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Top 10 Things to Do in Cornwall 🏄‍♂️

Published 7th Jun 2024

Summer is just around the corner, and what better place is there to spend your days in the sunshine than Cornwall? At SMC coaches, we offer the perfect mode of transport for your holiday to Cornwall, whether you’re travelling as a family or with friends. SMC Coach Hire come with comfortable seating and amenities, providing a more enjoyable experience for long journeys. With a professional driver ensuring safety and navigation, passengers can sit back, relax, and fully enjoy the ride. No more worrying about driving long distances, or getting up at 3am to beat the traffic!

While Cornwall is home to some of the best beaches in the UK, here is a list of the Top 10 things to do in Cornwall, for the days you’re not busy catching some rays.

1. St Michael’s Mount

Located just off the coast of Marazion is St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island that features an ancient castle and subtropical garden, the latter of which is home to over 1500 plants. What makes St Michael’s Mount so unique is it’s connection to the mainland – a cobbled causeway that is only accessible during low tides. 

While the island is only accessible at low tide, it’s adjacent town of Marazion is a great place to stop while waiting for the tide to go out, or for a bite to eat. The main street is lined with many independent restaurants and bakeries, all serving up quality pasties or fish and chips.

Opening times vary depending on the season and tide times, so check the website before visiting,

2. Tintagel Castle

Located in the North of Cornwall is Tintagel, home to Tintagel Castle. Supposedly the birthplace of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle is located on a cliffside island, set against the incredible rugged coastal cliffs. After crossing the 180ft high bridge into the area, you can explore the island’s ruins, that include an early Cornish settlement that dates back to 5-7th Century AD. 

After taking in the breathtaking hilltop views, head down to the gift shop and pick up a bottle of strawberry wine or traditional mead, and if that’s not enough – head to St Neclan’s Glen to see a magnificent 60ft waterfall. 

Open: 10am - 6pm during peak times, 10am - 4pm off-peak times.

3. Eden Project

What would Cornwall be without the Eden Project? Possibly it’s most famous attraction, the Eden Project is a global garden that most notably houses two huge biomes, each of which has it’s own unique climate. Explore the jungle of the world’s largest indoor rainforest in the Rainforest Biome, or enjoy the cool serenity of the Mediterranean Biome. 

There’s plenty more indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family too, including Nature’s Playground and the Invisible Worlds exhibition. For the thrill seekers, there’s even the chance to experience flying with the zip wire, or an aerial assault course. And of course, no one can miss out on the Eden sessions for the ultimate live music experience – this years headliners include Crowded House, Paolo Nutini and Fatboy Slim.

Opening times vary depending on the season, so check their website before visiting.

4. Jubilee Pool

Found far down south in Penzance is the Jubilee Pool, the UK’s largest seawater swimming pool. Originally opened in 1935, people from across the UK travel to experience the pool’s unique experience, and it’s a great way to experience refreshing seawater dips in a controlled space, as well as witness an integral piece of recent Cornish history. 

Visitors can enjoy a cool dip in the main pool, which is naturally heated via sunlight to be 1-2 degrees warmer than the sea, and there’s even a kids pool for the little ones. Or if you fancy something warmer, they also have a geothermal pool, which reaches a toasty 30 degrees and is heated naturally via 410m deep geothermal well (which happens to be the height of one and a half Eiffel Towers!) There’s even a sauna, to bring you the ultimate wellbeing experience.

Open: 10am - 5pm

5. Minack Theatre

Located near to Penzance is the incredible Minack Theatre, one of the most unique theatres in all of the UK, as it’s a working theatre perched on the edge of a cliff. Visitors to the Minack can explore the theatre in all it’s glory, with incredible views of the Cornish coastline to set the scene. If you’re lucky, you might catch a rehearsal for a show playing later that day! 

Over 200 live performances take place at the Minack theatre each year, and are all well worth getting tickets for. Don’t miss out on the many Shakespearean performances that are put on throughout the summer, or catch a show by one of the many independent Cornish production companies.

