8 things to do in Cornwall if it’s raining
The British weather can be somewhat unpredictable, but it does not need to spoil your fun when you are staying in one of the popular holiday parks in Cornwall.
Whilst the beaches in the county are world-renowned – and we hope that you’ll have a few days where you can enjoy them – there are many unique and wonderful places to visit in Cornwall that are perfect for all kinds of weather.
Here we have put together a list of attractions you should visit during rainy days as well as other activities you can do in the rain.
Attractions to enjoy in the rain in Cornwall
- Tate St Ives
- The Lost Gardens of Heligan
- Eden Project
- Lusty Glaze Beach
- Bodmin Jail
- The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
- Eureka Escape Cornwall
- Jungle Jack’s
- Paint a Pot
Tate St Ives
Location of attraction: St Ives
One of the UK’s most famous art galleries is Tate St Ives and it is a great attraction to visit if it is raining during your holiday in Cornwall.
You can discover modern and historical artworks and learn about how the county has welcomed and inspired artists from all over the world. You can see work from artists such as Alfred Wallis, Marlow Moss, Barbara Hepworth, Partou Zia, and Bob Law.
Lucy, the founder of the travel blog Faraway Lucy, told us about why she thinks visiting Tate St Ives is a must if it is raining during your trip to Cornwall.
“I’d recommend people to visit Tate St Ives when it’s raining in Cornwall. Overlooking Porthmeor Beach, the art gallery showcases modern British artists with links to St Ives and celebrates how West Cornwall has inspired artists over the last 100 years. As such, it’s a great visit for both art and history lovers! They have a variety of exhibitions that change throughout the year, so every visit offers a completely new experience, too.
“Although Cornwall is famed for its outstanding natural beauty and plethora of outdoor activities, the county is still great to visit when it’s raining because there are so many great indoor activities to pass the time. A lot of these activities are very educational, too, so they’ll help you understand more about the region and appreciate its beauty, even more, when the sun eventually comes out again!”
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Location of attraction: Pentewan, near St. Austell
Although it is an outdoor attraction, The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a great place to visit if it is raining. The historic gardens were once a great estate, but following the outbreak of WW1, they became overgrown to brambles and weeds until a chance discovery of a door in the ruins led to the restoration of this once great estate.
Now the gardens are one of the most popular attractions in the county and are among the finest gardens in the UK.
Karen Beddow, the founder of the family travel blog Mini Travellers, spoke to us about why she thinks the Lost Gardens of Heligan is a great attraction to visit in wet weather.
“It is significantly quieter visiting The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall in the rain with kids than at any other time. Most people won’t go, so if you do, you will inevitably have far, far more space. This means that, for kids running around, they can do this without getting lost in a sea of people.
“The rope bridge is still useable at The Lost Gardens of Heligan in the rain with kids you just have to be more careful. It is also a little more sheltered from the rain by the trees anyway. The rope bridge is just off a wooden path. I saw a few signs that said if you are waiting here, you will have a 30/45 minute wait to cross the bridge. We were literally the only people in the jungle (admittedly it was January) so had unlimited access to the bridge and no wait!”
ALSO READ: Natural attractions to visit in Cornwall
Location of attraction: Par, near St. Austell
With the Eden Project being dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World by some and previously winning the British Travel Awards Best UK Leisure Attraction on multiple occasions, it barely needs an introduction.
Although the Eden Project is a great attraction to visit when the sun is shining, it is just as good to visit when it is raining.
Jessie Moore, the founder and director of the travel blog Pocket Wanderings, told us why she loves visiting the Eden Project in the rain.
“An absolute must-visit in Cornwall is the incredible Eden Project. It is a huge draw for visitors to Cornwall and for good reason. Explore the different biomes while you shelter from the rain and learn about the crucial work they do to support nature and the world we live in. From beautiful Mediterranean gardens to the world’s largest indoor rainforest, the Eden Project is a truly remarkable place to visit.
“I actually think that the autumn and winter months are the best time of year to visit Cornwall because you don’t have to contend with the mass crowds of the summer months. The county is beautiful at this time of year and there are so many activities to keep the whole family entertained in inclement weather.”
ALSO READ: Why you should visit Cornwall at Christmas?
Lusty Glaze Beach
Location of attraction: Newquay
Lusty Glaze Beach has been previously awarded Britain’s Best Beach and whilst you might not be wanting to go for a swim in the rain, there are plenty of other attractions at the beach which you can visit.
Charlie Pauly, the travel blogger behind Wanderers and Warriors, told us why he thinks Lusty Glaze Beach is a great place to visit in the rain.
“Lusty Glaze Beach in Newquay is not only an awesome wedding venue and picturesque bay, but the cosiest spot in the evenings for when it’s raining.
“With its undercover restaurant and bar, it’s truly a great place to be all year round. Whether you’re tucked up in front of the log fire or sprawled out on the beach in the sunshine.
