Places to visit on a rainy day in Cornwall
Tuesday 13th October, 2020
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 crown. Hop 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.