Porth Beach Newquay Conrwall

50 Things To Do In Cornwall

If you’re looking for adventure then Cornwall is the place to come for your holiday this year! The county is the number one place you can come to try out a whole host of new experiences that will leaving you with fantastic holiday memories. From visiting iconic landmarks and some of the most beautiful scenery in the country to surfing on Fistral Beach and jumping off a 100ft cliff into the sea below… there’s some truly exhilarating things to do in Cornwall!

Take a peek below at our guide to 50 things to do in Cornwall on your holiday with us…

Surf’s Up! Grab a board and go surfing at the iconic Fistral Beach!

The English National Surfing Championships

Go surfing at Fistral Beach: Arguably, Fistral is one of Europe’s finest surfing beaches, and it’s easy to see why. It produces some of the best waves in England and is an extremely popular choice, whether you’re an expert or a novice surfer. If you’re considering taking up the sport or want to try it for the first time there’s plenty of surf schools in Cornwall who will teach you the ropes and have you in the water in no time.

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Visit the pretty harbour town of Padstow

padstow

Made famous as the home town of celebrity chef Rick Stein, a visit to Padstow is a must for anyone holidaying in Cornwall. This beautiful harbour town and fishing port is the perfect place to sample a true slice of Cornish life. There is so much to see and do here, including boat trips out across the Camel Estuary, exploring the spectacular coastline, enjoying fabulous food in the many top restaurants or simply wandering around the narrow streets and independent shops.

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See a production at the Minack Theatre in West Cornwall

antony cleopatra derby shakespeare

Even regular theatre goers are unlikely to have experienced a show in such a unique environment. Cornwall’s iconic Minack Theatre is an open air theatre that is perched on the cliff tops high above the Atlantic Ocean in West Cornwall. Here you can take in drama, musicals and opera every summer. There are few more breathtaking places to watch one of your favourite productions…

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Explore the stunning landscape of Bodmin Moor

bodmin-moor

Fancy trying to track down the legendary Beast of Bodmin Moor? Explore the rugged landscape of Bodmin Moor, which covers a large area of north and east Cornwall. Ideal for those who love walking Bodmin Moor is home to high peaks of Brown Willy and Roughtor as well as the ancient Chessewring and Hurlers stone circles. There is so much to discover in this huge expanse of wilderness which dominates large parts of Cornwall.

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Discover Cornwall’s mining heritage

whealcoates by adam gibbard

Discover Cornwall’s rich mining history by visiting the county’s mining World Heritage Sites. Recognised by UNESCO Cornwall’s mining sites are regarded as significantly important to the whole of humanity. And, as such, some of the sites have been restored and maintained for future generations. There are many sites to visit across Cornwall and West Devon, including some iconic engine houses on the cliff tops (as seen in the likes of Poldark on TV). Here you can learn the vital role mining played in the lives of thousands of people.

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Get ready to jump! Go coasteering off the Newquay coast

shoreline-adventures-coasteering

Are you a bit of an adrenaline junkie? Then coasteering may well be for you! Coasteering is the exhilarating sport of jumping off cliffs into the ocean and swimming into water-filled rocky caves. With coasteering you’ll see Cornwall from a totally different view and travel along otherwise inaccessible stretches of coastline.

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Splash out and enjoy a meal at one of Cornwall’s top restaurants

padstow adam gibbard / Visit Cornwall

Spoil yourself and enjoy a spot of fine dining! Cornwall has a strong reputation for its quality food and top restaurants. One of the best the county has to offer is Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. Dining here is truly an experience to savour, with exquisite seafood dishes aplenty. Yes, it isn’t cheap, but the quality is unsurpassed.

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Visit the Royal Cornwall Show!

Royal Cornwall Show

Should you visit Cornwall in early June then a visit to the county’s showpiece event is a must. The Royal Cornwall Show is a 3-day extravaganza that celebrates all aspects of Cornish life, with a particular focus on agriculture. But it’s not just about tractors and livestock… Here you can visit the hundreds of stalls and trade stands, visit the exhibition tents, take in the live entertainment or watch the competitive classes being judged. There’s so much to see and do here that you’ll struggle to fit it all in one day.

