What's happening this October half term at Cornwall's top tourist attractions?

Posted on Friday 15th October, 2021

What's happening this October half term at Cornwall's top tourist attractions?

Cornwall’s top tourist attractions will be offering plenty of family fun this autumn, as visitor attractions across the county reveal their events schedules for October half-term.

For holidaymakers and locals looking for something to keep the kids amused during the school holidays, there’s a feast of fabulous fun to pick from – from spooky happenings around Halloween through to the autumnal celebrations of nature, harvest and the great outdoors!

After a bumper summer for tourism, Cornish visitor attractions have continued to attract strong visitor numbers through September and October – and October half term fun looks set to extend the season even further.

Here’s some of the best half term activities in Cornwall, running from 23-31 October 2021. Dates and opening times may vary so visitors are advised to check attraction websites before visiting.


Camel Creek

Halloweek at Camel Creek

A spooktacular week of Halloween fun and terrifying thrills at Camel Creek this October half-term with a host of spooky activities, interactive experiences and spooky encounters planned for this year. Booking is essential as places are filling fast.

Find out more:


Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Whodunnit Mystery Trail

Help Detective Lily solve the mystery – no tricks, just treats! Come dressed in your spookiest outfit!

Find out more:


Eden Project
(Joined by the Screech Owl Sanctuary team)


See the award-winning Bakehouse Factory’s bespoke show, created especially for Eden and based around their fabulous 3m tall owl, taking place daily in their Citrus Grove.

Don’t miss the beautiful owls from the Screech Owl Sanctuary and learn all about our feathered friends. Get the whole family involved solving creepy clues in a special puzzle trail, developed in partnership with Eureka Escape. 

Book your spot on a Potion Making Workshop and create your perfect potions, made with a touch of magic and sealed for you to take home and treasure - and don’t forget to book a spin on their spooky ice rink for the perfect half-term day out. 

Book now:



October Half Term Fun


There’s a host of fantastic family fun on offer at Flambards throughout the October Half Term holidays. From monster magic shows and spooky pumpkin trails through the Victorian Village, to the Helston theme park’s thrilling rides and a stunning fireworks spectacular there’s something for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

On Monday 25 October, The Big Dance Company will be surprising visitors with flash mob shows across the park, and on Tuesday 26 October don’t miss the spine-tingling Billy Wizz Monster Magic Show on the outdoor stage.

Families can take to the cobbled streets of Flambards’ award-winning Victorian Village to explore the spooky pumpkin quiz trail. Authentic shops filled with thousands of 19th century artefacts transport visitors back in time.

A fun mix of rides and attractions– including the white-knuckle Sky-Force ride and the brand new Western Mine Train - are open daily throughout the half term break alongside a horrifying host of additional fun thrills and chills on offer.

On Wednesday 27 October, the theme park is staying open late to stage its famous Halloween Tricks & Treats Firework Spectacular.

As well as the stunning pyrotechnics display which will commence at 7:30pm, visitors can enjoy after dark rides and fabulous entertainment with the local talent, Stone Roots performing two sets of live music before the fireworks launch.

On Sunday 31 October, little ones are invited to come in fancy dress where prizes will be given out on the day for the most terrifyingly terrific outfits

Book now:


Lappa Valley


Meet Peppa Pig at Lappa Valley

26 and 27 October


Lappa Fireworks Spectacular

30 October


Find out more about these family events at Cornwall’s secret world of play and trains, a true favourite for the little ones:


Lost Gardens of Heligan

Heligan Halloween Tricks & Treats!

Travel to the East Lawn Play Tent to join one of Heligan’s have a go workshops, expertly facilitated by the spellbinding Pokya circus troupe. The tricks that you might learn will include poi, diabolo, hula-hoop, tight wire, juggling, unicycle, stilts and so much more. Who will learn the best trick and will it be good enough to earn you a Heligan treat?

Twit-twoo!! Elsewhere in The Gardens, Heligan’s reserve yard will host an array of stunning owls for you to come face to face with and you will realise they aren’t quite as spooky as you may think!

