Around Cornwall in 10 Days: FAMILY EDITION
A selection of family attractions to visit this Summer
Summer is a great time to explore new places and make memories with family and friends, so whether you’re local to Cornwall or a visitor from afar, here is a selection of fun family attractions you can visit this July and August. With so many fantastic things to see and do in Cornwall, it is difficult to highlight only a handful of places, so use this for inspiration and make sure you do your own bit of research too!
Our beautiful map images, designed by Keith Sparrow, show just how vast the cultural landscape of the South West is. Every area has its own host of attractions and special events. You can find out what events are happening in your area here: https://cornwall365.com/areas/
So if you fancy exploring a bit of Cornwall this Summer, read on for our area attractions guide…
For a list of events to attend this summer, have a look at our July Top Picks and Summer Family Theatre Selection.
1. Bude & North Cornwall
Tintagel DAY OUT
Open Daily, 10am – 7pm
Combining spectacular panoramic views across the rugged Cornish coast and the blue Atlantic, with vast amounts of space to explore, kids and grown-ups alike will love Tintagel Castle. Discover where history meets legend in the new exhibition centre, relax on the sheltered beach while the kids explore Merlin’s cave, and enjoy a delicious taste of Cornwall with local produce at the Beach Café.
The Vale of Avalon and Arthurian Centre, Tintagel
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
Visitors can walk through the fields where King Arthur and Mordred met for their last battle. Read about the legends and the history in the exhibition room, watch a video presentation on the site and legends. There is something for everyone including brass rubbing, children’s quiz, a nature trail; gift shop, tea room and, for our smaller visitors, a play castle. Unravel fact from fiction. Archaeological site open to the public also “Lady Falmouth’s Secret Garden”, an 18th century garden rediscovered in 2005. Ongoing restoration – come and visit now and see the garden gradually brought to life!!
Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Tintagel
Open Monday – Saturday, 10:30am – 6pm & Sunday, 11:30am – 6pm
Come and visit the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic and discover the history of magical practice in Britain from ancient times to the present day. The Museum aims to represent the diversity and vigour of magical practice respectfully, accurately and impartially through unique, entertaining and educational exhibitions, drawing upon cutting-edge scholarship along with the insights of magical practitioners.
With exciting new displays, temporary exhibitions and events and a collection that has grown to over 3000 objects and over 7000 books; the history of the Museum of Witchcraft continues to inspire and intrigue people from all over the world
Outdoor Adventure, Bude
Open by bookings
Outdoor Adventure is an independent centre offering outdoor activities situated on the award-winning, unspoilt, rugged North Cornwall coast. If the location isn’t mind-blowing enough for you, just wait until you’re getting stuck into the exciting and exhilarating activities!
With an expert team of professionals, you can enjoy a whole host of outdoor adventures from surfing, body boarding, climbing, abseiling, Canadian canoeing, kayaking, sit-on kayaking, coastal traversing, archery, orienteering, coastal walking, teambuilding and evening activities, too!
Come and share some memorable experiences on your activity holidays in beautiful Bude!
Open for booking 7 days a week
Which way? Segway! Find out what all the fuss is about at Segway Bude.
This is a unique day out where you can try something new while taking in the lovely Cornwall countryside. Segways are specially designed to use self-balancing technology, which basically means it’s easy peasy! You’ll be given a full safety briefing before setting off, and a helmet comes as standard.
Take your family on a two-wheeled adventure – the southern wilds are your oyster!
2. Launceston & East Cornwall
Tamar Valley Donkey Park, Gunnislake
Open Daily, 10am – 6pm
Fun for all at the Tamar Valley Donkey Park. Feed and pet donkeys, goats, sheep, pugs, rabbits & guinea pigs. Enjoy hot and cold meals and Cornish cream teas in Holly’s café or visit the donkey bazaar gift shop for lots of donkey-themed souvenirs. With an adventure playground and huge play barn offering 6 indoor zones there is something to do whatever the weather.
Open Daily, 10am – 6pm
Come and explore the colourful history of Launceston Castle. Built soon after the Norman Conquest, the castle was once the administrative headquarters for the Earl of Cornwall and was as a significant location where control could be kept of local estates.
