From its golden-sand beaches to its wild moorland and dramatic cliffs with imposing castles, Cornwall has a little something for everyone. Whether you're looking for historic tours or adventures in the untamed wild, here are the top 9 things to do in Cornwall.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are among the most popular botanical gardens in the UK and offer something for animal lovers, plant lovers, explorers and romantics. The mysterious estate became a garden restoration project in 1990 and now has a range of experiences. You can explore the historic plants and flowers in the Victorian Productive Gardens and Pleasure Grounds, wander through bamboo tunnels and see lush tropical plants in the Jungle experience, or stroll along the Woodland Walk to catch glimpses of birds. Throughout the tranquil gardens you'll see all manner of unique wildlife, such as hummingbirds and robins.
Perched on a dramatic headland on the Cornish sea, Tintagel Castle is one of the most enchanting castles in all of Britain and one of the inspirations for the Arthurian legend. A stronghold from the 5th to the 7th century AD, the castle was once home to the rulers of Cornwall and still holds personal relics. It's been associated with many legends, including King Arthur, Merlin and the story of Tristan and Iseult. In addition to exploring the castle itself, visiting the grounds provides some of the most beautiful views of the rugged coast.
The Lizard Peninsula is a wild and untamed area of Cornwall that's filled with unique plants and flowers, granite sea walls and charming villages with the best seafood you'll ever have. You could spend time on sandy bay beaches sheltered by rugged volcanic rock, exploring picturesque villages with thatched cottages and quaint fishing boats or dining in traditional restaurants and pubs to the sounds of folk music. You'll find plenty to see and do in the Lizard Peninsula, such as relaxing on the beach of Kynance Cove, visiting the historic Lizard Lighthouse or trying the homemade ice cream at Roskilly's Farm.
The coastal fortress of Pendennis Castle is a must-see during a trip to Cornwall. Dating back to Tudor times, the castle was a valuable fortification during both world wars. The castle has regular exhibitions, events and re-enactments with costumed actors and theatrical reproductions of battle scenarios, including the firing of a historic gun. During your visit, you can see an array of historic weapons and learn about life in the castle during the wars, explore the Tudor keep or take in the sweeping coastal views on the enchanting castle grounds.
The Eden Project is a jewel in Cornwall. The garden is composed of 2 tropical biomes with plants collected from diverse environments all over the world, such as the rainforest and the Mediterranean. The purpose of the Eden Project is to examine the relationship between plants and people to help build a sustainable future. During your visit, you can explore the valuable tropical plants, jungles and waterfalls of the rainforest, or you can learn about the connections between the plants of South Africa and the Mediterranean and how they impact human life. If you're travelling with children, you can enjoy an educational experience with themed events, seasonal presentations, activity days, concerts and more.
The Newquay Zoo is a must-visit for animal lovers. Nestled on 13 acres of lush tropical gardens, the zoo boasts thousands of the world's rarest species in naturalistic habitats, such as lemurs, lions, penguins, and red pandas. In addition to the animal exhibits and interactive wildlife experiences, you could stroll along activity trails or bring the kids to the play area or the Dragon Maze.
The Blue Reef Aquarium offers an enchanting underwater experience that celebrates the aquatic species of the Cornish coast and tropical seas. The immersive exhibits bring the colourful and exotic fish to life, and you can experience live feeding demonstrations of animals like reef sharks and piranhas. There are also rock-pool workshops and educational lectures where you can learn about the aquarium's residents, such as the rescued loggerhead turtle and the giant octopus.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for grey seal pups on the Cornish coast. The facility provides rescue and release programmes and permanent homes for special needs animals. When visiting the sanctuary, you can learn about the many rescue success stories and experience their animals up close and personal for a truly unique experience.
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is a fascinating museum that explores magical practices in Europe from ancient times to the present day. You'll find intriguing exhibits devoted to ceremonial and folk magic, Wicca practices and Freemasonry lore, including unique artefacts and anecdotes. Some museum highlights include exhibits on the witch trials, a ritual chalice from magician Aleister Crowley and an altar slab from Alex Sanders.
From its animal attractions to its historic sites, you'll never run out of things to do in Cornwall. Visit Expedia to get great deals on Cornwall hotels and plan your next fun-filled trip with friends or family!