Find out more:


Minack Theatre

24-28 October

1pm and 4pm daily


Are you ready to swing with a Georgian king? Can you see eye to eye with Admiral Nelson? Does the Duke of Wellington get the boot? Dare you dance the Tyburn jig? Will you be saved by Florence Nightingale? Find out what a baby farmer did and move to the groove with party Queen Victoria!  Don’t miss this horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in!

Tickets from £10
Under 16s half price

01736 810181

Advance Booking Essential


2 – 31 October

1pm and 4pm daily


A Minack Production

The Little Prince’s goodnight kiss has gone missing.  It’s escaped into the forest where it has no business to be, so the brave and fearless knight is sent on a mission to bring it back… But is he brave and fearless enough?

Tickets from £10
Under 16s half price

01736 810181

Advance Booking Essential

To book tickets, visit:


National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Silhouettes and Shadows

Halloween At The Museum


There will be plenty of spooky fun to be had during half term with the Museum’s Silhouettes and Shadows event from 23-31 October, with make and take fun and exciting museum trails:

And you can celebrate Halloween at the Museum, on the torch-lit trail to find the spooky sea spirits hidden in the Museum’s deepest darkest corners.:


National Trust


Autumn children's trail at Trelissick

Saturday 23 - Sunday 31 October, 10am - 4pm

Discover the sights, sounds, smells and wildlife of the season with the autumn children's trail at Trelissick. The trail is free but normal admission charges apply, free to National Trust members.

Visit the website to book


Autumn wild art at Trerice

Sat 16 - Sun 31 October, 10:30am - 4:30pm

Get creative with nature and make wild art on the parade ground. The event is free but normal admission charges apply, free to National Trust members.

Visit the website to book


Paradise Park

Creepy Halloween Half Term at Paradise Park

Special appearances by Mark’s Ark with creepy crawly wildlife encounters!

·       Learn some eerie fascinating facts on the Halloween Pumpkin Trail about scorpion eating birds, silent but deadly nocturnal hunters and much more, and claim your treat!

·       Will you survive the Jungle Express Train on its journey through the jungle tunnel (small extra charge and weather permitting). 

·       Look out for spooky dinosaurs and skeletons lurking around the Park.

·       Spot the extraordinary Pesquet’s Parrot also known as Dracula parrot and look out for some wonderful Halloween inspired enrichment food for the birds and animals.

·       Get in to the spirit of things and come in fancy dress.

For full information:


Pendennis Castle

The Wizards of Once Halloween Quest

Head to Pendennis Castle for a fantastical day out this Halloween half-term. Explore the grounds on our brand-new adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s bestselling Wizards of Once series.

Will you find the ingredients for the Spell to get rid of Witches and uncover the location of the Cup of Second Chances? Come along in frightful fancy dress and snap a picture to enter our competition on social media. It’s going to be a really wizard day out!

Plus, get up close to a host of real-life 'beasts' with Zoolab! Meet some amazing animals – including snakes, spiders, and more – and learn all about these creepy crawly creatures.

Find out more:


PK Porthcurno

Slimy Sea Creature Printing!

Tuesday 26, Thursday 28 and Saturday 30 October 2021


Join the PK Porthcurno team this October Half term, to discover and print the untold stories of the slimy sea creatures of Porthcurno. Choose your favourite colour and print a Halloween mythical sea horse, a scary worm or a patrol of fish deep under the sea. Learn more about their environmental initiative Planet PK while you reuse their brightly coloured paper and make environmentally friendly slime.

Find out more:


Tate St Ives

Holiday Art Challenge


Pick up a challenge card and pencil, explore the galleries and have some fun. Will you become a Performance Poet, Map Maker, Shape Shifter or create a Window Wonder? Have fun with the new Sketchbook or Tate Shapes activities or peek at paintings with a buggy walk.

Find out more:


Wheal Martyn

October Half Term Activities

Wheal Martyn will be running a whole host of autumn activities during half term – from Autumn Impressions clay workshops to piskie making workshops, from Halloween hi-jinks to performances of Twisted Tales Volume 2 from Owdyado Theatre. Don’t miss out on the seasonal fun. Find out more here:


Jon Cummins, Chair of the Board of Directors at Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions, said: “We’re delighted that all of our attractions are offering such a varied and exciting programme of events this autumn, and hope visitors enjoy all of the treats on offer.

