Attractions in Cornwall
Sun Haven Valley offers the ideal central location, with access to almost any attraction in Cornwall in less than an hour!
Why not visit our information room for leaflets and guides to all the major attractions, with discount vouchers and helpful hints to inspire your perfect day trip. Find menus from local restaurants and takeaways, to maps of walking routes, you'll find everything you could need including a desktop computer with internet access for anything that we may have forgotten!
Japanese Garden & Bonsai Nursery, St Mawgan A sweet and unexpected treasure in the heart of St Mawgan, the bonsai gardens are dedicated to rare and interesting plants and features, arranged in a Japanese-style walk, complete with lake and hut!
Kingsurf School, Mawgan Porth Our west-facing beach receives the same impressive Atlantic surf as world-famous Newquay, but on a much quieter beach. The surf school operates from the beachfront with a range of lessons to suit all abilities including one-to-one sessions, lessons for couples, or group tutorials. During the main season you can schedule evening classes from 6.30-9pm session and keep the kids busy!
At the Screech Owl Sanctuary near St Columb you can visit the surprising animal shelter, home to a selection of interesting animals, including emus and meerkats as well as screech owls. You can arrange bike hire from the Santuary and explore little-known Goss Moor. Springfields Fun Park & Pony Centre also near St Columb is an action packed day for young family with acres of space, and with a sheltered play barn there is always plenty to do.
Just a few miles from the park, St Eval Kart Circuit has the longest and fastest track in the South-West, with over 1.2km of course to tackle, including a fly-over and figure-of-8, in various kart-styles - from the 12mph 'Bambini' carts for children from 6yrs, up to thrill seekers pushing 70mph in the pro-karts. St Eval Candle Company is a couple of miles from Sun Haven Valley and uses traditional methods of candle making, including hand drawn and hand poured. As well as Church Candles, St Eval Candle Co. produces many scented candles using unique fragrances. Remember to check our information room for discount vouchers before you leave.
Newquay's Tunnels Through Time offers a great wet-day alternative. Walk through themuseum displaying depictions of factual historic local events, and fantastic interpretations of the county's mythical and romantic past. Also in Newquay is children's indoor play facility Buccaneer Bay - a nautically themed attraction for the youngest memjebrs of the family. Newquay Zoo Visit the wonderful African Savannah exhibit with three acres of grassland including stunning wildebeest, entertaining ostriches, warthogs, zebra, waterbuck and Nyala antelope. Get closer to the animals with interactive feeding sessions, and pre-bookings available for parties. The Adventure Centre in Newquay offers specialised instructors for day long courses including the chance to try the longest, highest & fastest aerial wire ropeway in Europe! Blue Reef Aquarium on Towan Beachfront in a unique multi-level shack. The aquarium features a variety of watery plants and animals, including crocs and crustaceans to enlighten and inspire all visitors. With impressive underwater tunnels, and a giant loggerhead turtle called Omiros it's a cheap all-weather day trip.
Heading out from Newquay towards the A30 you'll discover plenty of attractions well worth a visit. Dairyland Farm World An exciting all-weather attraction ideal for animal lovers and younger families. Dairyland is a cow-themed farm park, offering tractor rides woodland walks and the popular indoor "Bull-pen" (slides, climbing frames, and soft play areas.) Along the same route discover Trerice, an Elizabethan Manor famed for its 'barrel-roofed' Great Chamber and award-winning garden education project. A tudor themed experience owned by the National Trust, so expect wondrous gardens and well-preserved rooms throughout. Try to visit on the day of an art exhibition for a little extra appeal! Cornish Cyder Farm Take a tour and sample a range of famous traditional scrumpy cyders, sparkling country wines, jams, preserves and spirits. All products are available to try before buying from the farm shop, as well as being used as ingredients in the restaurant on site. Take a tractor ride through the orchards and visit the small petting zoo and play area. Vertical Descents are leading specialists in coastal activities, combining rock climbing, water sports and adventure-activity packages for all individuals and groups.With multiple locations across the county, head in any direction and finish your day trip with action and adventure!
