Things To Do in Cornwall

Whether it is vineyard tours and wine tasting, kayaking or enjoying a boat ride along the Helford, Cornwall has so much to offer its visitors all year round. Let us inspire you with some ideas below!

Wherever you have booked your holiday cottage in Cornwall, there is something for everyone to enjoy whilst on holiday in our most beautiful county. Surrounded by the stunning turquoise sea and white sand beaches (which are mistaken for the Maldives) Cornwall offers a catalogue of exciting and enriching experiences for all the family (including the dog!).

The Eden Project’s home in Cornwall used to be a barren landscape – a former clay mine with no soil or plants. It’s a complete transformation to be marvelled and inspired by!

This magnificent ecological project has transformed the huge crater into a beautiful global garden, which presents you with an extraordinary day out where you’ll rediscover the natural world as you’ve never experienced it before (at least not here in the UK!).

With the family, explore massive covered Biomes and trek through the world’s largest indoor rainforest and immerse yourself in the calm fragrance of the Mediterranean Biome. There are extensive outdoor gardens that can be visited with your dog on the lead, contemporary artworks as well as scheduled performances and storytelling. At The Eden Project, you will find places to rest, play and eat, and come away inspired with arms full of ideas to take home for your own gardens plus come away more knowledgeable on how to care for the planet that nurtures us.

For more information on the Eden Project, call them on 01726 811972 or visit their website

Kernow Coasteering is one of Cornwall’s top providers of coasteering activities and is the longest-running provider in West Cornwall.

With immediate access to Cornwall’s best stretches of coastline, they offer coasteering at Praa Sands and Land’s End, as well as other locations in West Cornwall. Within easy reach of St. Ives, Penzance, and Sennen, no visit to West Cornwall is complete without an adventure with Kernow Coasteering. With an unparalleled passion for coasteering and knowledge of the Cornish coast, join Kernow Coasteering’s team of experienced instructors for a coastal adventure that will be the highlight of your trip to Cornwall.

Visit their website for more information or call Matt on 07734 343 954

Dairyland Farm Park offers acres of fun with all the family (but particularly the animal-mad ones!) The farm has been running since 1975, welcoming all with open arms to enjoy the outdoors and interact with the aniamls.

Horses, ponies, foals, cows, calves, goats, sheep, rabbits, meerkats, alpacas and bugs! These are just a few of the animals you can meet at Dairyland. You can get involved in bottle feeding, pet rabbits and get up close with creepy crawlies too! It’s not just about the animals though, other fun to be had is kart-riding, trampolining, vintage tractors and tractor riding, adventures on a nature trail or enjoying delicious food and drink in the Farmhouse Kitchen cafe. You could even have a cheeky doughnut or two from their doughnut hut. It really is a whole day out and they even have a deal where you buy a ticket and then get free entrance for the next 7 days.

There are areas of Dairyland that are wheelchair accessible and there are baby-changing facilities too. You will find hand wash stations across the park and also picnic areas as well as plenty of parking space. Dogs are not allowed at Dairyland Farm Park with the exception of Assistance Dogs.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01872 510246

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is a place to explore our understanding of the sea, and Cornwall, past and present.

The exhibitions at the museum are designed to keep the young and old engaged and interested in life on and in the sea. You will see a range of exhibits like a diver’s suit dating back to the Second World War in their Tidal Zone, Coracles that have been used for thousands of years for easy beaching and working in shallow waters, British Tattoo Art revealed and seasonal interactive and hands-on exhibitions that will keep the younger members of the family completely enthralled.

For more information on what exhibits are currently showing, visit their website.

St Michael’s Mount is a great day out for all the family, visit the castle on its own island just off the coast of Marazion. The tropical gardens are remarkable and so very beautiful against the backdrop of the sea, well worth a visit!