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Visit the Eden Project – and take a zip wire above the biomes!

Eden Project

The Eden Project is one of the most popular and instantly recognisable visitor attractions in the UK. Not only is it a great place to visit if you love plants and have a passion for gardening but here you can also watch live music at the Eden Sessions, go ice skating on the rinks in the winter or even take a ride on the zip wire high above the biomes!

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See Cornwall from the air – take a hot air balloon ride over the county

hot air balloon rides cornwall

Experience Cornwall from the sky in a way few people will ever see it. Take a hot air balloon ride over the county and look down on your favourite parts of the county from the air. Enjoy spectacular sunrises or sunsets from the skies high above Cornwall – and why not add a glass of champagne to make your ride even more of an unforgettable experience!

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Visit the Doc’s house in Port Isaac (aka Portwenn)

Port Isaac

Is TV comedy drama Doc Martin one of your favourite shows? Did you know it was filmed in Cornwall? Follow in the footsteps of Martin Clunes and the rest of the cast of this popular TV programme by visiting Port Isaac (or Portwenn as it is known in the show). Only a short distance from our holiday park, this pretty fishing village is well worth a visit, with pretty streets, shops, cafes and restaurants to sample – as well as a pretty amazing coastline!

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Go underground and take a tour of Poldark Mine

poldark mine

For generations, mining made Cornwall famous. With hundreds of mines and criss-crossing the county, tin and copper made Cornwall rich. Poldark Mine is the only complete underground tin mine in Cornwall that’s open for guided tours. It has been described as one of the most atmospheric mines in Europe.

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Get on ‘yer bike! Cycle along the Camel Trail

Cycle the Camel Trail

Do you like your adventures on two wheels? Get on yer bike on the Camel Trail, an 18-mile long cycle and walking trail that runs from Padstow to Wenfordbridge, via Wadebridge and Bodmin. The trail is largely traffic free and runs along a former railway line, passing through some of the most spectacular countryside in Cornwall. Bike, walk or run the tail – the choice is yours! Bike hire is available at either end of the trail, including in Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.

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Walk across the causeway at low tide and visit the iconic St Michael’s Mount

St Michael's Mount Photo Visit Cornwall / Adam Gibbard

Take a trip to a beautiful island castle and visit arguably one of the UK’s most iconic landmarks – St Michael’s Mount. Walk across the famous causeway or take the short trip across the water by boat and visit this magical Medieval fortress off Cornwall’s south coast.

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Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan

lost-gardens-of-heligan

If you’re a lover of fine period houses and well-presented gardens, packed with tropical plants and unique specimens, then visit one of Cornwall’s many houses and gardens. One of the county’s most popular is the Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey. For over 25 years, the gardens were a lost, overgrown mess until a group of volunteers happened to stumble across them. After much restoration, the gardens are now one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions.

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Enjoy some retail therapy in Truro, Cornwall’s only city

Truro

Truro is Cornwall’s only city and is well worth a visit. As the county’s administrative hub, Truro is home to the county council and the county’s main hospital. The city centre, although small, is packed full of things to do. The city boasts an impressive cathedral and a city centre with cobbled streets and preserved buildings. If you fancy a spot of retail therapy, then Truro is definitely the place to be in Cornwall! The city also has a wide variety of cafes, bars and restaurants.

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Enjoy a tasty breakfast with a view to die for

Fifteen-Cornwall

Say goodbye to the hum drum breakfast of cereals and toast, sat on your sofa and say hello to breakfast by the ocean. Why not have your breakfast prepared by Cornwall’s top chefs as you look out at the Atlantic Ocean waves? Well, at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall at Watergate Bay you can do just that!

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Lace up those walking boots and enjoy the great outdoors!

bodmin-moor

These boots were made for walking! Cornwall is the place to be if you enjoy nothing more than lacing up those walking boots and exploring the countryside. Whether you prefer coast or country, there’s dozens of great walks available in Cornwall. Popular choices for walkers include the South West Coast Path and Bodmin Moor.

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On your marks, get set…push!