As well as the exciting climb to the top of the Tower to see the stunning town and countryside views, children will enjoy the chance to try brass rubbing or trying on historic costumes – a perfect photo opportunity. Displays of artefacts found during the excavations in the exhibition room along with the history of the castle also help to bring its history to life, along with regular archery targets set up for you to try! With its wide reaching views of the countryside, it is an ideal picnic location.
Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre, Launceston
Open Daily, 10:30am – 6pm
On your visit to the Tamar Otter & Wildlife Centre you will see British and Asian Short Clawed Otters playing and being fed close at hand, Fallow Deer in a woodland enclosure and Wallabies and Muntjac Deer roaming around the 21 acre grounds.
Enter the wildwood and you will come across Deer and Birds of Prey, Check out the Meerkats from the walkway and see the Servals before walking to the Old Quarry and tranquil Quarry Pool.
Hidden Valley Discovery Park, Launceston
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm (last entry 2pm)
Cornwall’s ‘hidden gem’ attraction that’s great entertainment for everyone.
Experience the mysterious Forbidden Mansion hiding weird and wonderful rooms, secret passageways and the challenging Moriarty’s Missions or take a train ride around the park on the Porterswick Junction Light Railway, with its bridges, cuttings and a snaking tunnel. Enjoy the delicious meals, cream teas and mouth-watering cakes on offer in the restaurant, and find a great range of gifts and curiosities in the gift shop.
Discovery and exploration is the game, whether you chose our intriguing outside trails, the fast pace fun of Moriarty’s Missions or simply to explore the park and discover an unfolding kaleidoscope of uniquely landscaped grounds.
3. Liskeard, Looe & Saltash
Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary, Looe
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 3:30pm
Nestled into the side of the south Cornish coast between Looe and Seaton, Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary has been offering a safe haven for monkeys since 1964. The Sanctuary cares for a range of different species of rescued monkeys, giving visitors an intimate insight to a working sanctuary and a chance to meet some of its amazing monkey residents and wildlife inhabitants.
There’s a lot to do for the whole family who can take a tour of the monkey enclosures and learn about these fascinating animals from the team of expert carers. It’s not just monkeys though! Kids will love the wild play area where they can learn about the environment around them and let off some steam in the playground. Take a gentle stroll around the beautiful Wildlife Gardens and check out the sea view, or spend some time perusing the gift shop while enjoying a refreshing beverage.
Polperro Model Village, Polperro
Open Daily, 10:30am – 6pm
Looking for a great family day out in Cornwall? No visit to Cornwall would be complete without a visit to the famous Polperro Model Village and Land of Legend.
Explore the village of Polperro in miniature, and learn about the Cornish myths and legends. More than 60 years in existence, having survived fire and floods, this famous attraction continues to delight families of all ages.
Adrenalin Quarry, Liskeard
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
Visiting Adrenalin Quarry is like finding yourself on the set of Jurassic Park. Dramatic cliffs loom over a deep lake, birds scatter as you smack the surface of the water. With all our adrenalin activities, we’ve pushed the boundaries of each sport, whilst making it as accessible as possible. Activities on offer include the Aquapark, Karting, The Zip, The Giant Swing, Coasteering and Axe Throwing. The emphasis is always on adrenalin and creating an adventure to remember, whether you’re 10 or 100, timid beginner or fearless adrenalin junkie.
Porfell Wildlife Park, Looe
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
Visit Cornwall’s biggest exotic animal sanctuary
Porfell Wildlife Park is a wild family attraction only a few miles from Looe in South East Cornwall. It offers sanctuary to many different animals from around the world. They might be neglected, injured, imported illegally or simply no longer wanted. For whatever reason they come, they’re always welcome.
Since 1989, Porfello Wildlife Park has created homes designed to suit each species’ individual needs. The result is a living attraction quite unlike a zoo. Here children (and adults!) can get up close to wildlife, feed the animals, touch them and learn all about the natural world.
4. Bodmin & Bodmin Moor
Cornwall Regimental Museum, Bodmin
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Recognised as probably the finest Military Museum in the South West of England, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum is housed in “The Keep” at Bodmin, a magnificent Grade II listed Victorian building constructed in 1857. Each of the 12,000 collection items has its own story to tell. Stories about the battles that have been fought, weapons that were used or personal letters that were written on the battlefield. This former headquarters of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry houses more than three hundred years of military history, a library and conference and exposition rooms.