Opening times vary depending on the season and what shows are on, so check their website before visiting.

6. The Tate

While the Tate is famous for it’s iconic London gallery, the Tate Modern, the gallery in St Ives is equally impressive. Housing the Barbara Hepworth Museum, this gallery presents modern and contemporary art from around the world through vibrant exhibitions and an extensive collection from the Tate. The location is truly breathtaking, offering stunning viewpoints of the seascapes as you explore Tate St Ives. Visitors can take in panoramic views from various beautiful spots and dine at a rooftop restaurant for a perfect view of the landscapes.

Families can have a fantastic time at the Tate with a range of workshops and scavenger hunts available, including an Art Adventure trail that leads you through the picturesque town of St Ives. The Tate also hosts outdoor art workshops on the nearby Porthmeor beach, creating a fun and unique experience for the whole family.

Open: Monday - Sunday, 10am - 5:20pm

7. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Step into the mysterious wonders of the Lost Gardens of Heligan - a hidden gem in Cornwall that's begging to be explored! This historic treasure, lost and then found post-WW1, sprawls across 200 acres, welcoming adventurers, nature lovers, and daydreamers with open arms. Lose yourself in the only outdoor jungle in the UK, brave the Burmese rope bridge that sits 100ft the trees, or wander through the enchanting Lost Valley where sculptures of giants await.

Heligan promises a unique and unforgettable journey. Whether you bring along the whole family or seek a tranquil solo day trip, soak in the peaceful vibes and marvel at the stunning natural beauty.

Opening times vary depending on the season, so check their website before visiting.

8. Healey’s Cyder Farm

Who would have thought a cider farm could be a fantastic spot for both grown-ups and little ones? Well, Healey's is living proof! Located between Truro and Newquay, Healey’s Cyder farm is filled with exciting experiences for everyone: want to bring the little ones? Healey’s features lots of friendly farm animals they can meet, vintage tractor rides through the orchard, and a delicious Jam Kitchen where the family can enjoy the many tasty samples. For the adults? There’s plenty of tours and tasting to experience, and you can’t visit Cornwall without trying the famous Rattler Cyder! There’s even something for the car enthusiasts, with a vintage collection of Healey’s Cars on display.

Healey’s has plenty of indoor activities for everyone, so it’s a great option if the classic British weather decides to dampen your beach plans. 

Open: 9am - 6pm (9am - 8pm July - August, 9am - 5pm November - March)

9. Surf lessons at Fistral Beach

Cornwall is famous for it’s incredible beaches, and Fistral Beach is no exception. Located in Newquay, Fistral Beach is often known for hosting part of the Boardmasters festival, however it’s also home to the Fistral Beach Surf School. If you're eager to do more than just wade into the water, their surf lessons offer an exciting experience. Join a family lesson or let the kids enjoy while you enjoy an ice cream on the shore. Planning a stag/hen do or a getaway with friends? Arrange a group session for a guaranteed splash of fun for everyone. 

After you’ve learnt how to conquer the waves, enjoy a well-deserved break at one of Fistral’s food stops – enjoy a pasty at the Pasty Shack, relish a tasty pizza at the Stable, or cosy up with some delicious seafood at The Fish House.

Open: 9am - 5pm

10. Bodmin Jail

For the thrill-seekers or those with an interest in the paranormal, a visit to Bodmin Jail is a must. Built in 1779, Bodmin Jail stands as a significant historical landmark, offering an engaging and top-notch experience for all ages. Award-winning heritage tours, paranormal experiences and self-guided entry provide a unique pathway to the past: Prepare to journey through the Dark Walk, a chilling peek into Cornwall's history, or peek into the lives of past inmates at the Administration Block. And if that's not enough to get your heart racing, spend a night in the onsite hotel, where former prison cells have been transformed into luxurious rooms for the ultimate after-dark paranormal experience.

Open: 9:30am - 4pm

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