Ever had to cancel your outdoor plans due to the rain? Yeah, we know how frustrating it can be when the rain plays spoilsport.
Unfortunately, the weather in the UK has a reputation for being highly unpredictable, due to which it can start pouring at any time without any warning. The same situation is prevalent across all the counties in England, including Cornwall.
As such, planning outdoor activities may become a problem. But should you let the rains intimidate you into staying indoors during your day off? Most definitely not!
That is why we have listed some of the top outdoor activities that you can do in Cornwall, even if it is raining outside. So, if you want to make the most out of a rainy day, then keep reading!
18 Fun Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Cornwall
1. Tate St. Ives
If you consider yourself to be an art connoisseur, you can head down to the Tate art gallery and museum in St. Ives. Overlooking the Porthmeor beach in St. Ives, you get a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean from the museum.
Apart from admiring its beautiful setting, you can browse through the different exhibits on display inside the museum. Owing to its enormous collection of contemporary sculptures and artwork, and its ever-changing exhibition programmes, you can easily get lost in an artistic dreamscape. That’s why visiting Tate St. Ives is a must for those who adore art and love visiting art galleries.
2. Royal Cornwall Museum
Located in the cathedral city of Truro, the Royal Cornwall museum is another great place to check out when it’s pouring outside. In fact, visiting the museum is one of the best things you can do in Truro, rain or not. It is possibly the largest museum in Cornwall, and it portrays the rich cultural heritage of the Cornish people.
There are numerous archaeological pieces and manuscripts that depict Cornwall’s history. It also has an extensive mineral collection that presents a detailed account of Cornwall’s mining and engineering industry through the years. For variety, you can check out exhibits from other parts of Britain and Europe as well. All in all, you should definitely visit the Royal Cornwall Museum if you are a culture nerd.
3. National Maritime Museum
If you are fond of ships and sailing, then you should make it a point to visit the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. In fact, this multi-award-winning museum is the perfect place to be in Falmouth if your beach plans have been foiled by rain.
For those who do not know – sea life has always played a vital role in shaping Cornwall county. And the museum aims to highlight this rich maritime history by displaying numerous sea-related exhibits across five different floors. You can also visit the boat-building workshop nearby or check out the scenic Falmouth harbour and quay, both of which are located adjacent to the museum.
4. Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
Officially known as the PK Porthcurno, the Telegraph museum situated in the quaint village of Porthcurno was once a major telecommunications station. In fact, it was the world’s largest telegraph station at one point and played a key role in international communications during the second world war.
The museum is a few minutes’ drive away from the town of Penzance, which might be just what you need on a rainy day. There are different exhibitions that showcase the evolution of radio communication through the years.
Those who are interested to learn more about wartime communications should explore WWII tunnels and the underground bunkers that were once used to house the first undersea cable. Apart from that, you can check out the interactive exhibits or follow quiz trails, all of which are great enjoyments for the kids.
5. Helston Museum Of Cornish Life
If you want to further explore Cornish history, you should absolutely go to the Museum of Cornish Life in Helston. It has free entry, which makes it a great place to visit on your vacation to the Lizard peninsula, especially if the weather is bad outside. The museum boasts a wide range of exhibits that depict Cornish heritage through the ages.
On that note, the different exhibits on display include items and manuscripts from when settlers first arrived in the Lizard peninsula. These will give you a detailed idea about the history of the region. You will also find gardening and farming tools from the Cornish countryside, which date back to the early 20th century.
6. Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is situated in the village of Boscastle. It has an impressive collection of over 3,000 exhibits, which makes it one of the world’s largest magic and witchcraft museums. These exhibits will give you an insight into the different occult practices that were widespread in Europe during the mediaeval ages.
Because of that, it is a perfect spot to visit during a gloomy or rainy day, as the ambience can really immerse you. It is even better if you are interested in the occult, as you will find the exhibitions to be quite fascinating.
7. Blue Reef Aquarium
If the rain has interrupted your surfing plans in Newquay, then you can consider paying a visit to the Blue Reef Aquarium. It has an underwater tunnel which allows you to witness the majestic aquatic life. This makes it a great place to take your kids, as the underwater sights will surely keep them entertained.
You can witness all sorts of exotic species, such as angelfish, pufferfish and sharks, as well as other colourful fishes. And if you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the manta ray and giant octopus species that roam the waters around Cornwall.
8. Newquay Zoo
Animal lovers who want to have a good time with the whole family should pay a visit to the Newquay Zoo. Now you must be thinking that we are crazy for recommending a zoo visit during a rainy day. But the Newquay Zoo has several indoor enclosures and covered areas, which should keep you protected from the rain.
Thus, you can spot monkeys, lions, crocodiles, and hundreds of other animals without worrying about getting drenched. And once the rain stops, you can go on family trails, check out the Dragon Maze or stroll through the Woodland Walk. These are all great options to keep the kids entertained.
9. Eden Project
Located a little distance away from St. Austell, the Eden Project in Bodelva is one of the most popular eco-tourist destinations in the UK. Covering an area of 30 acres, the massive and iconic domes of the Eden Project house large indoor forest biomes. These biomes are filled with exotic flora from all over the world. And believe it or not, there is an indoor waterfall too!
Because of these features, it is the perfect spot to visit with your family when it is raining outside. The environment inside the domes is maintained in a way that it gives you a feeling of being outdoors. Also, there’s a rainforest canopy walkway, which will give you the feeling of walking through an actual forest.
There are a lot of indoor activities, such as storytelling sessions, educational tours, and special exhibitions as well, that will keep your whole family entertained. The Eden Project also offers a play area that is specially designed for younger children.
