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7 cool and unusual things to do in Cornwall 

We all know Cornwall is famed for its beaches - not to mention its gardens, top-notch restaurants, host of attractions and gorgeous green spaces too. But if it’s something a bit different you’re looking for during your stay, then we’re also home to a variety of quirky places and activities to add to your to-do list.

Looking across the beach towards St Michael's Mount in Cornwall

From mystical castles perched on a cliff edge to giant greenhouses that enclose a rainforest inside, Cornwall’s kooky list of unique outings has something for every adventurous taste.

Though there’s a tall tally of cool things to see and do throughout Cornwall, we’ve whittled it down to just seven to whet your appetite...

Do something big…

People walking through the Mediterranean Biome at the Eden Project in Cornwall

Cornwall doesn’t do things by halves… even when it comes to rainforests. Oh yes, you read that right, Cornwall is home to the largest greenhouse and indoor rainforest in the world – that’s a pretty big feat by any measure! The world famous Eden Project is also home to a tropical and Mediterranean biome, as well as sweeping external gardens that fill up the old quarry, making an incredible day out for the whole family. You can even get a bird's eye view of this ecological powerhouse with a ride on the longest and fastest zipline in the country.

If you fancy something a little more refreshing, head to the UK’s largest seawater lido at The Jubilee Pool in Penzance. The ocean-side pool is a great spot for families to enjoy a cooling dip (they even have special dog-friendly days when the pups can become salty sea dogs). Jubilee Pool doesn’t stop at size when it comes to impressive feats either. Oh no, it’s also home to the first geothermal seawater pool in the UK, meaning you can choose between an invigorating swim and a relaxing soak during your visit.

Go somewhere wild…

A boat full of people going on a boat trip around St Mawes

Cornwall’s rich and diverse historical landscape makes for a pretty spectacular backdrop to a safari, whether you opt for the wilds of the moors or the fresh sea air. With Cornish Heritage Safaris, you can head off the beaten track to some of Cornwall’s most beautiful destinations, from King Arthur and Poldark’s Cornwall to Bodmin Moor and The Roseland’s jaw-dropping riverscapes.

Swapping four wheels for the four seas (Cornwall’s version at least), a sea safari is the ultimate way to experience Cornwall from a different angle – and to enjoy some seal spotting at the same time! With many boat trips leaving the likes of Newquay, Penzance, and St Ives, you have plenty of options for your wayward adventure.

Go somewhere unique…

A beautiful meadow of bluebells at Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall

If you’re looking for something uber-unique, Cornwall has you well and truly covered. Head to Tregothnan Estate for a tour around the UK’s first tea plantation where you can explore the beautiful river garden and discover the area’s rich heritage – and taste some exceptional Cornish tea!

Other one-offs include the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle – home to the world’s largest collection of witchcraft related artefacts – and the UK’s only china clay museum at Wheal Martyn.

Do something different in the fresh air…

Looking down the seated steps at the clifftop stage and sparkling sea behind at Minack Theatre in Cornwall

Combining entertainment with heart-stopping views of the Atlantic, the cliff-top Minack Theatre is a one-of-a-kind al fresco adventure you can’t get anywhere else. Catch a show as the sun sets around you, while keeping an eye on the ocean before you for a sighting of dolphins.

Other unique outdoor events in Cornwall include a beach-top music festival with Tunes in the Dunes in Perranporth, the harbourside Porthleven Food Festival where good food and views abound, and the toe-tapping, tankard-swaying vibes of the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival. You really are spoiled for choice when it comes to fresh air and fun-filled days out in Cornwall!

Go back in time…

Looking across the ruins of Tintagel Castle towards the impressive bridge across the cliffs and sea

Cornwall is chock with intriguing castles that have a story or two to tell. From the world-renowned St Michael’s Mount sat atop a tidal island, to Falmouth’s harbourmouth twins of St Mawes and Pendennis Castles, the rural splendour of Caerhays and Restormel Castles, and the seaside spoils of Tintagel Castle, there’s a fascinating fort for every occasion. You can even dine out in inimitable style while gazing out across Cornwall’s industrial centre at Carn Brea Castle where Middle Eastern delights await.

Other cool venues to seek out include Carnglaze Caverns, Gwennap Pit, Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum, Cornwall’s stack of World Heritage Mining Sites, and Charlestown’s Georgian harbour and Shipwreck Treasure Museum & Underground Tunnels.

Go name spotting…

Looking across the moorland at Brown Willy in Cornwall

Pay a visit to the famous films’ namesake, Minions, or perhaps you might want to hike the summit of Cornwall’s highest peak, Brown Willy? Take a tailor-made tour of Cornwall’s uniquely (and hilariously) named places for an itinerary that explores the hidden beauty of places such as Greensplat, Skinner’s Bottom, Booby’s Bay and Ventongimps for a memorable adventure and talking point when you return home.

Go island hopping…

A beautiful white-sand cove on the Isles of Scilly

Situated just 25 miles off the far western tip of Cornwall sits the exotic realm of the Isles of Scilly: an otherworldly archipelago reachable via helicopter, skybus, and ferry from Penzance, meaning that you don’t have to travel for days to reach far-flung shores that redefine the word escape in true paradisiacal style. Your own mini-Maldives nestled off the Cornish coast? You can’t get much cooler than that.

Discover your own list of favourite – and totally unique – haunts around Cornwall with a stay in one of our welcoming holiday cottages. From oceanside bolt holes with sea views to unique and boutique cottages, find the perfect escape for your extraordinary stay.

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