Hallagenna Riding, Bodmin
Open by booking
Hallagenna offer horse riding for everyone, whatever their ability. You can choose from a gentle hour of trekking or hacking with instruction through to an exhilarating trail ride (approximately 4 hours) for more competent riders. From first-time riders to those seeking more of a challenge, Hallagenna’s experienced horses and ponies will give you a horse riding holiday to remember.
Siblyback Lake and Country Park, Liskeard
Activities open by booking
Visit Siblyback Lake, located on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Surrounded by moorland and dramatic tors, this impressive lakeside location offers a great day out for families in Cornwall. Discover all of the fun things to do as you walk, run or cycle on theaccessible path. It’s a 3.2 mile circular path that runs adjacent to the lake, venture through woodlands, build dens, spot birds from the hide and discover Siblyback Dam, everyone loves this megastructure! Don’t forget to bring the dog as well, Siblyback Lake offers a great day out for dog walkers, explore the great outdoors with your four-legged friend and become our top dog!
The fully renovated onsite café, ‘The Rock Hopper’, offers light lunches, delicious cakes, coffees and more. There’s plenty of open spaces to set up picnics and let children play freely. Explore the play area, find bugs, identify leaves with activity packs and discover all the great things to do in the outdoors.
5. Newquay, Padstow & Wadebridge
Open 10am – 5pm
Get close to over 1,000 of the world’s rarest and endangered animals at Newquay Zoo!
Located on the north coast of Cornwall, surrounded by 13 acres of lush tropical gardens it is a visitor attraction where you can run wild, explore and release your inner animal. Watch the lions devour their lunch and then adventure into the Tropical House (if you’re brave enough) and meet some of the more unusal residents including a sloth! If that isn’t enough, there are activity trails, face painting, a children’s play area, a Woodland Walk and Dragon maze to keep the little ones busy.
Just a short walk from Newquay town centre, Newquay Zoo is one of Cornwall’s leading visitor attractions and as a charity your visit will support the vital conservation projects both at the Zoo and around the world, working to save animals from extinction. Come and visit for lots of fun for all the family!
Elemental, UK, Newquay
Open by booking
Elemental run two Cornish adventure centres (in Newquay and Falmouth) and offer a range of activities that bring you face to face with the elements.
Their aim is to help you get the most from the coast by immersing yourself in the challenges and thrills of the natural world – all while learning valuable skills and having fun.
Find Elemental at Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, where they take advantage of the adrenaline-fuelled excitement of the north coast. Or visit Falmouth’s Swanpool Beach, on the sheltered south-west coast, which is a great place to try your hand at all manner of wet and wild watersports.
Lappa Valley, Newquay
Open Daily, 10am – 4:30pm
Journey into the park by one of the beautiful steam engines, once inside you will find the leisure park packed full with a whole host of family friendly activities including crazy golf, the canoeing lake, play areas and two further railways to explore.
Dairyland Farm World, Newquay
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
Dairyland Farm World, near Newquay, Cornwall offers a fantastic adventure park to suit all ages. From slides to the nature trail, tractor rides and pony rides, to milking the cows, feeding animals and touring the museums. A visit to the fun farm promises a great value family day out!
If the weather’s not so good, don’t despair! – Dairyland offers a whole host of family fun all under cover including The Bull Pen – a Massive Indoor play centre, Tour the milking parlour and take part in the milking of the cows, the interesting and factual farm museums where you can explore Cornish farm life throughout the ages and not forgetting Clarabelle’s kitchen café with a wide range of great value food and drink.
6. St Austell, Mevagissey & Fowey
Eden Project, Par
Open Daily, 9:30am – 6pm (closing times vary)
The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future.
This visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell
Open Daily, 10am – 6pm
The Lost Gardens provide families with possibly the best natural playground ever, making them one of the top family days out in Cornwall! There’s a network of magical gardens, woodland walks and farmland brimming with interest and intrigue; and with over 200 acres – enough room to tire the most energetic little legs!
Wheal Martyn, St Austell
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
A great day out in Cornwall and a visit filled with discovery and adventure infused with Cornwall’s history.
