6 Unusual Things to Do in Cornwall
September 16th, 2019
Cornwall is a fantastic part of the country, with so many picturesque villages, exciting attractions and breath-taking beaches. There are many things in Cornwall that are relatively mainstream and attract many tourists, and while these are awesome, we would also recommend visiting some of these usual activities to really make the most of your holiday!
Lost Gardens of Heligan
A truly encaptivating experience, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is not your usual attraction. With the garden being 400 years old, there are numerous fascinating features to explore, perhaps the most famous being the giant’s head in the ground made from greenery. With over 200 acres to discover, this place is full of extraordinary sculptures, fascinating wildlife and spectacular gardens. Another mesmerising place to explore at the Lost Gardens of Heligan is the jungle. Here you will find bamboo tunnels to walk through and towering banana trees above you.
After you have taken a trip around the gardens, visit the Heligan Kitchen & Bakery and enjoy a cup of coffee with some tasty local produce! Why not take the chance to try the local delicacy and have a Cornish cream tea?
Initially built in the 11th-century, Restormel is an extraordinary medieval castle. These fascinating ruins were once a luxury residence for the Earl of Cornwall, and it was one of the four chief Norman castles of Cornwall. Something that makes Restormel unique from other historic castles is its formation and design. The chambers are all arranged against the outer circular walls; this includes the kitchens, great hall and guest rooms. Since 1925, Restormel has been cared for by the English Heritage, while being officially owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. Throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, this castle is the best remaining example of a circular castle, making it quite the sight to see! Not only is the castle an interesting attraction in itself, but the location is also perfect for a picnic or a country walk. The castle boasts an incredible 360-degree view of lush countryside, and it is surrounded by woodlands that are a haven for birds and wildlife.
Now, this isn’t one for the faint-hearted. Adrenalin Quarry in Liskeard is an action-packed adventure park; somewhere to get your palms sweating and heart racing! From karting and axe throwing to coasteering and an aquapark, this place has an abundance of fun activities for both adults and children to enjoy. The aquapark is brand new to Adrenalin Quarry, with slides, trampolines, monkey bars and other massive inflatables.
There are two top attractions at Adrenalin Quarry, the Giant Swing and the Blob. The Giant Swing is considered the scariest ride they have ever built, and it is not for those who are easily afraid. You are pulled up 160ft above the lake, and then you are released, experiencing complete weightlessness as the swing drops you and leaves you to glide over the water. The Blob, on the other hand, is slightly more fun rather than scary. It is a humongous inflatable tube that floats on the water. The attraction works by one person sitting on one end, and then someone else climbs the ladder at the other end and leaps off to jump onto the inflatable. This results in the person sitting down to catapult into the air before splashing into the water. An excellent opportunity to see a family member or friend fly through the sky!
The Eden Project
Considered the world’s largest greenhouse, the Eden Project is a fascinating attraction. The Eden Project isn’t exactly unknown in Cornwall and is, in fact, a rather popular attraction, but that doesn’t take away from that fact that it isn’t your ordinary day out. Consisting of multiple gigantic biomes, the aim of the Eden Project is to promote environmental sustainability. They spent a whopping £141 million to collect tropical plants from all over the world to showcase them in these natural habitats. Among these beautiful climates are an array of other activities, such as England’s longest zip wire, a soft play area for the little ones, a great outdoor play centre and a delicious café.
Bodmin Jail is undoubtedly a captivating place to discover and understand exactly what life was like for a prisoner many years ago. The jail was built in 1779, and while holding many criminals, it was also the safe haven for the state papers and the Domesday book during the First World War. Nowadays, the jail is a historical attraction and no longer functions as a working prison. Bodmin Jail visitors can explore the cold and dark cells and imagine what the life of a captured criminal was like. The execution shed is open to visitors too, which features the Victorian hanging pit; a 4.5-metre drop and it is the only one of its kind in the UK. Furthermore, there is an exhibition which features a tour across six floors of the jail.
Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
If you’ve got an interest in anything dark and spooky or anthropology, this is the place for you! The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is situated in the picturesque town of Boscastle, and it is a place for you to explore the magical practice in Britain. As you walk around this museum, you’ll soon realise the fascinating nature of witchcraft and magic. It has been around since 1961 and is one of the world’s largest collections of items relating to witchcraft and magic, with over 3,000 objects to discover!
Should you choose to visit Cornwall, we highly recommend you take a trip to some of these fantastic attractions. If you would like to book a holiday to the South, why not add a touch of luxury to your trip and stay in a hot tub cottage in Cornwall? No matter the weather, a hot tub is an excellent addition to any holiday; adding that extra element of relaxation and escape! Here at The Valley, we offer self-catering holiday cottages that are both child-friendly and dog-friendly, so that the whole family can enjoy a getaway to Cornwall. Are you looking for some more holiday inspiration? Take a look at our previous blog that looks at the best places for a family day out in Cornwall!
May Half Term Activities in Cornwall
May 11th, 2018
From the 26th May to 3rd June families will be off for the May half-term. Here are some of the exciting family-friendly activities taking place over the week near us here at The Valley!
Invisible Worlds at the Eden Project 26th May – 3rd June
The May half-term week coincides with the launch of the Eden Project’s latest exhibition; Invisible Worlds. The focus of this new project is that which is beyond our perception, be it too big, too small, too far away, or too speedy! With hands-on interactive elements, including experiments, it is sure to both educate and entertain. One of the many interactive exhibits teaches all about the microbes that make us who we are, while the outdoor Rock Garden introduces us to the biology of geology! The Play Lab can also be found here, with a fascinating play zone set up for the kids; or the young at heart!
To celebrate the launch, a number of special activities and events will be running throughout the week. Join the Ministry of Science each day at 11am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm or 3.15pm for an exciting, hands-on science show with awe-inspiring experiments and fascinating facts. Get crafty in the craft corner, making a microbe masterpiece, or follow ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ microbe themed trail throughout the grounds of the Eden Project to find out more.
Bug & Butterfly Quest and Dinosaur Trail at Paradise Park, 26th May – 3rd June
Paradise Park is offering up two exciting activities for the kids over half-term. As well as their daily activities, such as otter feeding, penguin feeding and bird displays, Paradise Park are running quests and trails for fans of creepy crawlies and dinosaurs! Learn all about beautiful butterflies and bugs as you search for clues around the Park to complete the ‘Bug & Butterfly Quest’. Little ones who complete the questions can claim a tasty butterfly or bug themed chocolatey reward!
Half-term also sees the start of the summer Dinosaur Trail at Paradise Park. Go on a dinosaur hunting expedition and search the grounds for dinos. If you manage to answer some questions, then you may even become a ‘Paradise Park Professor of Palaeontology’, earning yourself a certificate and tiny model dinosaur to take home!
Circus Skills at Flambards, 26th May – 3rd June
Run away to the circus for the day this May half-term, with circus-themed fun taking place at Flambards. The ‘Circus Skills Week’ sees impressive shows each day from acrobats, clowns and jugglers, who are also offering up special workshop sessions. The workshops will be teaching visitors the tricks of the trade, such as unicycling, juggling, tightrope walking and plate spinning! The scarier tricks, such as juggling with knives and lying on a bed of nails will be left to the professional performancers though!
Heligan Wild Week at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, 26th May – 3rd June
Discover your wild side at Heligan’s Wild Week, where getting mucky to explore the outdoors is encouraged! Start your journey at the Wild Tribe Yurt, making a tribal headdress and painting your own face to join one of the wild tribes; owl, fox, butterfly or frog! Head to the gigantic outdoor assault course and test out your animal powers – you’ll need to leap, scrabble and balance to get across! Create a song at the musical workshop, and join the Wild Sing-along around the campfire at the end of the day, where you can also toast a marshmallow or two! These activities are included in the general admission price for the gardens.
