The Top 21 Things to Do in Cornwall

With sandy beaches, magnificent coastlines and plenty of activities on offer, Cornwall draws tourists into its natural beauty all year round. There is so much to do here for couples, families and friends alike, making it an ideal holiday destination. 

If you’re planning to visit Cornwall to make the most of its fantastic history, intriguing attractions and peaceful landscapes, then you’re likely looking for the best things to do here. We’ve put together 21 of the top places to explore in Cornwall, this way you can visit here without needing to plan too much. 

Lounge on Pristine Beaches

There are more than 250 miles of stunning coastline in Cornwall, so you won’t be stuck for a beach when visiting here. With so many to choose from, visitors can select family-friendly beaches, secluded coves and sandy shores with exciting watersport activities. You’ll find more than enough in Cornwall and a visit here simply isn’t complete without exploring the beautiful shores. 

Due to the region’s vast natural scenery and neverending countryside, Cornwall is also a popular destination for those looking to visit with their canine companions. With this in mind, a great way to spend some time here are the beaches. This is also one of the best dog-friendly things to do in Cornwall, as you can relax on the sandy shores or stroll along the coast with your furry friend by your side. 

Hike on Bodmin Moor 

Plan on spending some time outdoors when visiting Cornwall? There are plenty of open spaces to choose from, but a must-visit is Bodmin Moor. The wild and rugged moorland allows tourists to witness some of the region’s natural beauty, alongside historical sites in abundance. 

Be sure to check out the ruins whilst exploring Bodmin Moor. You can spot remains that date back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. There are some excellent trails around the moor, with the walk along River Fowey and a trip to Golitha Falls being particular favourites. 

Enjoy a Unique Day out at the Eden Project

The Eden Project is a frequent attraction and is also one of the best things to do in Cornwall for families. Here you will find several enormous domes, designed to mirror different climates and places around the world. You can stroll through the Mediterranean biome and discover plenty of flora and fauna, alongside temperatures of up to 25°C. 

There are also rainforests to explore, wildlife encounters and plenty of learning to be had at the Eden Project. This is one of the most fun things to do in Cornwall and allows for an entertaining day out for all.  

Witness Lands End

Another key tourist spot in Cornwall is Lands End. This allows visitors to experience the wonderful coastal paths that the region has to offer, alongside some great sightseeing. Wander along the coast and take in the outstanding scenery out to sea. It is the most southerly part of England and an iconic part of the country’s heritage. Don’t forget your camera, as there will also be plenty of photo opportunities along the way! 

Walk on the Pretty Coastal Paths

Looking for some of the best free things to do in Cornwall? Well, there’s no better way to spend your time here than by soaking up all that the stunning coastal paths have to offer. With sandy shores, historic landmarks and much more along the routes, you will discover a great day out for all when walking by the sea. 

You can uncover coastal paths signposted throughout Cornwall, making them easy to find and navigate. Some of the most popular routes include Harlyn Bay to Padstow, The Lizard Peninsula, and Perranporth to St Agnes. However, you will find much more worth checking out as you make your way around this gorgeous coastal region. 

Travel to St Michael’s Mount

For those pursuing an adventure in Cornwall, there’s no better way to do this than by exploring St Michael’s Mount. The rocky isle is perched on the island of St Michael and is a great place to go for outdoor enthusiasts. 

You will also discover a mediaeval settlement here, perfect for those looking to uncover some of Cornwall’s history and heritage. If you’re seeking a little serenity, St Michael’s Mount offers visitors the perfect opportunity to soak up the vast open space, rolling hills and natural beauty at every twist and turn. 

Cycle the Camel Trail

Another favoured activity for those spending some time in Cornwall is cycling. There are so many cycle paths to choose from here, it makes sense why so many select the region to get out on their bike. One route that is sure to impress is the Camel Trail

The 18-mile Camel Trail is ideal for those seeking a day full of adventure and exploration. Head out on your bike and take in the many sights along the way. Be sure to check out popular towns such as Padstow and Wadebridge, all while taking in the incredible encompassing landscapes. This is an excellent activity for the whole family and is perfect for those hoping to see more of Cornwall’s pretty countryside.  

Have a Peaceful Day in Pinetum Gardens 

If you’re hoping to get out in nature, without having to wander too far, Pinetum Gardens provide the perfect alternative. These beautiful gardens are made up of different themes, alongside artsy markets, and a fantastic cafe. This is an excellent place to go with family, as there is something here for the whole clan. 

Stroll along the gentle trails all whilst taking in the impressive surrounding flora and fauna. Or simply grab a bite to eat and sit back and relax in the utter serenity of Pinetum Gardens. 

Go on a Kayaking Expedition 

Cornwall is a great destination for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. With this in mind, there is no better way to get out and active than by enjoying a kayaking expedition. It also provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to see more of the pretty landscapes, all whilst enjoying an exciting activity with the whole family. 

You will find more than enough spots to make the most of Kayaking in Cornwall. Check out some of the popular places such as St Mawes, Fowey Estuary, or the Roseland Peninsula. There are also plenty of hire companies throughout the region that will help those who don’t have the kayaking gear required. Be sure to scour some of the other kayaking spots throughout Cornwall, you’ll find these near the frequented beaches, or in the lovely seaside towns. 

