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Filthy days out in Cornwall

Fancy getting filthy? If you’re idea of fun involves muddying yourself in Cornwall’s natural surrounds, getting arty with a hands-on activity or (ahem) dirtying yourself in other imaginative ways, then these ideas for a filthy day out will definitely prove ultra memorable ways for you to spend your stay... 

Rhassoul Mud Experience  

Traditionally the preserve of pigs, a mud bath is, nowadays, the ultimate in luxury living. From being smothered in heavenly smelling scrubs to completely covered in mineral-rich heated clay, select a treatment to suit at a spa near you designed to first dirty, then deeply purify both body and mind in self-indulgent style. There’s plenty around to pick from, such as St Michael’s Resort in Falmouth, The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth, Bedruthan Steps Hotel’s spa, The Headland Spa in Newquay, and C-Bay Spa in Carbis Bay.

Survival Skills Course 

Join the ‘rewilding’ movement by signing up for a spot of bushcraft and survival skills to unleash your inner animal and rugged, more primal self. 7th Rise specialises in such grubby pursuits at their off-grid base camp on the banks of the River Fal. Their wild outdoor experiences range from fire-starting, shelter building, animal trapping, fishing, and knife and axe handling skills to wild game butchery, so showering is optional and blood and guts are pretty much guaranteed.

For something more tame, try a spot of wild foraging with the likes of Fat Hen or Rachel Lambert’s Wild Walks, who will no doubt muddy your boots and green your fingers for mucky fruit picking fun.

Pottery Throwing

Creative types can colour themselves in a number of immersive ways, including painting courses and retreats from the likes of Newlyn School of Art to St Ives School of Painting. Then there’s a pursuit that makes a mud spa enticingly portable: pottery throwing. Ceramicist Sam Marks hosts a variety of events from hand building workshops to one-to-one throwing tutorials and masterclasses from his working studio in Falmouth that combine a practical workshop with a creative make-your-own session of pottery making. Starting with technical demonstrations and accompanied with refreshments and/or wine, Sam will expertly guide you through the process while overseeing your own creative endeavours for a fabulously filthy time. 

Cornwall Underground

Though there’s plenty to do above ground, the world beneath reveals an entirely new landscape to explore, courtesy of Cornwall Underground. There’s nothing like a caving trip in Cornwall’s abandoned tin mines, where a sprawling subterranean adventure awaits. Located amongst west Cornwall’s rich mining district, visitors can try everything from surface tours and walk-in, walk-out trips to caving expeditions with experienced guides involving crawling, abseiling and traversing to depths of two hundred feet.

Mountain Biking 

If your tan lines aren’t washable after a stint of mountain biking then you’ve failed to ride amongst the most beautiful and challenging trails that Cornwall is renowned for. Pick from kiddie-friendly like Woody’s Bike Park near Fowey to family favourites, Lanhydrock Cycle Hub and Cardinham Woods Mountain Bike Trails.

If you want to up the ante with a bike of the motorised variety, then a dirt track provides another dirty day out option. Think Hendra Motocross Track, Fraddon Moto Parc and Landrake Moto Parc; or even some quad biking fun at The ATV Centre in Blackwater.

Kernow Killer 

This is an obstacle course with an adrenaline-inducing difference. Taking your cue from its name, expect a gut-busting day of physical activities as you dart, drag and dive across a dozen miles of Cornish countryside within the beautiful Chyverton Park Country Estate. Not-for-the-faint-hearted, you can pick from two punishing options – the 5 miles and 25 obstacles of the Kernow Destroyer, or an utterly gruelling 10-mile course with 50 obstacles, otherwise known as the Kernow Killer.  

Want to experience one of these activities for yourself? Start planning a holiday in Cornwall >

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