Clash of the Knights at Pendennis Castle, 30th – 31st May
A contest of strength and skill is coming to Pendennis Castle this half-term, as four teams of brave knights attempt to battle it out for ultimate victory! This all-action event sees these valiant knights armed with only a club and shield meeting head-on in combat. The goal of this adrenaline-fuelled contest is to knock the crest off the helmet of each knights rival. As the day progresses, the knights will also turn to horseback showdowns, before the ultimate winner is declared victorious! Suitable for all ages, there will also be a jester and minstrels merrily entertaining the crowds. Young knight hopefuls can also test out their skills with a fun archery session. This event takes place between 11am and 5pm.
If you would like to experience some of these fun half-term activities in Cornwall, then why not come and spend the week at our child-friendly Cornwall cottages!?
5 of the Best Gardens in Cornwall
April 23rd, 2018
Cornwall is renowned for its gorgeous landscapes, especially the incredible coast paths, beaches and cliffs. While known for the stunning seaside, Cornwall is also home to a number of gardens, each with a wide range of different plants, styles and interesting interactive qualities. We take a look at five of our favourite Cornish gardens for you to visit!
The Japanese Garden
While the garden may only be set in an acre of land, the Japanese Garden more than makes use of this space, with a Zen Garden, Water Garden and Stroll Garden packed into the gorgeous grounds. In the spring, the garden comes to life, with cherry blossom in full bloom. Transitioning into the summer months an abundance of flowers can be found, with a fascinating fusion of traditional and exotic blooms, including bonsai trees, bamboo, Japanese maples and succulents. From the tranquillity of the Zen garden to the calming sounds of the waterfall, and the colourful Koi carp swirling in the water, you’ll feel completely relaxed here!
This award-winning garden is a sub-tropical paradise, complete with Mediterranean plants, Australian tree ferns and a natural spring. The spring water drops into the Koi pool and flows through the whole garden before forming a large duck pond at the opposite end of the grounds. Trebah is a garden perfect for plant lovers and family’s alike, with plenty to see and experience. Alongside the exciting play areas, the gardens host an impressive bamboo tunnel, a passage of giant rhubarb leaves and amphitheatre. At the edge of the grounds, you can also find the private beach, where the crystal clear waters of the Helford Estuary lap at the coast, making for a picture-perfect view!
Lost Gardens of Heligan
Having been ‘lost’ to years of overgrown plants and no maintenance, the Gardens were finally restored and unveiled in 1992 as the ‘garden restoration of the century’. Get lost in the winding paths and exotic jungle plants that decorate the 200-acre estate, including towering bamboo tunnels, banana plantations and giant rhubarb. Experience the wonderful wildlife on the woodland walk, with fantastic flora and fauna, as well as the Giant’s Head, Grey Lady and Mud Maid providing some exciting sights on the way!
Looking stunning year round, the waterside garden of Glendurgan is luscious and exotic. In the spring, the magnolias and camellias come to life, with the beautiful blooms adding a touch of colour to the grounds. Glendurgan is perfect for families, with the cherry laurel maze, created in 1833, providing an exciting activity for children and adults alike! Children also love the ‘Giant’s Stride’ swing – swirling you through the air – if you hold on tight!
With stunning views out over the Fal Estuary, Trelissick sits on the water’s edge, boasting 40-acres of equally breath-taking gardens. The gardens truly come to life in the spring, with incredible displays of colour from the camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons. The tranquil gardens lead to the main feature of the area; Trelissick house, which is open for the public to explore and learn about the rich history. If that wasn’t enough, Trelissick is also framed by a whopping 375-acres of woodland, with oak, beech and conifer trees lining the riverside slopes; perfect for a day of exploring!
If you’re a nature lover and want to explore all that these Cornish gardens have to offer, then why not come and stay with us at the best family resort in Cornwall!? We’re perfectly located to visit these fantastic gardens, as well as the Roseland Peninsula and Cornwall’s amazing coast.