National Maritime Museum Cornwall


With over 15 galleries, a boatbuilding workshop, interactive exhibits and a collection that spans The National Small Boat collection, exciting temporary exhibitions, artworks, maps and charts, memorabilia and other objects there’s plenty to explore.

Through our exhibitions programme we aspire to bring new and diverse perspectives to maritime issues, and highlight their relevance to the present day. We also bring rare objects from around the world to Cornwall to tell local, national and international stories.

Monsters of the Deep

Take a deep breath and plunge down to the dark murky depths of the ocean and discover the monsters that lurk beneath. Are there krakens with tentacles two miles long and giant sharks as big as skyscrapers?

Explore the centuries-old myths and legends, when chance sightings and odd appearances led to tall tales of deep sea creatures. Learn how, even today, these stories continue to capture imaginations, fulled by fake news and conspiracy theories.

"This is a show to plumb the imagination. For the adults it might be almost as philosophical as it is fun for the kids … I took two 11-year-olds along and the pair of them couldn’t talk about anything else for the entire journey home.” - The Times

This exhibition will run until January 2023.

What else is here

This year at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall:

  • Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed - Returning after a three year national tour, The exhibition challenges long-standing myths and pre-conceptions about tattooing when it comes to class, gender and age, whilst at the same time celebrating the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing in the UK.
  • Coastguard 200 - Through original objects, inspiring stories and hands-on activities the exhibition celebrates the people who have dedicated themselves to saving lives at sea, explores the changing technology of the last two centuries, and celebrates the continuing contribution of the Coastguard at sea and on land. 
  • A World at Sea - The Easter holidays will see us taking care of our natural world. Meet Detritus of the Deep and the Washed-up Mermaid, create recycled masks in Make & Take and follow the Museum Trail where you can learn about what you can do for nature.
  • Mini Monsters of the not so Deep - This May half term join The Rock Pool Project at National Maritime Museum Cornwall and discover more from the rock pools along our Cornish coast. What mini monsters and curios creatures will you find with The Rock Pool Project in their mobile rock pool? Each day there’ll be a chance to learn and uncover more about the sea life in our Cornish waters including the best ways to explore rock pools and identify the creatures you discover.
  • I Saw a Monster - It’s the summer holidays and we’re gearing up for a great time! At National Maritime Museum Cornwall there’ll be performances of I Saw A Monster each day, we’re hunting for tentacles on the Museum Trail and in Make & Take we’re creating our very own sea monster puppets.
  • Lanterns and Light - This Christmas holiday enjoy magically lit boats, merry Make & Takes and a Museum Trail – Christmas at National Maritime Museum Cornwall takes on the theme of Lanterns & Lights with a magical nautical twist.

Visit our website for dates, times and more information about school holiday activities.


Pay once, get in free all year!

Nearest Information Centre

0.5 Miles

Nearest Train Station

0.3 Miles

Nearby Accommodation

Nearby Beaches

0.5 Miles
0.6 Miles
1.0 Miles
2.3 Miles

Nearby Food & Drink

0.2 Miles
0.5 Miles