Big Bale Push

We guarantee that you’ve never seen or partaken in anything quite like the Crantock Big Bale Push! For one night every September, the small village of Crantock, near Newquay comes alive for the annual Big Bale Push – just make sure you’re fit and ready for action! You and your friends can take part in this epic test of skill and fitness as you race to push a giant bale around the village in the quickest time possible! The event raises thousands of pounds each year for several charities.

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Enjoy a great family day out at Flambards!

flambards

If you’re looking for great family days out in Cornwall then why not head to one of the many theme parks across the county? One of the biggest and the best is Flambards Theme Park. From rollercoaster rides to a soft play area, there’s something here for kids (and adults) of all ages!

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Visit the picturesque harbour town of Fowey

fowey harbour by barnacle bird photography / Visit Cornwall

If you want to visit that place you see on postcards of Cornwall, then head to Fowey Boasting a spectacular setting, with much of the town built onto the hillside, sloping down to the harbour and seafront, Fowey really does epitomise picture postcard Cornwall. Check out the narrow streets and independent shops – it really is a must visit for anyone taking a holiday in Cornwall. It’s also home some fabulous restaurants!

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Take a sea safari off the Newquay coast

sea safari

Get up-close and personal to some amazing sea creatures, including dolphins and seals on a sea safari from Newquay Harbour. Take an exciting trip out from the harbour and explore the North Cornwall Coast. Cruise the hidden coves and secret beaches and meet the wildlife in their natural environment.

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Get ready for non-stop action!

banger racing at st day

Not something you’d probably associate with Cornwall and nor it is something you’d find on most ‘things to do in Cornwall’ brochures, but banger racing is a unique experience! Head to St Day and catch all the action at the United Downs Raceway! Kids even go free!

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Take a brewery tour

st-austell-brewery

What’s your favourite tipple? Do you like a little drop of real ale? Cornwall has several great local breweries all producing top quality ales. One of the biggest is St Austell Brewery. Visit the site, take a tour of the production plant and you can even design your own personalised beer label!

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Follow in Ross and Demelza’s footsteps on the Poldark Trail!

Poldark's Cornwall

Were you one of the millions of people who went weak at the knees at the site of Aiden Turner, aka Ross Poldark, when he took off his shirt? If you loved the return of Poldark then why not follow the Poldark trail? Visit Ross Poldark’s house, the cliff-top tin and copper mines as well as the many other film locations of this popular programme.

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See some exotic creatures at Newquay Zoo

newquay-zoo-animals

For a great family day out that’s right on your doorstep look no further than Newquay Zoo. This award-winning attraction allows you to get close to some of the world’s most exotic creatures and learn more about their natural habitat.

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See some stars at the Hall For Cornwall!

Hall For Cornwall

Catch some of the top shows touring the UK at the Hall For Cornwall, the county’s premier venue for drama and theatre productions. See some of the biggest names of stage and screen appear on the stage in Truro, which is a wonderful setting to catch a show. Why not combine it with a meal at one of the city’s many top restaurants?

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Learn about the legend of King Arthur at Tintagel Castle

tintagel castle

Cornwall is a county steeped in mystery and legend. And few places ooze quite so much history as Tintagel Castle, the legendary home of King Arthur. Visit the exhibition, learn more about the history the cliff-top castle and take a step across the famous bridge from the castle ruins to the island.

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Visit Boscastle and learn about the flood that nearly swept the village away

Boscastle adam gibbard / visit cornwall

Take a trip to the North Cornwall village of Boscastle and visit it’s quaint harbour, lined with former fisherman’s houses and bungalows. Browse the small number of shops or enjoy a bite to eat in the pubs and cafes of this popular village. It’s hard to image that on one day in 2004 this picture of serenity was destroyed in one of the worst incidents of flooding on record in the UK. Torrential rain caused the small river that runs through the village to become a raging torrent which swept away cars, houses and just about everything else in its path. Visit the National Trust visitor’s centre where you can learn more about the events of that day in August 2004.

