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Things to do in Cornwall

Are you planning a Cornwall break but unsure of what to do? Fear not, as we have some great suggestions of the best things to do in Cornwall, no matter what sort of holiday you’re looking for!

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Take a look at our top picks for:

  • Fun family things to do

  • Best places to visit

  • Best couples attractions 

  • Best places to visit when its raining

 

Whether you’re in need of a beach holiday or you plan to find the best Cornish pasty whilst you’re here, there are plenty of things to do in Cornwall for families, kids, or couples. There really is something for everyone!

If you want a nature-filled holiday, Cornwall is the place to visit, as you can discover the wonderful Eden Project and even conquer parts of the Cornish Coast Path with your loved ones including your dog!

You can find all about this and more with our guide of the best places to visit in Cornwall, so where will you begin your Cornish getaway?

 

Fun family things to do:

A group of three giraffes at Colchester Zoo.

Newquay zoo

Have a fun family day out and see 1,000 of the world’s unique and exotic animals at Newquay zoo! Visit some of the worlds most famous animals including Zebras, Panders and much more! This award winning zoo also has several wildlife projects as well. It is only a 10 minute drive from our Newquay resort.

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An image of people on a ride at Flambards, Cornwall.

Flambards

If you’re after a more active day, you could head to flambards (closed for the winter season) for an adrenalin-filled adventure. If you love more of a thrill whilst on holiday, flambards is the perfect place. With loads of rides to choose from, there is something for everyone. A 30 minute drive from St Ives resort.

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The big sheep farm & theme park image

The big sheep farm & theme park

The big sheep farm & theme park is a family-friendly amusement farm park located in Abbotsham, Devon, a 30-minute drive from our Bude resort. Enjoy a filled adventure on the rampage rollercoaster, take a relaxing boat trip on the swan lake pedalos and ride the mini tractors with your little one, you can also see several live shows.

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Blue surf school image

Blue surf school

Another popular destination, also known as England's surf capital, is Newquay. You don't have to be an expert surfer to tackle the waves, especially as you can visit surfing schools, including the blue surf school, (based on our Newquay park) to come away with a newfound passion. And with all the surrounding beaches, you can surf there as well.

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A rollercoaster ride at The Milky Way Adventure Park in North Devon.

The milky way adventure park

Situated just 5 miles from Cornwall in North Devon is the award-winning amusement park the milky way. The milky way adventure park has a loads of thrilling attractions to keep the whole family entertained, plus it is 30 minutes from Bude!

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FlowRider image

FlowRider

Experience waves all year round on Cornwall's only flowrider - the coolest sport around. No need to brave the sea, the flowrider's waves offer guaranteed fun. Perfect for a family day out and based on our Retallack resort! You are your children will love it!

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Best places to visit:

Visit St Ives 

There are so many things to do in St Ives, Cornwall, which is why it is one of the most popular Cornish destinations, and you’ll be glad to know that by staying at our St Ives Bay holiday park, you can experience all of the fun right on your doorstep!

First things first, you can have direct access to a three-mile-long private beach to witness some of the most stunning Cornish views.

  • St Michael's Mount - If history and culture are your thing, St Michaels mount is a great tourist attraction whilst on holiday. Just a 10–20-minute drive from St Ives, a National Trust site steeped in so much local history!
  • Tate St Ives - However, if you’re looking to stay in St Ives, Tate St Ives is the perfect place to catch some beautiful displays, whether you’re a couple who loves art or looking for a family day out. All these and more are just some things to do in St Ives Cornwall and surrounding areas, but where will you begin? At a look our St Ives local area guide to find out more!
Two children running on the beach with surf boards towards the sea.

Visit Newquay: 

  • Another popular destination, also known as England's surf capital, is Newquay, and there are so many things to do in Newquay, Cornwall.
  • The Newquay Bay resort is perfect to experience everything Newquay offers. And with all the surrounding beaches, you can surf, watch the surfers, have a romantic picnic, or even bring your dog along!
  • With plenty of things to do in Newquay Cornwall, why not include it in your next holiday plan so you can experience everything that it has to offer? Take a look at our Newquay local area guide to find out more!
Local beach and cliff area to our Newquay Bay Holiday Park.

Visit Bude:

Bude which is situated on the breathtaking south coast, is the ideal place to create wonderful holiday memories. From taking long walks along the stunning southwest coast path to packing your buckets and spades for fun-filled beach adventures, Bude if the perfect holiday destination. Take a look at our Bude local area guide for more detail!

Some of the fantastic local attractions include:

  • The Camel Trail
  • Clovelly Village
  • Newquay Aquarium
  • Eden Project
  • Big Sheep Farm & Theme Park
  • Monster Slip and Slide

 

A view of a cove in Cornwall.

Best attractions in Cornwall for couples:

Tate St Ives image

Tate St Ives

View a stunning selection of art displays at the tate St Ives overlooking the sea. Through a dynamic exhibition programme, the gallery shows modern and contemporary art from worldwide and presentations from the Tate collection. You will be able to see some of the most unique art in the UK with your loved one!