 “It’s been really important for our Cornish visitor attractions to enjoy a good season – despite the many challenges in recent months – and it’s really heartening to see visitors from across Cornwall and beyond continuing to enjoy what’s on offer right through the autumn months.”

Visitors to Cornwall’s top attractions can be assured that appropriate COVID-19 safety measures will continue to remain in place, and all attractions will follow recommended government guidelines.





What is the future for destination management organisations in England?

Posted on Thursday 16th September, 2021

What is the future for destination management organisations in England?

 The de Bois review of Destination Management Organisations in England, commissioned by DCMS has been published this week.

The review examined and assessed how Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) across England are funded and structured, and how they perform their roles, in order to establish whether there may be a more efficient and effective model for supporting English tourism at the regional level, and if so what that model may be.

The main recommendations for Government coming out of the review are:

Recommendation 1:
  • The Government should bring coherence to England’s DMO landscape via a tiering approach, using an accreditation process to create a national portfolio of high performing Destination Management Organisations that meet certain criteria. I would also suggest a move away from the confusing ‘DMO’ term and call these nationally accredited Tourist Boards.


Recommendation 2a:

  • The national portfolio should then be split into two tiers – a top tier of accredited Tourist Boards acting as ‘Destination Development Partnerships’ or as leaders of them (these could be described as ‘hubs’) and a second tier of accredited Tourist Boards acting as members of these Partnerships (‘spokes’). Destination Development Partnership status could be awarded to either an individual accredited Tourist Board covering a large enough geography (e.g. a city region) or to a coalition of willing accredited Tourist Boards within an area that come together under a lead Board.


Recommendation 2b:
  • The Government should then provide core funding to each Destination Development Partnership. The funding should be focused on activities that ensure their destination remains sustainable, competitive and responsive to high level strategic challenges identified by the Government such as those around sustainability, skills, inclusive tourism and levelling up. The Destination Development Partnership would be expected to pass down a degree of funding to accredited Tourist Boards amongst its coalition and work collaboratively with them to deliver a shared vision.
Recommendation 3:
  • DMOs that do not meet the national accreditation criteria should be automatically considered as part of a ‘third tier’. These are likely to be small, localised Destination Marketing Organisations and the Government should minimise its engagement with them.
Recommendation 4:
  • As it is England’s National Tourist Board, with the statutory responsibility for growing tourism at an England level, the Government should charge VisitEngland with responsibility for creating, maintaining and supporting this new tiered structure. It should receive sufficient funding and resources to do this.
Recommendation 5:
  • The Government must also change its approach, in order to maximise the success of the new system. There is currently insufficient appreciation of the importance and promise of the visitor economy at the top of government, leading to unfilled potential in DMOs and the wider tourism landscape. In practice, responsibility for tourism policy cuts across multiple departments, creating a confusing picture. Practical measures to address these issues could include elevating the Tourism Minister to a Minister of State position and either reallocating responsibilities from other departments to sit under that Minister or making the Minister responsible for the activities of teams within multiple departments – this latter suggestion is an established practice already in other policy areas which cut across Whitehall departments
Recommendation 6:

  • In order to help DMOs and Local Authorities take decisions on how best to develop the visitor economy in their local area, the Government should improve access to quality data by introducing the proposed Tourism Data Hub as a matter of urgency.

