Tourist attractions in Cornwall

Ideas for days out

As with any county, Cornwall has a variety of attractions, with something for everyone. However, the county’s unique heritage of mining and art has given rise to some more unusual tourist attractions and a wealth of historic houses and gardens. In fact there are so many of them that we’ve dedicated a separate page to Cornwall gardens and historic houses.

Eden Project

Discover the world’s largest indoor rainforest and Mediterranean gardens housed in giant biomes. Shop, restaurants. Seasonal activities with varying opening times.
Bodelva, south Cornwall

couple flowers and biomes

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Internationally recognised reclaimed gardens on the Heligan Estate with wildlife areas and a kitchen garden. Free entry to the tea room, shop and plant centre. Open daily all year (except Christmas Day) from 10am.
Pentewan, St Austell

large image of the mud maid

Bodmin Jail

An all weather, family attraction which is split over 6 levels. Facilities include a licensed bar and restaurant with a covered courtyard and Civil and Naval Prison housing a museum within its walls.
Bodmin

people at Bodmin Jail

Trebah Gardens

Subtropical valley gardens with over 4 miles of footpaths, trails and play areas leading down to a private beach. Seasonal events. Family and dog friendly. Open every day from 10am.
Near Falmouth

Blue bridge

Within 5 miles (in distance order)

Waterworld – Swimming pool and pool with water flume, slides and fun. Trenance Park TR7 2LZ

Newquay Riding Stables – Riding stables offering lessons and group rides for all abilities. Trenance Leisure Centre, Newquay TR7 2HU

Oasis Fun Park – Indoor and outdoor fun pools, flume rides and toddler area. Hendra Holiday Park, Newquay TR8 4NY

Indoor Bowls – 10 pin bowling and burger bar. Newquay TR7 1PU

Blue Reef Aquarium – Newquay’s indoor aquarium, café and gift shop. Towan Promenade TR7 1DU

Trerice – Elizabethan Manor House and gardens (National Trust). Kestle Mill, near Newquay TR8 4PG

Classic Air Force – Aircraft museum with bygone exhibits. Also offering flights. St Mawgan, near Newquay TR8 4HP

Dairyland Farm World – Adventure Park with a museum, play barn, nature trails, café and indoor play area. Summercourt, Newquay TR8 5AA

Lappa Valley – Three mini railways set in a conservation park. Boating lake, maze, play trails and refreshments. St Newlyn East, Newquay TR8 5LX

family at Dairyland Farmworld

Dairyland Farmworld

Between 5 and 10 miles

Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps – National Trust shop and café with views over the Atlantic. Bedruthan, near Padstow PL27 7UW

Holywell Bay Fun Park – Bouncy castle, trampolines, go-karts and other rides. Open March – October. Holywell Bay TR8 5PW

Springfields Pony Centre – Groom and ride the ponies. St Columb Major, Newquay, TR9 6HU

Cornish Birds of Prey Centre – View birds of prey or take part in a falconry experience day. Meadowside Farm, St Columb TR9 6DH

Screech Owl Sanctuary – Owl sanctuary with farm animals as well as a children’s play area and tea room. Treewin Farm, St Columb TR9 6HP

British Barn Owl

Callestick Farm – Watch the ice cream being made (check times). Tea room and shop. Callestick, Truro TR4 9LL

Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm – Watch the cyder in production and visit the farm. For all the family, with petting farm, shop and refreshments. Penhallow, Truro TR4 9LW

The Stones – Man made standing stone display. St Merryn PL28 8JZ

Tina’s Riding Stables – Situated close to Harlyn Bay offering beach rides and lessons for beginners to advanced riders. St Merryn PL28 8JZ

St Breock Downs Monolith – Cornwall’s biggest prehistoric monument. Managed by The Cornwall Heritage Trust (English Heritage). Rosenannon

Camel Creek Adventure Park – Fun adventure park with indoor and outdoor rides, animals and more! Wadebridge PL27 7RA

Trewithen House & Gardens – Historic Trewithen estate with beautiful gardens. House open to the public on certain days. Truro TR2 4DD

Royal Cornwall Museum – Local and world collections and exhibits and museum shop. Children free. Truro TR1 2SJ

National Lobster Hatchery – Marine conservation centre where you can learn about and adopt lobsters! Padstow PL28 8BL

Prideaux Place – Used a film location for some of Rosamunde Pilcher’s novels, the Elizabethan manor house and deer park overlooks the Camel Estuary. Padstow PL28 8RP

Padstow Museum – Padstow’s history over the last 200 years. Padstow PL28 8AH

Wheal Martyn China Clay Country Park – Discover Cornwall’s China Clay heritage with interactive displays, preserved Victorian china clay works and a working water wheel. Café, gift shop and childrens woodland play area. Carthew, St Austell PL26 8XG

girls and ice cream

15 – 20 miles (up to ½ hour drive)

Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre – Maritime museum with ship wreck collection. St Austell PL25 3NJ

Cornwall Gold – Visit Cornwall’s Gold and Pearl collections with jewellery and bespoke pieces. Also family activities, a bear factory and tin mine with free entry and free parking. Near Redruth TR16 4HN

