The Best Things to do in Cornwall

As one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations Cornwall has no shortage of things to do whatever the weather or time of year. If rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and charming fishing villages aren't enough then we can help you find alternate activities.

It's not just the villages that have something to offer those sightseeing. The towns (and city!) of Cornwall are rich in history and attractions of their own. There are a myriad of things to do for in Cornwall everyone, ranging from beautiful gardens, museums, theme parks, maritime centres, Cornish heritage to zoos and wildlife reserves.

To find somewhere to go, something to do or find an attraction you may have heard of simply select the place and/or type of attraction on the right of the page or just click on the map.

Enjoy browsing through our list of over 100 of the best attractions throughout Cornwall and yes, the Eden Project is in there somewhere!

The Cornwall Guide Top 20 Visitor Attractions

  • Cornwall's best known attraction. The site consists of 2 vast landscaped space age greenhouses, or biomes, containing a variety of temperate and tropical plants.

  • Heligan - Mud Maid

    80 acres of superb grounds with a complex of walled gardens and a huge, productive vegetable garden. Set in one of the most mysterious estates in England, Heligan.

  • No. 6 / Padstow

    Paul Ainsworth - No.6 - Padstow

    This elegant Michelin-star restaurant in Padstow is part of the Paul Ainsworth family of restaurants. If you're looking for a restaurant for a special occasion, No6 is the place to come.

    Chef Chris McClurg and his team have created a menu of modern British classics: think wild turbot, fillets of beef and pigeon. The food is locally sourced where possible, adding a coastal Cornish feel to the dishes.

    The main restaurant is an inviting space, housed in a Georgian townhouse in the...

  • Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay

    Overlooking a popular Newquay surfing beach, the Blue Reef Aquarium is a stunning collection of marine displays from the Cornish coast to as far afield as the Caribbean

  • The Pig at Harlyn Bay

    The Pig at Harlyn is just ten minutes' drive (or taxi. Treat yourself - the wine list's worth it) from Padstow. The 15th-century house makes a perfect hotel and restaurant, and a lot of their food is grown on site.

    At The Pig, the kitchen and gardening team work together to create fresh and lively dishes. They also have their own forager, who finds the best ingredients from the natural larder. As for other producers, well, The Pig has a 25-mile rule: nothing must come from further...

  • Paradise Park - Hayle

    Paradise Park carries out conservation work on native UK species, including the Cornish Chough, Otters, Owls, and Red Squirrels.
    It is also home to rare and endangered parrots, and is an excellent and informative day out for any family.

  • Tresco Abbey Gardens

    'A perennial Kew' - home to 20,000 exotic plants with species from 80 countries, ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa

  • The Minack Open Air Theatre is in one of the most beautiful settings anywhere in the world, perched high on golden cliffs above the turquoise sea

  • Newquay Zoo

    Newquay Animal World is Cornwall's only zoo and has become one of the leading wildlife parks in the country

  • Grey Seal

    The National Seal Sanctuary is a haven for injured and orphaned seal pups set on the picturesque Helford Estuary in the lovely village of Gweek

  • National Maritime Museum Falmouth

    The National Maritime Museum provides an interactive display of boats and their various functions in industry and recreation.

  • Located in Madron near Penzance. Woodland garden with views over Mounts Bay. Exotic trees and shrubs including tree ferns create a prehistoric feel

  • Medieval house with superb collections of textiles, armour and furniture, set in extensive grounds

  • Impressive late Victorian country house near Bodmin with extensive servants' quarters, church, gardens and wooded estate

  • The Lappa Valley Steam Railway is a narrow gauge railway which opened in 1849 as a mineral line from Newquay to East Wheal Rose and was reopened in 1974 as a tourist attraction

  • Trebah Gardens, spectacular 26 acre Cornish ravine garden that descends 200 feet to a private beach on the River Helford located near Falmouth in Cornwall

  • One of the great sub-tropical gardens of the South-West on the Helford Estuary.

  • The Shore - Penzance

    There’s nothing overly fancy about the location of the Shore. Set on a crossroads on the edge of Penzance town centre this restaurant is all about the food. 

    Probably the best seafood in town, this bistro is run by Bruce Rennie, a chef with a wealth of experience from the Michelin starred kitchens of some of the biggest names in food. Now working alone in the kitchen, food is crafted around whatever is fresh and in season....

  • St Micheal's Mount Sunset

    Island castle set in the middle of Mount's Bay, just off the coast of Marazion. The Mount is now managed by the National Trust but remains the home of St Aubyn family.

  • St Petrocs Bistro / Padstow

    St Petroc's Bistro - Padstow

    St Petroc's is another restaurant from Rick Stein's stables, and this one is an informal delight. It's set away from Padstow harbour, which gives it a more chilled-out feel.

    The relaxed bistro serves French-inspired dishes, made from fine Cornish produce - naturally, there's always a choice of freshly landed fish. There's a children's menu, and your dog is welcome to join you at St Pet's - well in the outdoors areas anyway.

    Start or end the evening with a cocktail at Ruby's Bar...