10. Paradise Park & Jungle Barn
If your beach holiday in Hayle has been abruptly interrupted by rain, then head straight to Paradise Park & Jungle Barn. It offers large indoor attractions for both kids and adults. There are giant slides and jungle-themed rooms where you can have a lot of fun with family and friends. Also present is a challenging soft play zone for kids and a special toddler’s area with a ball fountain.
When the weather improves a little bit, you can check out the outdoor park that hosts hundreds of birds and mammal species, ranging from penguins, parrots and red pandas. And if you get tired, you can grab a bite in the snack bar located indoors.
11. Carnglaze Caverns
Situated in the village of St. Neot, the Carnglaze Caverns are possibly one of the unique tourist spots in the UK. Their underground location prevents you from getting drenched in the rain outside. In fact, the former slate mine has become a highly popular tourist spot in recent years because of its ambience.
You can head into the mine to learn more about how the slate mining operations were done. Visitors will also find a gorgeous underground lake that is filled with crystal-clear water. In addition, there is a rum store that can be checked out. And if you go there at the right time, you might even catch a show at the underground concert venue located further inside the cavern.
12. Geevor Tin Mine
If you want to indulge yourselves in the mining history of Cornwall while avoiding the rain, then paying a visit to the Geevor Tin Mine is a must. Located near the coastal town of Penzance in west Cornwall, it is the largest preserved mine site in the UK.
The Geevor Tin Mine museum showcases the history of this mine, which at one point was a major producer of tin in this region. It is also a part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape – a UNESCO World Heritage site.
When you go inside you will get a glimpse of what it was like to work and live inside a mine. Most of the mining equipment is still intact, so you can check them out as well. Furthermore, you can try some hands-on exhibits in the tunnels, such as mineral panning, which will make your experience even more fulfilling.
13. Jamaica Inn
In case you are wondering, then yes, this is the same Jamaica Inn that is featured in the classic novel by Daphne Du Maurier. Because of this, it is probably the most popular pub in Cornwall county.
Jamaica Inn is situated in the lush windswept plains of Bodmin Moor, adjacent to the A30 route. It is an excellent place to visit during the rains, as the eerie atmosphere of the surrounding moor fits in perfectly with the gloomy weather.
Established in 1750, Jamaica Inn gained a significant reputation over the years as a smuggler’s pub. Smugglers allegedly used the pub to hide contraband smuggled in from the coast. While you won’t find any smuggled contraband in Jamaica Inn today, you will get the finest Cornish Ale and pub grub to delight your taste buds.
14. Bodmin Jail
Regarded by many as one of the most haunted places in Britain, the Bodmin Jail is a great place to visit in the gloomy rainy season. Once you see the dank cells and the jail’s execution pit, you will surely get shivers down your spine.
There is a resident medium here who gives guided tours to visitors after it gets dark. We recommend that you get the tour, as it will fully immerse you in the jail’s dark and eerie atmosphere. Sure, it might get a bit frightening at times, but we assure you that it will be an experience worth remembering!
15. Flambards Theme Park
If you want to have a fun time with the family even while it’s raining, then you should go to the Flambards theme park in Helston. Situated in a Victorian village, there’s more to Flambards than just fun theme park rides.
You can explore the different shops and houses, which aim to recreate Victorian life. And if the weather gets really murky, you can step inside these establishments to transport yourself through time. Moreover, there are indoor play areas for the kids, as well as family events and shows to check out, which will ensure that you have a great time throughout.
16. Bodmin And Wenford Railway
Do you wish to travel through the scenic Cornish countryside on a rainy day? Then we’ve got good news for you, as the Bodwin and Wenford railway will allow you to fulfil this wish.
Experience the sights and sounds of a traditional steam train as it chugs along a 13-mile stretch, covering four picturesque stations. If you are a trainspotter, this should be on the top of your bucket list, regardless of the weather.
What’s more, there are different types of journeys offered, which further enhances its appeal. For instance, you can book seats on a dining train, which will serve delicious meals throughout the journey. Or if you are on holiday with the kids, you can opt for special themed trains to give the young ones a great time.
17. Pendennis Castle
Built by King Henry VIII in the 1540s, the Pendennis castle in Falmouth is an interesting place to visit on a rainy day. Originally built as a fortress to defend the island nation against an invasion, the castle has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cornwall today.
There are numerous stunning exhibitions inside the castle which will tell you about its fascinating history. Additionally, you should check out the First World War and Discovery Centre, which has different activities to keep you and the kids entertained. Once the rain subsides, you should climb the spiral staircase to the top, which has a stunning 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.
18. Pirate’s Quest
Pirate’s Quest in Newquay is one of the best attractions to lift up your spirits on a damp and gloomy day. If you have always found the pirate lifestyle intriguing, or are just a fan of a certain Hollywood movie franchise, you’ll have a great time here.
There are interactive experiences which will give you an insight into the typical pirate tropes, such as drinking rum and wearing eye patches. Besides, there are other activities, such as treasure hunts, which are an excellent way to keep the kids engaged.
Cornwall is a county that is renowned for its surf scene and beach culture, thanks to the numerous beaches present on its north and south coasts. That said, it is a part of the UK, which means that it sees the infamous and unpredictable rainy weather conditions that the country is known for.
So, if you are planning a beach holiday here, it is better to have a backup plan, just in case it starts to rain. That’s what this list is all about, and if you follow it, you won’t have to worry about rains spoiling your plans anymore.
In fact, we would suggest that you visit these attractions even if the weather is clear, as it will make holidays in Cornwall more fulfilling!
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