“I spent an evening watching the lightning crash against the ocean, and enjoying a pizza, from the warmth of Lusty Glaze Restaurant. A perfect spot to hang out when looking for things to do in Cornwall when it rains.
“There’s just something unique and cosy about being by the coast when it’s raining. Cornwall is no exception, the old-fashioned English buildings and fantastic food options are really special.”
ALSO READ: Restaurants with a view in Cornwall
Location of attraction: Bodmin
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You can explore the cells of Bodmin Jail which was originally built for King George III in 1779 on a rainy day. It’s not just prisoners that have been held here however, the jail has also previously held state papers, the Doomsday book and even The Crown Jewels!
Visitors can wander through the deepest, darkest depths of the jail to see what life was like for a Victorian prisoner. On-site, you can even visit a restored Victorian hanging pit.
Laura, the events manager at Bodmin Jail told us: “Discover life behind bars as an 18th Century prisoner in the heart of Cornwall. Explore the many cells and features that make your visit to the jail a fun and educational, and just a little bit scary, adventure.”
After working up an appetite take a pit stop at the impressive, Gothic Governors Hall for lunch.
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Location of attraction: Boscastle
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic explores the practice of British magic, making comparisons with other systems of belief from ancient times to the present day.
We spoke to Simon, a spokesman for the museum, who told us more about its history: “Set within the historic harbour of Boscastle, is one of Britain’s most popular, independent museums, dedicated to the history of witchcraft and magic. The collection focuses on Britain but includes information on magical beliefs and practices around the world and across many cultures.”
Simon told us that visitors can learn about every level of magical practice including folk healers, known as cunning folk to high ceremonial magicians.
He added: “Displays examine the persecution of witches in the UK and show how rural people would devise charms and talismans to ensure everything from the protection of children, protection from disease and procuring love.
“There are also displays on various Gods and Goddesses as the museum aims to peel away the layers of misconception and misinformation surrounding the practice of witchcraft and getting to the underlying history in an interesting and engaging way.”
We then asked Simon about Cornwall, he remarked on its unique features: “From the landscape, the coast and the diverse selection of museums and art galleries. All good for health and the soul.”
ALSO READ: Cornish myths, legends and folklore
Eureka Escape Cornwall
Location of attraction: Penzance and Truro
Eureka Escape Cornwall offers interactive escape rooms at two locations in Cornwall. Visitors have 60 minutes to escape using their minds, logic and teamwork. Every clue, key and code you will need are inside the room, you just need to find them.
Eureka Escape Cornwall has sites in Penzance and Truro and each boasts different challenges. The Penzance site has a room called Cabin Fever, which is recommended for first-timers, while the Murder on the Night Riviera is trickier. At the Truro site, there are rooms called A Matter of Thyme and Death by Prescription.
We spoke to Kate from Eureka Escape Cornwall who told us: “We offer exciting and interactive real-life escape rooms in Penzance and Truro. With up to six themed escape rooms at two locations to choose from, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience full of fun, adventure and intrigue. All of this fun and adventure is indoors.”
We asked Kate why people should visit Cornwall, she told us “The county also has an excellent variety of dining out experiences. The opportunities for outdoor activities are numerous but like the rest of the UK we do have some wet weather days, so come along and have an escape room adventure.”
Location of attraction: Newquay
If you are holidaying in Cornwall with young children and it is raining, you will need to find a place where they can release some of their energy and will be entertained for a few hours.
Soft play is a great way to let them run, jump and explore while you keep a watchful eye from the seating area with a sandwich and a cup of coffee.
Jungle Jack’s has everything a child could want to have a blast and burn off some of that energy. There are climbs, rope bridges, crawl tubes, peekaboo bubble windows, ball pits and a variety of slides.
According to Jungle Jack’s “when it comes to curing cabin fever, it doesn’t get any better than soft play”.
Children can be fussy eaters but at Jungle Jack’s Snack Shack there are plenty of food and drinks on offer.
From cakes and scones to sandwiches, burgers and jacket potatoes, this soft play café promises to “satisfy every appetite” with a choice of veggie options too.
Paint a Pot
Location of attraction: Looe
For fans of arts and crafts Paint a Pot is a perfect place to keep the family occupied. What’s more, you get a lovely keepsake that you can bring back from your holiday.
The family-run ceramic studio is located in the heart of the historic Cornish fishing port of Looe and is open all year round. Budding artists can create their own masterpieces by decorating a range of ceramics.
Paint a Pot supplies everything you need to make your memento including paints, brushes, sponges and stencils, so go on, let your imagination and creativity run wild.
ALSO READ: A guide to Looe
Even if the skies open and rain starts falling, you will still be able to find lots of things to keep yourself busy during your stay at our Looe holiday park.
For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.