Spring reopening for Cornish attractions as restrictions are eased

Posted on Friday 9th April, 2021

Spring reopening for Cornish attractions as restrictions are eased

Many of Cornwall’s top outdoor tourist attractions will be reopening to visitors from Monday (12 April), offering the county’s residents the chance to visit much-loved places and experience the beauty of Cornwall after the winter lockdown.

The government’s roadmap out of lockdown means Cornish tourist attractions will have varied reopening dates – with some of those offering outdoor experiences already open for local exercise, and many others able to reopen from Monday 12 April. Most indoor attractions will be able to reopen fully at the next stage of easing restrictions, planned for 17 May.

The reopening of many of our outdoor visitor attractions this month - alongside the opening of self-contained accommodation - brings hopes for recover for the Cornish visitor economy. It also offers Cornish residents the opportunity to return to their favourite attractions and make new memories as the UK takes steps towards normality.

Jon Cummins, Chair of the Board of Directors at Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions, said: “We’re delighted to see some of our visitor attractions opening their doors again to visitors, and we really hope this signals the start of a turnaround for our tourism businesses and a busy year ahead alongside the strong demand for accommodation in Cornwall this year.

“We know how important accessing green space and being outdoors is for everyone. We can’t wait to welcome both locals and visitors alike back to our attractions over the coming months but please do plan your visit in advance to avoid disappointment. You will need to pre-book for many Cornish attractions this year to help us maintain safe numbers and to ensure everyone has an enjoyable visit.”

Cornish visitor attractions reopening on Monday 12 April, or that have already been able to open their doors, are:

·         Cornwall Football Golf

·         Cornish Seal Sanctuary

·         English Heritage – Tintagel Castle - reopening outdoor elements of the attraction only

·         English Heritage – Pendennis Castle - reopening outdoor elements of the attraction only

·         Flambards

·         Hangloose Adventure

·         Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm – reopening outdoor elements of the attraction only

·         Jamaica Inn – reopening outdoor hospitality only

·         Jubilee Pool

·         Lands’ End – reopening outdoor elements of the attraction only

·         Lappa Valley

·         Minack Theatre – for visits and guided tours only

·         National Trust in Cornwall – reopening outdoor spaces only

·         Newquay Zoo

·         Paradise Park

·         Pencarrow House and Gardens - reopening outdoor spaces only

·         Pinetum Gardens

·         Screech Owl Sanctuary - reopening outdoor elements of the attraction only

·         The Lost Gardens of Heligan

·         Trebah Garden

·         Wheal Martyn Clay Works – reopening outdoor elements of the attraction only

Industry chiefs within Cornwall were quick to voice their support for the planned reopening.

Malcolm Bell, CEO at Visit Cornwall, said: “It been a year that none of us will forget - and a very long winter. It is great to see the next step on the roadmap from 12 April, where outdoor attractions and self contained accommodation will reopen.

“It will be wonderful to see both day visitors from within Cornwall as well as staying visitors enjoying great times in our amazing attractions and to see staff back to work after a long period of furlough.”

Kim Conchie, CEO at Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said:” Cornwall offers so much to the quality of life – the great outdoors, healthy work/life balance and a multitude of places to enjoy oneself. Nothing sums up this sense of enjoyment better than the world-leading CATA venues.

“They are essential to Cornish people’s sense of place, the leading attractions provide sought after employment, training and, as they are all run by professionals, can open safely and responsibly so will help to put the hospitality industry back on its feet quickly as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Visitors to Cornwall’s top attractions reopening from 12 April can be reassured that COVID-19 safety measures will remain in place, and all attractions will follow recommended government guidelines. Many attractions will be asking visitors to pre-book tickets in advance to ensure safe numbers and an enjoyable day out for everyone. Additional sanitising and cleaning checks will be in place, one-way systems where appropriate, social distancing and use of face masks by our teams where appropriate will all be in place.

Many attractions will have take-away or outdoor food options available with socially distanced outdoor seating.

Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions (CATA) was formed in 1974 to create and promote top-quality visitor experiences in the region. Today, the association comprises 40 of the best attractions in Cornwall, with a supportive network encouraging knowledge sharing and collective action.


Cornish Seal Sanctuary gives a little love back this February by offering locals an exclusive annual ticket for the year

Posted on Monday 1st March, 2021

Cornish Seal Sanctuary gives a little love back this February by offering locals an exclusive annual ticket for the year

For just £12 for adults and £10 for children, local residents of Cornwall can visit the Sanctuary unlimited times for an entire year. 

As Cornwall’s only working seal hospital, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary has become a crusader of animal welfare and a champion of our coastline’s marine animals. The Sanctuary rehabilitates over 70 seal pups rescued from around the Cornish coastline each year, when visiting the Sanctuary, you can meet seal pups who are going through rehabilitation ahead of being released back into the wild. 

The Sanctuary is also home to resident animals, you can say hello to their seals, penguins, sea lions, ponies, goats and sheep. The Sanctuary is set amongst 40 acres of beautiful woodland, the perfect resting point for enjoying views of the picturesque Helford River.

Currently battling devastating financial losses due to multiple lockdowns and COVID restrictions, the Sanctuary thankfully received an overwhelming amount of support from their supporters to keep them afloat. The month of February would usually be the time for the Sanctuary’s local annual pass sale, offering discounted annual tickets for all Cornwall residents to show appreciation. To give back to the community, the Sanctuary has found a way to continue this tradition despite all challenges.

Everyone that lives in TR and PL postcodes have the opportunity to secure their annual pass for the best price possible. During these uncertain times, the Sanctuary would like to re-assure you that while you are helping them through the third lockdown, your 12 months will start when you are ready. 

The pass will be valid from the point of redemption at the Sanctuary, so if you purchase your pass in February at a discounted rate, its 12 months free entry will start from when you actually visit the Sanctuary to redeem your order, please don’t forget to bring along your proof of address. 

The pass is available to buy via the Sanctuary's website -


Lanterns and Lights at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Posted on Tuesday 8th December, 2020

Lanterns and Lights at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

The light installation, Lanterns and Lights, which started at the Museum last Christmas for the first time, is a nod to the lamps, lanterns and stars used by sailors to help them navigate their way when at sea. Using the flying flotilla, hung from the Museum’s high ceiling, the boats are lit with subtle ocean coloured hues and set amongst glistening star bursts.

In the foyer two heritage boats from the Museum’s collection are decked in twinkling lights and will be the Museum’s version of giant decorated Christmas trees, laden with gifts and parcels.

A number of rare historic ship lanterns and navigational aids from the Museum’s collection will also be on display in the Main Hall, demonstrating how light and the stars guided sailors on their journey.

Sophie Butcher, National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s Learning Officer, said, ‘With so many of the usual festive activities cancelled in Cornwall this year we felt it was really important to celebrate the season with Lanterns and Lights. The idea of light and it guiding seafarers on their way resonates more than ever – the seas maybe stormy but with light there is always hope’.

The Museum plans to remain open late on Monday 21st December so the lights can be truly appreciated. Last entry is at 6.30pm and visitors are welcome to stay until 8pm.

The Museum’s hugely popular Make and Take crafting activities will be a little different this year where families are invited to ‘Take and Make’ instead. Starting from Saturday 19 December, for the duration of the Christmas holidays, families can take a craft pack home with instructions and all the items they need to create Star Light Jars pre-Christmas and Wishing Stars post-Christmas.

Throughout the Museum there will be a star trail where families can explore the Museum, hunting for the hidden stars. Each one has a different challenge to complete.

Due to coronavirus the Museum has introduced a number of measures, including the introduction of a one-way system, restricted admission capacities to aid social distancing and a strict cleanliness regime. The same level of measures will remain when the Museum reopens on Thursday.

The Museum’s Learning Officer, Sophie Butcher concluded, ‘Lanterns and Lights is fast becoming a part of the Christmas calendar for families in Cornwall and we are really looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Museum in a Covid-secure way’.