Check out the original Victorian Clay Works, bursting at the seams with tools and machinery and real stories of Cornwall’s largest mining industry. Get active exploring our woodlands, let off steam on the kids adventure trail, find the flat rod tunnel and discover the secret drum set. The grounds of Wheal Martyn are a haven for all kinds of creatures, follow the nature trail to see what you can spot. Enjoy a pit stop in the café, serving homemade lunches and cakes plus a tasty Little Miners menu.
7. Falmouth, Truro & The Roseland
National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
Open daily, 10am – 5pm
15 galleries, over five floors: exploring the overwhelming influence of the sea on history and culture
Falmouth on the South Cornwall coast is a fitting setting for this journey of discovery to begin. The museum is located on aptly named Discovery Quay, and is a vast, iconic building, home to exciting exhibitions and a wide range of galleries taking visitors on a journey through the overwhelming influence of the sea on history and culture.
Kernow Adventure Park, Penryn
Open Daily, 11am – 7pm
Kernow Adventure Park is Cornwall’s hidden outdoor activity centre, for family days out and thrill-seekers, with an Aquapark, open water swimming, wakeboarding and paddleboarding all set on a secret, tranquil, crystal-clear lake sunk into the earth. With a glass-fronted clubhouse, cafe, bar and its own beaches, this idyllic quarry is a little oasis, a safe playground and a social sanctuary cocooned within nature. What started out as a wake park for friends has been transformed into an adventure centre for the whole family.
Pendennis Castle, Falmouth & St Mawes Castle
Open Daily, 10am – 6pm
Explore two of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses.
Pendennis Castle has defended Cornwall against foreign invasion since Tudor times. Discover how the castle has evolved, and experience the sights and sounds of battle. Visit the exhibition ‘Fortress Falmouth and the First World War’, which examines the role of the castle during the 1914-18 conflict. Or catch a ferry across to St Mawes Castle where you can experience stunning sea views whilst engaging with history through the castle’s audio tour. During the Summer there are outdoor theatre productions so that you be entertained in the beautiful surroundings of the grounds with the castle keep in the background.
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 4:45pm
Explore 1000s of historical objects from both Cornwall and the rest of the world, along with one of the county’s finest art collections.
The Royal Cornwall Museum is a treasure trove of art, antiquities and archaeology. With lots of creative fun to be had from explorer backpacks, dressing up and hands-on exhibits there is something for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by the past.
8. Redruth & Camborne
Open Daily, 9:30am – 5:30pm (Visitor Centre & Exhibitions 11am – 4pm)
Heartlands is a free visitor attraction and World Heritage Site Gateway in Cornwall. Nestled just off the A30 in Pool, near Redruth in the former mining heart of Cornwall, there are 19 acres of eclectic fun to explore. Whether its breathing in the peace and serenity found in the Diaspora Botanical Gardens, shouting with glee after escaping the Giant’s Trap in the Adventure Playground, or being taken back to another time through an immersion scape in the World Heritage Exhibitions, there’s something to suit every age and interest.State-of-the-art exhibitions, climb-on sculptures, gardens of real diversity, a giant adventure playscape for kids, art and craft studios and a unique café in the old carpenter’s workshop.
With swathes of green outdoor space for warm, sunny days and ever-curious indoor space when it’s wet, Heartlands is all-year round, all-weather entertainment for anyone and everyone. Go see, go play, go explore
King Edward Mine Museum, Camborne
Open July Wednesday – Monday, August Daily, 10am – 5pm
Come and experience a complete mining day out with the family this Summer.
Stithians Lake Country Park, Redruth
Open Daily, 9:30am – 5pm
Stithians Lake offers a great day out, on and off the water. Create your own pirate adventure, take to the water on a sailing quest or let your children run freely in our pirate-themed play area. Fill your day with fun and adventure, walk our nature path or bring your bike and cycle off-road. It’s a 4.8 mile circular route that runs adjacent to the lake, spot birds from the hide and discover Stithians Dam, everyone loves watching water cascade down this megastructure! Don’t forget to bring the dog, enjoy a day out with your four-legged friend and become the top dog!
There’s plenty of open spaces to let children play freely. The Northern cut off and Southern arm of the lake is a designated nature reserve providing a great home to an amazing range of wildlife, download free activity sheets and see what you will discover. Let children’s imagination run free, find bugs, spot birds or take to the water and enjoy a canoeing adventure.
