Unearth Cornish culture & wild creatures at these attractions
There are so many places to visit in Cornwall that you might struggle finding time to see them all…
We’ve picked out some of our favourite Cornish destinations to give you a nudge in the direction of the better places to visit during your stay here:
Perhaps Cornwall’s most well known attraction (thanks in part to its starring role in James Bond film Die Another Day) the Eden Project is a truly one of a kind place that has to be seen to believed. Built on the site of a working china pit during the late 90s, the giant domes here have become a Cornish landmark that stand head and shoulders alongside the UK’s most iconic buildings. Inside the biomes lie a vast array of plant life that will astound visitors of all ages.
The Minack Theatre is truly one of Cornwall’s hidden gems. Formed in part by the environment and rigorous measured building surveys, this theatre was the brainchild of Rowena Cade whose home you can also visit. Built upon a granite outcrop that juts out into the ocean, ‘dramatic’ is certainly the word that comes to mind when visiting the Minack Theatre. Productions are held at the open-air theatre throughout May-September with the ocean forming an impressive backdrop to the action.
Constructed by Henry VIII in the 16th Century, Pendennis Castle forms part of his ‘Device Programme’ which was a preventative measure against invasion from neighbouring enemies in France and the Holy Roman Empire. Over the course of nearly 400 years the Castle served a military purpose, seeing action throughout the Napleonic War through to the First and Second World Wars. Today it serves the county of Cornwall as a tourist attraction, offering visitors a chance to explore this well preserved fortress.
Although we couldn’t go as far to call Paradise Park a ‘zoo’, the variety of animals and attractions make it a surefire place for families to enjoy on a summers day. Regular flying bird shows exhibit just a small portion of the creatures that call their home here. Over 650 birds are kept at Paradise Park with many other rare species such as red pandas, red squirrels and otters who are bred through conservation schemes. If the weather isn’t on your side then kids can enjoy an indoor play centre whilst parents relax at the cafe.
A perfect picnic spot that offers commanding views over the stunning countryside all around, Restormel Castle is in fine condition considering it’s close to 800 years old! This ruinous fortress is still largely intact giving thousands of visitors each year a glimpse into what life must have been like in the tumultuous Norman times. Entrance is affordable for families who are eager to enjoy the stunning views on a summer’s day, but it can be even cheaper to visit during the colder months.
If you’re looking to ride a return journey from Wenford Bridge to Padstow and back then you might want to take a couple of breaks along the way…
Although the entirety of the Camel Trail is pretty much flat that doesn’t mean that you won’t need a break at some point. The 35-mile return trip can be a bit daunting if you’ve not got a few stops planned along the way, so it’s a good thing that there are plenty of trail-side cafes that you can stop off along your way. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re well prepared for your trip before you leave with at least a couple of bottles of water and some snacks just in case.
Fill your boots and take a well deserved rest at these excellent trail-side cafes:
Snails Pace Cafe
Handily positioned near the start of the Camel Trail, Snails Pace Cafe is a good place to start or end your journey. If you’ve not brought bikes with you then you can hire them from the friendly staff here. There’s a bike for everyone, trailers for kids who are too young to cycle and even tandems for adventurous couples. A recycled shipping container is the base of operations for Linzi Hanscomb and Nick Marcroft’s Cafe offers a good range of options for hungry cyclists.
Monday-Sunday – 9:30am-5pm
Wood and Green Cafe
There are more than a handful of options for travellers seeking a little break in Wadebridge with plenty of pubs, tearooms and restaurants crowding the idyllic streets. This is near enough the half-way point between Wenford and Padstow so it’s a logical stopping point for many families looking to take a load-off. The Wood and Green Cafe offer homemade, locally sourced food that is cooked to order with plenty of Gluten Free and Vegan options for more discerning eaters.
Monday-Saturday – 9:30am-4pm
Sunday – 10am-4pm
Camel Tea Trail Cafe
For over 20 years Mike and Kathryn Hamley have been welcoming visitors to the Camel Trail Tea Garden, a verdant peaceful apple orchard with plenty of seats. Open throughout the holiday season (March to November) they serve a menu of classic cafe items including a traditional Cornish Cream Tea, cheese boards, sandwiches and fresh Cornish Crab and Mackerel. This is a tranquil spot to stop off at should you wish to grab a bite before reaching the tourist hub of Wadebridge.
Monday-Sunday – 10am-5:30pm
Cherry Trees Cornwall
The cosy Cherry Trees is open 7 days a week throughout the peak summer period from the 20th July – 1st September, so if you want to try out some of their delicious baked goods and stunning platters you’ll have to ensure that you make it down to Padstow when it’s at its busiest! Offering breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea menus 7 days a week, you might well need to wait to get served here but it’s well worth being patient for.