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Free attractions in Cornwall

Making quality memories with your family and friends doesn’t have to cost the earth, which these fantastic free attractions in Cornwall prove. From fascinating museums to beautiful gardens, there’s bound to be a free attraction to keep you entertained on your caravan holiday in Cornwall.

When staying at a caravan site in Cornwall, all you need is a trusty tent, a supply of food, and a bit of imagination and you can have all the fun you need for very little cost. See our favourite free days out in Cornwall below for inspiration.

Mount Edgcumbe Country Park

Colourful tulip garden

While the house and gardens do incur an entrance charge, it is completely free to make use of the 865 acres of country park at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. The gardens are host to an array of beautiful flowers, including the National Camelia Collection. Stroll along the magnificent formal gardens and spot the different types of plants and flowers, the park is popular with those who love both nature and horticulture. The gardens are open daily all year round and looks breathtaking during all seasons.

Royal Cornwall Museum

For those interested in Cornwall’s colourful past, this free activity is a must-visit and one that can be enjoyed by all the family. The Royal Cornwall Museum is filled with archives relating to Cornwall and the South West of England, as well as collections such as European archaeology, social history, and world cultures, this superb museum will keep even the most curious of people occupied. One exhibition to look out for includes fine and decorative artwork by Cornish artists, designers and makers, alongside significant works by nationally and internationally important artists from other parts of the world.

Falmouth Art Gallery

Woman sitting in an art gallery

Keeping on the creative theme, Falmouth Art Gallery offers a wonderful selection of art and crafts, which is particularly impressive considering the small size of the museum. The art collection is extensive and includes over 1,700 works ranging from British Impressionist paintings to photography, as well as an archive of children’s illustrations. For those with young children, it’s worth checking the website in advance if you are thinking of visiting as there are often excellent workshops and activities scheduled.

Heartlands Cornwall

If you’re looking for a cheap day out in Cornwall that offers a little different then head to the Heartlands Cornwall, situated near Redruth. This unique oasis has plenty of activities to offer, from wandering around the botanical gardens to browsing the many shops and art galleries. If you have any little ones with you, they will keep themselves entertained in Heartland’s adventure playground.

The Heartlands site is rich in history, as it sits within the old Cornwall Mining Landscape that was named a world heritage site in 2006. Mining is a massive part of Cornwall’s past, so this is a great opportunity to learn more about the beautiful county and understand why it played such an important role in mining history.

We spoke to Rachel from Rachel Bustin a Cornwall family lifestyle blog, for which free activity she recommends: “If you are looking for free places to go while you are on holiday in Cornwall, I would highly recommend visiting Heartlands near Redruth. It’s a free visitor attraction and World Heritage site gateway, set in 19 acres in the former mining district. With South Crofty mines a small distance away. There are lots of fun family things to do there and see. From exhibitions and sculptures to arts and crafts studios. Then you have the gardens, kids outdoor and indoor play areas, a river, cafe and many large open spaces that are great for picnics.”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves

The county is home to more than 50 nature reserves owned by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, meaning you’ll have plenty of choice if you wish to see some of the world’s most beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. From birds and butterflies to dolphins and seals, those who love wildlife will be in their element when visiting one of the picturesque reserves. If you’re staying in a holiday park in Looe, then an unmissable nature reserve to visit is Looe Island. This cheap day out is accessible only by boat, once you travel along the Cornish sea, you’ll be able to explore the island filled with natural beauty.

South West Coast Path

Cornwall coast

Don’t forget that the great outdoors is also free, so make the most of the sandy beaches, coastal paths, and rolling green countryside during your visit too. The South West Coast Path is a great place to start, as it stretches 300 miles around the entire outline of the county, taking in some of the most beautiful and breathtaking scenery in the UK. There are also plenty of sights to see along the way as you wander along the clifftops, discovering secluded coves and hidden gems as you go.

We asked Becky from the team at South West Coast Path why the paths make a great free day out: “Firstly, it is England’s longest National Trail and it’s famous all over the world for a good reason! At 630 miles long it offers some of the most diverse walking you can imagine, and many people claim that the Cornish section is their favourite. From rolling fields and rugged moorland to white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, you’ll often have to pinch yourself to believe you have transported yourself to some exotic locations hundreds of miles away.”

Anna from The Cornish Life, a travel and lifestyle blog, agrees: “One of the best free attractions in Cornwall has to be the incredible mining heritage spots across the South West Coast Path. These are totally free to visit and combine stunning sea views with fascinating Cornish history. My favourite spot is Wheal Coates (between Chapel Porth and St. Agnes) where you can explore the ruins of Towan Roath mine shaft.”

If you’re planning a mini adventure on the Cornish coast, the iWalk app continuously updates their list of walks for those on holiday in Looe, Polperro and beyond. Visitors can print any of these walk directions off for free from their website, before heading out to enjoy the region.

Other free attractions to enjoy on a cheap caravan holiday in Cornwall include:

  • Enjoy a day at the beach
  • Go surfing
  • Cycle along the Camel Trail
  • Browse the independent shops in St Ives
  • Explore the Cardinham Woods
  • Visit Roskilly’s organic farm
  • Wander through the Morrab Gardens
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