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Things to do on a rainy day in Cornwall

With the school holidays fast approaching, you might already be thinking about rainy day activities and all-weather attractions for your holiday in Cornwall. We can’t predict the weather, but we can predict that you’ll have an amazing family adventure here in Cornwall, come rain or shine.

Read on to discover ten ways to spend a rainy day in Cornwall…

1. Visit an all-weather attraction

For those holidaying in West Cornwall, Paradise Park & Jungle Barn in Hayle is a fantastic place to visit, whatever the weather. The Jungle Barn indoor play centre has giant slides, challenging soft play across multiple levels and a separate toddler’s area. If the weather brightens, you can say hello to the colourful birds of paradise and a variety of mammals, and watch penguins being fed or one of the daily events or shows.

Alternatively, if you’re staying in Newquay or on the north coast, Dairyland Farmworld is a brilliant all-weather attraction which appeals to all ages. Indoors, you can tour the milking parlour and have a go at milking cows, or let off steam in the Bull Pen, the huge indoor play centre. If the sun makes an appearance, you can go and meet the other farm animals, embark on a nature trail around the lake and run wild on the outdoor adventure playground. 

2. Step back in time

Discover the secrets of the sea at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, where exhibitions over five floors explore the influence of the sea on history and culture. Find out about lifeboats and ocean survival in the Survival Zone, watch shipwrights at work in the boat building workshop, and climb up the lookout tower for breathtaking views of Falmouth harbour, docks and estuary. 

Head further east on the south coast and you’ll find Charlestown Shipwreck Centre where you can find a whole host of historical artefacts – 8,000 in fact, from over 150 shipwrecks. This unusual collection is the largest private collection of this type in Europe.

In mid Cornwall, you can spook yourselves silly at Bodmin Jail, exploring life as an 18th century prisoner through a guided tour through one of the most fascinating buildings in Britain, whilst on the rugged north coast, the Museum of Witchcraft & Magic in Boscastle, has the world’s oldest and largest collection of items relating to witchcraft and magic.

3. Get competitive 

Just outside of Hayle, and surrounded by beautiful countryside, you’ll find the popular Country Skittles, the home of 9 pin skittles and a great selection of fun activities. Whilst the rain falls outside, challenge your family members to skittles, air hockey, pool, darts, table football, Mario Kart, board games and much more! You can also grab some delicious food here after you’ve worked up an appetite.

For a Crystal Maze style adventure, head to Escape Time in St Ives. Choose from either the Prison X or the Chocolate Factory Game and race against time to solve clues and puzzles which will allow you to escape on time! There are similar attractions all across the county, including Eureka Escape in Penzance and Truro, and the Great Escape Rooms in Newlyn.

4. Run riot at an indoor play centre

If the weather’s too horrid for playing football on the beach, why not let the little ones use up their energy at one of Cornwall’s brilliant indoor play centres? Raze the Roof in Penryn has laser tag for older children, plus a climbing wall, ball canons, an astro glide, and soft play for tiny tots.  

In North Cornwall, there’s The Venue in Bude which has a four level play zone with slides, rides, interactive noises and lights, plus a ten pin bowling alley. Jungle Jacks in Newquay is another great indoor play centre on the north coast, with more than 1,700 square feet of fun for little monkeys to climb, crawl, slide and run about.

On the south coast, you’ll find Kidzworld in St Austell, which has loads of fun stuff to do, including mini golf, roller skating, dodgems, climbing frames, slides and soft play. 

5. Winter wellie walks

Wet weather doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. It can be just as fun to grab the raincoats, wellies and your sense of adventure and head into the woods for a wander. Tehidy Woods in West Cornwall and Cardinham Woods in mid Cornwall are both great places to go for an outdoor adventure.

Stomp through the leaves and mud, splash in puddles and follow one of the woodland trails, before ducking into a woodland café for a hot chocolate. Alternatively, there’s miles and miles of coastal paths and countryside to explore in Cornwall too. Later, you can return to your holiday cottage and have a hot bath or shower whilst your coats and boots dry off ready for the next adventure.

6. Go underwater 

Take a trip into the ocean at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay. Walk through the underwater tunnel and meet exotic species, brightly-coloured fish, sharks and rays, plus a giant Pacific octopus! There are daily talks and feeding times so you can learn more about the fascinating sea creatures. 

7. Go underground

In the village of St Neot, which is on the edge of Bodmin Moor, you’ll find Carnglaze Caverns, where you can head underground and find out how the mine was once worked. The underground tour will take you to a magical underground lake which has crystal clear blue/green water.

Carnglaze is set in over 6 acres of woodland and valley, with spectacular scenery to explore if the weather improves. The woodland walk and enchanted dell has a magical collection of faeries, mushrooms and dragons to discover!

8. Make a splash

When it’s wet and miserable outside, why not jump into a fun pool instead? Bude Leisure Centre has a 25m swimming pool with a fun flume and wave machine. A little bit further down the coast you’ll find Oasis Fun Pool in Newquay, which has a 30m fun pool, three brilliant flumes, a river rapid ride, fountains and a waterfall. 

If you’re staying on the south coast, try Ships & Castles Leisure Centre in Falmouth which has a large nautical themed pool, flume, wave machine, river run and Jacuzzi.

If you’re going to get wet in the rain anyway, you might as well get soaked! Get a wetsuit on and brave the ocean whilst you have fun trying a new watersport. St Ives Surf School offer a range of water based activities on Porthmeor and Porthminster beaches, including surfing, kayaking, coasteering and SUP.

If you’re staying a bit further up the coast, Newquay Activity Centre offer a similar choice of watersports, plus great group activities for adrenaline seekers like Super SUP (a giant SUP board for up to 8 people) and coastal adventures such as the Cornish Challenge and the Cornwall Castaway.

If you’re staying near Bude, the Freewave Surf Academy offer surfing, SUP and coasteering and body boarding, plus family group watersports.

Cornwall is a fantastic place to make special memories at any time of year. Whether you’re wrapping up warm for a bracing beach walk or snuggling up in a cosy café, the rain won’t dampen your spirits when you’re on holiday in Cornwall. View all of our holiday cottages here>