Winter activities you can do in Cornwall
Cornwall isn’t just a summer destination; it is a great place to visit in the winter too as there are so many attractions you can visit and activities you can try during the colder months of the year. Winter is a great time to visit as it sheds its summer hustle and bustle and becomes gloriously free to roam.
Whether you have booked a trip already or you are planning caravan holidays in Cornwall there will be plenty of fun on offer in the Duchy and you can enjoy the smaller queues and reduced admission prices for some attractions.
Read on to find out some of the best winter activities you can do in Cornwall and some of the top attractions that you can visit.
Best winter activities to try and attractions to visit in Cornwall
- Ice skating at the Eden Project
- Mousehole Christmas Lights
- National Maritime Museum
- Walk along the coast path and the beaches
- Explore Cornwall’s villages
Ice skating at the Eden Project
The Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s top attractions no matter what time of the year you visit, but during the winter months, it becomes a winter wonderland.
The main attraction is the Eden Project ice rink which opens for the winter season from November until the end of January. You can book a general 40-minute ice skating session, a family fun ice skating session, or a parent and toddler ice skating session. If you are a complete novice, you can book ice skating sessions.
You don’t need to worry about food as there is an ice skating rink café that serves a variety of food and drinks such as burgers, fries, cakes and hot and cold drinks.
The Eden Project ice rink is one of the main attractions, but there are lots of other events taking place, such as Christmas fairs, Father Christmas visiting the Eden Project, and an all-immersive light and music experience.
ALSO READ: 8 things to do in Cornwall if it’s raining
Mousehole Christmas Lights
In the build-up to Christmas, communities across the county start putting up their lights and decorations as the countdown to the big day begins.
One of the most impressive displays is in the little fishing village of Mousehole as a host of Christmas lights are put up around the harbour. The Mousehole Christmas Lights are a hugely popular attraction to visit over the Christmas and New Year period. As well as the incredible collection of lights, there is live music and plenty of festive fun.
Lucy, the writer behind the travel blog Faraway Lucy, told us that the Mousehole Christmas Lights is one of her favourite events to attend in Cornwall during the winter months:
“I’m a huge fan of Christmas so my favourite attraction to visit in Cornwall during the winter months is, of course, the famous Mousehole Christmas Lights! Starting in 1963 by local artist, Joan Gilchrest, the Mousehole Christmas Lights began as a chain of coloured bulbs put up along both Quays but has since grown into a spectacular light display. Illuminations of all shapes and sizes surround the harbour during the festive season, so you’ll want to bring your camera for this one!
“Perhaps the most obvious reason to visit Cornwall in the winter is that you avoid the peak season crowds, but I think Cornwall is worth a visit in the winter regardless of this fact. The weather is milder here than the rest of the UK, meaning you can enjoy some lovely sunny winter days, walking along deserted beaches and cobbled streets.”
ALSO READ: Why you should visit Cornwall at Christmas?
National Maritime Museum
Cornwall is home to some of the UK’s most stunning natural landscapes, from its beaches and coastline to its moorland and countryside, but if it is a rainy day and you don’t want to venture outside, then the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is the perfect attraction to visit.
The museum has lots of hands-on activities which are great if you are visiting with children and the exhibitions include objects from around the world. By visiting the National Maritime Museum, you will not only learn about the maritime history in Cornwall but the rest of the UK and the world too.
The building of the National Maritime Museum is an attraction in itself with it being custom designed and built on land that was once filled with sheds for boat builders. You can also enjoy some spectacular views over Falmouth harbour and inside the building, there are 15 galleries over five floors.
Inside the museum, there are boats from the earliest times right up until the current day that you can see, and this includes the Edna Mair, the tiny dinghy in which the Robertson family – five people and a friend – survived for 38 days in the Pacific after their yacht had been holed. Other exhibitions focus on the RNLI and Cornwall’s maritime history.
There are also temporary exhibitions that you can enjoy and previously these have included displays on the Titanic, Captain Bligh, Vikings and Monsters of the Deep.
Walk along the coast path and the beaches
Some of the best beaches in the UK are in Cornwall and whilst you won’t be sunbathing on them during the winter, you can still enjoy them during this time of the year.
You’ll notice that some brave souls even go into the sea over the winter period when the seas are calm enough, but we’d recommend you go and walk on them. With the South West Coast Path, you will have plenty of incredible walks you can enjoy that not only offer some breathtaking scenery, but they take you to some of the best beaches in the county.
Georgie Mack from the travel blog Two Traveling Texans, highly recommends heading to Cornwall’s beaches during a winter getaway.
“Cornwall’s coast is pretty exceptional. As an Aussie ex-pat, I have to admit I was suspicious of whether any British beach could live up to those of my homeland. Britain: I owe you an apology.
“What I love about Cornwall’s beaches is just how beautiful and atmospheric they are. While they may not be huge, they are so full of character and charm. In particular, I love the little coves along the Lizard Peninsula – it’s no surprise they were peak smuggler’s spots.
“There are lots of beautiful ones but one particular place to visit in Cornwall in winter is Church Cove near Gunwalloe. The gorgeous, 13th-century Church of St Wynwalloe stands perched by the edge, and the cliff faces are battered by waves and seafoam. Nearby Gunwalloe Beach is also beautiful.”
ALSO READ: The best winter walks in Cornwall
Explore Cornwall’s villages
Cornwall is full of picturesque villages that look like they’ve just come straight out of a quintessential British movie. The bonus of visiting some of these beautiful villages in the winter is that they are quiet so you can enjoy them without any crowds.
There are fishing villages that you can visit such as Charlestown, the backdrop for the world-famous TV show Poldark, and Porthleven, which is known for being a great location to photograph moody winter seas as they crash into the harbour.
If you are travelling to North Cornwall, then Boscastle and Port Isaac are two popular places to visit, with the latter the filming location for the popular television series Doc Martin.
ALSO READ: Most beautiful harbourside towns in Cornwall
These are just some of the amazing attractions you can visit and activities that you can try in Cornwall during the winter months. To read more articles and guides like this, check out our blog section.