cornwall adventure activities

9 Cornwall Adventure Holiday Spots You Can’t Miss Out In 2022 

Hello there, are you looking for some ideas for a Cornwall adventure holiday? 

There’s a lot more to this gorgeous seaside destination than just the stunning beaches – it’s also got a fair share of thrills with plenty to do by the sea, in the forest, or just by being in the many quaint little towns in this county. 

Cornwall is known for its moorland landscapes, attractive villages, mild climate, and its long and varied coastline.

You would also be able to find many great cliffs that offer stunning views of the sea and beaches everywhere, so it’s no surprise that one of the most popular adventure activities in Cornwall is surfing. 

The locals run many outdoor activities in Cornwall, and often, it’s a family-run business that has been around for years and is striving to sustain itself, especially in recent times.

With small groups, families, children, or even on a solo trip, there’s an adventure holiday that is suited for everyone in Cornwall – and we’re here to help you find the best ones, so you won’t have to! 

9 Best Activities For A Cornwall Adventure Holiday 

  1. Foraging
  2. Rockpooling 
  3. Coasteering 
  4. Kayaking 
  5. Surfing 
  6. Swimming
  7. Paddleboarding 
  8. Mine Exploration 
  9. Via Ferrata

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9 Best Activities For A Cornwall Adventure Holiday 

1. Foraging 

cornwall adventure holiday foraging

Foraging essentially means to search a particular place widely for food or provisions – in this case, edible plants. Cornwall is abundant with fresh produce all year round that allows for foraging at any time.

Foraging is a great activity to enjoy alone or with a group. It is especially great for children to learn about nature while you’re out and about and is an excellent excuse to get experimental in the kitchen. 

It is important to remember that although some plants may be common and others may seem so, it’s crucial to preserve what you can. It is a forager’s responsibility to respect the plants, animals, and habitats you encounter. 

Some of the things you can look forward to foraging in Cornwall include: 

  • Wild garlic
  • Blackthorns
  • Rosehip berries

What you need:

Best locations for foraging in Cornwall: 

2. Rockpooling 

cornwall adventure holidays rockpooling

Rockpooling is an enjoyable and unique activity to do on your adventure holiday in Cornwall 

It is one that introduces you to a beautiful world of creatures that are usually hidden beneath the sea. It is also a great hands-on activity to teach kids about this unique habitat and talk about how plants and animals survive there. 

Many sea creatures adapt to living in rock pools. The intertidal zone – the area where the ocean meets the land between high and low tides is a highly harsh habitat. It causes animals to learn to cope with exposure to varying temperatures, rainwater, saltwater, and the sun. 

Rockpooling is best done during a low spring tide because some of the most exciting creatures are more likely to be found near the sea edge at this time. 

Some of the animals you can find when rock pooling in Cornwall include: 

  • Limpets
  • Seaweeds
  • Whelks
  • Crabs
  • Periwinkles
  • Anemones

What you need: 

Best locations for rock pooling in Cornwall: 

3. Coasteering 

cornwall adventure holidays coasteering

Coasteering is a new adventure sport in Cornwall that has recently grown in popularity. It essentially involves exploring a coastline via climbing, cliff jumping, scrambling, and swimming to help you understand coastlines and experience nature differently. 

This adrenalin-fuelled activity is a unique way to explore the natural habitat along the coastal route and to explore otherwise inaccessible caves. Depending on which areas you will be in Cornwall, your trips would most likely be cave-based. 

As you’d imagine, climbing rocks and jumping off cliffs may have some danger attached to them. That is why safety should be your number one priority at all times to avoid any mishaps. 

Engage a coasteering guide who can tailor your coasteering adventure to better suit your abilities and fitness levels for your safety, and be sure to check the weather and tides beforehand.

It would also be helpful to keep away from seabirds and seal breeding areas to avoid any disruption to their natural habitats. 

What you need: 

Best locations for coasteering in Cornwall: 

4. Kayaking

cornwall adventure holidays kayaking

Kayaking is as fun as it sounds and it is one of the best adventure holiday activities in Cornwall that allows you to get close to nature and away from the city to explore the creeks, coast, and rivers this county has to offer. 

The quiet rivers offer impressive wild corridors through hidden landscapes, whereas with sea kayaking, you’ll get a chance to discover the many beautiful secret coves and sea caves that Cornwall has to offer.

Most kayaking locations in Cornwall have rentals onsite that provide kayak rentals for an hourly fee. 

Hires usually include paddles, buoyancy aid, a full briefing, times of the tides, and assistance with journey planning, but this depends on the center itself, so be sure to ask beforehand! 

What you need: 

Best locations for kayaking in Cornwall: 

5. Surfing 

cornwall adventure holidays surfing

Surfing is a favorite sport in Cornwall and in fact, many travel from far and wide to give the majestic waves a go when they’re in the county. It can be thrilling for those familiar with the waves but with a little practice, surf beginners will be able to enjoy them too. 

Sounds hard? It won’t be, once you get the hang of it and we guarantee you, it’s lots of fun too! If you are a surf beginner, be sure to check out this article on surfing in Cornwall for beginners to help you get a head start. It is also a famous Cornwall summer holiday activity.

