Cornwall has captivating history, the copper & tin industry, smuggling and pirates but it is also a living breathing and evolving place that looks to the future as well as its past.
Places to explore and more
Do you love wandering around historic houses and soaking the atmosphere? Or perhaps your passion is to be outdoors exploring beautiful gardens? Maybe you're seeking adventure and discovery of things that are happening now and in the future? Cornwall positively spoils you with the choice of days out and so many are right on your doorstep. We have our own favourites and we share these with you below.
Historic Houses & Glorious Gardens
Lanhydrock House & Gardens
This National Trust property is a wonderful example of true high Victorian decor in a home that was both impressive but also lived in.
Visitors get to experience both sides of the 'green baize' door and learn what being in service was like as well as being served.
The gardens are wonderful throughout the year.
The name is not just a dramatic statement but a fact ... these were truly 'lost'. The original home and grounds were built and landscaped in the 1700's but as a result of the death of the family the building and its grounds were left for centuries allowing nature to take over.
Then around 30 years ago an explorer discovered the Gardens of the estate, like a magical garden of childhood fairy tales.
Soak up the atmosphere of the 17th century at this wonderful National Trust property. As far removed from the grandeur of Lanhydrock as you can imagine.
Tell your children stories about the Knights of the Round Table and let their imagination do the work!
There's more than the historic house, there's the remains of the Godolphin mine, a tranquil woodland and a wonderful cafe and restuarant.
Take in the views of St Ives Bay and St Michael's Mount.
Not every garden has to have it's roots planted in the past! After all every 'Heligen', Lanhydrock and even Kew were at one time 'new' ... and at Tremenheere you will find exactly that, a glorious newly designed and formed sculpture garden that is looking to the future.
Tremenheere is very near by, just beyond Penzance, so a perfect location to choose if you are planning your days out in that direction.
The gardens are designed around the climate of the area, so expect tropical flourishes to amaze you.
The gardens are also home to wonderful artwork by the likes of James Turrell, David Nash, Kishio Suga and Bill Wynter.
Castle, gardens, village or harbour, whatever you plan to see when you visit St Michael's Mount, you will have a full day of exploring.
This is truly a place of ancient history, from as far back as 495AD, tales tell of seafarers lured by mermaids onto the rocks, or guided to safety by an apparition of St Michael!
Then there are the many battles to control this most important of geographical sites.
Walk across the causeway and explore this magical location ... but don't leave departing too late or you may find yourself wading!
If St Michael's Mount is the perfect day to experience Cornwall's glorious past, The Eden Project heralds the future.
Built on the site of a disused china clay pit, this is the vision of Tim Smit, who was also behind the regeneration of The Lost Gardens of Heligen, had a vision to help reconnect mankind with its living world around him. Huge Biom's house the worlds largest indoor rainforest ... but it's not just about plant's and flowers.
A fantastic experience for everyone including Bulb Mania in the Spring, the Jungle Season throughout the summer into October as well as indoor ice skating in the winter. A perfect family holiday experience.
If you have watched and loved Polldark, you'll recognise some of the famous sites of 'Mining' works that is part of West Cornwall's heritage.
Geevor Tin Mine:
The UK’s largest preserved mining site, now a museum with guided underground tours, a shop & a café.
Pendeen, TR19 7EW – 01736 788662 www.geevor.com
Levant Mine & Beam Engine:
Experience what it was like to work here and walk down into the tin mine shafts. See the great restored
'steam winding engine' in action and discover why this mine was known as the 'Queen of Mines'!
Based on the site of what was the world’s largest satellite earth station, Future world offers a journey of discovery featuring high-tech displays & holographic film shows.
Helston, TR12 6LQ – 0800 679593
St Ives has long been a destination for artists ... the light was true ... and in their footsteps came the artist lovers. Today there are many attractions to explore.
Tate Gallery & Barbara Hepworth Museum:
Tate St Ives presents modern & contemporary art often created in or associated with Cornwall. Its location provides a unique opportunity to view work in the surroundings in which, in many cases, it was actually created.
The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Gardens display exhibitions and works of this this artists wonderful, 'physical' & 'tactile' sculptures.
Visiting Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden is a unique experience, offering remarkable insight into the work of one of Britain’s most important 20th century artists.
The Telegraph Museum:
No need to travel far for a slice of history and a look at the very modern world ... did you know that Porthcurno has been at the hub of global communication since the late 19th Century?
St Ives Museum:
Housed in a former Pilchard Factory, this is a traditional museum in Wheal dream, St Ives reflecting the life & times of the town.
The Newlyn Art Gallery
Exhibiting contemporary art of local artists, this gallery is well worth a visit. Now working in association with Penzance to bring larger collections to the area.
Children love days out at theme parks ... the promise of heartstopping rides and candy floss fill their mind for days before ... but that must make us all children at heart ... for who doesn't like to do something out of the ordinary every once in a while.
The Flambards Experience offers fun fair and immersive history with their life size Victorian Village walk. Travel back in time and become a character from your favourite Dickens novel.
As its name suggests one2eleven is aimed at the younger at heart, Flambards sister attraction. Indoor interactive & soft play aimed at 1-11 year olds
Established in Hayle in 1973 as a tropical bird garden you can now also see Otters, Red Pandas, Native Red Squirrels & the rare Cornish Chough. An addition in 2005 was the Jungle Barn Indoor play centre where there is plenty of active fun for children even in wet weather.
Paradise Park have seasonal events throughout the year from Easter Egg trails to @Owl Prowl' in the autumn ... so do check out the website for what's coming up.
One of Britain’s best loved land marks has plenty to offer those seeking a full day out with 5 family attractions. There is free entry to the site, although an all day parking charge applies.
Land’s End, TR19 7AA – 0871 7200044
A new FREE visitor attraction & world heritage site which is nestled just off the A30 in Pool, near Redruth in the former mining heart of Cornwall. There are exhibitions, climb on sculptures, gardens, art & craft studios & the Red River Cafe
Redruth, TR15 3QY – 01209 722320
Set in the picturesque Helford estuary by the beautiful village of Gweek, this leading marine animal rescue centre began in 1958 when a baby seal, only a few hours old was washed up on the beach at St Agnes.
*Half price entry for Cornwall Tourist Pass holders