RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES IN CORNWALL
It’s no secret that it rains a lot in England, and Cornwall is no exception, the county even has its own unofficial type of rain known as ‘Cornish mizzle’. But don’t be put off, there’s still so much to see and do in wet weather. To keep boredom at bay on those gloomy days, we’ve put together some of our favourite rainy day activities in Cornwall, so read on to find some inspiration.
DISCOVER THE EDEN PROJECT
The Eden Project is a one-of-a-kind rainy day activity, offering the chance to walk amongst exotic plant life and tropical trees which thrive in the warm biomes, which emerge from the bottom of the valley like huge bubbles. Within the rainforest biome, you’ll pass through themed areas of plant life that originate from all corners of the globe, including tropical islands, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, making it easy to forget you’re even in the UK. The Mediterranean biome also houses a vast range of plants from South Africa, California and Western Australia, and there are some lovely outdoor trails to enjoy if the weather isn’t too awful.
HEAD OUT ON A WOODLAND WALK
Pull on your wellies and head out for a walk or cycle in the woods; the trees overhead will provide some shelter from the rain and there’s something quite magic about hearing the pitter patter of raindrops overhead. We’d recommend Hustyn Woods near Wadebridge, with plenty of trails and tracks for cyclists and walkers.
Cardinham Woods near Lanhydrock is also one of our favourites, and the resident Woods Café was awarded cosiest tea room by Clipper Teas last year. Serving freshly-baked scones, yummy cakes and hearty, homemade food, it’s the perfect place to spend an hour or so escaping from the weather. Trebarwith Valley near Tintagel; Luxulyan Valley near Newquay; and Millook Haven to Dizzard through the ancient oak forest near Bude would make great routes to walk along too.
COSY UP IN A PUB
Enjoy a delicious plate of food beside a roaring fire and forget the weather in a cosy pub. There are plenty to choose from in Cornwall and lots are child and dog-friendly. Some of our favourites include The Pandora Inn at Mylor near Falmouth; The Mexico Inn at Longrock near Penzance; The Golden Lion in Port Isaac; and The Gurnard’s Head at Zennor, which was one of The Telegraph’s top 50 cosiest pubs in Britain.
While away the hours with a board game, the weekend’s papers, or a good book; it’s what rainy days are for.
Cornwall boasts some spectacular coastal routes to enjoy by car, with plenty of secluded coves and hidden beaches dotted along them, so pack a flask and enjoy the beautiful scenery from the warmth and comfort of the car. The route from St Ives to Sennen Cove is really beautiful, and the coast road between Boscastle and Bude is said to be quite special. Pack a picnic, grab some takeaway fish and chips, or stop off for lunch in one of the plentiful restaurants and cafés in Cornwall.
It doesn’t matter what the weather’s doing if you’re already splashing around in the sea. Pull on a wetsuit and jump in for a surf or swim. The cold water will have you feeling invigorated, and there’s plenty of scientific research that suggests sea swimming raises your mood and happiness levels, which is particularly important on those grey, gloomy days. You’ll have a new-found appreciation for getting back to the dry and warm of home too, and can spend the rest of the day lounging around the house guilt-free after all that exercise and fresh air.
GO BACK IN TIME
Visit a National Trust property and wander around the historical houses, where the interiors have been preserved for decades. Lawrence House, Trerice and Lanhydrock are all worth a visit, each with incredibly interesting histories, plus some beautiful grounds and gardens to enjoy if the rain subsides. National Trust’s East Pool Mine is a really impressive place to visit too, located within the heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, with an information centre to discover the history of Cornish mining.
The iconic Tate St Ives re-opened its doors in late 2017 after being closed to the public for over a year, and the gallery is a brilliant place to escape the rain and mizzle. Until 29 April 2018, The Tate is hosting an exhibition inspired by Virginia Woolf’s writings, a world-renowned author who spent much of her childhood in St Ives.
Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange is a great venue to see some talented artists’ work showcased in a broad range of exhibitions, including immersive experiences and performing arts. Falmouth Art Gallery also has an impressive collection of over 2,000 artworks, from British impressionist paintings to contemporary prints and the works on display are constantly changing, so there’s always something new to see.
UNDER THE SEA
Explore the world below the ocean surface at one of Cornwall’s aquariums, a fun pastime for the whole family and a brilliant way to escape the rain. Situated right on the harbour and previously housing the village’s RNLI lifeboat, Mevagissey Aquarium is a pocket-sized attraction that houses a diverse range of local marine wildlife. The aquarium is a charity project, raising awareness of the local fishing industry, and although it’s free to enter, donations are much appreciated.
Fowey Aquarium is right on the town quay and is home to an amazing variety of sea life that inhabit UK waters. Fresh seawater is pumped into the fish tanks every day at high tide too, which brings with it a whole wealth of new creatures. Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay has an incredible range of wildlife from all over the world, including freshwater turtles, black tip reef sharks and caiman, with a tank of diverse coral reefs and beautiful fish that can’t be missed.
Stay inside and cook up some culinary Cornish delights inspired by some of the most talented chefs in the country and beyond. The Padstow Cookbook features a great range of recipes to try, put together by some of the brilliant chefs that have attended or performed cooking demonstrations at the Padstow Christmas Festival over years. We love Prawn on The Lawn‘s recently launched book Fish and Seafood to Share too, which is brimming with beautiful photography and easy-to-follow recipes. Have a read of our round-up of Cornish cookbooks for even more inspiration.