The main recommendations for DMOs coming out of the review are:
Recommendation 7:
  • DMOs must accept that they also have a role to play in driving forward change; it cannot just be left to the Government. DMOs will need to take a less territorial approach, have a greater focus on collaboration, and recognise that the current fragmentation is holding them back from acting as effective advocates for the visitor economy.
Recommendation 8:
  • DMOs should seek to diversify their income streams, and should share and learn from examples of best practice. This would enable them to best leverage core funding, and commitment to diversification may be an accreditation criteria.  
Recommendation 9:
  • DMOs should have a rigorous focus on keeping the skill sets and expertise of their own staff up-to-date, particularly with respect to digital skills, so as to ensure their destination’s offer continues to be sustainable and competitive.
Recommendation 10:
  • DMOs should have more diverse boards that fully represent their communities as well as their businesses and visitors.
Recommendation 11:
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships must realise the value of tourism, ensure the visitor economy is fully integrated into their economic strategies and play their full role as partners in the activities of their local accredited Tourist Board and Destination Development Partnerships. They should recognise that DMO type organisations are best placed to drive growth in regional tourism and they should actively support them.
Recommendation 12:

  • Local government – be that a District Council, County Council, Mayoral Combined Authority or any other formulation – must also realise the value of tourism and should strive to play their part in supporting their accredited Tourist Board and Destination Development Partnership. They should accept that for DMOs to be at their best, they need to be public/private/community partnerships, not based solely in a Local Authority but working in close partnership with them. They should also involve their DMO in any policy decision-making affecting the visitor economy.

The next step in the process is that the Government will respond to the findings and decide whether to adopt and implement any, some or all of the recommendations. It would be expected that this response will be published ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review as the recommendations include funding implications.

Visit England are currently working through the recommendations of the review with DCMS and have stated that the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review settlement will frame how these are taken forward and implemented.

A spokesperson for VisitEngland said: "Destination Management Organisations are a vital part of England’s tourism landscape and this independent review is a timely and important step to ensuring the right local and regional structures are in place to support the sector’s recovery and the UK Government’s wider agenda for rebuilding tourism."

Read the full report here:

With thanks and credit to Kurt Janson of the Tourism Alliance for his summary of the recommendations, and VisitEngland for their response piece. 

Last chance to see Kurt Jackson exhibition at Wheal Martyn

Posted on Monday 23rd August, 2021

Last chance to see Kurt Jackson exhibition at Wheal Martyn

There are just three weeks left for visitors to Wheal Martyn Clay Works to see an exciting new exhibition by contemporary artist Kurt Jackson.

Inspired by his time at Littlejohns Clay Works in Cornwall, the ‘Clay County’ exhibition is on display in the museum’s brand new gallery space until 5 September. Access to the exhibition is free, as part of the normal museum admission fee.

Colin Vallance, Director of Wheal Martyn, said, “Our museum tells the story of Cornwall’s china clay mining industry, making it the perfect place to display Kurt Jackson’s exciting new work. We’re delighted to be able to give our visitors the opportunity to see these magnificent artworks, inspired by an industry which has had an impact on so many people and is very much alive today. Thousands of people have already enjoyed the exhibition and we look forward to welcoming more over the next three weeks.”

Jackson’s work is fuelled by a long standing interest in Cornwall’s extractive industry and its role in shaping the physical landscape, culture and heritage of Cornwall. His creativity was sparked by observing the workers in the pit as they extracted and transported the china clay in this extraordinary man-made landscape. The dramatic weather variations inspired a diverse range of drawings and paintings; in some cases Kurt incorporated the clay and stone itself into his art. The exhibition includes new mixed media paintings, from huge tarpaulin-sized canvases to small intimate studies, as well as a number of ceramic pieces. 

Wheal Martyn’s new gallery and adjoining learning and activity space have been created as part of the museum’s ‘Clay Works’ project, which has given new life to the historic Mica Dry, a designated Scheduled Ancient Monument, and also created a programme of activities and volunteering opportunities. The project has been generously supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, Cornwall Council, Arts Council England, The Pilgrim Trust, The Wolfson Foundation, Historic England, Imerys Minerals Ltd, Pennon Environmental Fund, Cornwall Heritage Trust and the Hobson Charity.

For more information, visit or call 01726 850362.


Cornish illustrator brings treasure stories to life

Posted on Tuesday 3rd August, 2021

Cornish illustrator brings treasure stories to life

A Cornish illustrator is bringing astonishing stories of deep-sea discovery to life under visitors’ feet at Charlestown’s award-winning Shipwreck Treasure Museum.

