things to do cornwall england

Last Updated on: 28th May 2024, 05:35 am

Hello there! If you’re planning a trip to Cornwall, England, you’re in for a treat. This stunning region in the United Kingdom has a lot to offer, from beautiful coastal walks to fascinating historical sites. There are plenty of attractions in Cornwall to keep you busy for days on end.

Whether you’re traveling alone, with friends, or with family, there’s something for everyone in this unique and charming destination. In this article, we’ll explore the best things to do in Cornwall and the top attractions to visit.

Things to do in Cornwall

1. Coastal Walks in Cornwall

If you’re a nature lover, then coastal walks in Cornwall are a must-do. The stunning landscapes along the coast offer the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and take in the breathtaking views. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a leisurely stroll, there are plenty of routes to choose from.

Start your journey at Land’s End, where you can soak up the rugged cliffs and the charming beauty of the fishing village. The circular journey from Sennen Cove is an excellent route to uncover the charms of this beautiful part of Cornwall.

A Walk from Sennen to Land’s End

Distance Time Difficulty
3.8 miles Approx. 2 hours Easy

“A leisurely walk along the gorgeous Sennen beach followed by a coastal ramble to the iconic beauty spot of Land’s End is a perfect day out.” – The Cornishman

The walk from Sennen to Land’s End is an easy route that’s suitable for all ages and abilities. The path hugs the coast, offering stunning views of the sea and the rugged cliffs along the way. You’ll pass by the historic village of Porthcurno and the famous Minack Theatre, which is carved into the cliffs. The theatre is a unique attraction and a must-visit for anyone interested in art, performance and architecture.

From the Minack Theatre, the path continues along the cliffs towards Land’s End, where you can take in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Celebrate the end of your journey with a visit to one of the local cafes or restaurants, where you can enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing drink.

Another must-visit coastal walk is the St Ives Headland circular walk, which takes you along the beautiful sandy beaches of St Ives and through the ancient town centre. This walk offers a perfect opportunity to discover the rich culture and history of Cornwall.

A Walk around St Ives Headland

things to do in South West Cornwall

Distance Time Difficulty
Approx. 7 miles 3 – 4 hours Moderate

“The route starts on the azure blue Cornish seafront before winding up to St Nicholas Chapel in the heart of the town, before heading out through countryside and along cliff tops with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.” – Cornwall Live

The St Ives Headland circular walk is a moderate level walk that takes you through a charming mix of coastal routes, countryside and woodland. You’ll start from the seafront and pass by the famous St Nicholas Chapel before reaching the coastal path. You’ll also get to enjoy the panoramic views of Porthmeor Beach and the charming town of St Ives.

The walk then leads you through woodland and countryside, where you can spot rare birds and wildflowers. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the beauty of Cornwall before heading back to the town centre for a well-deserved meal or drink.

With so many stunning coastal walks in Cornwall, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Plan your visit today and explore the natural beauty of this charming region.

2. Historical Sites in Cornwall

If you’re a history enthusiast, Cornwall has plenty of fascinating historical sites to explore, from ancient ruins to mining heritage and grand castles. Below are some must-visit historical sites in Cornwall:

Historical Site Location Description
Tintagel Castle Tintagel Ancient ruins of a castle associated with the legend of King Arthur
Geevor Tin Mine Pendeen An interactive museum preserving Cornwall’s mining heritage
St Michael’s Mount Marazion A historic castle on an island accessible by foot during low tide

Each of these historical sites offers a unique insight into Cornwall’s rich history. Explore the ancient ruins of Tintagel Castle, which has long been associated with the legend of King Arthur. Learn about Cornwall’s mining heritage at Geevor Tin Mine, an interactive museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the life of a Cornish miner.

Another must-visit historical site in Cornwall is St Michael’s Mount, a grand castle on an island just off the coast of Marazion. Accessible by foot during low tide, this historic castle boasts stunning views and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Whether you’re interested in ancient ruins or mining heritage, Cornwall’s historical sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history.

3. Family-Friendly Activities in Cornwall

If you’re looking for fun activities that the whole family can enjoy, Cornwall has plenty to offer. From exciting outdoor adventures to magical indoor attractions, there’s something for everyone.

Eden Project

One of the most popular family-friendly attractions in Cornwall is the Eden Project. Located in St Austell, this unique and innovative project features giant biomes that house thousands of plant species from all over the world. Explore the tropical rainforest, discover the Mediterranean landscape, and learn about sustainable living through interactive exhibits and fun activities. Kids will love the outdoor play areas, zip wire, and giant slides.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Another must-visit attraction in Cornwall is the Lost Gardens of Heligan. This beautiful botanical garden near Mevagissey boasts over 200 acres of gardens, woodlands, and lakes to explore. Discover the Victorian Flower Garden, the Jungle, and the impressive sculptures and structures hidden throughout the grounds. Kids will love the wild play areas, climbing frames, and rope bridges, and there are plenty of outdoor events and workshops throughout the year.