Stroll through the Idyllic Fishing Villages

Beautiful Cornwall is renowned for its idyllic villages and pretty coastal towns. There are so many to explore here, you will find yourself needing more time just to see them all. Some of the favoured fishing villages include Mousehole, Port Isaac, Mevagissey, Polperro, Boscastle, Charlestown, plus many more. 

When wandering through the cobblestone streets, be sure to stop off and enjoy some delicious seafood. You will also find some lovely boutique shops in many of these villages, perfect for those looking for souvenirs to take home. Whether visiting with family, friends or your partner, you’re sure to enjoy all that Cornwall’s pretty fishing villages have to offer. 

Dine in an Authentic Pub

After you have spent some time exploring the best outdoor spots in Cornwall, you’re likely in search of somewhere to grab a bite to eat. Luckily enough there are some amazing traditional pubs scattered throughout the towns and villages here. These provide the perfect place to sit back and unwind, all whilst indulging in some hearty grub. 

Places like Padstow, St Ives, Newquay, Fowey, Penzance, Bodmin, plus many more all offer authentic pubs to enjoy some mouthwatering dishes. Many of these also present a friendly and relaxing atmosphere, great for those visiting with kids or anyone seeking dog-friendly places in Cornwall. 

Learn about King Arthur at Tintagel Castle

If you’re looking to uncover more of the region’s past, a trip to Tintagel Castle is sure to do the trick. This is one of the most iconic structures in Cornwall, providing visitors with plenty of fascinating history and stunning coastal vistas. Here you can explore the castle ruins and stroll along the rugged path that juts out over the sea. 

Be sure to immerse yourself in the tale of King Arthur and spend some time learning about the history of Tintagel Castle. For those looking to immerse themselves in Cornwall’s heritage, all whilst taking some time exploring the beautiful natural spaces, a trip to Tintagel is the perfect option. 

Visit Bodmin Jail

Fancy a unique day out in Cornwall? A visit to Bodmin Jail is sure to entertain the whole family as you discover all that the ancient enclosures have to offer. Here you can experience the tales of crime and how these criminals faced punishment many years ago. There are also some great tours and jumpy happenings throughout. A trip to Bodmin Jail is a great way to spend some time with family or friends in Cornwall, all whilst providing a thrilling occasion for the whole clan. 

See a Show at the Minack Theatre

If you plan to visit Cornwall in the summer, you must make time to experience a show at the Minack Theatre. Appreciate the lovely coastal vistas, alongside the starry skies through the open-top venue.

Here you can relish a great setting to make the most of the exciting shows. The Minack Theatre is a popular attraction in Penzance and one that shouldn’t be missed when exploring the region. Be sure to book in advance though, as tickets sell fast!  

Wander the Quaint Streets in St Ives

Those planning to scour the many towns and villages throughout Cornwall, shouldn’t miss St Ives. It is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the region and for good reason. With a beautiful beach, plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, alongside a friendly atmosphere and quaint cottages, you couldn’t ask for much more. 

See Falmouth Harbour by Boat

If you happen to find yourself exploring the lovely village of Falmouth, be sure to check out the charming harbour here. There is no better way to do this than by getting out on a boat. With a beautiful port to investigate, alongside captivating coastal vistas, a trip here allows visitors to relax and unwind. Alternatively, you can also partake in the many water sports on offer, a great way to have some fun with the whole family. 

Have an Adventure in the Lost Gardens of Heligan

For those in pursuit of the best things to do with kids in Cornwall, a trip to the Gardens of Heligan is sure to impress. There are plenty of outdoor places to explore in the region, however, little legs often struggle to keep up when exploring the landscapes here. With flowers, vegetables, animals and attractions through the Gardens of Heligan, it makes it ideal for those seeking a little adventure without having to wander too far! 

Experience the Scilly Isles 

Cornwall can become relatively busy, especially in summer, so if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, there is no better place to do this than the Scilly Isles. With beautiful sandy shores to relax on and gorgeous natural landscapes at every twist and turn, you can enjoy a peaceful adventure here. Partake in some island hopping where you can discover more of the isles, all whilst immersing yourself in the exquisite surroundings. 

Uncover History at the Cotehele Estate

If you’re visiting Cornwall to uncover some of the fascinating histories, there is no better place to go than the Cotehele Estate. Here you can explore the many mediaeval buildings, all whilst learning more about the area’s past. Marvel over the many artefacts around Cotehele from rare tapestries to whale jawbones and much more. 

Party in Newquay

Newquay is renowned for its lively atmosphere and vibrant town centre. With this in mind, there is no better place to dance and party through the night than this buzzing holiday spot in Cornwall. Enjoy the clubs and bars here, or relax in a cosy bar by the sea where you can watch the sunset. There is something for all in Newquay, from its busy town to the surfer’s paradise Fistral Beach. You will find it all in this lovely part of Cornwall. 


With so many places to see and activities to enjoy, a trip to Cornwall is sure to impress. You will find plenty of other excellent attractions throughout the region, from fine dining restaurants to raw, rugged landscapes. Whatever you’re looking for from your next break, you will discover something for all when planning a trip to Cornwall.

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