Ideas on things to do in Cornwall when it’s raining
A rainy day? Here’s our guide to wet-weather activities in Cornwall.
If you wake up to rain, don’t waste the morning worrying about what you can do. Have some wet-weather activities up your (waterproof) sleeve so you can still get out and enjoy Cornwall. In fact, you may even end up discovering some exciting new places…
There are plenty of indoor places to visit in Cornwall. Yes, they will be busier when it’s wet; however, an attraction like the Eden Project is designed to take thousands of people and copes admirably with a large rainy-day influx. Take off your waterproofs and warm up in the tropical and temperate biomes, then have a Mediterranean-style lunch among the plants – all undercover.
Lanhydrock House (National Trust) near Bodmin has over forty rooms open to visitors, so you really can spend hours exploring this absorbing manor. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth is a wet-weather favourite for all ages (its current Titanic Stories exhibition is superb), and the town has plenty of car parking and places to eat. Falmouth also has an excellent free art gallery. For other art attractions, drive west to Tate St Ives and Penlee House Museum and Gallery in Penzance.
Dot between shops
Combine dodging the showers with a bit of retail therapy. Truro is Cornwall’s main shopping centre, a neat little city with a range of high street and independent shops. Truro has lots of fine places for a sheltering cuppa or snack, as well as the fascinating Royal Cornwall Museum.
If you prefer pottering among the winding streets and smaller shops of a more typically Cornish town, try Fowey or St Ives. Look out for welcoming independent galleries, delicious delis, and inviting little bookshops.
Use up some energy
However, retail therapy is rarely a popular option among the under 10s. If you have youngsters with lots of pent-up energy, there are plenty of indoor places where they can let off some steam.
Indoor trampoline park Jump4 in Pool has become a real locals’ favourite. You have to book a slot in advance (check the weather forecast), which has the advantage of limiting numbers and preventing it being too frenetic. On a wet day, an hour’s bouncing could be just what they need.
A roadside service station sounds an unpromising place – but Cornwall Services is no ordinary stop-off. This new development on the A30 near Bodmin has a Clip’n’Climb with 15 climbing walls as well as a large soft play for ages 11 and under. Again, spaces are limited so book in advance (there’s a good choice of places to eat there afterwards, too).
And of course, there’s always swimming. If you’re staying with us, there’s our own lovely infinity pool in the Clearing Spa. Otherwise, try Ships and Castles in Falmouth, an indoor water park next to Pendennis Castle (another good rainy day place).
Get very wet
There is the theory that if you’re going to get wet, you may as well get very wet. On a warm rainy day, go down to the beach and enjoy a swim in the rain. It’s guaranteed that it won’t be crowded; and there’s nothing as lovely as swimming along to the patter of raindrops on the water, followed by a hot chocolate in the beachside café.
Surf and SUP lessons carry on whatever the weather, so if you want to try a new water sport, a calm but rainy day could be a quiet time to get started.
Hide under the canopy
Again, there’s no need to stay indoors. Grab your wellies and head for the woods. In the summer, you’ll be pretty much sheltered by a leafy canopy, and you’ll get that amazing smell of rain on fresh greenery (“petrichor”, apparently). Try Kings Wood near The Cornwall, or the Forestry Commission’s Cardinham Woods outside Bodmin. Both of these are brilliant places for kids and dogs.
Curl up at The Cornwall
Or simply give in to the weather. Find a good book, order or make a coffee, and curl up in a comfy corner. Tomorrow may be dry again, so take the opportunity to unwind and recharge.
If you have children to entertain, the chances are that even they’ll appreciate a bit of down-time with a colouring book, some Lego, or a favourite film on their tablet. Rain never has to stop play.
Do you have a favourite rainy-day activity in Cornwall? Let us know!