Things to do in Cornwall

Our most recommended things to do in Cornwall

Bodmin: Bodmin Jail Entry Ticket & Dark Walk

1. Bodmin: Bodmin Jail Entry Ticket & Dark Walk

Step into the past with skip-the-line entry to the Bodmin Jail in Cornwall where over 55 executions took place. Uncover the dark history of this haunted site built by King George III and explore the recently renovated wings and cells. Feel the cold against your skin as you walk down the Naval Wing. Travel just outside the town center to find Bodmin Jail and marvel at its imposing structure on the skyline as you reach the entrance. Count yourself lucky as you walk into the prison as a visitor and not as an inmate. Face a cold walk along the original Naval Wing and get a first-hand impression of what the dreary days and nights behind bars were really like. Look into grimy cells and listen to stories of prison punishments. Learn about the tragedies within these walls and the tales of the criminals who called Bodmin Jail home. Exit the prison after seeing the only original and fully working Victorian hanging pit in the United Kingdom.

Doc Martin Tour

2. Doc Martin Tour

If you’re a fan of the TV show Doc Martin, this fully guided walking tour will take you around the fictional Cornish seaside village of Portwenn. In reality, it is filmed on location in Port Isaac, a small and picturesque fishing village on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall. Now in its seventh series and popular with fans around the world, this Doc Martin tour is the best way to see the main locations from the show which first aired in 2004. The walking tour is led by a local who has been involved in the filming of Doc Martin itself as an extra and shares many anecdotes about the filming of this show.  Locations from the show that you will see include the Doc’s house and surgery, Louisa’s school, Mrs Tishell’s pharmacy and much more. However, the village itself has a long and fascinating history dating back to King Henry VIII and your guide will show you hidden village paths, historical buildings, beautiful views and give you an insight into local life. There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way. 

Devon and Cornwall: 5-Day Tour from London

3. Devon and Cornwall: 5-Day Tour from London

Discover the landscapes and history of the wild Southwest of England on this 5-day minicoach tour. Combining the best of Devon and Cornwall, including the Jurassic Coast, Dartmoor, Lands End, Tintagel Castle, 2 nights in the Roman city of Exeter, and 2 nights in the harbor town of Falmouth, this tour offers a unique view of a beautiful part of Britain. Day 1 Depart London and travel through the old kingdom of Wessex to the historic city of Winchester. The former capital of Anglo-Saxon England boasts a magnificent cathedral and the Norman Great Hall. From this bustling city, head to a quieter but equally profound place, the standing stone circle of Stonehenge. Having explored this mystical place, your tour will continue to Exeter, the Romans most southwesterly fortified settlement and your base for 2 nights. Day 2 Your morning is spent exploring the magnificent wilderness of Dartmoor, the ancient "Clapper Bridge" at Postbridge, and the historic market town of Tavistock, home to Francis Drake. Return to Exeter in the early afternoon to explore the Roman town, with its underground passages, ancient walls, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and famous 12th-Century Norman Cathedral. Day 3 Head west to the North Cornish coast and the Elizabethan fishing village of Boscastle. Indulge in a cream tea, take a stroll out to the dramatic headland or learn a spell or two in the Museum of Witchcraft. Travel to the village of Tintagel and the ruins of its headland Castle, whose romantic cliff-top setting is purportedly the birthplace of King Arthur. After lunch, the tour heads to Port Isaac where you can get your Doc Martin fix and fall in love with this picturesque fishing village, before heading south to the bustling port town of Falmouth for the next two nights. Day 4 Explore the most westerly tip of England on this magnificent day, taking in St. Michael’s Mount, the incredible Minack Theater, built into the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful National Trust beach at Porthcurno. Look out for pirates at Penzance! England’s most westerly point beckons at Lands End before following the dramatic coast, with windswept moors and old stone Celtic communities, up to the artistic haven of St. Ives. Return to Falmouth for the night. Day 5 This morning you say farewell to Cornwall and travel back through the Devon countryside with stops for photos and refreshments before arriving in the famous little town of Glastonbury for lunch. Glastonbury Tor rises high above the town and has mythical connections with King Arthur and Avalon. From here you will return back eastwards to London, a city completely removed from the experiences you have enjoyed in the magical counties of Devon and Cornwall. Staying in a range of locally owned, friendly B&B's and guesthouses, you will enjoy en suite facilities, and tranquility in scenic locations in the lovely southwest of England.