With a great climate and a host to many beautiful beaches, Cornwall is considered the surf capital of the UK. It is also the location of the biggest pro-surf competition in Europe, the Fistral Boardmasters, which has been running for the past ten years under various names and attracts surf pros worldwide.

What you need: 

Best locations for surfing in Cornwall: 

6. Swimming

swimming cornwall

If you’re wondering why swimming is listed as an adventure holiday you must try in Cornwall – well, have you heard of wild swimming? 

Wild swimming is essentially the act of swimming in any natural body of water – regardless of whether it’s the sea, a river, a lake, or a pond. Wild swimming is healthy, invigorating, refreshing, and exciting, especially on a summer afternoon or a winter morning. 

So, what better place to experience wild swimming than in Cornwall? 

After all, the county is surrounded by water, but the magic lies in the natural spots to indulge in a natural dip like tidal pools, waterfalls, quarries, outdoor pools, and hidden coves.

Not only will you get to experience nature in all its glory, but you’ll also get to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and listen to chirping birds and waves crashing instead. That’s quite an adventure.

What you need: 

Best locations for surfing in Cornwall: 

7. Paddleboarding 

paddleboarding in cornwall

Paddleboarding is a water sport in which you will be propelled by a swimming motion using your arms while kneeling or lying down on a paddleboard. It is one of the best adventure activities you can do in Cornwall, especially since Cornwall is surrounded by bodies of water and has so many great places besides the sea you can paddleboard at. 

You can discover secret caves, peaceful spots, and secluded beaches far from the Cornwall crowds. In addition to being great fun, paddleboarding is also a wonderful activity to enjoy some quiet time to yourself with nature and the added benefit of a full-body workout. 

What you need: 

Best locations for paddleboarding in Cornwall: 

Learn more about paddle boarding here: 

8. Mine Exploration 

mine exploration

In addition to all things water-related adventure holidays in Cornwall, this county is renowned for its mining history. There is a rich mining heritage and plenty of abandoned mines from when Cornwall was a former global copper and tin mining center – now an adventure for mine explorers. 

Experience an exciting journey underground into abandoned Cornish mines and learn how the old Cornish miners worked while experiencing a cave-style adventure.

Some locations offer a more challenging vertical trip that includes large abseils and crossing some shafts and chasms underground via-Ferrata (more on this below!). 

What you need: 

Best locations for mine exploration in Cornwall: 

9. Via Ferrata 

via ferrata

Via Ferrata is as cool as it sounds – it’s Italian for the term “iron path,” a protected climbing route commonly found in the Alps or some particular locations.

Built with a steel cable rail fixed to rocks with ladders, metal steps, zip wires, and suspension bridges, this protected climbing route is supported with a harness clipped onto a wire to progress through. 

A cross between scrambling and rock climbing, via ferratas help non-expert climbers to safely reach high altitudes with minimum requirements. 

This Cornwall adventure activity is an excellent way to explore the mountains and does not require any mountaineering experience.

You will need to be in good physical health and have no fear of heights – some are even suitable for kids aged eight and above, making it a unique family activity. 

What you need: 

The best location for mine exploration in Cornwall: 

What Type Of Adventure Holiday Is Best For Families In Cornwall? 

Hands down, the best type of adventure holiday activity for families in Cornwall are the themed adventure parks and family-friendly attractions that are great for kids and adults. Some of the Cornwall adventure parks you can try are: 

1. Flambards Experience

Entrance fee: 

  • Adults: £21.95 (USD 29.38)
  • Children: £15.95 (USD 21.35) 

2. Adrenalin Quarry

Fees: 

  • First jump:  £12.50 (USD 16.73)
  • Repeat jumps: £7.50 (USD 10) 
  • Giant Swing: £15 (USD 20) 
  • Slide, jump, and bounce: £20 (USD 26.77)

3. Camel Creek Adventure Park

Entrance fee (based on height): 

  • Adults (105 cm and above): £10.95 (USD 14.66)
  • Children (92 cm to 105 cm): £8.95 (USD 11.98) 
  • Below 92 cm : Free entry

Do You Need Insurance For Adventure Trips In Cornwall?

Generally, it is highly recommended that you get travel insurance when you travel anywhere, especially if you plan to try any new or adventurous activities in Cornwall. Your insurance coverage should include adequate protection for medical treatment overseas, repatriation/ evacuation, baggage, equipment, and the specific activities in your adventure. 

Especially now, it’s also essential to ensure that your insurance policy includes specific infectious disease cover and includes cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your companion, or a close relative is diagnosed with any related conditions. 

Best Time To Go To Cornwall For An Adventure Holiday

The best time to visit Cornwall is during the shoulder seasons – May, September, and October are great times as visitors enjoy good weather and significantly lesser crowds. However, make sure to avoid the May and October school half terms, as this is when groups start picking up again in Cornwall. 

Conclusion

From hills to beaches, caves, and adventure parks in Cornwall, there’s an adventure activity for everyone. There are so many things you can try here and with good guidance from experts too so you can be sure you’re only getting the best when trying an adventure in Cornwall. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you find the best activity for an adventure holiday in Cornwall for you.  Most of the activities run in Cornwall are operated by the locals and any support you can offer contributes to their local economy so it’s a win-win for everyone. 

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