The Lanterns and Lights installation will be available to see from Thursday 3 December until Sunday 3 January.

Located on Discovery Quay in Falmouth on the South Cornwall coast, National Maritime Museum Cornwall is an independent museum with over 15 galleries. With a collection that spans the National Small Boat collection, exciting temporary exhibitions, artworks, maps, charts, memorabilia and other objects, as well as a boatbuilding workshop, there is already plenty to explore at this Museum.


Funding for community groups in Eden Project’s neighbouring parishes

Posted on Tuesday 8th December, 2020

Funding for community groups in Eden Project’s neighbouring parishes

Applications are open for Eden Geothermal’s £20,000 Community Fund, set up to support projects in the parishes of Treverbyn, Luxulyan, Carlyon and St Blaise. Small grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available, for projects which benefit local people and improve the local environment or community facilities.

Applicants should be formally constituted groups, with a community, social, educational or charitable purpose, and must be based in one of Eden’s four neighbouring parishes. Full guidance, details of how to apply and contacts for the team managing the fund are set out at deadline for applications is 31 March 2021.

Augusta Grand, Executive Director of Eden Geothermal Limited, said: “We hope this fund will help local groups to make a difference to their communities. We know there are some brilliant projects out there, and we’re really happy to be able to support some of them.”

Eden Geothermal Ltd has been set up by three partners, the Eden Project, EGS Energy Ltd, and Bestec (UK) Ltd, to unlock the geothermal energy deep in the granite beneath the Eden Project site near St Austell. 

Eden Geothermal Ltd runs the Eden Geothermal Project, an industrial research project which plans to drill a 4.5km deep geothermal well at the Eden Project to heat its famous Biomes, greenhouses and offices. The project is co-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council and an institutional investor.  Drilling is due to start in spring 2021.

The England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is contributing £9.9m, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit

Eden Geothermal Project is the first phase of a two well development. It will pave the way for the second phase: another 4.5km well and an electricity plant.


Places to visit on a rainy day in Cornwall

Posted on Tuesday 13th October, 2020

Places to visit on a rainy day in Cornwall

Don't let the rain spoil your fun! Our Cornish weather can be a little unpredictable. If you are wondering what to do on a rainy day, we have plenty of things to enjoy in Cornwall. Many of our tourist attractions are perfect for a rainy day out in Cornwall - take shelter in a host of fascinating museums, galleries and country houses across the county. We can also offer steam train rides and brewery visits - there's plenty of days out in Cornwall to choose from, whatever the weather!

We have a great selection of undercover or indoor all weather attractions. Some attractions may be entirely undercover or indoors, and some attractions - such as our theme parks - may have certain areas which are suited to a rainy day.

Please check the opening days/times information or visit the attraction website for full details. Many of the historical properties may not currently be opening their houses due to social distancing restrictions, so do keep this in mind and check before you visit.

  • The amazing island world of St Michael’s Mount is one of the jewels in Cornwall’s crownHop on a boat – or walk across the causeway during low tide – to a community where modern life meets over a thousand years of history.
  • Visit Lanhydrock, the impressive country estate that brings the past to life. Wander ‘below stairs’ and imagine yourself among the Victorian servants: people with very different stories to the gentry above.
  • Stroll through the exotic valley gardens of Glendurgan, beautiful in any season, and evoke your spirit of adventure in the garden maze and on the giant rope swing.
  • With unrivalled views over the River Fal, the Trelissick estate has 300 acres of woodland and parkland to explore, perfect for meandering with the family and the dog. Discover the stories behind this welcoming country house.
  • Near the Devon border, Cotehele is the enchanted home of the Edgecumbe family and has origins dating back to medieval times. There’s always a busy programme of events to enjoy, along with a working watermill and a quay on the River Tamar.

