From caverns to cookery schools: the best rainy day activities in Cornwall
Our top five recommendations from the north coast to the south
A wondrous county of sand and sea, Cornwall evokes images of blissful beach days, incredible restaurants and beautiful coast paths. However, it’s well known that the weather can be a bit unpredictable at times. While there’s plenty to explore when the sun is shining, we don’t want a spot of rain to put a dampener on your holiday plans. We’ve rounded up Cornwall’s top five rainy day activities, from thrill-seeking watersports to educational day trips and culinary delights. Slip on your wellies, zip up your coat and make the most of your time in Cornwall.
Visit the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth
Those familiar with Cornwall’s picturesque south coast will know that the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth makes a lovely day out for the whole family. With 15 galleries set across five floors, the museum sits in Discovery Quay, enjoying sweeping views across the harbour, docks and estuary beyond. Perfect for a rainy day, there are plenty of immersive exhibits encouraging visitors of all ages to enrich their understanding of the sea.
Go beneath the water in Tidal Zone and catch a glimpse of diving cormorants and scuttling crabs, challenge the kids to a race at The Boat Pool, or watch as local shipwrights restore historical vessels in the Boat Building Workshop. Climbing The Lookout Tower will reward you with a sparkling sea vista and popping into the Waterside Café for ‘Picnic and Play’ comes highly recommended if you’re visiting with younger children.
Perfect your culinary skills at Rick Stein’s Cookery School
Overlooking the Camel Estuary in Padstow, Rick Stein’s waterfront cookery school is sure to add some sunshine to a rainy day in Kernow. Choose from Italian, Mexican, Indian Seafood, Far Eastern and many more courses, or indulge your sweet tooth in a patisserie class with some of the finest chefs in the county.
Booking a private party is a lovely way to bring friends and family together for a special occasion, while Rick’s ‘Cooking from India’ course offers specialised tuition held across a long weekend. There are also several half day and evening courses available – perfect for making the most of a day in Padstow with a walk along the seafront after class.
Situated in nearby Harlyn Bay, The Hideaways are ideally placed for rainy day surf lessons and storm-watching from the elevated living areas. Cosy up in a coastal inspired bedroom at Lizard, Longships or Wolf Rock or practise your new culinary skills in the modern open plan kitchen.
Go for a swim in Bude’s outdoor sea pool
The top visitor attraction in the North Cornwall town of Bude, this historic tidal pool is the place to be if you’re looking to relish the rain. Wear a wetsuit and clamber down the steps to practise your lengths, make a splash with the kids or take in the view across Summerleaze Beach.
A safe bathing area for little ones and keen open water swimmers alike, the sea pool has been welcoming visitors since the 1930s, topped up by the Atlantic Ocean at high tide. While it isn’t dog friendly year-round, the last Sunday in October welcomes four-legged friends.
The Retreat in Widemouth Bay sits a short drive from the sea pool, with gorgeous beachy interiors and lots of lovely restaurants nearby.
Tiptoe into the darkness at Carnglaze Caverns
Tucked away near Bodmin Moor, Carnglaze Caverns is one of Cornwall’s most iconic all-weather attractions. Pull on a jumper and enjoy a self-guided underground tour around the former slate mine as you venture 60 metres below ground. Pass by the crystal-clear blue water, duck underneath ancient stalactites and discover the abundance of minerals mined and quarried in the South West.
After the tour, lace up your walking boots and set off on a half an hour woodland walk along the winding footpath surrounding the caverns. Zigzagging towards the terrace garden and enchanted dell, the family-friendly walk treats you to panoramic views over the pretty village of St Neot, before finishing in the walled garden – perfect for a picnic lunch between showers.
Located a short drive away in West Looe, Oceans Edge and Ilha View look out across the beautiful Hannafore Beach, with plenty of great foodie options and wet weather activities nearby. Stay warm by the wood burner in the lounge or embrace the rain with a dip in the elevated hot tub.
Test your head for heights at Adrenalin Quarry
Proudly ‘throwing people off cliffs since 2009’, Adrenalin Quarry near Menheniot is the perfect rainy day out for thrill-seekers. With a 490-metre zip wire, an inflatable aqua park, a giant treetop swing and even axe throwing classes for those who prefer to stay on solid ground, the quarry promises family fun come rain or shine.
Ideal for a wet weekend, get strapped in and launch yourself across the water from 50 metres up, feel momentarily weightless as you fall through the trees or clamber across the lake on an inflatable playground, which the children are sure to love. To see competitive spirits soar, head down to the thrilling all-weather track and race adult, youth or junior go karts, or book in for the Karting Grand Prix complete with qualifying, heats and finals.
With a range of beautiful Cornish beach houses from the tip of the west coast to the shores of the south, browse our portfolio or call 01208 814781 to plan your trip to the South West. Ideal for romantic retreats, family holidays and friendly gatherings, there’s so much to discover in Cornwall come rain or shine.