Attraction Location Features
Eden Project St Austell Biomes, exhibits, outdoor activities
Lost Gardens of Heligan Mevagissey Gardens, lakes, wild play areas
Cornish Seal Sanctuary Gweek, near Helston Seals, penguins, aquarium

The Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are two family-friendly activities in Cornwall that offer unique and exciting experiences for all ages.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

For a day out with a difference, visit the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, near Helston. This rescue and rehabilitation center cares for sick and injured seals and other marine animals, and offers visitors the chance to see them up close in their natural habitats. Discover the underwater viewing area, the penguin pool, and the interactive rockpool exhibit, and learn about the important conservation work done at the sanctuary.

The award-winning Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a fantastic place to explore underwater life and discover the importance of marine conservation.

Other family-friendly activities in Cornwall include the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, the Lappa Valley Steam Railway near St Newlyn East, and the Dairyland Farm World near Newquay, which offers indoor and outdoor play areas, as well as the chance to meet friendly farm animals.

Cornwall provides a wide range of family-friendly activities, including animal rescues, aquariums, steam railways, and farm worlds, offering something for every member of the family.

4. Outdoor Activities in Cornwall

If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Cornwall, you’ll be spoilt for choice. With its beautiful coastline and stunning countryside, there’s no shortage of things to do in the great outdoors.

For those who love water sports, Cornwall has some of the best beaches in the UK. Surfing is a popular activity here, and there are plenty of surf schools that offer lessons for all levels. Paddleboarding is also a great way to explore the coastline, and you can rent boards from several locations.

The South West Coast Path is a must-visit for those who enjoy hiking. The trail stretches over 630 miles and takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK. You can choose to do a short walk or take on a longer challenge, and there are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way.

If you prefer cycling, Cornwall has plenty to offer. From gentle country lanes to challenging off-road trails, there’s something for everyone. You can hire bikes from several locations and explore the beautiful countryside at your own pace.

Whatever your outdoor interests, Cornwall is the perfect destination for an active holiday. With its stunning scenery and range of activities, you’ll never be bored.

5. Hidden Gems in Cornwall

If you’re looking to explore Cornwall’s best-kept secrets, venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems that this region has to offer. One of these gems is the enchanting Minack Theatre, a unique open-air theater carved into the cliffs. Take in a play under the stars and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Another hidden gem is the secluded coves and secret beaches along the coast. These peaceful hideaways are often untouched by crowds and provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the tourist hotspots.

Discovering these hidden gems will give you a new perspective on the region and its beauty.

hidden gems Cornwall

6. Cultural Events in Cornwall

When it comes to experiencing the local culture, Cornwall has plenty to offer. From food and drink festivals to music and literature events, there is always something exciting happening in this vibrant region.

One popular event is the Falmouth Oyster Festival held every October, celebrating the start of oyster dredging season. The festival features live music, cooking demonstrations, and of course, plenty of delicious oysters to sample.

Another must-visit event is the Port Eliot Festival, a four-day celebration of music, literature, fashion, and food held every July on the grounds of the Port Eliot estate. With a line-up of renowned authors, chefs, and musicians, this festival is a highlight of the Cornish cultural calendar.

Don’t miss out on these exciting cultural events!

7. Exploring South West Cornwall

If you’re looking for a place to relax and soak up the natural beauty of Cornwall, South West Cornwall is the perfect place to visit. This stunning region is home to quaint fishing villages, charming coastal towns, and breathtaking natural landscapes.

Mousehole Village

One of the most picturesque villages in Cornwall, Mousehole is a must-visit destination. This charming fishing village is known for its colorful cottages, narrow streets, and stunning sea views. Take a stroll along the picturesque harbour, admire the beautiful architecture of the Mousehole Methodist Chapel, or visit the local art galleries and gift shops.

South West Cornwall

Lizard Peninsula

Explore the rugged beauty of the Lizard Peninsula, one of the most stunning natural landscapes in Cornwall. Walk along the South West Coast Path and take in spectacular views of the sea. Visit the picturesque town of Lizard and see the famous Lizard lighthouse. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Kynance Cove beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK.

Penzance

Take a trip to the historic town of Penzance, a bustling town full of character and charm. Visit the stunning St. Michael’s Mount, a medieval castle situated on its own island accessible by foot during low tide. Stroll along the promenade and enjoy the stunning views of Mount’s Bay. Explore the art galleries, cafes and shops of Chapel Street.

No matter what your interests are, South West Cornwall has something to offer. From picturesque villages and stunning landscapes to fascinating history and culture, South West Cornwall is one of the most beautiful destinations in the UK.

8. Attractions in Cornwall

When it comes to attractions, Cornwall has something for everyone. Whether you’re into art, antiques or trains, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are just a few of the top attractions in Cornwall:

Name Type Description
St Ives Tate Gallery Art Museum Showcasing contemporary art exhibitions and works inspired by the local landscapes and community, the St Ives Tate Gallery is a must-visit for art lovers.
Lostwithiel Antiques and Collectors Fair Antiques Fair Featuring over 50 exhibitors from across the country, the Lostwithiel Antiques and Collectors Fair is the perfect place to find unique and interesting treasures.
Bodmin and Wenford Railway Heritage Railway Step back in time and experience the charm of a bygone era by taking a ride on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Enjoy the beautiful countryside views as you ride on a historic steam train.