The experience starts with either walking across the cobbled walkway from Marazion Beach at low tide to the island or taking a boat at high tide and disembarking into the small, sheltered harbour where the island residents live. There is a gift shop and cafe to mooch around as well as ice cream booths.  Then take a walk up through the gardens, uphill towards the castle (the walk is steep in places and uneven). Walk under the ancient doorways and discover its past from priory to fortified castle and, since the mid-1600s, home to the St Aubyn family, who still live there today. As you wander centuries-old corridors and unpeel layers of history, you will find artefacts, artwork and unusual souvenirs from around the world.

Please note dogs are welcome between 1st October and 31st March only.

Visit their website for more information

Improve your photography whilst learning with professional photographer Paul David Smith at some of Cornwall’s most photogenic locations.

Working as a professional photographer for over 20 years Paul offers a range of photography courses throughout Cornwall including landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, surf and some unique creative concepts.

Available all year around Paul’s courses are a great way to see the best of Cornwall whilst taking your photography skills to a new level. Whether you are a beginner looking to master your camera, an intermediate looking to advance your skills or a pro looking for some new tips, tricks and locations, you’ll find a wealth of courses aimed at photographers of all levels.

Visit Paul’s website for more information and to book your course today

With hundreds of animals across 13 acres of beautiful sub-tropical gardens, Newquay Zoo in Cornwall is an oasis that allows visitors to release their inner animal and have fun!

From the amazing savannahs of Africa to the rainforests of South America, there is lots to discover and enjoy. Newquay Zoo is also an education and research charity with the mission to conserve species and habitats and to inspire and empower people to help in the fight to protect wildlife.

Home to some of the world’s most rare and endangered animals, Newquay Zoo enables visitors to see incredible species up close and to help protect their future. By visiting Newquay Zoo, you’ll be supporting vital wildlife conservation work both in the UK and around the world.

Newquay Zoo also offers animal experiences, which depending on availability, can be booked on the day. These are a fantastic opportunity to get up close to some of their most popular animals.

Visit their website to book admission tickets online for the best price or call them on 01637 873342

Beach Shack Surf School is based right on the dunes looking down over the 3 miles of the gorgeous Gwithian Beach in Hayle.

They offer beginner and improver lessons for all ages and abilities with ISA qualified Instructors. There is ample space to get you surfing and having fun with family, and friends or just to book a lesson for yourself!

Parking is free and after your surf lesson, you can hire equipment from us at reduced prices and then treat yourself to an ice cream and enjoy the view.

The Surf Shack has a 5-star rating and prides itself on having small groups and the best equipment available to ensure you have the best time. Make awesome memories with the team at Beach Shack Surf School and have a surf lesson, you will love it!

Give them a call on 07969 530607

These woods are full of colour in May with a carpet of bluebells – a must-visit place for spring holidays to Cornwall!

Bosahan Wood is just on the outskirts of Constantine near Falmouth and we would marry a walk around the woods with brunch or lunch at Slice of Cornwall (see our Food & Drink section of the Guide to Cornwall). The well-laid footpath in the woods covers one side of a fairly steep valley ending in a small stream. You can start on the lower path and follow the gentle stream towards a small bridge and then head up following the path back through the woods to look at the trees and steep valley from a higher position. The OS Map needed to navigate the area is The Lizard, Falmouth & Helston 103 and, the grid reference SW 7317 2973 will get you to the right spot! A gentle stroll around the woods takes around 45 minutes so it is a wonderful way to exercise a dog (or the children!) before heading out further afield.

Enjoy the thrill of snorkelling with blue sharks off the coast of Penzance with Blue Shark Snorkel!

Available between June to October, experience a unique and unforgettable wildlife journey just 10-20 miles offshore leaving Albert Pier in Penzance. Swim with blue sharks and feel supported in the knowledge that an experienced team are there for your and the sharks’ welfare.

For more information, visit their website or call Vicky on 07966 080802

Discover the UK’s only China Clay Museum, set in a 26 acre Country Park with woodland walks and access to the Clay Trails for walking and cycling.

