There are so many things to do in Cornwall that sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start!
Cornwall has the longest coastline of any English county (measuring around 433 miles), and it’s one of the most rugged – and stunning – places in the country. It’s also the home of King Arthur and the Cornish pasty, as well as half a million people, 75,000 cows and five million tourists every year.
We make a living from introducing people to the beauty of Cornwall, which is why we pulled together our top tourist destinations to encourage you to pay us a visit. The Cornish motto is “one and all” – which is exactly who we welcome as visitors!
Find out what to do in Padstow and the surrounding areas while you’re on your holiday.
So, without further ado, here it is – the best top things to do while on holiday in Cornwall. Let’s get started!
Places To Visit and Things To Do In Cornwall
1. The Eden Project – Be Wowed!
The Eden Project is the largest indoor rainforest in the world and one of the biggest attractions in the south west of England. It’s a great place to reconnect with nature while learning more about our ecosystem, and one of several must-visit destinations in the county. Be sure to check whether any special events or exhibits are on ahead of your visit.
2. King Arthur’s Castle – See Some Old Stuff
Strictly speaking, we’re talking about Tintagel Castle, but they’re basically one and the same. The ruins of the iconic castle are inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur, which makes it a fascinating place for visitors of all ages. Plus it’s owned and run by English Heritage, a registered charity that takes care of over 400 historic buildings across the country. If you pay it a visit, your entry fee will help to preserve the past for future generations.
3. Tintagel Old Post Office – See Some More Old Stuff (While in the area)
Owned and managed by the National Trust, the Old Post Office dates back to the 14th century when it was a yeoman’s farmhouse. With 600 years of history and a famously wavy slate roof, the old post office acquired its name due to a brief stint as the postal station in the district. There are plenty of items on display for you to browse through, but it’s also worth a visit just for a stroll around its beautiful cottage garden.
4. Padstow Sealife Safari – See Stunning Scenery and Amazing Wildlife
Okay, okay – we may be a little biased here. But honestly, no visit to Cornwall is complete without an experience with the local sea life. From trips to Seals Cave to private boat here and a tour of the coast, we’ve got you covered. Experience some of the most rugged and beautiful coastline that the British Isles have to offer under an experienced skipper in one of our state of the art boats. Don’t forget your camera!
5. Carnewas/Bedruthan Steps – Selfie Spot
This stunning stretch of the British coastline can be accessed either by the National Trust car park or via a separate car park and camping site that donates part of its profits to the air ambulance association. This isn’t a sandy beach full of sunbathers – it’s a dramatic stretch of coastline with views over huge expanses of rock. The walk isn’t for the faint-hearted, and you’ll want to wear a decent pair of boots and to avoid the strong currents in the water. But if you like to be a little active, it’s a great place to stretch your legs while being rewarded with stunning views and photo opportunities. Address: B3276, Bedruthan PL27 7UW
6. Enjoy a Cornish Cream Tea – Tis Ansom
Cream teas are a speciality served in Cornwall & Devon, but only in Cornwall will you see the jam spread first and then the cream. You’ll find plenty of places that offer them, but choose one with home made scones. Preferably enjoy your afternoon delight in fresh Cornish air and a stonesthrow from one of the most spectacular views in Cornwall. One of our firm favourites is Carnevas tea rooms at Bedruthan steps.
7. Harlyn Surf School – Go Surfing, Get Wet!
Any serious surfer knows that Cornwall has some of the best waves in the country. That’s why no visit is really complete until you’ve learned to surf, and the Harlyn School is the best place to learn. It has an average rating of 5* from 150 reviews on TripAdvisor, as well as the site’s Certificate of Excellence. And it’s staffed by a team of friendly professionals who will be more than happy to teach you.