Don’t miss out on these exciting attractions and enjoy the unique experiences they offer.

9. Enjoying Cornwall’s Food and Drink

When it comes to food and drink, Cornwall is a veritable paradise. The region is known for its delicious seafood and locally-produced wines. There are plenty of things to do in Cornwall UK to satisfy your appetite, from fine dining to charming cafes and pubs.

Exploring Padstow’s Culinary Scene

Padstow is a bustling harbor town located on the north coast of Cornwall. It has become synonymous with exceptional food and is home to several award-winning restaurants. One of the most well-known is the Seafood Restaurant, owned by famous chef Rick Stein, which has been serving up delicious seafood dishes for over 40 years. In addition to the seafood restaurant, Padstow is also home to several cafes, delis, and bakeries that are well worth a visit.

things to do in Cornwall UK

Taking a Tour of Cornish Vineyards

Did you know that Cornwall is home to several award-winning vineyards? Cornwall’s unique climate and soil make it the perfect location for grape growing. Many of these vineyards offer tours and tastings, allowing visitors to sample some of the region’s finest wines. Some of the most popular vineyards to visit include Camel Valley, Polgoon Vineyard, and Knightor Winery.

Sampling Cornish Pasty

No visit to Cornwall would be complete without sampling a traditional Cornish pasty. These baked pastries are typically filled with beef, potatoes, onions, and swede. They were originally created as a portable meal for miners, but have since become a beloved Cornish delicacy. There are plenty of bakeries throughout the region that specialize in these pasties, and they make for a perfect lunchtime snack while exploring the area.

As a local, I can attest to the delicious food and drink that Cornwall has to offer. Whether you’re a seafood lover or a wine connoisseur, there’s something here to satisfy every palate.

10. Exploring Cornwall’s Beautiful Gardens

If you’re seeking outdoor activities in Cornwall that are family-friendly, or simply want to admire the natural beauty of the region, take a stroll through its breathtaking gardens. Cornwall boasts an array of spectacular gardens with stunning floral displays, exotic plants, and landscaped grounds.

Lost Gardens of Heligan: Located near Mevagissey, these gardens span 200 acres and feature an immaculate collection of plants and flowers from around the world. The tropical jungle is a must-see, along with the Victorian ‘Pleasure Grounds,’ Italian Garden, and the fascinating kitchen garden.

Trebah Garden: This 26-acre sub-tropical garden on the Helford River is an enchanting place to explore.Combining both beautiful planting and peaceful woodland walks with stunning views across the Fal River, its a perfect place to take the family on a summer holiday or in Spring when new blooms appear.

Make sure to plan your trip to include these unique and stunning gardens for a beautiful day outdoors with family or friends.

Conclusion

So there you have it – my guide to the best things to do in Cornwall, England. I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for your trip to this beautiful region. From the stunning coastal walks and historical sites to the family-friendly attractions and hidden gems, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Cornwall.

Personally, I can’t get enough of the breathtaking landscapes and charming coastal towns. There’s just something so peaceful about strolling along the beach and taking in the fresh sea air. And of course, indulging in some of the delicious local food and drink is a must!

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Cornwall today and experience all that this captivating region has to offer. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

FAQ

What are some must-visit places in Cornwall, England?

Cornwall is home to several must-visit attractions, including Tintagel Castle, St Michael’s Mount, and the Eden Project. These iconic sites showcase the region’s rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and family-friendly activities.

What are some outdoor activities to enjoy in Cornwall?

Cornwall offers a plethora of outdoor activities, such as surfing, paddleboarding, hiking along the South West Coast Path, and cycling through the scenic countryside. With its beautiful coastline and countryside, Cornwall is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

Are there any hidden gems to discover in Cornwall?

Absolutely! Cornwall is full of hidden gems waiting to be explored. The Minack Theatre, a unique open-air theater carved into the cliffs, and the secret beaches and secluded coves along the coast are just a few of the hidden treasures that await visitors.

What cultural events can I attend in Cornwall?

Cornwall hosts a variety of vibrant cultural events throughout the year. From the Falmouth Oyster Festival to the Port Eliot Festival, there’s always something exciting happening in the region. Immerse yourself in Cornwall’s lively arts and cultural scene.

What are some family-friendly activities in Cornwall?

Cornwall offers a range of family-friendly attractions and activities. Explore the magical Lost Gardens of Heligan, visit the award-winning Cornish Seal Sanctuary, or enjoy a day of fun and adventure at the Eden Project. There’s something for everyone in the family.

What are some coastal walks to enjoy in Cornwall?

Cornwall is renowned for its stunning coastal walks. From the rugged cliffs of Land’s End to the picturesque beaches of St Ives, there are numerous routes to choose from. Take in the breathtaking scenery and embrace the tranquility of the coastline.

Where can I find historical sites to visit in Cornwall?

Immerse yourself in Cornwall’s rich history by visiting historical sites such as Tintagel Castle, famous for its connections to King Arthur, and Geevor Tin Mine, which offers a glimpse into the region’s mining heritage. Don’t miss the chance to explore St Michael’s Mount, an iconic island castle.