Whilst the stunning county of Cornwall boasts its own microclimate, long and sandy beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities for all the family, we can’t always rely on the sun to be there! So if you’re planning your holiday in the South West and find yourself preparing for rain days, look no further! After speaking with our community online, we’ve gathered ten of the best rainy day activities in Cornwall, just for you…
Pirate’s Quest, Newquay
Embark on a swashbucklin’ voyage with real live buccaneers at Cornwall’s new Pirate’s Quest. Journey back in time with your Pirate Captain, 300 years, to the Golden Age of Piracy for story-telling and adventure. This immersive walkthrough experience combines talented theatrical actors, amazing special effects and detailed 360° sets in an authentic, atmospheric adventure transporting visitors back 300 years.
The hour-long experience will allow you and your crewmates to explore a series of different scenes while accompanied by a LIVE Pirate Performer who will tell you everything you need to know about being a buccaneer, including why pirates wore eye patches and why they drank rum. Adults enter for £10.95, children pay £7.95 and Under 3’s go free!
The Eden Project, Bodelva
With a worldwide reputation, and recognised by the British Travel Awards as the Best UK Leisure Attraction five years running, Eden barely needs an introduction, but this epic destination definitely deserves a day of your undivided attention. More than just a huge, tropical garden, Eden is a gateway into the relationships between plants and people, and a fascinating insight into the story of mankind’s dependence on plant life. Not only a mind-blowing visitor attraction, Eden is also fast-becoming a unique resource for education and knowledge towards a sustainable future.
Experience the sights, smells and scale of the rainforests in the Rainforest Biome – the world’s largest greenhouse – and discover the tropical plants that are used to produce everyday products. Travel to South Africa and California, as you amble amongst the orange and lemon trees, olive groves and gnarled vines of the Mediterranean Biome, and in the 30-acre Outdoor Garden see hemp, sunflowers and other plants that could change your future, flourishing under the Cornish sun.
Bodmin Jail, Bodmin
Bodmin Jail is an experience for the family, or for the daring who want to discover the paranormal. The Jail is steeped in both social and architectural history, and offers guests an amazing insight into Cornish penal life over the centuries. Discover life behind bars as an 18th Century prisoner in the heart of Cornwall. Explore the many cells and features that make your visit to the Jail a fun and educational adventure, and just a little bit scary!
Visitors can wander through the depths of the Jail and browse creative exhibits depicting penal life in Victorian Cornwall. Be sure to visit the Execution Shed; a fully restored Victorian hanging pit – the only hanging pit in the UK and the site of the last man executed in Cornwall. Marvel at the building’s unique design, architecture, and engineering; from the inspired heating and cooling systems constructed to keep the Jail environment comfortable.
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro
This museum was founded by The Royal Institution of Cornwall in 1818 to promote excellence in science and art and to forward the world-leading industries that Cornwall was known for. In over 200 years The Royal Institution of Cornwall has established the museum, along with the Courtney Library, and a programme of lectures to further its original goal.
The museum’s mission is to provide a welcoming, dynamic and lively cultural hub centred around their collections, that inspires people to explore, thrive and have fun. They are a charity that does not receive regular funding, so public support through donations and visitor income is vital to the museum’s success.
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Boscastle
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic houses one of the world’s largest collections of items relating to witchcraft, the occult and magic, with over 3000 objects. It has been in the picturesque Cornish coastal village of Boscastle since 1960 and is one of Cornwall’s most popular museums rated highly on TripAdvisor! The Museum intrigues visitors with its collections of charms, curses, herbs and healing and sea witchcraft.
Some of their most popular items are magical tools such as athames, wands and other Wiccan items, objects which were used for scrying such as black mirrors and crystal balls and the collection of protection talismans made by soldiers in the trenches of WWI. The Museum also has an extensive library with other 7,000 books and an archive of documents which can be viewed online or visited by appointment.
Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, Near Truro
Deep in the heart of the Cornish countryside, Healeys have been making the most of their orchards for over 30 years. Whether it’s getting to the core of great flavour or thinking outside the box, the team know what it takes to make apples special.
Optional tours and experiences take you on a Cyder making journey – from apple to Cyder! Take a tractor ride through their Orchards, and sample at least 20 varieties of Cyder, wine and preserves.
Tate, St Ives
Tate St Ives features work by iconic 20th century artists who lived and worked in the town, including Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, demonstrating the role of St Ives in the story of modern art. This is combined with a programme of large-scale seasonal shows, exhibited in their new extension. The current show in this series is Haegue Yang: Strange Attractors, which brings together new and existing works spanning installation, sculpture, drawing, collage and painting. The exhibition runs until 26th September 2021 and is the artists largest UK show to date.
Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Charlestown
Located above the Historic Port of Charlestown, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Shipwreck Museum shows a unique insight into the history of Charlestown with an opportunity to venture through underground tunnels that were once used to load clay onto ships moored in the harbour.
You’ll also be able to view the largest private collection of shipwreck artefacts in Europe with nearly 8,000 artefacts from over 150 shipwrecks. There is a newly refurbished shop at the end of your visit offering a variety of nautical treasure, Poldark themed gifts, seaworthy books, authentic shipwreck coins and local Cornish souvenirs. The team at the museum also offer an exclusive selection of fine wines, rum, cognac, and other goods that were delivered into Charlestown Harbour by the Grayhound, a three-masted custom lugger that travels around Europe selling high-quality food goods. Guided tours are available for organised parties booked in advance.
Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre, Lizard
With the help of a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Trinity House renovated the Engine Room at Lizard Lighthouse, retaining some of the old engines. It now also features new exhibition material, an audio visual room and a number of interactive displays.
The Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre was officially opened in 2009 by HRH The Princess Royal. The distinctive twin towers of Lizard Lighthouse mark the most southerly point of mainland Britain. See displays depicting Trinity House’s history, housed in the original engine room. It was commissioned in 1752. For over 250 years, the lighthouse has provided a welcoming landfall light to vessels crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Falmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth
The award winning Falmouth Art Gallery is family friendly and free. The gallery has a vibrant and ambitious exhibitions programme and usually stages thematic shows featuring selected works from the gallery’s collection hung alongside loans from artists, museum collections and private lenders. This means that the three exhibition rooms are constantly changing and there is always something new and exciting to enjoy!
The gallery cares for an outstanding collection of over 2000 artworks that includes 19th and 20th century master painting, British Impressionist paintings, the RCPS Tuke Collection, contemporary prints, photography, automata and a children’s illustration archive. All works can be viewed on the gallery’s website. Most of the collection is housed in the art stores so if you wish to see a work that is not on display please ask at the desk for a store visit.