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Unusual things to do in Cornwall

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking relaxation on beautiful beaches, Cornwall offers a diverse range of experiences. Join us as we showcase the best attractions in this beautiful county.

It’s time to discover the magic of Cornwall. Keep reading for an insider’s guide to the best things to do in Cornwall…

Looking for something in particular? Use our quick links below, or read on for our guide on the top 10 things to do in Cornwall.

1. Eden Project

We couldn’t have a list of top things to do in Cornwall without mentioning the most visited attraction in the county.

The Eden Project is a world-renowned ecological attraction located near St Austell in Cornwall. It is a fascinating and educational destination that showcases the incredible diversity of plant life on our planet. Nestled within massive biomes, the Eden Project recreates the climate zones in the tropical rainforests and Mediterranean landscapes. Visitors can wander through lush gardens, marvel at exotic plants, and learn about sustainable living and environmental conservation.

The iconic architecture, with its soaring biodomes, creates a truly unique and immersive experience. The Eden Project hosts various events, exhibitions, and educational programs, making it a must-visit destination for families and anyone seeking inspiration from the wonders of the natural world.

2. Minack Theatre


Perched on the rugged cliffs of Cornwall’s southwestern coast, the Minack Theatre is an extraordinary open-air amphitheatre that blends seamlessly with its dramatic natural surroundings.

Carved into the granite cliffs overlooking the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Minack Theatre offers a mesmerizing setting for performing arts. Its unique location provides breathtaking panoramic views, with crashing waves and wildlife serving as the backdrop to the stage. Visitors are captivated by the sheer beauty of the venue, with its terraced seating carved into the rock and vibrant flowers adorning the cliffside.

From Shakespearean classics to contemporary plays and musical performances, the Minack Theatre hosts a diverse range of productions throughout the year, enticing theatre enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Whether you visit for the performances or simply to soak up the awe-inspiring ambiance, a trip to the Minack Theatre is an unforgettable experience.

3. Healeys Cyder Farm

Nestled amidst the picturesque countryside of Cornwall, Healeys Cider Farm is a delightful destination for cider enthusiasts and those seeking a taste of traditional Cornish charm. Located near the village of Penhallow, this family-owned farm has been crafting exceptional ciders for over 30 years.

As you wander through the orchards, you’ll be greeted by rows upon rows of apple trees, laden with a variety of cider apple varieties.

The farm offers one of the best brewery tours in Cornwall, where visitors can learn about the cider-making process, from the careful cultivation of the apples to the fermentation and blending techniques that create their distinctive flavours. Immerse yourself in the rich aroma of freshly pressed apples as you explore the on-site cider production facilities and traditional cellars.

Don’t miss the opportunity to sample a range of delicious ciders, from crisp and refreshing to rich and full-bodied, each one showcasing the expertise and passion of the Healeys family.

The farm also boasts a charming farm shop, where you can browse and purchase a wide array of cider products, including bottles, gift sets, and even cider brandy. With its idyllic setting, warm hospitality, and delectable ciders, Healeys Cider Farm offers a memorable and authentic taste of Cornwall’s cider-making heritage.

4. St Michael’s Mount

A view of the cobbled path leading to St Michael's Mount in Marazion, Cornwall.

Rising majestically from the waters of Mount’s Bay, St Michael’s Mount stands as an iconic and enchanting landmark in Cornwall. This tidal island, connected to the mainland by a causeway at low tide and accessible by boat during high tide, is home to a captivating medieval castle and picturesque gardens. One of our favourite National Trust properties in Cornwall!

As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by the imposing silhouette of St Michael’s Mount Castle, perched atop the rocky summit. Stepping onto the island, you’ll discover a world steeped in history and myth, with narrow cobblestone streets, charming cottages, and a captivating mix of architectural styles spanning centuries.

Explore the castle’s grand rooms, filled with historical artefacts and tales of bygone eras, and admire the breathtaking panoramic views from its battlements.

Wander through the vibrant terraced gardens, bursting with colourful blooms and exotic plants, carefully cultivated to thrive in this unique coastal environment.

