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Fab Days Out

by Three Mile Beach

There’s more to Cornwall than sand and sea

Trevaskis Farm

Trevaskis is 28-acres of farmland where you can roam, eat, ‘pick your own’, and chat to the resident animals. And if you need to stock up for your stay, it’s a farm-shop dream, with a superb butcher, fish counter, bakery, fresh-as-can-be fruit and veg, alcohol selection, and a great deli. We like it so much, we asked them to supply our Three Mile Beach welcome hampers.

How far? A short drive.

When can I go? All year.

Tell me more

Tehidy Country Park

Four miles north of Three Mile Beach, you’ll find the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. Strolling through woods, exploring the Rose Garden, and cycling around the lakes is always uplifting. It’s great for picnicking, and there’s a café too.

And for family fun in a magical setting, look out for Rogue Theatre’s outdoor performances here in the school holidays.

How far? 20-minute drive.

When can I go? All year.

More information about Tehidy

St Michael’s Mount

St Michael Mount

This fairy-tale castle on an islet is connected to the mainland by a cobbled causeway at low tide and accessed by boat at high tide. It’s our equivalent of France’s Mont-Saint-Michel, and it’s a magnificent beauty. It’s named after the patron saint of fishermen who is said to have appeared on the island, warning seafarers of the treacherous rocks. Spiritual seekers believe that the ley lines running under the Mount make this is a profoundly peaceful place. Plant lovers enjoy its lush sub-tropical gardens. History lovers like to stand on the site where the first beacon was lit to warn of the impending arrival of the Spanish Armada. And everyone loves to stand and take in the wide, wide views.

How far? 25-minute drive.

When can I go? March to October. Closed on Saturdays.

See their website

Penzance, Newlyn & Mousehole

Mousehole

Penzance is worth a visit for its independent shops and antiques alone. Start at historic Chapel Street where you’ll also find the famous Admiral Benbow pub. On the subject of drinking spots, you must also try the 45 Queen Street bar around the corner. But the pride of the town is Jubilee Pool – an impressive saltwater art deco lido on the seafront with geothermally heated water. You’ll also find modern art at The Exchange and works by the renowned ‘Newlyn School’ artists at Penlee Art Gallery.

Newlyn is just a little further along the bay. It’s a proper fishing town, so this is where to buy the freshest seafood. But there’s also a lot packed into its tiny centre. Must-visits are Newlyn Filmhouse, Newlyn Cheese & Charcuterie, Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar, The Tolcarne Inn serving chef Ben Tunnicliffe’s delicious fish dishes, Lovetts winning coffee shop and wine bar, and the legendary Jelberts for ‘vanilla-only’ ice cream. Newlyn Art Gallery holds changing exhibitions of contemporary art, and if you fancy getting your hands painty, Newlyn School of Art offers classes and weekend courses led by working artists.

Mousehole is a pretty-as-a-picture fishing village. Just follow the coast road west, and you’ll happen upon the huddle of cottages around the tiny harbour. Foodie highlights here are The Old Coastguard, 2 Fore Street, and a top-notch chippie.

How far? 25 to 45-minute drive.

St Ives

St Ives Harbour beach

There’s a lot to love about St Ives. And people do. It’s one of Cornwall’s most visited places, with tourists swarming here in high season. This idyllic fishing port is a haven for artists past and present and home to some of the best beaches in Cornwall. When they’re not sprawled on the golden sands, visitors love getting lost in the network of narrow cobbled streets to discover the many independent shops, galleries and cafés. As well as the two art icons mentioned below, our St Ives to-do list would include visiting The Leach Pottery and Porthminster Beach Café.

How far? 30-minute drive and train ride.

