Here Comes the Summer
Here comes the summer and Cornwall is ready to welcome you with attractions and events galore. Here are eight fun things you can do with the family, to suit all pockets and ages.
Everybody loves a train ride
Especially if it's a steam train. Journey through the glorious mid-Cornwall countryside down to the Fowey River or out to the Camel Trail (or do both) as you would have done 70 or so years ago. The Bodmin and Wenford Railway is the only full size steam railway in Cornwall and offers a great day out. If you would rather spend the day on the beach, come in the evening and take part in a Murder Mystery, playing the part of an Edwardian detective!
For younger train fans, a trip to Lappa Valley should not be missed. Here a trip on a steam train will take you to a hidden wonderland of play areas, boating lakes, crazy golf and the newly opened indoor multi-level play area and café in the Engine Shed. A perfect place to let off steam.
Fireworks at Flambards
Ask any local child where they want to go, at any time of year, and Flambards theme park will be at the top of the list. In August, it plays host to evening events including live music, after-dark rides and spectacular firework displays. Young children will love the Western Mine Train, which transports guests back 200 years on a whistle-stop tour of the American Frontier, travelling through the twisting tunnels of an abandoned mining town. Or take a white-knuckle ride on the Sky-Force ride which exerts a force of up to 3G whilst simultaneously spinning 360 degrees (not one for after lunch). Should it rain, check out the undercover attractions: discover Britain in the Blitz, and an entire Victorian Village with real cobblestones.
All the World’s a Stage
Outdoor theatre is a great way to spend a summers evening and where better than the Minack Theatre in the far west of Cornwall. The varied summer programme means there’s a performance for everybody’s tastes, from musicals to farce and even one off concerts. For the kids, why not come during the day and enjoy some storytelling amongst the tropical gardens.
At the other end of Cornwall, Sterts Theatre on the edge of Bodmin Moor has the advantage of a large 'umbrella' to keep you dry on those nights when the weather decides not to behave. Like the Minack it has a long summer season of performances.
Early mornings at Heligan
No one does summer quite like Heligan and this year there’s still time to explore the gardens before the crowds arrive. On Thursdays through to mid July you can turn up from 6.30am, grab a coffee or a tea and immerse yourself in the peace and quiet of the gardens, just you and the birds…
Of course, you don’t need to go to Heligan to do this. There’s nothing stopping you getting up early and watching the sunrise over the Cornish countryside wherever your staying.
Is it football? Is it golf? No, it’s FootballGolf! This unusual, but fun sport uses the same rules as golf, but instead of using clubs, you kick a football into a large hole. Like a giant version of crazy golf, negotiate hazards and obstacles along the way for a fun and challenging game. Suitable for all ages and with two 18-hole courses: one of the level, and one hilly, find it on the edge of St Austell.
National Lobster Hatchery
Padstow’s lobster hatchery is a marine conservation, research and education charity focusing on the wonderful Lobster. It’s worth a visit to learn more about its work in a fun way. Hundreds of lobsters are hatched there daily, and you can meet them and learn how they will grow into adults with a potential 30 year lifespan. You can even adopt one and follow its progress on the tracker page!
Elsewhere, hear fishermen’s tales in the activity room; discover the ancient lobsters with fossils dating back 500 million years; and pick up tips on how to save our seas.
Explore the Clay Trails
Who said industrial heritage was boring? We have it on good authority from some of the Visit Cornwall’s teams children that the adventure trail at Wheal Martyn is great fun. There’s 26 acres of woodland and industrial buildings to explore leading up to a viewing platform overlooking a working China clay pit.
And if you want to explore further, the Clay Trails allow you to cycle or walk around the surrounding countryside as far as the Eden Project and beyond.
Watch the sun go down
Everybody loves a sunset, and Cornwall’s coastline from Sennen, near Land’s End up to Bude in the far north is probably one of the best places to see one. Walk along a beach or find yourself a restaurant or bar and soak up the last golden rays of the day. It’s free and don’t forget to take your camera. For more advice on catching the sunset on film check out our blog.