As you stroll along the island’s paths, the rhythmic ebb and flow of the tides create an ever-changing backdrop, adding an ethereal touch to your visit. With its rich history, stunning views, and a sense of timeless wonder, St Michael’s Mount is a place where legends come to life and visitors are transported to a realm of enchantment.

5. Tintagel Castle

Castles in Cornwall - Tintagel Castle

Perched dramatically on the rugged cliffs of North Cornwall, Tintagel Castle is a legendary and evocative site that captivates visitors with its rich history and breathtaking coastal views. Steeped in legend associated with the mythical King Arthur, this medieval ruin offers a glimpse into the past and sparks the imagination.

As you explore the castle grounds, you’ll encounter remnants of ancient walls, gateways, and ruins that speak of a bygone era. Cross the spectacular bridge, constructed in recent years to reconnect the mainland to the island, where the castle stands proudly atop the rocky promontory.

From its elevated vantage point, Tintagel Castle offers panoramic vistas of the crashing waves and dramatic cliffs below, transporting you to a world of rugged beauty.

Uncover the stories and legends that surround the site, from the tales of knights to the historical significance of Tintagel as a trading port in the medieval era. Discover the remains of the Great Hall, imagine the hustle and bustle of the bustling settlement, and soak up the awe-inspiring scenery that has inspired artists, writers, and dreamers for centuries.

Tintagel Castle is one of the best castles in Cornwall – a place where history, myth, and natural beauty intertwine, providing a truly unforgettable experience for visitors seeking a sense of wonder and adventure.

6. Lost Gardens of Heligan


Nestled in a secluded corner of Cornwall, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is a hidden paradise waiting to be rediscovered and one of our favourite things to do in Cornwall. Once overgrown by nature, this enchanting garden estate has been lovingly restored to its former glory, revealing a captivating tapestry of horticultural wonders.

As you wander through the extensive grounds, you’ll be transported to a realm of serenity and beauty. Discover secret pathways, meandering through lush greenery and vibrant blooms, leading to hidden alcoves and ornate structures. The gardens boast a remarkable array of plant species, from exotic tropical specimens to native flora, creating a symphony of colours and scents throughout the seasons. Marvel at towering rhododendrons, wander through tranquil woodland trails and breathe in the delicate fragrance of blooming flowers.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan is not just a feast for the eyes; it also nurtures a deep sense of history and heritage. Uncover the stories behind the various garden features, such as the iconic Mud Maid and the intricate Italian Garden. Delve into the fascinating history of the estate and its restoration, which involved rediscovering and reviving forgotten plants and cultivating sustainable practices.

Whether you’re an avid gardener, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking solace in a serene environment, the Lost Gardens of Heligan offers an unforgettable journey of discovery and tranquillity amidst the splendour of nature.

7. Tate St Ives

View of Porthmeor Beach from Tate St Ives

Perched on the edge of Porthmeor Beach in the charming coastal town of St Ives, Tate St Ives stands as a beacon of artistic inspiration and creativity. As one of the best galleries in St Ives, this contemporary art gallery showcases a diverse collection of modern and contemporary works, with a particular focus on artists associated with Cornwall and the wider British art scene.

The gallery’s striking architecture blends harmoniously with its stunning natural surroundings, offering panoramic views of the glistening sea and golden sands. Step inside and immerse yourself in a world of artistic exploration, as you encounter thought-provoking exhibitions that span a range of mediums, from paintings and sculptures to installations and multimedia presentations.

Tate St Ives also hosts a dynamic program of temporary exhibitions, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to discover. The gallery’s mission to promote the understanding and appreciation of modern art extends beyond its walls, with engaging educational initiatives and outreach programs designed to inspire and engage visitors of all ages. The on-site café provides a delightful space to relax, offering panoramic views of the beach and serving delectable treats to complement your visit.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a culture seeker, or simply seeking inspiration in a captivating coastal setting, a visit to Tate St Ives promises an enriching and visually stimulating experience that celebrates the power of contemporary art.

8. Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

Nestled within the artistic haven of St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is a sanctuary of creativity and a tribute to one of Britain’s most influential sculptors. Dedicated to the life and works of Barbara Hepworth, this museum and sculpture garden takes visitors on a mesmerising journey into the artist’s world.