9. Helston & The Lizard Peninsula
Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
Make some new friends today at Cornwall’s only Seal Sanctuary and rescue centre. Come and hear about dramatic rescues and meet the seal and sea lion characters whose individual stories are brought to life during your visit. Relax at the Café or simply enjoy the beautiful view of the Helford River and wander along a picturesque woodland walk. Children will love the pirate play area, quiz trail and special events all year round. Don’t forget to say ‘hello’ to the sanctuary’s other friends the penguins, otters, sheep, goats and horses!
Helston Railway, Helston
Open Thursday & Sunday, 10am – 3:30pm
Feel the wind in your hair and enjoy a ride on Britain’s most Southerly railway. The train journey takes around 25 minutes along the restored railway line with extensive views across the countryside towards the Lizard and South Coast.
Why not spend some time in the little gift shop with its extensive range of railway themed gifts and souvenirs, browse the extensive collection of pre-loved railway books and models, or for the younger children the collection of pre-loved Thomas Toys. Enjoy our video presentation and games room or visit our buffet in the restored railway carriage, serving hot and cold drinks and snacks and light lunches including locally sourced acclaimed bacon rolls.
Open Daily 10am – 5pm (last admission 3pm)
Flambards Theme Park, Helston, Cornwall is a great family fun day out with plenty of great things to do! Brave the sky-high thrill rides, or enjoy the undercover soft play area. Discover dinosaurs in the Jurassic Journey and uncover fossils in the Dino Dig. Step back in time in the life-size Victorian Village and experience Britain in the Blitz in the award-winning Indoor Attractions.
Enjoy Cornwall’s best day of the week – whatever the weather.
10. Penzance & West Penwith
Minack Theatre, Porthcurno
Open Daily, 9:30 – various closing times
The Minack, a unique theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean, presents a full programme of drama, musicals and opera every summer, together with music, comedy and story-telling. Open all year round, come and discover the incredible story of Rowena Cade and explore the amazing space she created.
Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno
Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
Discover the fascinating story of how submarine cables from a Cornish beach changed the world.
The Telegraph Museum holds a designated collection of objects including the only complete working telegraph station left in the world. Visitors can explore: Eastern House, home to the World’s biggest telegraph station from the turn of the 20th Century; the Grade II listed Cable House where the global network of cables came ashore; and the secret World War Two tunnels, built to protect Britain’s vital communications hub from attack.
With hands-on displays, fascinating stories of the people behind the science, and trails and activities to enthral children aged 3 to 103 there is something for everyone.
Paradise Park and Jungle Barn, Hayle
10am – 6pm
With over 140 species and a total of over 650 birds there is a stunning range to see at Paradise Park
Daily events for the Summer include the Eagles of Paradise Display, the Free Flying Bird Show, Penguin feeding where a few lucky people will be asked to help feed the penguins and the famous ‘Penguin Photocall’ sessions. No matter what the weather, you can have huge fun in the Jungle Barn indoor play centre. Enjoy a stroll around the Park or a delicious lunch and drink in the Otter Pool Cafe and perusing round the Gift Shop.
Tate St Ives
Open Daily, 10am – 5:20pm
The Tate have free family activities and events all year round. You don’t need to be an expert to look at or talk about art. Don’t feel you have to ‘get it’ to enjoy it – take whatever you like from a piece. The Tate has plenty of games for you and your family to try in the galleries. Remember its ok to talk at Tate! Its ok to make some noise! Family events this Summer include ‘Toddle Tate’ – a workshop for under 5s using messy play, movement, stories, music and song to explore the galleries, ‘Tate Create’, the Summer holidays big paint challenge, and ‘Beach Art Explorers’, making your own artwork inspired by wonderful artists, the beach and magical stories of Porthmeor.
If you like our beautiful maps, designed by artist Keith Sparrow, you can get your very own copy of the collection (and even add your own special places) in our book, Find & Seek which can be purchased for £10 on our website: www.cornwall365.org.uk
Please note, text and images used in this post have been taken from the website of each individual organisation and edited by Cornwall 365 for the purposes of this post.
All opening times are approximate – check each individual website for more information on last admissions and opening times outside the Summer holidays.