Cornwall isn’t just about the eye-candy. There’s a cultural landscape that rivals the natural beauty of coast and country to ensures visitors are as intrigued and entertained as they are awe-struck.
From family-friendly must-sees full of interactive and engaging things to see and do to famous landmarks, historic venues and artistic centres, Cornwall’s host of top-notch attractions presents something for everyone.
Here are our top picks...
Best for – an eco-friendly adventure
Located near St Austell, the Eden Project is the world’s biggest greenhouse comprising a cluster of biomes that are home to a hugely diverse range of plant-life along with various artworks, sculptures, events arena and living theatre, where a constantly changing schedule of hands-on activities and exhibitions can be found. Fusing ground-breaking architecture with ecology, the geodesic structure and outside surrounds offers an array of all-weather options, from family trails and the country’s longest zip wire to rainforest canopy walkway, aerial assault course and giant swing.
Best for – entertainment with a view
The Minack Theatre
Gazing out over the Atlantic from an outcrop in the cliff adjacent to Porthcurno Beach, the Minack Theatre presents visitors not just with a sublime open-air ‘living theatre’ experience, but sub-tropical cliff-top gardens, Rowena Cade Exhibition and jaw-dropping panoramas. A diverse schedule of shows sees everything from storytelling performances to concerts and plays staged at the breath-taking venue.
Best for – exploring Cornwall’s mining heritage
The gateway to mid-Cornwall’s World Heritage Mining sites (WHS), Heartlands is a collection of exhibitions, gardens, art studios and galleries, markets and adventure playground that will amuse both kids and adults alike. Situated nearby in Cornwall’s former mining capital, you’ll also find the award-winning museum housed in King Edward Mine alongside other historical highlights and sights of interest including the Basset memorial, East Pool Mine and Great Flat Lode trail.
Best for – discovering Cornwall’s seaside culture and history
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Falmouth’s Discovery Quay is home to this fascinating world of waterside education and entertainment where you’ll find everything from exhibitions and displays to interactive features, including an underwater harbour, hanging flotilla and Treasure Island Play Zone.
Best for – family fun at the end of the world
Lands End is England’s famous most westerly point that features a small theme park and - on clear days - boasts beautiful distant views of the Isles of Scilly: a stunning archipelago of sub-tropical islands 26 miles off the coast. Land’s End signifies the most westerly point of the country and is home to a small shopping village, farm park, free family exhibition, 4D cinema show and bar and restaurant. From here, embark upon the Land’s End Heritage Trail, or jump in the car and head toward Porthcurno for the stunning beach, the Minack Theatre and National Telegraph Museum.
Also try: Pendennis and St Mawes Castles, St Michael’s Mount, Bude Castle, Cornwall’s Crealy Great Adventure Park, Roskilly Farm, Tamar Valley Donkey Park, Flambards, Gweek Seal Sanctuary, Tintagel Castle, Lappa Valley Steam Railway, Paradise Park, Newquay Zoo.
Best for – art lovers
Tate St Ives
Overlooking St Ives’ famous surf beach of Porthmeor, the world-renowned gallery presents an eclectic collection of modern British artworks through a carefully curated series of exhibitions, workshops, talks and other events. Expect to see exclusive works from the likes of Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Peter Lanyon to name but a few heavyweights from the ever-expanding collection.
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