Best Sporty & Adventurous Things To Do In Cornwall




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Have you grown tired of conventional vacations and holiday tours? Well, you can bring some spice to your life by embarking on something more adventurous!

On that note, the best way to fulfil your sense of adventure is by partaking in some daredevil sports and outdoor activities. And when it comes to extreme sports and adventure, no other location in the UK is better than Cornwall.

From seemingly casual half-day hiking trips to intensely thrilling shark-cage diving – this southwestern county of England has got it all! Thus, if you are seeking an adrenaline-fueled high – this is the place to be.

But what are some of the best sporty and adventurous things you can do here? That is just what this guide seeks to find out. 

So, strap in and get ready for the ride!

Best Sports And Adventure Activities In Cornwall

Now, let’s take a look at the different exciting things you can do here. Due to its long coastline and beach culture, water sports are the most popular type of activity in the county. However, you will find some conventional sports and outdoor activities too.

1. Surfing

Surfing is one activity that you must try when visiting Cornwall. After all, there’s a reason why Cornwall is regarded as the premier surfing destination in the UK. And if you want to get the best surfing experience, then you should head to Newquay, which is widely considered to be the UK’s surf capital. 

There are a number of beaches here for both novice and veteran surfers. Some of these beaches – like Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach – are renowned globally for their excellent surf culture. Also, there are a number of surfing schools that will help you get started if you are a first-timer.

Apart from Newquay, there are a number of other places for surfing, both on the north coast and on the south coast. Thus, if you wish to ride the waves on a surfboard, you have numerous choices to pick from.

2. Wild Swimming

Another popular adventurous activity that you can do in Cornwall is wild swimming. In fact, it has quickly become one of the most popular outdoor activities in Cornwall due to its apparent physical and therapeutic effects. And while studies are still ongoing about its health benefits, many wild swimmers claim that it helps in tackling issues like depression and loneliness to a great extent.

In essence, this activity is the same as regular swimming and can be done solo or in a small group. But one major difference is the choice of location and the intensity of the activity. 

Most wild swimmers will pick locations that are far from the crowds and are relatively unsupervised. Also, the activity is undertaken in a more casual manner than regular swimming. This provides a unique balance of relaxation and excitement, which makes this activity well worth trying.

You’ll find a number of hidden coves and pools along the Cornish coastline where you can engage in this activity. There are a couple of inland locations, like Goldiggins Quarry, which provide an excellent ambience for wild swimming.

3. Coasteering

In our opinion, coasteering is the perfect activity for hardcore adrenaline junkies. When you go on a coasteering tour, you will need to traverse the rocky coastline of Cornwall by climbing, jumping and swimming. As such, it will surely get your adrenaline pumping – believe it!

Many locations on the Cornish coast have jagged cliffs and turbulent seas, making them the perfect spots for this activity. On that note, we strongly recommend going with a group so that you can seek help in case anything untoward happens. 

Better yet, you can hire an experienced guide or trainer to go along with you. Not only will they be able to provide assistance, but they will also be able to give you some preliminary training before undertaking this activity. 

4. Cornish Wrestling

Cornish wrestling is a sporting activity that is unique to this region, making it an integral part of the Cornish identity. It can be considered to be a regional form of martial arts that has deep Celtic roots. And while it has spread to other parts of the UK (and the world) today, taking part in the sport in its birthplace offers a truly unique experience. 

That is why you should try it when you visit Cornwall. If you want the most authentic Cornish Wrestling experience, you should visit some of the rural locations where it is immensely popular.

5. Hurling

Similar to Cornish Wrestling, hurling is another sport that is unique to Cornwall. It can be considered to be a mediaeval form of football that is played with a silver ball.

Many people tend to confuse it with Irish Hurling, but that is an entirely different sport. And while it had a considerable following among the Cornish people in the past, its popularity has waned a bit at present. Still, it is played regularly in certain communities around Cornwall, such as those in St Columb’s Major, St. Ives and Bodmin.

In our opinion, it is a pretty exciting sport that will give you great exercise. That’s why you must try it at least once when visiting the county.

6. Kayaking

If you want to explore the rivers and water around Cornwall, then you should go Kayaking. It is an exciting outdoor activity that can be done with your family. 

Using a paddle, you have to navigate a small kayak along the waters, which can be relaxing and adventurous at the same time. And if you want an adrenaline rush, you can brave the swells of the Atlantic on your kayak.

Many of the coastal towns and cities in Cornwall offer Kayaking opportunities to tourists. You will also find trainers here who will give you quick lessons on Kayaking.

7. Shark Cage Diving

Want to get up close and personal with the apex predator of the sea? Then you just have to try out shark cage diving. It is, without a doubt, one of the most thrilling activities that you can do in Cornwall.

Here, you will be put in a protected shark cage, wearing scuba gear. This will allow you to witness the different shark species that inhabit the waters around Cornwall, such as blue sharks, porbeagle sharks and basking sharks.

There are several companies in Newquay that offer his experience to visitors and adventure enthusiasts. These companies will supply the necessary gear and equipment that you will need for this activity. Also, they will give you a quick crash course about the dos and don’ts of shark cage diving.

8. Rugby Union Football

If you want to participate in a more traditional sporting activity, then you can play some Rugby Union Football, which is one of the most followed sports in Cornwall. That’s because of its similarities to Cornish hurling, which has been played in Cornwall for a long time.

Due to its popularity and fan following, you can participate in this sport in almost every city, town and village in Cornwall. And since it does not require a lot of kits and equipment to play, it is highly accessible as well.


9. Zip-Lining

Zip-lining is a pretty popular activity among both beginners and experts. That’s because this sport provides ample excitement at relatively low risk. Here, you are attached to a zip wire that runs from one point to another. There’s a gradient between these two points, which allows you to traverse the length of the wire with ease.

Of course, the thing that makes this sport interesting is the fact that these zip wires are attached at a certain height from the ground. Therefore, you can guess how exhilarating it can be to dash through the air from one point to the other, attached to nothing but a wire.

There are numerous high-rise cliffs along the Cornish Coast where zip-lining can be performed. Obviously, we would suggest going with a group or a qualified tour operator so that they can set up everything beforehand. Besides, going in a group is safer than being alone.

However, if you don’t want all that hassle, then you can simply head over to the Eden Project or the Adrenaline Quarry. Both of these are popular tourist attractions, and they have a pre-attached wire. In fact, the Eden Project is home to England’s longest (and fastest) zip wire.


So, that was our list of the best sporty and adventurous activities in Cornwall. Of course, there are many other activities apart from these ones, such as walking, cycling, canoeing, abseiling and so on. But the ones we have discussed above are possibly the most popular activities that you can do.

If you have a family, you can also take them to some of Cornwall’s most prominent outdoor locations, like the Camel Trail, Fal River, the South West Coast Path, and others. 

These places are particularly suited for the above activities, and they offer stunning views. Thus, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Cornwall and get your heart racing at the same time!

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