We might not be able to predict the weather, but we can predict that you’ll have an amazing family adventure here in Cornwall, come rain or shine. How do we know? From fun indoor activities to exciting all-weather attractions, there’s always something exciting to do in Cornwall in between the sunny spells - we even have a round-up of boozy days out for the adults!
Read on to discover our favourite ways to spend a rainy day in Cornwall…
Paradise Park & Jungle Barn
For animal lovers…
Where: 16 Trelissick Road, Hayle TR27 4HB
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 toddlers’ area. If the weather brightens, you can say hello to the colourful birds of paradise and a variety of mammals, watch penguins being fed or catch one of the daily events or shows, which never fail to entertain and enlighten.
Dairyland Farm Park
For fun on the farm…
Where: Tresillian Barton, Summercourt, Newquay TR8 5AA
If you’re staying in Newquay or on the north coast, Dairyland Farm Park is a brilliant all-weather attraction that appeals to all ages. Indoors, you can tour the milking parlour and actually have a go at milking cows, or let off steam in the Bull Pen, the huge indoor play centre. When the sun makes an appearance, go and meet the other farm animals, embark on a nature trail around the lake and let the kids run wild on the outdoor adventure playground.
For nautical adventures…
Where: Discovery Quay, Falmouth TR11 3QY
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. It’s always worth keeping an eye on their upcoming events and exhibitions as there is always something new and interesting going on, from monsters of the deep to the history of British tattoos.
For real-life puzzles…
Where: The Basement, 18 Lemon Street, Truro TR1 2PN
The Basement, The Old Telephone Exchange, 43 – 44 New Street, Penzance TR18 2LZ
First Floor, 9 Market Street, Falmouth TR11 3AE
For a Crystal Maze style adventure, head to Eureka Escape in either Truro, Penzance or Falmouth. Whichever room you choose, you’ll be given 60 minutes to solve a series of bizarre puzzles that will test your knowledge, cunning and cool under pressure. Cabin fever and crazed scientists act as the perfect backdrop for these creative challenges. Will you escape in time? Let’s find out…
For a hauntingly good time…
Where: Berrycoombe Road, Bodmin PL31 2NR
In mid-Cornwall, you can spook yourselves silly at Bodmin Jail as you discover what life was like as an 18th-century prisoner. Guided tours and a spectacularly spooky immersive experience bring history back from the dead at one of the most fascinating (and haunted) buildings in Britain. At the end of your visit, make sure to stop by the gift shop to grab your ‘I braved Bodmin Jail’ t-shirts!
Raze the Roof
For the kids…
Where: 30a Parkengue, Kernick Road Industrial Estate, Penryn TR10 9EP
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 area for tiny tots. In other words, if you want to tucker the kids out, this is the place for you!
For the walkers…
Where: Tehidy, Camborne TR14 0HA
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 – followed by a hot chocolate, of course. Tehidy Woods in West Cornwall is a great place for an outdoor adventure. Squirrels are everywhere in this woodland walk so make sure you empty your pockets of nuts before you head out!
Blue Reef Aquarium
For a trip under the sea…
Where: Towan Promenade, Newquay TR7 1DU
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 that surround you.
Geevor Tin Mine
For some Cornish culture…
Where: Pendeen, Penzance TR19 7EW
Mines are a big part of Cornwall’s history and culture – even our pasties are a mining tradition! At Geevor Tin Mine you can learn about what it was like to work in a mine, exploring the different buildings and machinery that were used. Get hands-on in the museum, pan for gold and head underground to explore the tunnels for a true miner’s experience.
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
For a look into the past, present and future…
Where: Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JX
Discover the role the south west played in worldwide communications at Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. History and science collide as you learn about the discovery of electricity, Morse code, fibre optics and even future technologies that will change how we communicate yet again. Explore the underground World War 2 bunker, visit the unique cable hut and get involved with the interactive exhibits and displays in Eastern House.