Step into the former studio of Hepworth, a space brimming with her creative energy and inspiration. Explore the meticulously preserved workspace, adorned with tools, sketches, and unfinished sculptures, providing a glimpse into the artistic process of this visionary sculptor. As you venture outdoors, you’ll discover the magical sculpture garden—a serene oasis where Hepworth’s monumental and captivating works harmonise with the natural surroundings.

Wander along winding pathways, amidst vibrant flowers, as you encounter the awe-inspiring sculptures emerging from the earth or nestled amongst the foliage. The interplay between the organic forms of Hepworth’s sculptures and the garden’s tranquil landscape creates a dialogue between art and nature that is both thought-provoking and deeply moving. From the elegant curves to the powerful compositions, each piece speaks volumes about Hepworth’s mastery of form and her deep connection to the landscape of Cornwall.

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is a haven for art enthusiasts and a testament to the enduring influence of one of Britain’s most celebrated sculptors, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and innovation of her remarkable works.

9. Fistral Beach

Nestled on the captivating coastline of Newquay in Cornwall, Fistral Beach is a haven for surfers, beach lovers, and those seeking a slice of coastal paradise. Renowned as one of the UK’s premier surfing destinations, this sandy stretch of shoreline boasts world-class waves and an infectious, laid-back atmosphere. It’s also one of the most popular dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall.

Surf enthusiasts flock to this beach to catch the perfect wave, while beginners can take advantage of the excellent surf schools that offer lessons for all skill levels. Sun worshippers can bask in the warmth of the sun on the soft sand, soaking up the stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The beach is dotted with vibrant beach huts and offers ample space for leisurely walks along the water’s edge, where you can feel the sand between your toes and listen to the soothing sounds of the sea. Fistral Beach is not only a playground for water sports; it also offers a range of amenities and facilities, including cafes, restaurants, and shops selling beachwear and surf equipment. For those seeking a taste of the local culinary delights, indulge in fresh seafood dishes while enjoying the picturesque coastal scenery.

Fistral Beach encapsulates natural beauty, exhilarating waves, and vibrant beach culture, making it a true gem on Cornwall’s coastline. Immerse in the joys of beach life and create lasting memories of sun, sand, and surf.

10. Carnglaze Caverns

Nestled within the idyllic Cornish countryside the Carnglaze Caverns are one of the most famous landmarks in Cornwall, offering a unique and enchanting underground adventure. Located near the village of St Neot, this subterranean marvel is a network of stunning caverns that have been carved out by nature over millions of years.

Step into a world of wonder as you descend into the depths of the earth, guided by expert staff who share fascinating insights into the geological formations and history of the caverns. The illuminated pathways lead you through awe-inspiring chambers adorned with shimmering stalactites and stalagmites, creating a magical underground landscape. As you explore the caverns, you’ll encounter serene underground lakes, where the crystal-clear waters reflect the natural formations above, adding an ethereal touch to the experience. Carnglaze Caverns also houses a unique concert venue within the depths of the underground caves, providing a one-of-a-kind acoustic setting for live performances throughout the year.

Above ground, the site is surrounded by lush woodland, providing a tranquil setting for leisurely walks and picnics. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the enchanting Blue Pool, a former quarry filled with vivid turquoise waters that create a mesmerizing spectacle. With its otherworldly beauty and a sense of mystery, Carnglaze Caverns offers a captivating journey beneath the surface, inviting visitors to explore the hidden wonders of Cornwall’s subterranean landscape.

Map of Things to do in Cornwall

Holiday Cottages in Cornwall

Sea the View lounge and dining

Cornish Cottage Holidays offers a wide range of self-catering properties in Cornwall, perfectly located to enjoy a holiday full of fantastic memory-making activities in Cornwall. Discover our exquisite collection, including coastal cottagesholiday homes with hot tubs, family-friendly properties and so much more.

Feeling inspired after reading our guide to the best things to do in Cornwall? Check out our post on the best walks in Cornwall or read our ultimate guide to restaurants in Cornwall. Adventure awaits!