16 Great Things To Do In Cornwall When It Rains
Whilst Cornwall is famed for its breath-taking scenery and landscapes, there is so much to explore indoors too. Even in Cornwall we experience the occasional rainy day and bad weather. But fear not – you don’t have to sit at home with nothing to do. As you will see below, there is a great variety of indoor things to do in Cornwall!
1. Eden Project
First on our list we have the amazing Eden Project. This huge site does have outdoor gardens, but most of the attractions can be found within the huge iconic domes. You could easily spend a whole day or more exploring this tropical garden.
The rainforest biome is the world’s largest greenhouse and contains a stunning range of tropical plants. Alternatively, you can explore the Mediterranean biome and see some gorgeous varieties of flowers and trees. Aside from being beautiful, the Eden Project is also educational and kids can learn about our relationship with nature.
Address: Bodelva, PL24 2SG
2. Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay
What better way to spend a miserable day than at an aquarium? The Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay is a fantastic place that both kids and adults will love. It has a great range of tanks and you can see some fascinating and exotic marine life.
For example, there is some dazzling displays of coral filled with tropical fish, or you can see recreations of ocean seabeds complete with shrimps and pipefish. Larger marine life you can see include black tip reef sharks and the giant pacific octopus. Don’t forget to walk through the underwater tunnel and watch as sharks and fish swim overhead!
Address: Towan Promenade, Newquay, TR7 1DU
3. Cornwall’s Regimental Museum
If you are interested in military history and memorabilia you will love Cornwall’s Regimental Museum. Located in The Keep (a grade II listed building) in Bodmin, this amazing museum provides a fascinating look at military life in Cornwall spanning back over 300 years.
It has a superb collection of weapons, armour, uniforms and more. Also, you can see medals from Cornish soldiers, and even a section of the destroyed Berlin Wall. The building and grounds themselves are also impressive and this is a great museum to visit on a rainy day.
Address: The Keep, Bodmin, PL31 1EG
4. Geevor Tin Mine
Geevor Tin Mine is one of the best-preserved mines in Cornwall and offers a fascinating look at an important aspect of Cornish history. There is so much to explore here including a host of the original buildings such as the winder and compressor houses with machinery in-tact.
You can also see the proud victory shaft standing tall that would be used to hoist men from the mining face. Kids will love the mineral panning activity where they can learn how to pan for gold, and adults will appreciate the exhibits found in the Hard Rock Museum.
Address: Pendeen, Penzance, TR19 7EW
5. PK Porthcurno
Porthcurno has a fascinating history relating to telecommunications and you can explore this at the PK Porthcurno museum. Here you can learn about the network of tunnels and cables that was created to facilitate global communications to the UK.
For example, there is exhibits about Sir John Pender who was a pioneer for the first undersea telegraph cable, and the Red Sea Line that was developed in 1870. You can also go underground and explore the secret WW2 bunker that operated as an important telegraph station during this conflict.
Address: Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance, TR19 6JX
6. Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm is a fantastic experience and one of the few places where you can have a guided tour through a working brewery. The cyder-master experts will take you through the various rooms and processes and give you insight into the history of this company.
In better weather, you can also take a tractor tour through the orchards or have guided walks through the orchards and see how the apples are picked to create the famous Healey’s cyder.
Address: Healeys, Penhallow, Truro, TR4 9LW
7. The Royal Cornwall Museum
The Royal Cornwall Museum offers a diverse collection of exhibits and is the largest museum in Cornwall. Regardless of what you are interested in, you can find something in this museum. For example, for those interested in ancient history, it has permanent exhibits on ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome that have items from the British Museum.
Aside from the generic historical items, it also has a great range of exhibits dedicated to Cornwall. For example, it has a brilliant mineral collection with items gathered from Cornwall and it’s extensive mining history.
Address: River Street, Truro, TR1 2SJ
8. Carnglaze Slate Caverns
Cornwall is famed for its mining, so a trip into an old slate mine offers a great experience during rainy days. In better weather, the Carnglaze Slate Cavern is also located within 6.5 acres of gardens which you can explore too.
The caverns are fantastic to explore and for the most part, you can explore the caves at your own leisure equipped with a route plan, helmet, and torch. At specific points you can find information about the caves and the mining operation. In one of the chambers there is also an impressive collection of minerals that have been mined from this very site.