From Cornwall: Private Poldark Tour with Pickup

4. From Cornwall: Private Poldark Tour with Pickup

The 2015 BBC drama Poldark, adapted from the Winston Graham series, shows off the dramatic beauty of the Cornish landscape and coastline. Now you can step into the world of Ross Poldark and visit some of the breath-taking locations featured on the show in this Poldark tour of Cornwall. Your first stop will be a beautiful unspoilt Georgian working port that was used as the location for Truro Harbour in the new BBC series of Poldark. From here you'll wind your way down past the real Truro and Falmouth and on to the far West stopping firstly at a picturesque fishing cove used in the second series of Poldark. You'll then travel a couple of miles on to The Minack Theatre from where you can see over to the beach used in series one and down to Porthcurno beach used in series two. The views from here are unrivalled and it is one of the most iconic photo locations in Cornwall. You then head on further West to visit a pretty cove used in series one for the pilchard boats scene, and also from where Demelza spies on Ross taking his early morning swim. It was also used as the location for Marks escape by boat to France in series one. You will then stop for lunch at a reputable pub/restaurant in the area. After lunch you will wind your way up through the unspoilt mining town of St Just and on to Botallack. The farmhouse ‘Botallack Manor’ was used in the original 1970’s series as Ross Poldarks’ home, ‘Nampara’. The dramatic cliff top settings at Botallack and disused Engine houses and mine buildings here are used as the locations for Wheal Leisure and Wheal Grambler. Botallack is your last location on the days tour and from here you'll head up the scenic coastal road to St Ives and back up to Launceston arriving at approximately 18:00.

Newquay: Coasteering Adventure

5. Newquay: Coasteering Adventure

Discover the raw beauty of the coast on this tour from Newquay. Make your way to caves and inlets as you participate in adventure swimming, climbing, and rock hopping. Feel safe with a local guide and high-quality safety equipment.  Meet your guide at the shop and make your way to the shore. Gear up with the help of your guide and begin your trip. Swim through sluices and whirlpools. Feel your heart pound as you leap from cliffs and scramble up gullies.  Find large sea caves and admire the serenity of secluded sections of coast. Learn sea survival skills from your guide that you can take with you on future trips to the coast. 

Newquay: Introduction to Surfing Lesson

6. Newquay: Introduction to Surfing Lesson

Enjoy a surfing lesson that is tailored to beginners with this attraction ticket in Newquay. Participate in a group lesson that breaks down everything from beach safety to how to ride a wave. Be welcomed by your instructor at the surf shop. Listen as your instructor provides you with an introduction to surfing talk and a quick overview of the day's activity. Put on your wetsuit and hop in the water. Take it easy with a lesson that takes place in waist high water with no need for strong swimming skills. Learn in with the support and guidance of your surf coach who will ensure your learning needs are met throughout the experience. Find out how to manage your surfboard and get comfortable with your board in the water. After a quick break and recap on the beach, cover some tips and techniques on how to pop up on your board and ride a wave back to shore. Leave with new skills that will last a lifetime.

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What people are saying about Cornwall

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 150 reviews

Brilliant trip. Carefully planned to maximise highlights, with extra detail along the way on spots well off the tourist track. Great driver, who was a wealth of knowledge, had an excellent sense of humour and took time together to know everybody in the group. This was excellent value and thoroughly enjoyable.

Dark Walk is an amazing experience. Both children and adults enjoyed visiting the museum very much. Try Execution Room if you go.

Warm and friendly guide with loads of lived experience as an extra during filming of Doc Martin! Recommend!!

Get there early park at top of the village and walk down to the benue

Mark was a great guide- very knowledgeable and witty.