Whether you want to find out more about Cornwall’s billion-pound China Clay mining industry, explore the Victorian clay works, visit the interactive discovery centre, stroll through the nature trails and woodland walks or give the kids a chance to let off steam in acres of historic grounds, Wheal Martyn is truly unique and has something for everyone, even the dog! You’ll also see Cornwall’s largest working waterwheel and at ‘Pit View’ be amazed by the spectacular modern working China Clay pit with giant machines in action.

What’s on offer at Wheal Martyn:
• Indoor interactive displays telling the story of the men, women and children who lived, worked and played in the shadow of the china clay tips
• Cornwall’s largest working water wheel
• Fully preserved Victorian china clay works, machinery and equipment exhibitions
• Vintage commercial vehicles and locomotive
• Children’s woodland play area
• Acres of nature trails and woodland walks teeming with wild flowers, birds and aquatic life
• Visitor platform overlooking a working China Clay Pit
• Licensed cafe with outside terrace offering the best Cornish food and drink
• Gift shop selling a unique range of quality gifts and souvenirs

Wheal Martyn provides a superb combination of interest, education and fun for people of all ages.

Opening hours: 10.00am-4.00pm (winter) and 10.00am-5.00pm (summer)

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01726 850362

Cornwall Underground Adventures is Cornwall’s, and the south of England’s, only provider of authentic mine exploration. Join them on a caving adventure into Cornwall’s industrial past and explore the hidden world created by the Cornish miners long ago.

This is an authentic exploration with no frills or fixed lights, venturing deep underground to explore abandoned tin mines left exactly as they were when the miners downed their tools and hundred, or more, years ago. Mining is an integral part of Cornwall’s history and heritage, and the only way to really experience this is to venture underground and see the underground spaces carved underneath Cornwall for yourself. Using mines near St. Just, Cornwall Underground Adventures are within easy reach of St. Ives and the other popular holiday resorts in west Cornwall. Don’t leave Cornwall until you have experienced this unique adventure for yourself.

View their website for more information or call them on 07734 343954 or 07596 174479

Ever wondered what life behind bars looked like in the 18th Century? Discover the life of a prisoner held in Bodmin Jail, in the heart of Cornwall, on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

The convicted were rebels, soldiers, debtors and some of Cornwall’s most notorious criminals from the 18th century onwards. Visit this world-class attraction and immerse yourself in the Dark Walk, a state-of-the-art experience bringing some of the grittiest tales of Cornwall’s criminals vividly to life. Experience the paranormal, peek into Cornwall’s darkest underbelly and learn what life was like for those accused of heinous crimes. See inside the Jail cells and explore artefacts from prison life.

A daring experience for all the family, Bodmin Jail shows Cornish history as you’ve never seen it before.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01208 76292

Seeking an adventure while on holiday to Cornwall? Cornish Adventures can give you just that!

Choose between kayaking, surfing or coasteering and their experienced instructors and guides can expertly look after you and your loved ones while you see the Cornish coast from a different perspective. All equipment and safety clothing are provided as well as experienced guides with excellent tuition.

Visit their website for information or call 01208 622012

Cornwall Swimming Horses offer the sheer joy of swimming with horses for riders of all abilities.

Even if you have never ridden a horse before, the sense of being in the sea (with experts controlling your horse) and feeling the powerful horse swimming beneath you through the most beautiful clear sea off Marazion,  with St Michael’s Mount island and castle in the background, is not to be missed. You will finish your activity exhilarated and connected to nature in a way almost too difficult to describe with words. Horse sea swims run from May to September and the experience lasts between 2 to 3 hours from the introduction and briefing to the actual swim. Part of the experience is riding your horse to the beach, bareback! Don’t worry, if you are nervous, your horse will be led by a handler or you can opt to meet your horse at the beach.

For more information visit their website by clicking on their name above or call them on 07460 865167

Fancy your own skippered speed boat for the day? Based in beautiful Mylor on the south coast near Falmouth, the area offers stunning scenery, loads of history and a wide selection of wildlife, all best enjoyed from the water. Join Falmouth Bay Tailored Tours for an extraordinary day, you won’t forget!

