16 Best Things To Do In Cornwall – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: September 17, 2022)

Cornwall is a county located in the southwest of England.

The county is known for its stunning Cornish coastline, which is made up of cliffs, coves, and beaches.

Cornwall is also home to Bodmin Moor that is a large granite moorland in north-eastern part of Cornwall.

Cornwall is a beautiful area that is a popular tourist destination, and is home to many attractions.

It also has a number of famous festivals and events throughout the year, including the Cornish Food and Drink Festival, and the Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta.

Things To Do In Cornwall

1. St. Michael’s Mount

St. Michael's Mount

St. Michael’s Mount is a small island located off the south coast of Cornwall.

The island is home to a medieval castle, which is now a tourist attraction.

Visitors can take a boat to the island, or walk across the cobbled causeway during low tide.

One story says that the island was once part of Ireland, and was brought over to Cornwall by an giantess named Cormelia.

Another legend says that the castle was built by giants, and that they used human bones for the foundation.

Whether or not you believe in these legends, there’s no denying that St. Michael’s Mount is a beautiful and fascinating place to visit.

Address: St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

2. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a mysterious and magical place, hidden away in the Cornish countryside.

These amazing, 200 acres of gardens are located 1.5 miles from the South Coast Path.

For centuries, the gardens were lost and forgotten, until their rediscovery in the late 20th century.

The gardens are home to a variety of plant life, as well as some unusual animals.

Visitors can explore the many different gardens, including the Italian Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Woodland Garden.

There is also a maze to get lost in, and a Victorian glasshouse to explore.

Address: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, B3273, Pentewan, Saint Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6EN

3. Eden Project

Eden Project

The Eden Project is a unique visitor attraction in Cornwall and is located near to the town of St Austell, in the south west.

The project comprises two huge biomes (giant greenhouses) containing thousands of different plant species, and a third, the Core, which houses educational facilities including an auditorium, restaurant and shop.

There are also large outdoor gardens that have over 20 plant based exhibits, including colourful seasonal borders, art installations and play areas.

This Project is much more than just a garden – it’s an educational charity, with a mission to connect people with plants and inspire them to create a better future.

The Eden Project is an attraction that can’t be missed on your Cornwall visit!

Address: Eden Project, Bodelva, Par PL24 2SG

4. Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle is a medieval fortress located in the town of Tintagel in West Cornwall.

The castle has an extensive history, dating back to the 13th century when it was first built by Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall.

The castle’s position on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean made it an ideal location for defence against invaders.

The castle’s thick walls and towers provided protection from attack, while the cliffs prevented access from land..

The castle’s importance declined during the Tudor period, and it was eventually abandoned in the 16th century.

Today the ruins of the castle are managed by English Heritage, and visitors can explore the site and learn about its history.

Although the castle is a major Cornish attraction there are some steep slopes, sheer drops and uneven surfaces which can be a challenge for some visitors.

Address: Tintagel Castle, Castle Rd, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL34 0HE

5. King Arthur’s Great Halls

King Arthur's Great Halls

The King Arthur Great Halls are a must-see for any visitor to Cornwall.

They were designed and built in the 1930s to encapsulate the legend of King Arthur.

The halls been featured in many films and television programmes over the years and contains a round table and granite thrones.

These are surrounded by 72 fabulous stained glass windows, depicting the legend of King Arthur.

The attraction has a laser show with narration by famous actor Robert Powell and tours are also available for visitors.

Address: King Arthur’s Great Halls, Fore St, Tintagel PL34 0DA

6. Royal Cornwall Museum

Royal Cornwall Museum

The Royal Cornwall Museum is a museum located in the city of Truro in the south of Cornwall.

The museum houses a wide range of collections, including archaeology, natural history, geology and local history.

There is also a large art gallery with works by Cornish artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.

One of the best museums for anyone interested in Cornish heritage, art, and culture

The Museum is free to enter and is open throughout the year from Monday to Saturday.

Address: 25 River St, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2SJ

7. Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle is located at the end of a peninsula, in the town of Falmouth on the south coast.

This picturesque castle was built by Henry VIII in the 16th century to protect the harbour from attack.

It has since been used as a garrison, prison, and holiday home for members of the royal family.

The castle is now managed by English Heritage and is open to the public.

Tickets for this Tudor fortress can be purchased online and it’s well worth a visit.

With acres of green space, a fun family trail and a soft play area near the café, there’s plenty to see and do for all the family.

Address: Castle Dr, Falmouth TR11 4LP

8. Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach is one of Cornwall’s most popular surfing beaches.

The beach is situated in the town of Newquay in West Cornwall and is a hub for the local surf community.

The waves at Fistral are world-famous, and the beach has hosted numerous international surfing competitions.

The beach is also popular with bodyboarders, kitesurfers, and windsurfers.

Fistral Beach is a great place to learn to surf, with a number of surf schools operating in the area.

The beach is also a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing.

Address: Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

9. Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is located in the town of St. Ives.

It is well-signposted from the St. Ives harbour area and is easy to reach on foot.

The museum is dedicated to the life and work of British artist Barbara Hepworth.

