Cornwall has no shortage of attractions to keep you interested while visiting. Here are some of the most popular ways of enjoying time in the county.
Falmouth, TR11 4LP
Having defended the anchorage of the Carrick Roads for more than four centuries, Pendennis Castle offers a taste of history coupled with spectacular views of the water and surrounding coastline.
An on-site museum and discovery centre present all the information you could wish to learn about the castle’s history via interactive displays and activities, while displays of costal defence armament give visitors a glimpse of what went into protecting Pendennis all those years ago.
Mawnan Smith, TR11 5JZ
Selected as one of the ‘Great Gardens of Cornwall’, Trebah is a hugely popular attraction that offers a different experience each time you visit. Depending on the time of year you wander through the gardens you could be lucky enough to witness a colourful array of rhododendrons, magnoliasm camellias, hydrangeas and sub-tropical tree ferns.
The gardens are situated in the grounds of a lovely 18th Century house and spill down into a 25-acre ravine before ending at a private beach on the Helford River.
Open all year round, Trebah is a no-brainer for anybody with an eye for the natural world.
River Fal Boat Trips
Flushing, TR11 5TY
If you’re visiting Cornwall then we’d recommend taking to the water to see Falmouth and the surrounding areas from a different perspective.
River Fal boat trips offer the chance to take in spectacular views of Falmouth Docks, Pendennis and St Mawes castles as well as nearby locations including Flushing, Restronguet and St Just. Other worthwhile sights include historic buildings such as Trelissick House and Tregothnan Mansion.
Helston, TR13 0QA
Kids of all ages will get a real kick out of Flambards, a theme park with a difference. As well as the traditional thrill rides including rollercoasters and a log flume, the family-friendly attraction also offers a number of educational exhibits including the Victorian Village, Britain in the Blitz and the Memory Lane Experience. Also on site are award-winning gardens along with shopping and dining options.
The rides on offer cater for all ages and tolerance levels, so there’s plenty to do for the little ones, who will also enjoy the huge indoor soft play area situated alonside the main Falmbards theme park.
The Camel Trail
Wadebridge, PL27 7AL
This 11-mile stretch of converted disused railway offers the opportunity to take in the beauty of Cornwall’s countryside at a leisurely pace. Situated alongside the River Camel, the trail links the towns of Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.
Vehicles are not permitted on the trail which is virtually level in its entirety, ensuring smooth passage for cyclists, those pushing prams or buggies, or people in wheelchairs. This also makes The Camel Trail an ideal alternative to local woodland and coastal paths that may not be suitable for those with reduced mobility.
Nr Newquay, TR8 5AA
With a large range of rides, play equipment and various other forms of entertainment, Dairyland Farmworld is an ideal day out for families with young children. Thrill seekers will delight in operating mini JCB diggers and junior rally karts, taking flight on a cable ride or putting themselves through the paces of the assault course.
Those who prefer something a little more relaxing can enjoy pony and hay rides and pay a visit to all sorts of animals including piglets, rabbits, donkeys, hens – and even chinchillas, rats and meerkats.
St Mawes Castle
St Mawes, TR2 5DE
If you were a fan of the 1970s BBC drama Poldark, you’re sure to recognise the dramatic coastline surrounding the castle, which featured prominently in the series. St Mawes Castle, which dates back to 1539, sits in these spectacular surroundings.
The castle, originally built as a fortress to defend the south coast of Cornwall, offers stunning views across the estuary towards Falmouth and Pendennis Castle. Visitors can take the opportunity to experience an audio tour of the castle to help bring its history to life – a popular exhibit is a Civil war cannonball found at St Mawes.
St Austell, PL24 2SG
It’s not so long since this site housed a tired old clay pit. Transformed by the addition of two huge and visually impressive biomes – one with a Rainforest theme, the other a Mediterranean theme – the Eden Project has quickly become one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions.
With stunning garden displays all year round and spectacular sights including towering sculptures and waterfalls, a visit to the Eden Project is one that’s sure to live long in the memory.
Children are well catered for with generous play areas as well as storytelling session and workshops for all ages.
The site is also used as a venue for special events such as the popular Eden Sessions, which attract some of the biggest musical acts from around the world every year.
Lost Gardens of Heligan
Nr St Ewe, PL26 6EN
The Lost Gardens of Heligan offer a magical day out for people of all ages. Originally created during a period from the mid-18th Century through to the beginning of the 20th Century and underwent major restoration in the 1990s. Following the restoration work, BBC Gardeners’ World dubbed Heligan ‘The Nation’s Favourite Garden’ following a vote from viewers.
The gardens play host to an extensive collection of rhododendrons and camellias, a number of lakes and a particularly popular ‘jungle’ area filled with sub-tropical tree ferns.
Some of the most talked-about features at The Lost Gardens of Heligan include the Mud Maid and the Giant’s Head, two stunning sculptures created from rocks and plants.
Tate St Ives
St Ives, TR26 1TG
With a stunning location overlooking Porthmeor Beach, Tate St Ives is an absolute must-visit for modern and contemporary art enthusiasts. The majority of the works displayed at the Tate tend to have been either created in or are associated with Cornwall.
Once you’ve finished with the gallery, be sure to take the opportunity to sample the beauty of St Ives itself and discover just why it proves so popular with visitors year in, year out.
The Minack Theatre
Porthcurno, TR19 6JU
Offering the kind of incredible beauty that only Cornwall can offer, The Minack Open Air Theatre is quite unlike anything else you will have experienced.
Set in the cliffs high above Porthcurno Bay with mesmerising views whichever way you look, the Minack is an absolute must visit not just for fans of theatre but also for anybody who appreciates incredible vistas and the sense of being in a truly special place.
The Minack Theatre was planned, built and financed by Rowena Case, a remarkable woman who left behind a site to treasure when she died in 1983.
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Falmouth, TR11 3QY
Housed in a landmark building on Falmouth’s picturesque harbourside, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall offers an entertaining and educational experience for visitors young and old.
With a regularly updated range of exhibits covering all aspects of maritime life, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Previous themes have included Search and Rescue and Bronge Age Boats, which saw the museum host a project to construct a full-size replica of a period vessel.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a registered charity but does not receive any Government funding or grants – so the support of visitors and locals alike helps this much-loved attraction continue to offer a fun day out for all the family.
St Michael’s Mount
Marazion, TR17 0EF
This scenic tidal island off the coast of Marizion can be reached by foot via a granite causeway at low tide or by boat when the water is high.
The island enjoys a rich history, having been a thriving port for the tin industry around two thousand years ago. The real star here is the castle that tops the island, which offers a fascinating look back at the history of the island.
With beautiful gardens as well as shopping and dining options, St Michael’s Mount offers a wide range of activities that are sure to fill a fun-packed day for any visitor.
National Seal Sanctuary
Gweek, TR12 6UG
This rescue, rehabilitation and release centre for seals is situated in the beautiful village of Gweek in the Helford Estuary.
The sanctuary, which dates back more than 50 years in its original guise and has been running at Gweek since 1975, rescues more than 40 seal pups in a typical season.
Visitors are able to witness grey and common seals as well as fur seals and Californian and Patagonian Sea Lions. The sanctuary also offers safe haven to a variety of other animals, including otters, penguins, sheep, ponies and goats.