Carmen Rose, a seven-meter luxury speed boat, is the perfect vessel for you and your group of up to seven to explore the sights, guided by your own very experienced and knowledgeable skipper. Whether you’d just like to sit back on board with a drink and picnic and relax whilst soaking in the views, stop off at one of the local waterside pubs for lunch, or anchor off for a swim, Falmouth Bay Tailored Tours will do their utmost to accommodate your requirements. From hustle and bustle of the busy Falmouth harbour to the peaceful serenity of the river Fal and the Helford, with loads more in between, you and your family and friends will enjoy the best trip of your stay in Cornwall.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 07909 139437

Hands-on foraging experiences with Rachel Lambert, an established wild food guide (since 2007) and award-winning author on foraging and cooking.

Join public foraging courses or book a bespoke, private foraging walk and expect a professional, yet informal, fun, educational experience that will leave you seeing, tasting and appreciating the landscape and coastline in a new way. Rachel is known for her passionate and inclusive approach, enabling people from all walks of life to gain skills and confidence in foraging for their own wild ingredients.

Superb Wild Food and Seaweed Foraging Courses in Cornwall.

(Please note, we have placed Rachel’s address as Orange Roofs’ address due to not wishing to share her home address! Courses are run from locations such as Gwithian, Cape Cornwall and Perranuthnoe)

Visit Rachel’s website for more information

Come and experience the great outdoors in Cornwall and join in activity experiences and adventure weekends with like-minded people run by Cornish Wave Surf & Adventure.

Cornish Wave Surf & Adventure run small group surfing and coasteering experiences, wild camping adventure weekends, yoga retreats plus equipment and E-Bike hire in Newquay.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01637 872031

A small family business, Segway Lakeview provides personalised and private genuine Segway adventures, right in the heart of Cornwall. Whether you’re new to Segways, or more experienced, they promise you’ll learn something new on our exciting off-road courses.

Offering all-terrain fun – you’ll Segway over at least three miles of countryside, on part of the lovely Waterside Resort. It’s a different and exciting experience, with comprehensive training and full support provided. They don’t mix groups, so whether you want a 1:1 adventure, a fun-filled family experience or to celebrate something special, all your boxes will be ticked! Segway Lakeview’s very experienced instructor, Ant, has full DBS clearance and is happy to support those with different needs and abilities. Under-16s can even go unaccompanied, and they offer a try-before-you-buy option, just in case.

Easy to get to, you will find Segway Lakeview just off the A30 near Victoria and Roche, only five minutes from Cornwall Services. And because they’re right in the centre, you are no more than an hour away from most places in Cornwall!

Visit their website for more information or call them on 07923 888647

Flambards Theme Park has rides and attractions for all the family come rain or shine. Big rides for thrill-seekers and young fun rides in Ferdi’s Funland.

Travel back in time in the immersive indoor attractions. Don’t miss the fun family entertainment during school holidays, including the famous fireworks spectaculars every Monday and Wednesday during August from the 3rd – 29th.

Book online to save 10% off the admission, plus enjoy 7 days for the price of 1.

Visit their website for information or call them on 01326 573404

Heartlands celebrates Cornish heritage and culture and is a family-friendly and dog-friendly place where you can play, explore, learn and relax.

With acres of green outdoor space for the wonderfully warm and sunny Cornish days, there are gardens on-site as well as a large kids’ play park. For the wet days, Heartlands offers an all-year-round, all-weather entertainment for anyone and everyone.

Heartlands is a dog-friendly and family-friendly attraction with a café, free museum and beautiful gardens on site. Events are run throughout the year so a perfect place to entertain whatever the weather throws at us!

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01209 707300

Helford River Cruises run beautiful boat cruises on The Helford over the high tide exploring this incredible river including the famous Frenchman’s Creek.  The boat is a 19ft Cygnus built in Cornwall with a capacity of 10 people on general cruises but is licensed for 12 people for Private Charters.