Tate St Ives & Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

Days Out Tate St Ives

Both these St Ives institutions deserve a special mention. But, first, a little art history lesson: In the mid 20th century, the town was earmarked as a hotspot by a group of artists and creatives due to the remarkable quality of the light here. The St Ives School, as they became known, included the sculptor Barbara Hepworth. Her studio and garden are now open to the public, with many works on display in a stunning outdoor setting. Tate St Ives is a celebration of Cornwall’s artistic legacy. This beautiful modernist building overlooking Porthmeor Beach hosts changing events and exhibitions of work by local and international artists.

When can I go? All year.

View their website

Porthleven

Porthleven harbour

You might have seen this quintessential Cornish harbour town in the news when storms send huge waves crashing over its clock tower. It’s also famous for its food, with an annual food festival and some excellent eateries, including chef Jude Kereama’s two Kota restaurants and a Rick Stein bistro. Seafood place The Mussel Shoal has a floating pontoon so you can dine on the water (in sane weather).

How far? 30-minute drive.

Geevor Tin Mine

Geevor

Alongside fishing, for centuries, tin mining was Cornwall’s lifeblood. Geevor, with over 100 miles of hand-dug tunnels, was one of the last mines to remain in operation. It’s now open again to visitors who can venture inside while a virtual-reality tour lets visitors experience the mine in its heyday.

How far? 40-minute drive.

When can I go? All year. Closed Saturdays.

Here’s more information 

The Minack Theatre

Minack

The Minack is one of the world’s most iconic outdoor theatres. In our book, it’s a must-do experience. Carved into the bare rock, the stage teeters on the edge of the cliff overlooking Porthcurno Bay, and the amphitheatre-style seats have a mind-blowing view of both the performers and the Atlantic Ocean. The theatre season runs from May to October, but if you’re not going for a show, it’s still a must-visit. Plus, there’s a sub-tropical garden, an exhibition centre telling the story of the theatre, and you might even spot a pod of dolphins.

How far? 45-minute drive.

When can I go? All year.

See their website

Land’s End

Land's End

In case you hadn’t guessed, Land’s End is Britain’s most south-westerly point, and the start (and end) of many country-length walks. We recommend skipping the theme park and doing the 3-mile South West Coast Path trek to beautiful Sennen Cove, and you could drop into the First and Last Inn on route.

How far? 45-minute drive.

Falmouth

Falmouth

Falmouth is Cornwall’s most populous and vibrant town, thanks in part to its working shipyard and university with a heavy emphasis on creativity. Visitors love it for its sailing waters, Blue Flag beach, and historic castle. And if you enjoy trawling antique dens and independent shops, check out the Old High Street. Great places to eat are too many to mention, but super-fresh seafood is normally on the menu. Same for great places to drink but we must mention Beerwolf Books – the tucked away pub-bookshop that’s good any time of day or night. A great rainy-day activity is the National Maritime Museum while a dry-day adventure is to take a ferry across to St. Mawes or around the coast to the Helford River.

How far? 45-minute drive.

The Lizard

Kynance cove

The Lizard is a beautiful peninsular to explore and a little more off the beaten track than other parts of Cornwall. It’s great for walking and has beaches all around its coastline. Kynance and Cadgwith coves are two of our favourites. Lizard Point is Britain’s most southerly extremity and a truly dramatic spot where birdwatchers might chance a rare sighting of the famous Cornish chough (black body, red legs and beak, jackdaw-style call).

How far? 45-minute drive.

The Eden Project

Eden Project

There is nowhere else like The Eden Project. It’s a glorious celebration of nature and an almost otherworldly experience. Not surprisingly, it’s Cornwall’s number-one attraction, and we’d suggest setting aside a full day to explore it properly. As well as the two incredible, space-age-looking biomes, filled with tropical and Mediterranean plants, there are acres of gardens, a zip wire, and all manner of events, exhibitions and experiences. In the summer, they hold gigs with some A-list acts. In the winter months, there’s a pop-up ice rink and light show.

How far? 1-hour drive.

When can I go? All year except for a handful of days in January and February.

Here’s their website

 

For more ideas on what to see and do in Cornwall, take a look at our Best Gardens in Cornwall blog.

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