Oasis Fun Pool
For a rainy day swim…
Where: Newquay TR8 4NY
When it’s wet and miserable outside, why not jump into a fun pool instead? Oasis Fun Pool in Newquay has a 30m indoor fun pool, an outdoor pool, three brilliant flumes, a river rapid ride, fountains and a waterfall. The only thing this mini waterpark is missing is the actual ocean! When you’re all dried off from your swim, you can head to the Terrace Bar & Restaurant for a much-needed refuelling.
For a magical trip underground…
Where: St Neot, Liskeard PL14 6HQ
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 once worked. The underground tour will take you to a magical underground lake that has crystal clear blue/green water.
Carnglaze is set in over 6 acres of woodland and valley, with spectacular scenery to explore when the weather improves. The woodland walk and enchanted dell have a magical collection of faeries, mushrooms and dragons to discover!
Tate St Ives
For art and culture…
Where: Porthmeor Beach, Saint Ives TR26 1TG
Situated in the hubbub of St Ives is Cornwall’s very own Tate art gallery and museum. Home to an enormous collection of artworks and featuring constantly changing exhibitions, the Tate St Ives and the nearby Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden are a must for any lover of art. Get lost in modern sculptures and travel through carefully curated exhibitions in this award-winning example of modern architecture. Kids are welcome too, with the Tate St Ives encouraging exploration and enjoyment for the whole family.
For an indoors that feels like outdoors…
Where: Bodelva, Par PL24 2SG
When the rain comes, where better to escape to than the balmy Mediterranean climate. Don’t worry, there are no ferries or flights needed! At the Eden Project, you can walk through the rainforests of the Amazon or the slopes of Greece without leaving Cornwall thanks to the impressive biomes full of tropical plants and even a waterfall. That’s not all for indoor fun at the Eden Project though as the Core Building is home to scientific exhibitions and surreal sculptures that breathe. See our full guide to the Eden Project to discover what else you can do in this incredible former clay pit.
Make the most of Cornwall’s must-view beauty spots with our list of unbelievably beautiful places to visit in Cornwall.
For some friendly competition…
Where: Townshend, Hayle TR27 6ER
Just outside of Hayle, and surrounded by beautiful countryside, you’ll find the popular Country Skittles. Home of 9 pin skittles and a great selection of fun activities, this indoor attraction is perfect for some family-friendly competition. While the rain falls outside, challenge your family and friends to skittles, air hockey, pool, darts, table football, Mario Kart, board games and much more! When the winners have been crowned and everyone’s worked up an appetite, grab some delicious food in the restaurant.
Newquay Activity Centre
For the “I might as well get all wet” mentality…
Where: 60 Fore Street, Newquay TR7 1LW
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 while you have fun trying a new watersport. Newquay Activity Centre offers an incredible selection of watersports you can get stuck into, 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.
For a cosy Cornish meal…
What better way to celebrate a rainy day than by sitting by an open fire, pint in hand, while your locally-sourced meal is prepared for you. Cornwall has countless cosy cafes and restaurants, all waiting to welcome you in from the wet with the promise of full bellies. For a spot of storm watching, Newquay has some fantastic waterside eateries that offer an incredible selection of locally caught seafood. Visiting St Ives when the rain comes? Dive into one of their many pubs to shelter from the rain while sipping on a Cornish gin and tonic.
For a family feast…
When the rain pours, it’s the perfect excuse to stay indoors… especially if there’s food involved! A wonderful way to spend a rainy day is to plan and prepare a giant family feast while enjoying the home comforts of your cosy cottage. It’s not just for the parents to do though, get the kids involved in the cooking and create cherished memories in the kitchen. Why not go one step further and use Cornish ingredients in your meal from local farm shops and independent food shops in Cornwall. There are also some fantastic cookery schools around Cornwall where you can learn to make delicious new dishes with recipes you can take home with you.
Check out our list of the best days out in Cornwall for even more inspiration on what to do during your stay.
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 café, the rain won’t dampen your spirits when you’re on holiday in Cornwall. View all of our holiday cottages here.