Writer and artist Felicity Tattersall has put her artistic skill to use by creating a series of illustrations on the floor at the museum which has housed Europe’s largest private collection of shipwreck treasure salvaged from beneath the ocean for more than 40 years.

The artwork, which cover more than 100m2 of floor space within the attraction, introduces some of the museum’s artefacts that visitors will spot later during their visit. Felicity drew them as detailed line drawings that were then hidden amongst large visceral watercolour paintings of seaweed.

Felicity said:

“As a former museum curator and National Trust cataloguer, I’ve always had a passion for historic museum objects and the stories they can tell us. The Shipwreck Treasure Museum is utterly captivating. We wanted to create an entrance experience for visitors which is worthy of the many emotions and sensations that the visit inspires.

“I adore that the collections are encrusted with rust and barnacles and speak to us about their former lives and convey their survival in very different environments. The museum is a chronicle of ‘lost' and ‘found’, human stories and fragments of many lives touched by military conflict, tragedy, or navigational miscalculation.

“The greatest tool we have is our imaginations. We aimed to fire up the visitor's imaginations, enabling them to become treasure seekers, to uncover the artefacts for themselves in the floor, to set the tone for all of the wondrous artefacts they would see during the museum visit.”

Lynné Raubenheimer, Visitor Engagement Manager at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum said:

“Our thousands of amazing, centuries old artefacts on display provide a unique window into the past. The wrecks and the oceans that concealed them acted as an impenetrable time capsule. That is until the mid-20th Century when divers, fuelled by a spirit of adventure and passion for history, finally had the equipment available to start rediscovering them.

“Felicity’s incredible work adds beautifully to the whole magic, romance and intrigue of our displays. Creating an even more immersive experience for young and old alike when they visit us, helping us connect with history.”

The museum is open seven day a week from 10am to 5pm daily. To find out more and pre-book tickets visit


Our top tips for a summer day out in Cornwall

Posted on Wednesday 28th July, 2021

Our top tips for a summer day out in Cornwall

From country houses and castles to mines and museums, gardens and galleries to theme parks and railways – Cornwall has a wealth of attractions to choose from. Whether you’re visiting for a short break or happy to call this place home, make each day a discovery. 

Every destination featured on our site is a member of the Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions (CATA). As a collective of almost 40 top attractions, we’ve been creating Cornwall’s best visitor experiences since 1974, working together to meet and raise industry standards. We’re passionate about Cornwall, and love inspiring visitors with ideas for new and varied experiences. Our aim is clear: to create quality days out that you’ll remember for years to come.

Here's some of our top tips for making the most of your day out at a tourist attraction in Cornwall:

  • You can often get a discounted ticket price if you buy online in advance – check attractions website for more information. With safety measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for many attractions, pre-booking is essential.

  • Cornwall has over 300 beaches to choose from – combine your day out at an attraction with a visit to a nearby beach. Find one at

  • Lots of our attractions are located around the Cornish coastline – combine your visit to a visitor attraction with a walk on the beautiful South West Coast Path. 

  • Eat lunch al fresco and enjoy a family picnic on your day out. Many tourist attractions are happy for you to bring your own lunches. 

  • Beat the unpredictable Cornish weather by looking for the Indoor Attractions symbol throughout the website and in our printed guide, found in racks at locations across Cornwall..

  • Lots of attractions will have resources to keep your kids happy – from trails and quizzes through to hands-on experiences like animal feeding. Ask at the ticket desk if there’s anything they can provide. The school holidays are often a great time to experience added extras as part of your visit.

  • Don’t forget a water bottle – you can ask for your reusable water bottle to be filled at all of our attractions.

  • Many of our attractions offer combined tickets or discount offers with other tourist attractions nearby – check their websites for more information.

  • Take your dog on a day out! Lots of our attractions welcome pets on leads. Look for the Dog Friendly icon throughout the guide or find dog friendly attractions on our website.

  • Many visitor attractions offer special offers, such as discounted return visits within a seven day period, locals tickets or annual passes. Look out for these offers on their websites!

Do get in touch with us if you have any top tips for making the most of your day out at a visitor attraction! 
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