Cornwall is one of England’s most special regions, with its tantilizing coastline bordered by towering cliffs. However along with the natural sights theres also many historical wonders, and fun activities to discover here, and such there are numerous incredible Cornwall day trips to go on when visiting this stunning region of the UK.
We’ve been back and forth to Cornwall for years, so to help you plan your next holiday here, here’s our seven favourite Cornwall day trips. They’re fun, unique, some are completely free, but all will provide a memorable and special experience.
The eight best Cornwall day trips
1: Fossil collecting at Rusey Cliff
People don’t just love Cornwall – ancient animals did too! Some of the best fossil hunting in the UK can be found in this region, and one of the best places to go is Rusey Cliff.
Keep you eyes peeled as you walk along the coastline. Fossilised plants can be found, alongside corals, brachiopods and goniatites which are often found can be found in limestone on the foreshore. Not only is hunting and finding fossils a fun outdoors activity, it’s also educational for kids – and free!
Other ares for fossil hunting in Cornwall include Padstow, Trevose Head, and Bude.
2: The Eden Project
Sticking with the outdoors theme, the Eden Project is a huge garden housing botanics from around the world. Most of which are encased within massive domes, which makes it the perfect Cornwall day trip when it rains.
This place isn’t just a big garden though, it’s also home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest! Expect the sights, smells and even sounds of a tropical rainforest, albeit on the southern coast of the UK.
If visiting Cornwall in summer look out for the ‘Eden Sessions’ that are sometimes held here. These atmospheric music concerts – usually in the evenings – are a real special experience. Plus a ticket usually grants you free access to the Eden Project the next day too!
3: Pasty and a picnic
It’s Cornwall, so we couldn’t ignore the famous Cornish pasty!
While a trip to get a pasty is not in day trip in itself, we recommend going to Sarah’s Pasty Shop in Looe – we’ve never tasted a better pasty – and then heading to East Looe Beach for a few hours.
This sandy stretch is not only a picturesque picnic spot, it’s also one of the best – and safest – swimming spots throughout Cornwall. The beach is also raked of seaweed in the morning every day, so truly is one of the most pristine beaches in the UK.
4: Tarquin’s Gin Distillery
The children have been fossil hunting and swimming, so it’s time for something for the adults! And what matter than a tour of one of Cornwall’s best, and quirkiest, distilleries.
We fell in love with Tarquin’s when visiting. The distillery tour is interesting, informative and good fun – one of the best distillery tours we’ve ever done, anywhere in the world. Want an even more in-depth look into the process? They do a Gin School, where you can even bring in a botanical from you own garden to be crafted into a gin.
The gins they make here are exceptional too. Made in tiny batches using a special flame-fired copper still, if you want a taster just ask. Our favourite? The British Blackberry Gin.
5: Go back in time at Bodmin Moor
What makes so many people visit Cornwall is the landscape here, and while the beaches get most of the plaudits, the spectacular Bodmin Moor deserves some too.
The atmospheric landscape here is home to ancient standing stones, buildings that date back centuries, but also a population of wild ponies.
Bodmin Moor really combines the natural with manmade, and has been an important region for Cornish people for generations. One of the best ways to see it is to walk some of ‘The Copper Trail’ – a 60 mile walk that takes you through World Heritage Sites, past pretty disused copper mines, and into areas that date back to the dating back to Neolithic times.
You can see a map of the whole route here.
6: See a show at Cornwall’s very own amphitheatre!
This breathtaking open-air theatre that’s built on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the sea must be one Europe’s most beautiful places to watch a show. Unsurprisingly, Minack Theatre has appeared in numerous lists of the world’s most spectacular theatres.
Keep an eye out for evening shows that run throughout the summer. The productions tend to be very good, but in all honesty, the view and experience of being here is often worth the ticket price alone.
7: Meet the seals at Cornish Seal Sanctuary
It’s always good to support wildlife organisations – even better when you get to meet the benefactors of your support too!
Set on the banks of the Helford River, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary looks after and rehabilitates injured seal pups. The staff are friendly, extremely knowledgable and happy to answer questions, and you get to see the seals up close.
It’s easy to spend a whole afternoon here, and if you do you’ll likely see the seals fed and weighed. The sanctuary is dog friendly too – so your pooch is welcome as well – and along with a kids playpark, there are plenty of great walks around the site.