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Meet the ‘Osses on Padstow May Day

Padstow May Day

If you plan to visit Cornwall in early May and want to sample a slice of local culture then head over to Padstow for May Day, or Obby Oss Day, as it is known. May Day is celebrated in Padstow in spectacular fashion, with thousands of people flocking to the town each year to watch and take part in the festivities, which see two ‘osses’, one red and one blue, dance around the streets in celebration.

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Visit beautiful St Ives

tate-st-ives

One of Cornwall’s most popular resorts is St Ives, on the north Cornwall coast. Blessed with stunning beaches, St Ives is a popular choice with visitors, with plenty to see and do here. It is also regarded as the art centre of Cornwall, with the Tate St Ives gallery proving a popular lure.

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Take a trip to Charlestown Harbour (and you might just see a film star or two…)

Charlestown by Adam Gibbard / Visit Cornwall

Charlestown Harbour an amazingly pristine, unspoiled example of a late Georgian working port. It was constructed between 1791 and 1801 by Charles Rashleigh, entrepreneur and member of the local landowning family, in response to the growth of the growth of the local mining industry. Originally built to export copper and import coal, it was soon being used for the export of China Clay. It is from its creator that the the port gets its name. Today it is used regularly as a film set, with its tall ships used in Pirates of The Caribbean and Poldark.

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See some creatures of the deep in Newquay

blue-reef-aquarium

Occasionally the weather in Cornwall might not be so kind. So, you need something to do to keep the kids entertained when its raining… The answer, take a short drive to Newquay Zoo and visit Blue Reef Aquarium. Here you can learn more about exotic sea creatures and the fish and ocean life found off Cornwall’s shores.

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Try gig rowing in Newquay

Gig Rowing

Make the most of the coast and get out onto the water, Cornwall style! The World Pilot Gig Rowing Championships take in Cornwall each year but you don’t have to wait until then to have a go yourself. There are several places where you can dip your oar into the water and see if it’s for you. Newquay Rowing Club offer weekly sessions for new and novice rowers, so head along and see if it’s for you!

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See Cornwall’s coastline from the water – try sea kayaking

sea-kayaking

Being out on the water on a summer’s day in Cornwall takes some beating. And a great way to experience life on the ocean waves is by going sea kayaking! Cornish Rock Tors offer kayaking trips around the Cornwall coast where you can discover remote coves and hidden beaches that few others get to see!

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Hit the beach for a spot of kite surfing

kite surfing watergate bay

Do you find the thought of lazing around on beaches a bit boring? Well one alternative for those who love the beach but not the sunbathing is kite surfing. Here you can combine your love of the sand with something altogether more exhilarating! You can try your hand at this sport at Watergate Bay, near Newquay, where the experts at the Extreme Academy will show you all you need to know.

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Step back in time – 2,000 years ago…

chycauster

Take a step back in time and visit Chycauster in West Cornwall. This Iron Age settlement was originally occupied almost 2,000 years ago and is one of the finest examples of such in the country. The village was made up of stone-walled homesteads known as ‘courtyard houses’, found only on the Land’s End peninsula and the Isles of Scilly. Visitors can walk around the village settlement to gain a sense of what the houses would have looked like and how the settlement was laid out.

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Get ready to jump! Go skydiving over Cornwall

skydiving

Calling all adrenaline junkies! This isn’t one for those with a fear of heights but skydiving at Perranporth airfield will be one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life! See Cornwall from a whole new angle as the team from Perranporth Flying Club take you up into the skies above Cornwall before you head down to earth at high speed!

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Visit spectacular Sennen Cove

sennen by adam gibbard / Visit Cornwall

They say that to sample a true slice of Cornwall you have to head west. And if you plan to visit this more remote region of the county then a trip to Sennen Cove has to be on your list! Combining a small, pretty village with a beautiful beach that’s as good for surfing as it is for sunbathing, Sennen Cove is a popular with locals and tourists and is only a mile from Land’s End.

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Watch the rough and tumble of the annual Hurling contests in St Columb

hurling

We guarantee that you’ve never seen anything quite like this…. St Columb Major, a small town near Newquay, hosts its annual hurling contests twice a year – and it’s a spectator sport like no other! Taking place on Shrove Tuesday and the second Saturday following the game sees townsmen battle countrymen to get a precious silver ball over their opponents boundary line, on the outskirts of the parish. Shops and homes have to take precautions – by barricading doors and windows – against the marauding locals as they throw the heavy ball around in what can resemble a rugby scrum.

