Top attractions in Cornwall
As well as fabulous beaches Cornwall has some great attractions for all the family. We've selected our favourites and included some rainy day attractions, just in case.Newquay Zoo
Makes up in atmosphere for being relatively small in size – the staff are genuinely interested and the animals are clearly well kept. Be aware that it doesn’t have its own car park though. Our tip: Call in at the little Dig For Victory garden, an example of the gardens that sprung up in unlikely places during WWII.
Price: £11.75-£12.95, child aged three to 15 £10.00 or family ticket £38.50
T: 01637 873342 W: newquayzoo.org.uk
National Maritime Museum
One of the best things to do with a rainy day in Cornwall, this museum in Falmouth is fascinating even if you don’t think you’re into naval history. There are 15 galleries over five floors, including a new Olympic and Paralympic sailing celebration, and an exhibition on the sea in the Bronze Age. Views over the town from the tower too. Our tip: go to the bottom of the tower for an underwater view of whatever’s swimming past.
Price: £9.50-£11.50 (Children aged six to 15 £8.00) T: 01326 313388 W: nmmc.co.uk
Lost Gardens of Heligan
Explore these amazing privately-owned gardens, in the hills above Mevagissey and the village of Pentewan. Heligan fell into disrepair after staff departed for the Great War, but the gardens were rediscovered and restored from 1990 onwards. Find out the fascinating story of those who worked here in past times. It’s open all year and well-behaved dogs are allowed in winter months.
Price: £10-£12 T: 01726 845100 W: heligan.com
Tate St Ives
We think the best bit of the Tate St Ives is its amazing building, and walking around in those white rooms full of light. It has a good coffee bar too. Don’t come here expecting the kind of mental exhaustion that can come from a day in, say, the Tate Modern. Tate St Ives is a calmer affair, and a very good starting point for looking at Cornish visual art.
Price: £4.50-£7.70 T: 01736 796226 W: tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives
A truly jaw-dropping pair of domed ‘greenhouses’ each holding a self-contained climate and ecosystem. One is a ‘rainforest’ while the other is a more arid setting with plants from South Africa, California and the Med.
Price: £19.95 online dated ticket, or £23.50 on the door. T: 01726 811911 W: edenproject.com
Charlestown Shipwreck Centre
The outside of this museum on the coast at Charlestown near St Austell may look unpromising, but it’s actually fantastic inside. It’s packed with everything you might want to know about shipwrecks – masses of information, some of it housed underground in old China clay tunnels. Great value and there are tall ships based in the dock, and an exhibition on the Titanic.
Price: £4.50-£5.95 T: 01726 69897 W: shipwreckcharlestown.com
Top of our list in terms of Cornish theme parks, Flambards near Helston is a bit different in that it has great fairground rides and play equipment, a Victorian Village and a 1940s Britain in the Blitz exhibit. These use atmospheric lighting and great model making to conjure up the past.
Price: £9.95-£17.95 (child, four to 15 years £12.50 T: 01326 573404 W: flambards.co.uk
Geevor Tin Mine
Set at the Western end of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, in the village of Pendeen on the B3306 between St Ives and Land’s End. This is quietly one of the best days out in Cornwall. Walk through the mill, or take an underground tour of the 19th century Wheal Mexico mine. Open most of the year but closed on Saturdays.
Price: £9.50-£11.00 T: 01736 788662 W: geevor.com
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