Catch the bus from the site's entrance gates directly to Padstow (often open-topped during the Summer) and pick your way through the well-known cobbled harbour. The Lobster Hatchery on the harbour is a small museum run by a charity dedicated to preservaton works and marine biology to protect the common lobster. Usually your ticket will grant you re-entry for the duration of the week, and they have a small gift shop on site. Whilst in the area, its difficult not to notice any of Stein's establishments. If you'd like to book a table for the restaurant or fancy a look at the café menu why not visit Rick Stein's website for more information and ideas. Finish your day with a boat trip to across to Rock and enjoy a meal with views overlooking the Camel Estuary and Padstow.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan near St Austell. Discover the beautiful and mysterious world renowned gardens and explore over 200 acres of estate, including the "Victorian" productive gardens, lush sub-tropical jungle, romantic pleasure grounds, the pioneering Wildlife project and more. It should be a crime to visit North Cornwall and not experience the Eden Project in nearby St Austell. A fantastic unique attraction, with huge "biodomes" encasing a tropical rainforest and mediterannean rarities; an educational and informative establishment that showcases plants, hosts events and displays sculptures and artworks to encourage environmental awareness. Wheal Martyn China Clay Country Park is set in 26 acres of woodland, in the grounds of two former working china clay pits, and provides visitors with a exciting day out and a fascinating insight into china clay - how it was mined, what is was used for and what it meant for the families who lived in the area.
Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre A large, indoor attraction displaying items and artefacts recovered from shipwrecks all over the world, featuring the countys only Titantic display, complete with replica Coeur de la Mer, discusses and develops findings from the most iconic and horrific shipwreck tragedy to date, with exclusive film footage! Explore and discover an interesting and exciting world of undersea. Mevagissey Model Railway A small indoor attraction. Ideal for enthusiasts and young families The World of Model Railways is one of Cornwall's premier tourist attractions, with one of the best model shops in the South-West of England. Mevagissey itself is one of the most beautiful fishing harbours in Cornwall and a must-see of it's own right, not far from St Austell.
Bodmin and Wenford Railway is Cornwall's only standard gauge railway still operated by steam locomotives and the trains run through some delightful Cornish scenery. Book for on-board meal experiences, and murder mystery evenings. For off-road riding, head to Bodmin's The ATV Centre and try three circuits on All Terrain Vehicles as large as 125cc!! Courtroom Experience Built between 1837 and 1838, the Shire Hall in Bodmin. Act as a member of the jury in a re-enactment of a trial dating back to 1844 about a girl's body found on the moors, and visit the holding cells on an hour long tour of the experience. Great for families and dog owners. Bodmin Jail was the last County Jail in Cornwall, eventually closing in 1927 with the last execution recorded as recently as 1908. Follow the route through the cells and uncover it's history with a number of equally famous and shocking stories. The Jail's restaurant is exceedingly good, serving food throughout the day from light bites and cream teas. The Jail also marks the start of the famous Camel Trail which stretches over 22 miles to Padstow and Wenfordbridge. Suitable for cyclists and walkers of all abilites, the Camel Trail is a level route along a disused railway line. See Bike Hire for options about renting bicycles and buggies, some can even be delivered to your accommodation.
Not too far from Bodmin, you'll find the immaculate and astounding Lanhydrock Manor and Gardens. The house has a long and full past brimming with exciting and interesting facts - including strong links to the Wars. Lanhydrock is a National Trust property so expect astoundingly beautiful gardens complete with the tiniest family church - still running a service today! Whilst in the area, why not visit the Carnglaze Caverns; the remains of a subterrainean slate mine, with three large chambers to explore. The Caverns offer a unique wedding and events venue with incredible aciustics, idela for opera and classical music shows, and is surrounded by 6.5 acres of woodland. And you simply can't miss Trago Mills whilst in that neck of the woods, the famous discount shopping store! Follow the road on from Trago towards Plymouth and discover Cotehele Mill A working mill since the 1800s, Cotehele is owned by the National Trust and still grinds wholemeal flour, used in bread served in the Mill's restaurant. Throughout the year, Cotehele offers workshops and demonstrations in woodwork and blacksmithery. Near the Devonian border in Saltash.
Heading Further North
Those heading North for the day MUST visit Tintagel - a sleepy village near the cliff edge. A random selection of knick knack shops and country pubs, with the popular National Trust Old Post Office in the heart of the village. The remains of Tintagel Castle are particualry special, but not for the faint hearted; those that manage the steep hill down to the castle will have to cross a wooden bridge to the island and climb a steep and uneven flight of steps forged from the cliff side to get to the really good bit. Tip: There is a landrover service in the busy months which can help those put off by the big hill, and it will take you to the toilets, gift shop and cafe/tea room (arguably the next best bits).
Less than 3 miles away is the tiny village of Boscastle. Famous for the 2004 flooding, you can visit the museum in the cove and witness the horrific damage from the storm, before popping into the amazing Witchcraft Museum and perusing the mystical artefacts and stories inside.