Hepworth was a leading figure in the abstract art movement, and her work is widely celebrated.

The museum houses a collection of her sculptures, as well as a number of personal belongings and artefacts.

The sculpture garden is home to a number of Hepworth’s larger works, and provides a beautiful setting in which to view them.

Address: Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, Barnoon Hill, St. Ives, TR26 1AD

10. Minack Theatre

Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre is Cornwall’s famous open-air theatre located in the town of Porthcurno on Cornwall’s south coast.

The theatre was built in the 1930s by Rowena Cade, and is carved into the granite cliff overlooking the spectacular Porthcurno Bay.

It offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline and is only 4 miles from Land’s End.

There are a variety of productions throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and opera.

The Minack Theatre is a unique and magical place, and well worth a visit.

Address: The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JU

11. Porthminster Beach

Porthminster Beach

Porthminster Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located just a short walk from the centre of St Ives.

The beach is popular with families and surfers alike, and offers stunning views of the coast.

Porthminster Beach is safe for swimming and water sports, or you can just sit back in a deck chair.

The beach is situated close to a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Cornish sunshine.

Porthminster Beach is a great family day out and a must-see for anyone visiting Cornwall.

Address: Porthminster Beach, Cornwall

12. St Austell Brewery

St Austell Brewery

St Austell Brewery is a regional brewery located in the town of St. Austell.

The brewery produces a range of traditional cask ales, as well as a selection of modern craft beers.

The visitor centre offers an interactive experience and guided tours of this historic family brewery.

There are also tastings, and a gift shop selling premium beers, and a large array of gifts.

Open year round 9am to 5pm, everyday excluding Sunday.

Address: St Austell Brewery, 63 Trevarthian Rd, Saint Austell PL25 4BY

13. The Camel Trail

The Camel Trail

The Camel Trail is a disused railway line that has been converted into a walking and cycling nature trail.

The trail runs for 18km from Padstow to Bodmin, and offers stunning views of the Cornish countryside.

The trail takes in some of Cornwall’s most stunning scenery and passes through the wooded countryside of the upper Camel Valley.

The trail is well-surfaced and easy to follow, making it suitable for all levels of ability.

There are a number of places to stop and rest along the way, as well as a number of cafes and pubs.

Address: The Camel Trail, Cornwall

14. Padstow Harbour

Padstow Harbour

Padstow is one of the most popular places for a Cornwall visit, it has a bustling harbour, a rich food scene and beautiful views.

Padstow Harbour is a working harbour that is home to a number of fishing boats, as well as pleasure boats, with some companies running day trips.

The harbour is also a popular spot for crabbing, and there are a number of Crabbing Huts available for hire.

Padstow is lovely to stroll around and take in the Cornish scenery.

Address: Padstow Harbour, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8AQ

15. St. Nectan’s Glen

St. Nectan's Glen

St. Nectan’s Glen is a waterfall located near the town of Tintagel on Cornwall’s north coast.

This beautiful waterfall is situated in a wooded area, and is accessible via a number of walking trails.

The waterfall is best viewed from the top of the cliffs, where there are also a number of viewing platforms.

St. Nectan’s Glen is a popular spot for picnics, and is a beautiful place to enjoy the incredible scenery and natural beauty of Cornwall.

Address: St. Nectan’s Glen, Trethevy, Tintagel PL34 0BE

16. Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo is located one mile from Newquay town centre, on the north coast of Cornwall.

One of the best family attractions in the area, the zoo is full of favourites such as the big cats, penguins, red pandas, armadillos and meerkats.

There is also a large variety of unusual species of animals and plants.

Great for the whole family, kids can explore the Village Farm and get to know the farm animals.

They can have fun on the activity trails or visiting the two children’s play areas and Dragon maze.

The zoo has lots of outdoor seating and undercover picnic areas, as well as a cafe, and the Lazy Lion Grill.

Great for animal lovers, the zoo also supports many conservation projects working to save endangered animals.

Address: Trenance Gardens, Newquay TR7 2NL

FAQ

Which is the best part of the Cornish coast to visit?

Some of the best parts of the Cornish coast are Kynance Cove’s picturesque sandy beach, Porthmeor beach, Holywell Bay, Porthcurno Beach an expanse of golden sand and Harlyn Bay sand dunes and low cliffs.

Can you visit the Cornish Seal Sanctuary?

People can visit Cornwall’s only Seal Sanctuary and rescue centre, and meet the seals and sea lions.

When visiting the Sanctuary, you can experience the animals close up and learn all about their individual stories.

How long is the Lappa Valley train ride in Cornwall?

The Lappa Valley steam railway has three separate miniature railways to ride.

There is a one mile long steam train journey running on a 15 inch gauge track.

Is the Tate St Ives, Cornwall worth visiting?

The Tate occupies a prominent site in St Ives and is well worth a visit.

One of the best art galleries it showcases work by modern British artists with links to the St Ives area.

Are there wildlife parks in Cornwall?

Porfell Wildlife Park is a family attraction located a few miles from Looe in South East Cornwall.

It offers sanctuary to many different animals including exotic animals and Cornish birds, plus it has a kids farm.

 

Author

  • Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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