Address: Carnglaze, St Neots, Liskeard, PL14 6HQ
9. The National Lobster Hatchery
If you want to do something completely different, why not visit the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow? This unique place is an example of the importance of conservation and how important marine life is in Cornwall.
Here you can see baby lobsters and look at how they grow and change during different stages of their development. Also, you can learn about conservation and what the team here does to ensure that lobsters thrive in the local area. This is a great place to visit on a rainy day, and gives you the chance to learn something new too.
Address: South Quay, Padstow, PL28 8BL
10. National Maritime Museum Falmouth
Maritime history is intertwined with Cornwall and the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is an important establishment. It is also a fun museum to visit and provide some brilliant interactive exhibits that both kids and adults will enjoy.
This large museum is spread out over five floors and has 15 different galleries. Examples of exhibits include a Sea King helicopter that you can go inside, working lifeboats, and even a section dedicated to building model boats. This museum is also ideally located in the harbour at Falmouth, and from the Look Out tower you can see panoramic views of the city.
Address: Discovery Quay, Falmouth, TR11 3QY
11. St Mawes Castle
St Mawes is one of the best-preserved castles in Cornwall, and one of the best-preserved examples of coastal forts that Henry VIII had built. It is a great place to explore during poor weather, but it also has some grounds and canon emplacements outside in the grounds.
You can check out the different circular towers and inside you will find some fantastic wooden carvings of historical figure, and a host of canons. Aside from the castle, it also has facilities including toilets and a café. The views from the battlements of the Cornish coast are also sublime.
Address: Castle Drive, St Mawes, TR2 5DE
12. Penlee House Gallery & Museum
The Penlee House Gallery & Museum is an interesting establishment set in beautiful parkland in Penzance. This is not just an art gallery, but it also has collections based on archaeology and natural science. In the fine art exhibits, you can see gorgeous depictions of the local area and Cornwall from classic artists.
Alternatively, in the archaeological exhibits you can see artefacts gathered from the county including Bronze Age and Iron Age tools. It also has some excellent exhibitions that change regularly, and there is also the amazing Orangery Café where you can get a coffee or a homemade cake.
Address: Morab Road, Penzance, TR18 4HE
13. Falmouth Art Gallery
Falmouth Art Gallery is an interesting establishment for both adults and children. It boasts a sizeable collection of artwork and interactive exhibits that kids will love to play with. For artwork, this museum contains some gorgeous paintings created by notable local artists – you can find various styles including abstract, classical, and surreal.
Also, the Falmouth Art Gallery regularly has exhibits showcasing local culture and heritage – we advise checking their website for current exhibits as they change during different seasons. There is also a shop where you can arts and crafts made my local artisans.
Address: The Moor, Falmouth, TR11 2RT
14. Davidstow Airfield & Cornwall At War Museum
Another great military museum in Cornwall is located at Davidstow Airfield. This expansive museum covers much of the airfield and 18 different buildings. The multiple indoor exhibits make this an ideal location to explore on a rainy day.
Primarily, this museum looks at the history of RAF Davidstow Moor, and WW2 in Cornwall. You can find RAF equipment, uniforms, and of course replicas of aircraft. There are also sections on the Falklands War, and the home-front that operated in Cornwall during WW2. On better-weather days, you can also take guided tours of the airfield itself.
Address: Nottles Park, Camelford, PL32 9YF
15. Caerhays Castle
Cornwall has some of the best castles in the UK, and Caerhays Castle has to be one of the best-preserved. It may surprise you to know that this castle was only created for show and was never intended to be a fortress or place of defence.
On miserable days, you can explore the castle although please check beforehand as it is still a private residence, and it is not open for tours all the time. If the weather is OK, you can also explore the fantastic gardens.
Address: Gorran, Mevagissey, PL26 6LY
16. Bodmin Jail
If you ever wondered what life was like for an 18th century prisoner, look no further than Bodmin Jail! This fantastic experience is incredibly interesting and fun. The building itself has some fantastic architecture, but the exhibits and interactive attractions inside are also exciting.
For example, the “Dark Wall” uses modern technology to show what life was like for 18th and 19th century convicts in Bodmin. Also, you can walk down the Naval Wing with its cold stone floors and walls and see what the conditions of prison cells were like!
Don’t let the weather stop you from making the most of your time in Cornwall. There is still plenty to do and see even when its raining. Anyone of the above 16 indoor things to do in Cornwall will provide a fantastic experience for the whole family.
Address: Berrycombe Road, Bodmin, PL31 2NR
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