Cornish Market World – “One stop shop” for food, clothing and accessories. Open weekends 9am – 5pm. Stadium Retail Park, Par, St Austell PL25 3RP

Kidzworld Cornwall – 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor children’s play area. Stadium Retail Park, Par Moor Rd,
St Austell PL25 3RP

East Pool Mine – one of the last surviving Cornish tin mine engines. Nr Redruth

Bodmin Jail – An all weather, family attraction, that includes a licensed bar and restaurant, covered courtyard, with a Civil and Naval Prison housing a museum within its walls split over six levels. Tel: 01208 76292

Bodmin and Wenford Railway – Board a vintage steam train for the 13 mile round trip. General Station, Bodmin PL31 1AQ

Approximately 20 – 30 miles

Cornwall’s Regimental Museum – Regimental uniforms, artefacts, weapons and medals exhibitions and an archives collection. Bodmin PL31 1EG

Wingz Bird and Animal Sanctuary – Common and rare birds and animal conservation with gift shop and refreshments. Moorlands Farm, Treesmill, Par PL24 2TX

King Edward Tin Mine – Award winning tin mine with museum and mill. Camborne TR14 9DP

Restormel Castle – Circular Norman shell keep and castle overlooking the River Fowey (English Heritage). Lostwithiel.

St Catherine’s Castle – Artillery fort built to defend Fowey Harbour. Nr Readymoney, Fowey

NMMC – Maritime exhibitions and activities for all the family. Open daily. Falmouth TR11 3QY

Poldark Mine – Discover Cornwall’s mining and social heritage at the only complete underground mine open to the public in Cornwall and Devon. Tenear, Wendron, Helston, TR13 0ER

North Cornwall Museum & Gallery – Learn about local life in the last 100 years. The Clease, Camelford, PL32 9PL

St Mawes Castle – Restored tudor military fortress looking out towards Pendennis Castle (English Heritage). Nr Truro.

Paradise Park – Wildlife Park with colourful birds and some rare species plus a petting farm and indoor Jungle Barn Play Centre. Hayle, TR27 4HB

red pandas

Paradise Park

The Arthurian Centre – A centre dedicated to the legend of King Arthur who was possibly born at the site. Slaughter Bridge, Camelford PL32 9TT. Tel: 01839 213947

Tintagel Old Post Office – Take a look at a Victorian post office set in a medieval building (National Trust). Fore Street, Tintagel, PL34 0DB

Tintagel Castle – The castle and legendary birthplace of King Arthur (English Heritage). Castle Road, Tintagel, PL34 0HE

Museum of Witchcraft – Witchcraft exhibition and collection. The Harbour, Boscastle PL35 0HD

Boscastle – Beautiful picture postcard village with an Elizabethan Harbour and countryside walks. (National Trust)

Tate St Ives – art gallery. Porthmeor Beach, St Ives TR26 1TG

Barabara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. St Ives TR26 1AD

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Tintagel Post Office

Tintagel Old Post Office

children at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

St Mawes Castle

St Mawes Castle

30+ miles but under an hour’s drive from Porth

St Michael’s Mount – In the far south west, Marazion is home to Cornwall’s iconic ‘castle in the sea’.

Halliggye Fogou Caves – Underground stone passageways associated with Cornish iron age settlements (English Heritage). Trelowarren, Mawgan, Nr Helston

Flambard’s – Rides and attractions plus exhibitions including a Victorian village. Helston TR13 0QA

National Seal Sanctuary – The rescue, rehabilitation and release centre for seals with a café. Gweek TR12 6UG

Chysauster Ancient Village – Ancient iron age village (English Heritage). Newmill, Penzance

Marconi Centre – Marconi information centre close to the site of the first transatlantic radio signal transmission. Nr Mullion
 TR12 7JB

Carn Euny Ancient Village – Iron age and roman settlement (English Heritage). Near Sancreed, Penwith

Hidden Valley – Explore the adventures and trails, take a ride on the miniature railway or visit the tea rooms. Tredidon, St Thomas, Launceston PL15 8SJ

Launceston Castle – Built just after the Norman Conquest, the castle and grounds overlooks the town and also has a colourful prison history! Castle Lodge, Launceston, PL15 7DR

Launceston Steam Railway – Take the five mile round trip on the old north Cornwall railway by steam locomotive. Gift shop, book shop and café for cream teas and hot and cold refreshments. St.Thomas Road, Launceston PL15 8DA

Levant Mine and Beam Engine – The only Cornish beam engine still in its original mine shaft (National Trust). Pendeen, near St Just

Geevor Tin Mine – Explore Cornwall’s tin mining heritage at one of the largest preserved tin mines in the country. Pendeen, Penzance TR19 7EW

Land’s End – Around an hour’s drive to the famous signpost marking the end of mainland Britain. With refreshments and other attractions. Sennen TR19 7AA

The Minack Theatre – Clifftop theatre with live productions. Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JU

Tate St Ives exterior

Tate St Ives

Evening production at the Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre

Mount Hero

St Michael’s Mount

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