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Minack theatre image

Minack theatre

An outdoor theatre show against the stunning sea and shoreline backdrop is ideal at Porthcurno's famous Minack theatre, an arts facility carved out of granite cliffs. It's certainly definitely worth a visit even if you're not planning on seeing a play; for the scenery and views, for a tour, or just to browse the little but intriguing minack gardens

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St Michaels mount image

St Michaels mount

Either walk in the pilgrims' footsteps or take a boat to an island where layers of history and modern life collide. Explore a quaint island town, a subtropical garden paradise, and an evocative castle.

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Best places to visit when its raining:

The local and well known Eden Project in Cornwall, a perfect place to visit on your Cornwall trip.

Eden project

Discover the vast covered biomes where you can walk through one of the biggest indoor rainforests on earth and breathe in the peaceful scent of the mediterranean biome. Savour outdoor gardens, modern art, storytelling, and performances. Learn motivational tips on how to take care of the earth that takes care of you to bring home.

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National maritime museum image

National maritime museum

Join HMS challenger as a 19th-century pioneer scientist and advance our understanding of the sea. Try out the microscopes, handle actual objects, and experience what it was like to be an explorer on a floating laboratory. The museum has some of the rarest objects. Plus as part of your experience you will be able to hear fascinating stories.

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A close up of a brightly coloured fish at Newquay Aquarium.

Newquay aquarium

The blue reef aquarium in Newquay offers a fantastic underwater voyage over the world's seas and oceans. Admire more than forty exhibits with a natural theme that will transport you from the cornish coast to the fascinating coral reefs! You will also have the opportunity to feed the fish!

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What’s on in Cornwall?

Whether you choose to visit Newquay, St Ives, or another Cornish location, you may be looking for more specific events that you can attend throughout the year whilst on holiday.

So, what’s on in Cornwall? Here are just some of the top five events that happen throughout the year :

Will you be attending any when you visit?

And with plenty of other events you can find throughout the period you choose to stay in Cornwall, you might even want to plan your getaway.

A great annual summer event in Cornwall is the Royal Cornwall Show, where you can witness all things Cornish agriculture and more – one of the best things to do in Cornwall for families.

If you’re visiting in winter, the Padstow Christmas Festival is a classic one of the things to do in Cornwall – a four-day Christmas extravaganza!

Padstow is near our Retallack Resort, so you have somewhere to lay your head and relax after partaking in these fun things to do in Cornwall.

You’re in good hands when you come to Cornwall because there are events to suit each type of person – active holiday goers, chilled individuals, children, couples, and even your dog!

A landscape image of the sea and cliffs located at Lands End. A blue sky with minimal clouds sets the scene with the Land's end tourist building seen in the top right of the image.

Things to do in Cornwall FAQs

Now that you’re set with some of the best things to do in Cornwall, you can go on to start planning your staycation – but here are some frequently asked questions that might help an even smoother trip!

What is the most beautiful part of Cornwall?

The most beautiful part of Cornwall is down to opinion, but we argue that every part of Cornwall has its beauty!

However, some of the most beautiful parts and places of Cornwall include:

  • Porthcurno
  • Tintagel Castle
  • Lost Gardens of Heligan
  • Charlestown
  • The Lizard Peninsula

These are just five of the best places, but there is so much more to explore, so why not come to Cornwall and find out for yourself?

What is the prettiest village in Cornwall?

This is another subjective question, so there are so many options for the prettiest village in Cornwall, including:

  • Port Isaac
  • Mousehole
  • Zennor
  • Mevagissey
  • Charlestown

Check out all of these towns and more, and you can add them to your holiday itinerary so you can witness some of the prettiest villages in the country.

Visiting some of these stunning villages is even more appealing because they are close to our beautiful holiday parks you can stay in.

Zennor is about a 10-minute drive from St Ives, so it’s a great one to visit if you’re staying at our St Ives Bay accommodation.

Port Isaac is about a 30-minute drive from the Retallack Resort, so you can explore and then head back to relax at the spa.

You can find some of the tastiest local delicacies and pretty houses that are incredibly photogenic and learn some of the most unique stories that surround these villages.

For both a visual delight and a learning journey, these towns will provide everything you’d wish for within your holiday expeditions.

How do I spend a day in Cornwall?

How you want to spend a day in Cornwall is all down to you and based on what type of holiday you’re after.

If you’re after a more active day, you could head to Flambards for an adrenalin-filled adventure, or you can head to Newquay Zoo to find your new favourite animal.

You could even head to one of the many beaches in Cornwall to surf, or if you want to have a more chilled day, you can lay on the beach and grab one of your favourite books.

Luckily, there are so many different ways to spend a day in Cornwall, and you can mix it up with a combination of both chilled-out and adrenaline-filled activities along the coast.

Or, if you want to spend your day in your chosen holiday resort, you can do that too, with plenty of activities on-site to keep everyone occupied!

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