The experienced and knowledgeable boatman will explain the history and heritage of this waterway and you will see beautiful villages from the water. You will pass the famous Trebah Gardens and discover several creeks on the cruise. There is a wide arrange of amazing wildlife on The Helford from interesting and rare birds to larger marine wildlife.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 07941 027732

Tarquin’s Gin School & Shop is on St Ives’ beautiful Fore Street and just a stone’s throw away from the St Ives Harbour front.

Cross the threshold, to discover Tarquin’s family of Cornish Craft Gin, including generous tasters of their flagship Cornish Dry Gin and world-beating SeaDog Navy Gin, as well as in-store exclusives and seasonal limited-editions. Plus, you can also join Tarquin’s Gin School – a unique, hands-on masterclass experience where you can make your very own one-of-a-kind bottle of gin to take home. On arrival, you will be treated to a Tarquin’s & Tonic and share Tarquin’s incredible story behind setting up the first gin distillery in Cornwall for over 100 years.

The team will guide you through the Tarquin’s distilling process and you’ll be able to select botanicals, fire up a copper pot still and from your unique recipe distil a one-of-a-kind bottle of gin!

Visit their website by clicking on their name above to book your place on a gin-making course

Everyone loves ice cream, particularly made in Cornwall! Visit Roskilly’s, an organic dairy farm in St Keverne, take a tour and meet the lovely cows who make the delicious creamy ice cream that we all devour

Stroll around the meadows, meet the farm animals (goats, pigs, calves, turkeys, geese, chickens to name a few) which can all be fed by hand from the Croust House and relax at the tranquil ponds with a cone in hand! Visit their shop and buy tasty chutneys, jams, hampers, mustards, ice cream and fudge. A wonderful day out for all the family, including your four-legged friend as dogs are very welcome on a lead around the farm and also in the courtyard of Croust House restaurant.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01326 280479

A place like no other, the world-famous Minack Theatre is a must-see for visitors to Cornwall.

Discover the extraordinary story of how it was created and experience the magic of live theatre in this iconic space. The Minack stages a full programme of live performances and at other times you can explore the dramatic site and sub-tropical gardens full of exotic plants.

Advance booking for visits, tours and performances is essential.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01736 810181

Want to discover Cornwall like a local? Introducing Elizabeth Dale, The Cornish Bird, a Cornish writer with a passion for the history and heritage of her home.

Her blog and podcast dive into the past to uncover the lesser-known stories, forgotten characters and hidden places that you just won’t find on the usual tourist trail. Whether it is a hidden cove, haunted woodland or mysterious ancient site The Cornish Bird Blog has it all and there is even a handy interactive map to inspire your travels around this fascinating part of the UK. See Cornwall through a local’s eyes and discover some of its most unusual myths and legends. When you want to go off the beaten track a little, read The Cornish Bird and get a taste for adventure and real Cornish history.

Visit The Cornish Bird’s website and start planning your next adventure from your holiday cottage in Cornwall.

N.B. Please note, the address on the map is Orange Roofs’ office given, understandably, Elizabeth didn’t want to give her home address away!

Fancy being a Monkey Keeper at The Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall for a day? Or simply walk around the monkey sanctuary and visit the rescued monkeys who are now very much loved, happy and protected.

Support this local Cornish charity that rescues monkeys from the UK pet trade and rehabilitates them to live the most natural life in captivity possible. To ensure they live as naturally as possible, as wild as can be, there is no hands-on experience for visitors. Visit Wild Futures and relax and unwind while taking in the beautiful Cornish coastline and let your little monkeys release some energy in the Wild Play Area. Your children can climb, jump, slide and run, like the other monkeys at the Sanctuary, dig for treasure, build a structure on the flat play area or attend the children’s workshops running throughout most of the day; your little monkeys can colour a capuchin and make their very own craft monkey as a memento to take home.

Visit their website for more information or call them on 01503 262532