Jamaica Inn Cornwall's legendary coaching house, immortalised in Daphne du Maurier's novel of the same name, has stood high overlooking Bodmin Moor for over four centuries. Still referred to as the famous smuggling inn, Jamaica Inn has a small museum, showcashing snippets of its past - including an extensive Daphne du Maurier library. The Inn still serves as a restaurant and pub, and there is also a selection of rooms to stay in, many of which have been reported as haunted! Trethorne Leisure Park An all-weather attraction based in Launceston, offering a farm-park, animal barn, bowling, dodgems, horse riding - literally something for everybody!
Porteath Bee Centre In the Living Honey Bee Exhibition the beehives are kept behind glass fronted display cabinets housed in the walls that lead out into the open air. It's a great opportunity to get really close and observe the bees darting around specially provided post boxes and hollow logs totally uninhibited by your viewing pleasure. And best of all no risk of getting stung!
Trewithen Gardens A historic private estate internationally renowned for its collection of magnolias and camellias also boasting 24 'Champion Trees', woodland walks, 18th century estate house, tea shop and highly prized plants from the on-site nursery. Finish the day in Truro just up the roadwith a meal (eatoutcornwall.com) bowling at Truro Bowl or trip to the cinema (Plaza Cinema)
Tate St Ives presents modern and contemporary art, often created in or associated with Cornwall. Its location in St Ives, with dramatic views across the town and harbour to the east and Porthmeor Beach to the north, provides a unique opportunity to view work in the surroundings in which, in many cases, it was actually created.
Pendennis Castle Discover the wartime secrets of Cornwall's greatest fortress. Pendennis Castle was built by King Henry VIII over 450 years ago to defend against possible attack by Spain and France. An English Heritage site, often used for reenactments - we thoroughly recommend the jousting!
Gweek Seal Sanctuary The Sanctuary started in the winter of 1958 when a baby seal, only a few hours old, was washed up on the beach at St Agnes. Now a resort dedicated to preserving the life of seals - Sun Haven as has helped adopt 2 seals for years. For more information, check out our information centre.
The Flambards Experience
is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the South West of England.
With unique exhibitions, including the Flambards Victorian Village, Britain
in The Blitz and Memory Lane exhibitions. There is a fabulous undercover
soft play area for young children - The Cool Zone, which is now open separately
during the winter season Flambards offers a great value day out for the
whole family, whatever the weather. There is a fantastic variety of rides
for all ages and entertainment for all the family during the Main Season.
Head further south to discover a plethora of attractions on the south east coast, including the Lizard's breathtaking coastline. If you like exploring below sea-level and fancy scuba diving with basking sharks, get in touch with Porthkerris Divers - a professional, family run dive centre based on the Lizard Peninsula.
St Michaels Mount Discover a medieval castle, a sub-tropical paradise and a close-knit island community. Delve into the history of a fortress, a priory, a harbour and a home. Separated from the mainland via a cobbled causeway which can be walked at low tide, or accessed via a short boat ride. An incredible maze of gardens maintaned by the National Trust. National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth is a fully independent museum, a development of the original FIMI (Falmouth International Maritime Initiative) partnership created in 1992 to educate and interest visitors about the history of maritime expeditions, including fishing sailing and diving! Poldark Mine One of the few remaining tin-mines open to the public for tours. A fab day out for those heading towards Falmouth. Learn about tin mining in Cornwall and the tools they would have used. Pan for gold, and find treasure in the gift shop. Great for all ages, with a play park for the younger members.
En route to Lizard Point, drop in to the Trenance Chocolate Factory and enjoy a surprising stop with a jewellery store, art gallery and delightful café before taking a tour around the esteemed chocolate factory.
Lands End a place of almost mystical beauty where the might of the Atlantic meets the towering cliffs of Cornwall. One of Britain's best loved landmarks has plenty to offer those seeking a full day out, including the First and Last Louse and the famous gate post. Porthcurno Telegraph Museum for those heading towards Lands end. Once celebrated as the most important communications centre in mainland Britain, the museum is dedicated to educating visitors about works and technology involved with laying the first undersea cable in 1870, and the history of the site which has strong links with training and telephone communications.
Trewidden Gardens Penzance - steeped in history as well as natural beauty. Originally planted late 19th Century, the 15-acre garden offers an unforgettable orchestra of colour throughout the year, particularly during the spring months.
"Minack" in Cornish means a rocky place and the black headed crag below
the theatre has always drawn local fishermen. Since the 1930's the Minack
has been used as an unusual theatre, with its incredible acoustics enhancing
operatics and Shakepearean Reenactments. If you get the opportunity to
see a production at the Minack, it will never be forgotten!
If you know of any other attractions we've missed, or would like to link to us yourselves, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org