Cornish attractions – a bit further afield…
16th March 2023
We’ve explored attractions close to Polmanter: now let’s venture a bit further afield!
We know that Cornwall has a bit of a reputation for traffic jams in the busier months, and that can be true. Pick your moment, or make sure you have some entertaining music lined up in the car, and simply don’t worry about a slower drive.
You can also use public transport for some destinations. You can pick up the branch line at St Ives station, which will take you to mainline St Erth; and there’s also the shiny double-decker Tinner buses taking passengers all over the county in comfort.
Here are a few of our recommendations for great days out in Cornwall.
The Eden Project
Cornwall’s most famous attraction, The Eden Project near St Austell, is definitely worth the travel time. With its exotic biomes, beautiful outdoor spaces, fantastic cafes and exciting events programme, there really is something for everyone at Eden. Keep an eye on their website for details about the cafes, the shop and any events. Persuade any reluctant teens that gardens can be fun by booking a trip with Hangloose Adventure, which offers zip wire rides over the biomes and a giant swing.
(Image: Eden Project)
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The story of the beautiful Lost Gardens of Heligan is heartbreakingly romantic. These old gardens were neglected after the gardeners left for the First World War, and their structure and planting eventually became lost in a tangle of weeds. Then a secret door was spotted and their wild beauty rediscovered… Now detangled and restored, Heligan’s gardens are now a wonderful place to spend a day. Next-door to Heligan, the brilliant Lobbs Farm Shop is open for gorgeous local produce, and it’s a quick trip to pretty fishing village Mevagissey.
(Image: The Lost Gardens of Heligan Facebook)
Falmouth and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall
It’s debatable whether or not Falmouth should be in the closer attractions blog: it depends on which day you travel! We’d allow around an hour to get here. There’s a lot to do in this lively university and harbour town. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a truly excellent museum, and Falmouth Art Gallery has a superb collection of Cornish Art as well as a programme of temporary exhibitions. Head up the headland for more adventures in the Tudor defensive fort Pendennis Castle (English Heritage). While you’re in Falmouth, look out for boat trips, unique little shops, and excellent places to eat.
Stay close to Falmouth, and visit the beautiful Trebah Gardens, with its glorious subtropical planting (and fabulous café). There are over 4 miles of footpaths to explore, and it’s super dog-friendly. There’s a secluded beach, an award-winning visitors centre, and an adventure playground. Check out the website for opening times (normally Wednesday to Saturday) and to pre-book. Keep an eye out for special events.
(Image: Visit Cornwall)
Cornwall has an excellent selection of National Trust properties. If we had to pick one, we’d choose Lanhydrock House near Bodmin for its sheer scale (both house and parkland). As well as the elegant drawing rooms we expect from an NT stately home, the largely Victorian house also offers a glimpse into the running of the house and estate (the kitchens are incredible). Outside, the wooded parkland is beautiful, and criss-crossed with paths, many if which are dog friendly. You can even pre-book a bike for the day to explore the cycle trails. Take the mainline train to Bodmin Parkway, then follow the pretty route to the house on foot (but this may be a bit of a stretch for little legs…).
(Image: Visit Launceston)
Any thrill-seekers in the family? Adrenalin Quarry near Looe is the perfect place for kids (and bigger kids) to really run off some energy. Climb, slide, jump and bounce your way around the extreme obstacle course, or try your hand at axe throwing, go carting and zip wire sliding. There are activities suitable for children aged six upwards. It’s a 20-minute drive from Looe, so you can check out this lively Cornish harbour town while you’re in the area.
(Image: Adrenalin Quarry)
Instead of heading up Cornwall, travel across it to the lovely Lizard peninsula. Gentler and greener than our own Penwith area, The Lizard has easier sections of coast path, beautiful beaches (try Kynance Cove) and lots of pretty little villages. Head right down to Lizard Point, so southerly that your mobile may suddenly switch to a French provider, and have a fascinating time at the Lizard Lighthouse Visitor Centre (check the website for times and tours). Don’t leave without lunch from Ann’s Pasties.
(Image: Visit Cornwall)
The Isles of Scilly
If you really want to explore further…Take a day trip on the Scillonian to the Isles of Scilly. The crossing from Penzance to St Mary’s takes under three hours. If you don’t have sea-legs (and the boat trip can get a bit lively), you can go to the Scillies by helicopter from Penzance’s new heliport, or fly from Land’s End airport. From St Mary’s, you can explore the “off islands” by taxi boat, or simply spend a day on lovely St Mary’s itself. Scilly has the most incredible azure seas and white sands, and looks more Caribbean than British.
(Image: Isle of Scilly travel)