most of the latest digital equipment and is a great team-building exercise and is perfect for birthdays.
For a wider variety of activities, Big Dunks also includes combat archery with foam-tipped arrows as well as footgolf, with the eighteen holes evenly split between traditional ones and ‘crazy’ ones where you will have to navigate obstacles to get the ball in the hole.
On the Cornish side of the Tamar River, you can find Mount Edgecumbe House and Country Park. There’s no shortage of things to do for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing day out. You can take a walk along the coastline or explore the forest trails.
You can learn more about the history of the estate while wandering the grounds and house. In the house itself, you can view historical exhibitions such as the Mount Edgecumbe House Blitz experience which takes you through the effect the 1941 Plymouth Blitz had on the house. The gardens have something for everyone as well, with the lower gardens including the Italian Garden, the Jubilee Garden and the Black Bee Reserve, the latter of which combines beehives with an observation centre and gives bees food and sustenance.
This is a more niche activity to partake in, but for those of you who are fascinated by this type of history, the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is the perfect place to learn and explore this branch of the county’s culture.
Located in Boscastle on the North Cornish coast, the museum offers a broad selection of artefacts, including cauldrons and artefacts from the famous cult the Golden Dawn of which the famous occultist and magician Aleister Crowley was a member. There is also a wide selection of exhibitions, showcasing different parts of the history, showcasing everything about the magical beliefs that permeate Cornwall.
The Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro offers a wide range of history to satisfy even the most casual museum-goer. Guided tours take you around the history of the sculptures and paintings on display, including paintings by Paul Feiler and L.S.Lowry. The museum’s exhibitions also reflect the landscape and culture of Cornwall as well as showcasing social issues prevalent in today’s climate, reflected in an ever-growing exhibition called Climate Conversations.
The National Trust estate in Bodmin is crowned by a stately Victorian house and always promises spectacular views and scenic walks.
There’s always plenty of things to do at Lanhydrock. The house is a perfect slice of historical life, transporting you back in time as you wander the halls. The gardens and surrounding countryside provide hours of interest as you explore at a leisurely pace or even cycle along trails in the woodland, allowing you to get lost in the peace of the picturesque scenery. Dogs are allowed as well and if you want to make your stay longer, you can rest in one of our holiday cottages.
Probably one of the most iconic attractions in Cornwall, the Eden Project down in St. Austell is a popular hotspot for both locals and tourists. The two biomes provide an immersive experience, making you feel like you’ve travelled across continents with only a step. The Rainforest Biome provides a snapshot of the climate of South East Asia, West Africa and South America, while the Mediterranean Biome provides a visual treat of colourful flowers and plants from countries such as South Africa, Western Australia and the Mediterranean as a whole.
There are also outdoor gardens decorated with sculptures, and they offer holiday-themed events for Halloween and Christmas, opening up an ice rink to give families and friends an extra dimension of enjoyment during their visit.
By nature, the Eden Project is always looking to educate and teach, with some interesting features that engross you and make the experience fuller and more satisfying. For the adrenaline junkies amongst you, you can even zip wire over the biomes or try your hand at an aerial assault course!
Cornwall is known for its charm and its embodiment of quintessential English beauty. This makes it an alluring getaway for couples on a romantic break who want to drink in the sights or have a relaxing getaway at one of the county’s many spas.
St Ives is one of the most beautiful areas of Cornwall, earning its reputation as a cultural and artistic town. The area is rich in museums and art galleries, making it the perfect date spot for those who want to absorb the culture and history of Cornwall.
The Barbara Hepworth Museum is a quaint and charming studio and garden that immortalises the work of the famous twentieth-century sculptor. Her modern-looking sculptures, like Pelagos which was crafted in 1946, carry a certain elegance to them that accentuate and complement the natural beauty of the garden. The museum as a whole provides a timeless experience for any couple looking for a quiet stroll under the sun.
Poldark is one of the biggest British TV shows in recent years, amassing a loyal and dedicated fanbase and providing a celebration of the Cornish countryside and Cornish way of life in a way that TV had never really done before.
Now you can follow in the romantic footsteps of Ross and Demelza with tours ranging from one day to five days with as many as five or six locations to be visited in a single day. It is a unique opportunity to tour the coastline of Cornwall while also learning more about your favourite TV show, with locations including Holywell Bay, Gunwalloe Cove and Gwennap Head, where the scene featuring lovebirds’ Drake and Morwenna’s first meeting was filmed. There is nothing more romantic than strolling along the beaches and cliffs of Cornwall, gazing out over the ocean and reliving the moments of your favourite fictional couples.
Cornwall has no shortage of charming towns steeped in history, providing the perfect sights and atmosphere for you and your significant other to travel to when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities.
The village of Mousehole is nestled snugly between the rolling green fields of the countryside and the blue waves of the ocean, making it the perfect spot to relax and spend time with your loved one. The village is defined by its fishing roots as well as its galleries and cafes that enhance any romantic day out. Take a stroll down to their signature harbour and explore the wharf to discover hidden coves before relaxing on the beach with a picnic while the sunsets. It doesn’t get more Cornish than Mousehole – don’t forget to try the famous Stargazy pie!
Lost since World War One and only recently re-discovered in 1990, the Lost Gardens of Heligan in St. Austell hold a timeless beauty that is sure to be the perfect backdrop for any romantic getaway.
Spread over 200 acres of land, this paradise is bursting with colour with a jungle area that includes a bamboo tunnel, the woodlands wherein lie ivy-laden sculptures and the Pleasure Gardens, the most romantic of the gardens, lined with artwork with stunning views across St. Austell Bay from the Northern Summerhouse. The Lost Gardens are teeming with life, capturing the essence of twentieth-century magic, making it the perfect place for a long walk, breathing in the scent of flowers.
There are many luxury, high-quality spas available to visit in Cornwall, one of them being The Headland Spa in Newquay, a luxurious experience that offers the perfect escape from life. It allows you to find a slice of freedom with their couples’ spa experience helping you to get some quality bonding time with your partner and soak in the tranquillity of the spa together.
The only place to go to if you want to feel utterly relaxed, the Headland Spa has a wide range of treatments designed to ease the tension from every part of your body. Their luxury thermal journey is the ultimate package for any couple, including a Cornish salt steam room, Swedish sauna and aromatherapy showers. The Headland Spa only endeavours to give you the best of the best and they deliver on that promise.
Reputed to be the birthplace of the legendary King Arthur, this dramatic and regal castle on the clifftops of Tintagel is infused with the most regal and mystical of Cornwall’s myths and legends, providing the sense of magic conjured long ago.
The path to the fort is rugged and steep so make sure you can handle this type of terrain but the medieval ruins and the windswept clifftop views that lie at the end are well worth the journey it takes to get there. Immerse yourself in the mystery and history. Wander the island garden and relive the tragic romance of Tristan and Iseult through engraved stones along the way and always take a moment to head down to the beach. You can often spot seals in the water before exploring rock pools and venturing into Merlin’s Cave when the tide is low. There’s no shortage of activities in Cornwall to explore and no shortage of charm for you to discover.
Cornwall is one of the most beautiful counties in England, never losing touch with its quintessential roots and charm while always pushing to become a modern and eclectic place sure to bring joy to anyone searching for something to do. There truly is something for everyone, whether you want to be inspired, escape with a loved one or just have pure, unadulterated fun.
Now that you have plenty of activities to add to your itinerary, all you have to do is book your accommodation — and we have exactly what you need for the perfect trip to Cornwall. Book your holiday today with Carbis Bay Holidays or if you have any questions, get in touch to speak to our helpful team.