In Hayle, Paradise Park is all about the birds. Overlooking Hayle Estuary – itself a renowned RSPB reserve – this family attraction is home to the World Parrot Trust. Encounter a huge variety of different birds and discover more about them with daily talks and feeding experiences. During summer, explore the exotic garden, where bees and butterflies enjoy the nectar-rich plants and brightly coloured birds stretch their wings. They offer an indoor play area, called the Jungle Barn - but please do check whether this is open in light of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Museum of Global Communications PK Porthcurno sits in the beautiful Porthcurno valley in West Cornwall, and is a wonderful family experience full of interactive activities. This hidden gem was once at the heart of a communications revolution and has a fascinating WWII history.

The mining industry is a vital part of Cornwall’s heritage, and CATA has two member attractions that tell important tales of our mining past. In west Cornwall, Geevor Tin Mine offers an insight into life underground and shows the mine exactly as it was on the day it closed its doors for good. Over in east Cornwall, Wheal Martyn highlights the stories of china clay miners and the industry that shaped the landscape of this area. There are indoor experiences as part of their large sites. 

Overlooking the Atlantic, Tate St Ives celebrates the artists who have made Cornwall their home and explores their links to the local area. From there, it’s just a short walk to the Barbara Hepworth Museum, which displays a collection of the renowned sculptor’s work that’s not to be missed.

At the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, learn all about the unbreakable ties between the people of Cornwall and the briny blue. The exhibitions at the Falmouth museum unravel fascinating tales of life on the ocean, from plucky Packet Service crews to modern-day explorers.

Not far down the road in Truro, the Royal Cornwall Museum provides an interactive and family friendly experience. The museum’s collection is a testimony to Cornish life and culture, with an eclectic and varied series of exhibitions exploring many different aspects of our county – all in a way that visitors (of all ages) will love.

The £8.5m Bodmin Jail recounts tales of crime and punishment in Cornwall from the 1700s to the early 20th century. Visitors are treated to a subterranean “dark walk” that uses special effects to expose the lives and deaths of some of those once imprisoned here. Just down the road, experience the nostalgia of Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Travel by steam on Cornwall’s only full-size railway, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era.

If you’re looking for excitement,  Flambards at Helston is just the ticket, with rollercoasters, thrill rides and gentler fun for the little ones - it's also home to an incredible Victorian Village in stunning detail, offering somewhere fascinating to shelter when the weather goes awry.

Over near St Austell, don't forget the Eden Project itself – a must on many Cornwall to-do lists. At this living theatre of plants and people, you can experience a rainforest in one biome and the Mediterranean in another. 

Go as a family and follow in the footsteps of kings, soldiers and sea captains at two of Cornwall’s legendary castles. Set on a headland with breathtaking views out to sea, Pendennis Castle is one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses.

If you’re keen to try a Cornish tipple or two, take a trip to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm – home to the famous Cornish Rattler. Or if beer is more your thing, head over to the St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre to find out more about their 160-year history in brewing some of Cornwall’s most popular drinks.

Legendary Jamaica Inn, immortalised by Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, is perched on wild and windswept Bodmin Moor. While being home to many of the author’s personal possessions, it also hosts an intriguing smuggling museum. And if that ignites your interest in all things maritime, wonder at Europe’s largest collection of shipwreck finds at Charlestown Shipwreck Treasure Museum.

Land’s End is famed for its unique location and spectacular views, but there’s also fun to be had at this family attraction. With indoor experiences from Arthur's Quest to Aardman animations,enjoy the interactive entertainment before you embark on stunning coastal walks – and don’t forget to have your picture taken at the landmark sign!

Be curious and explore the best our beautiful county has to offer - read some of our other blogs to discover more places to visit. Uncover the stories behind some of our most beautiful gardens and houses, be excited at our fascinating attractions and theme parks, and learn and discover about Cornish heritage, culture and art. Find out what some of our attractions are doing to ensure conservation of important species, and what others are doing to raise awareness of plastic pollution and sustainability issues. There’s so much to discover!

Remember to check on each attraction's website to see whether they are open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many attractions will have changed their opening times, and all those who remain open during the pandemic will have safety measures in place for your wellbeing. Many attractions will require you to think ahead, plan your trip and book your ticket in advance.  


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