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Fore! Play a round on one of Cornwall’s finest golf courses

St Enodoc Golf Club

Cornwall may be famous for its beaches and spectacular landscapes but it is also developing a reputation as one of the top destinations in the country for golf holidays. The county is home to some of the finest golf courses in the land, so if you feel like testing your skills then this is the place to be! For something special, head to North Cornwall and play Trevose or St Enodoc or head east and try the Nicklaus course at St Mellion International. You won’t be disappointed!

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Watch some top acts at the Boardmasters Festival!

Boardmasters

Are you a keen festival goer? Do you love your live music? One of the biggest music festivals in the South West – Boardmasters – takes place in Cornwall every August and also has a surfing and extreme element to it. The festival has continued to grow over the years and is now one of the most important on the calendar for many big stars.

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Attend the City Of Lights Parade in Truro

City of Lights Parade

For a magical evening head over to Truro for the annual City of Lights parade. Held in mid November, the parade sees a dazzling procession of lanterns float through the streets that have been handmade – some by professional artists but most by school children and local community and youth groups. The event includes the official switch on of Truro’s Christmas lights, plus music and dance from Truro School of Samba and other local bands.

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Take a tour of a Cornish vineyard (and sample some wine, of course…)

Camel Valley Vineyard Tours

As well as ‘real ale’ Cornwall also produces some of the best wines in the UK. Camel Valley Vineyard, at Nanstallon near Bodmin, regularly wins awards for its sparkling wines. Head over to Nanstallon and take a tour of the vineyard to see how it produces such top quality wines. You might also like to sample a few of their different wines while you’re there…

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All aboard! It’s full steam ahead on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway

bodmin railway

One of Cornwall’s most popular heritage railway lines is the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Take a trip on one of the trains and you’ll be transported back to the golden age of the railways in Cornwall. Special events are also held throughout the year – Steam and Diesel Galas, Heritage Transport Festival, Themed weekends and several family-orientated events, including an “Easter Egg-Travaganza” and the visit of Peppa Pig to Bodmin! Trains run from Bodmin General in the town centre to Bodmin Parkway – where connections can be made directly with main line railway services – and Boscarne Junction on the Camel Trail.

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Enjoy Roskilly’s ice-cream!

Roskillys_ice_cream

Visit Roskilly’s ice-cream parlour on the Lizard Peninsula and see where and how this amazing ice-cream is made. Visit the milking parlour, enjoy the woodland walks, see the animals and tuck in to some tasty food in the restaurant and then devour some of the finest Cornish ice-cream!

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Visit Bedruthan Steps

Bedruthan Steps by Paul Watts

Head to Cornwall’s north coast, between Newquay and Padstow and see the spectacular rock formation that is Bedruthan Steps. This really is a must see! Walk along the coastpath at Carnewas and head down to the beach where a rank of colossal, pointed stacks march out of the Atlantic waves against a dramatic backdrop!

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Marvel at Mousehole’s Christmas Lights

Mousehole Christmas Lights

Nowhere does Christmas quite like Mousehole, a small fishing village near Penzance. This harbourside settlement goes all out with its Christmas lights display – and it really is a stunning sight. The whole village comes alive and the streets are filled with stalls, selling mulled wine, festive food and gifts.

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Soak up the atmosphere at Falmouth Week

Falmouth Week

Falmouth Week in August is a must for sailing fans!. It has grown into one of the largest sailing regattas in the south west with more than 450 yachts racing over eight days along with a lively programme of shore side events.

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Visit the famous Land’s End landmark

Lands End

No holiday to Cornwall would be complete would be complete with a journey to the UK’s most westerly point – Land’s End. But there’s far more to Land’s End than just that famous sign (where you have to get a picture!). It has grown into a popular destination with a mini theme park on site as well as exhibitions, café and it’s also the starting point for some great walks.

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