Cornish attractions – a bit further
We’ve explored attractions close to Polmanter: now let’s venture a bit further afield.
We know that Cornwall has a bit of a reputation for traffic jams in the busier months, and that can be true. Pick your moment, or make sure you have some entertaining music lined up in the car, and simply don’t worry about a slower drive. Of course, there’s always the option of breaking your journey to or from the campsite with an afternoon at Eden or a pit stop at a National Trust tea room.
You can also use public transport for some destinations. You can pick up the branch line at St Ives station, which will take you to mainline St Erth; and there’s also the shiny new double-decker Tinner buses taking passengers all over the county in comfort.
Here are a few of our recommendations for great days out in Cornwall.
The Eden Project
Cornwall’s most famous attraction, The Eden Project near St Austell is definitely worth the travel time. With its exotic biomes, beautiful outdoor spaces, fantastic cafes and exciting events programme, we know it’s a cliché, but there really is something for everyone at Eden. It’s designed to take huge amounts of visitors, so copes in the busier months, and its versatile indoor-outdoor design makes it great in any weather. Persuade any reluctant teens that gardens can be fun by booking a trip on Eden’s amazing zip wire…
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The story of the beautiful Lost Gardens of Heligan is heartbreakingly romantic. These old gardens were neglected after the gardeners left for the First World War, and their structure and planting eventually became lost in a tangle of weeds. Then a secret door was spotted and their wild beauty rediscovered…
Now detangled and restored, Heligan’s gardens are now a wonderful place to spend a day. Look out for special events, and don’t forget to call into Lobbs Farm Shop on your way home.
Falmouth and the National Martime Museum Cornwall
It’s debatable whether or not Falmouth should be in the closer attractions blog: it depends on which day you travel! We’d allow around an hour to get here. There’s a lot to do in this lively university and harbor town. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a truly excellent museum, and Falmouth Art Gallery has a superb collection of Cornish Art. Up the headland is English Heritage’s Tudor Pendennis Castle. While you’re in Falmouth, look out for boat trips, unique little shops, and excellent places to eat.
Cornwall has an excellent selection of National Trust properties. For sheer scale, both house and parkland, if we had to pick one, we’d choose Lanhydrock House near Bodmin. As well as the elegant drawing rooms we expect from an NT stately home, the largely Victorian house also has fascinating servants’ quarters, kitchens, offices and nurseries on display. You can get a train to Bodmin Parkway, then follow the pretty route to the house on foot (but this may be a bit of a stretch for little legs…). If pushed to recommend a National Trust garden, we’d go for Glendurgan, which has a maze and a rocky little cove to explore.
Instead of heading up Cornwall, travel across it to the lovely Lizard peninsula. Gentler and greener than our own Penwith area, The Lizard has easier sections of coast path, beautiful beaches (try Kynance Cove) and lots of pretty little villages. Head right down to Lizard Point, so southerly that your mobile may suddenly switch to a French provider, and have a fascinating time at the Lizard Lighthouse Visitor Centre. Don’t leave without lunch from Ann’s Pasties.
The Isles of Scilly
If you really want to explore further…Take a day trip on the Scillonian to the Isles of Scilly. The crossing from Penzance to St Mary’s takes under three hours, and an adult day trip ticket costs £39.50. If you don’t have sea-legs (and the boat trip can get a bit lively), you can fly from Land’s End airport. From St Mary’s, you can explore the “off islands” by taxi boat, or simply spend a day on lovely St Mary’s itself. Scilly really is a whole different country, and quite an experience.