8. Retallack Water Park – Pure Group Fun
If you’ve ever seen Total Wipeout then you’ll know what to expect here. This huge inflatable aqua park is perfect for people who prefer a challenge, and it’s now four times the size that it was last year. In fact, 100 people can fit into any one session, so it’s also popular for birthday parties, corporate retreats and other group bookings. Better still, it’s open to anyone over the age of six, although children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
9. Wave Runner Safaris – Exhilarating
Waverunner Safaris are the UK’s official Yamaha Jet ski experience offering a wide range of jet ski tours and sessions aboard the latest Yamaha Waverunner’s. They are run from Newquay, Cornwall. Waverunner Safaris offer a fun and exhilarating way to explore Cornwall’s stunning coastline aboard our powerful Yamaha jet skis.
10. Camel Creek Adventure Park – All Weather Fun for the Family
Camel Creek Adventure Park is a vibrant and welcoming visitor destination year-round, uniquely interpreting the legends of the area and famous for delivering great adventures and days out for the whole family. The Park is an all-weathers’ attraction and open all year round, with annual activities reflecting the seasons.
11. King Coasteer – Get Close and Personal with the Sea
In Cornwall we are blessed with some of the most beautiful coastline in the country and in our eyes there is no better way to explore it than actually jumping in and seeing first-hand what it actually has to offer. Along the way expect to jump, swim, climb, and find hidden caves to name a few things which you can expect to see along Cornwall’s aquatic nature trail!
12. 7 Bays in 7 Days – Go to the Beach!
Just near Padstow and St Merryn there are a collection of jaw dropping sandy beaches commonly referred to as ‘7 Bays in 7 Days’. Each bay has its own unique character. Here they are in order nearest to Padstow 1st. Trevone, Harlyn, Treyarnon, Mother Ivey’s, Booby’s Bay, Constantine, Treyarnon then Porthcothan (Check out Barney and Emma’s cool little shop for a real coffee and tasty local ice cream).
13. Wild Bake – Pizza with ingredients forged from the wild.
This is no ordinary pizza! Lewis is a recognised chef that converted horse trailer with a woodfired pizza oven. He sets up ‘offgrid’ in varied locations in Cornwall and used ingredients he finds in nature. Wild Bake has been featured in the Sunday times as one of the top 25 pizzerias in the country, in a well known book called ‘where to eat pizza’, featured as best place to eat pizza in the world. Also featured in Huffingpost and Buzzfeed well worth visit. See his website and Facebook for locations.
14. Camel Valley – Taste & Tour Some Award Winning Wine
This ones for the adults. The Camel Valley Vineyard has been producing award winning world class wins in Cornwall since 1989. Why not sit on the terrace or have a tour. It’;s an idyllic setting on the sun-drenched slopes near the camel River. Some cycle from Bodmin, Wadebridge or Padstow up the Camel Cycle Trail. Makes it more of an adventure.
15. Eat Cornish Pasty – Proper Job!
Traditionally Cornish Pasties were a mix of savoury and sweet filling, cooked in pastrie. The thick crust was to hold your Pasty with your dirty miners hands and first eat through your main course of meat & veg before finishing off with a fruity filling as your pud. Flavours vary greatly now, but we recommend the traditional steak Pasty, though now it is missing it’s pudding end. The Chough Bakery in Padstow is award winning, just mind the seagulls don’t knick it, they are so delicious everyone wants one!
16. Minack Theatre – Incredible Entertainment
The Minack Theatre is truly one of a kind. Situated on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean, the open air theatre runs a full programme of plays, music, comedy and storytelling, with some performances held at night beneath the stars. This is another one that you’ll want to check out before you visit, because the theatre is closed for general visitors when there’s a performance on.
17. Kernow Chocolate – Tasty Chocolate
Kernow Chocolate is a very small family chocolate factory founded in 2005 in the small village of St Eval, North Cornwall. They have been steadily growing in popularity over the past 8 years and now are one of the South West’s best loved confectionery manufacturers. They sell a range of attractive chocolate bars that are only available in independent shops and visitor attractions like The National Trust shops in Cornwall & selected Devon outlets. They also make bespoke bars for some of the South West’s most popular visitor attractions including Eden Project, Land’s End, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Paignton Zoo, St Michael’s Mount and many more…. Now they have a visitor centre, so you can go and see it being made!