things to do in cornwall in the rain

11 Interesting and Fun Things to Do in Cornwall in The Rain

Are you looking for things to do in Cornwall in the rain? 

This famous holiday destination in the UK is known for its magnificent beaches and beautiful coastlines, but it’s certainly not immune to the fickle weather in Cornwall. You could be in a bikini one minute and hiding from the rain under an umbrella the next. 

Well, lucky for us (and you!), there are plenty of things to do in Cornwall when it rains, regardless of whether it’s on the weekend or during school holidays – we’ve compiled some of the best-wet weather activities in Cornwall to keep you and your family entertained. 

If you’re short of time but still curious to find out the best things to do in the rain in Cornwall, here are our top 3 picks: 

  1. Eden Project  – A sustainability enterprise that houses thousands of different plant species 
  2. Porthcurno Telegraph Museum – Learn about Cornwall’s history with the telegraph 
  3. Pendennis Castle – Iconic castle that has lived through the English Civil War, WW1, and WW2

DISCLOSURE

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11 Best Things To Do In Cornwall In The Rain

1. Cornwall Aviation Heritage Center 

For aviation lovers, the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Center has everything you’ll expect to see from jet fighters, bombers, and gigantic in-flight refuelers back from the military days in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. 

A celebration of Britain’s aviation heritage, a Hard Aircraft Shelter (HAS) designated as the Buccaneer Maritime Strike Force’s forward operating base also looms among the massive.

With indoor and outdoor exhibits, this gem of a place is perfect for any weather.

While you’re there, make sure to jump in the cockpits and experience the thrill of being in the pilot’s seat of the fighter jets and get a guided tour of all the great aircraft you’ll find there. You will also find a 1950s diner-style cafe, picnic areas, and a gift shop!

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: £10.50 (USD 14.27
  • Children: £6.00 (USD 8.15)

2. Natural Maritime Museum  

From the skies to the sea, the Natural Maritime Museum is another one of the most popular attractions in Cornwall for a rainy day. Here, you can shelter yourself from the rain while taking in the maritime scene and experience the country’s nautical lifestyle in real-time. 

Take the helm of a sailboat, experience adventures in the ocean while staying dry on land, explore the underwater gallery, and check out the stunning exhibitions and interactive displays such as the exploration of the sunken Titanic. 

In the heart of the world’s third deepest harbor in Falmouth, there’s no better place to enjoy all the maritime heritage Cornwall has to offer and more. 

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: £13.95 (USD 18.95
  • Children: £6.50 (USD 8.83)

3. Porthcurno Telegraph Museum 

The Porthcurno Telegraph Museum was once the largest telegraph station globally, and it is also where the first undersea cable was laid back in 1870. One of the best things to do on a rainy day in Cornwall, this museum is suitable for adults and kids – a perfect activity for families. 

Follow quiz trails, explore the historical WWII tunnels and immerse yourself with the hands-on exhibits that take you back to the center of the communication revelation in Cornwall.

Here, you will also discover the science behind how telegraphs were used for communication and the people who put the idea into products that changed the world forever. 

This museum is not too far from the beach, close to the Minack Theater. If you happen to stumble upon good weather while you’re here, be sure to dip your toes in the sparkling blue waters or watch a show while you can!  

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: £9 (USD 12.24
  • Children: £5.50 (USD 7.48)
things to do in cornwall in the rain bude castle

4. Bude Castle 

The Bude Castle is one of the best free things to do on a rainy day in Cornwall, and if you ever have a chance to visit, you should! 

Home to “Cornwall’s Forgotten Inventor,” the castle was the home of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney. He played an essential part in the invention of different ways to heat and light spaces and the construction of the first steam vehicle that could travel over a long distance at a steady pace. 

You can learn all about him and the town at the castle, which now serves as Bude’s local museum. While you’re there, check out the art galleries, and if the rain stops, be sure to take a walk in the garden that surrounds the castle.

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: Free
  • Children: Free

5. Bodmin Jail 

One of the best attractions in Cornwall for a rainy day, the Bodmin Jail has recently been reopened and revamped as a premier destination for tourists.

A little eerie but educational, this fascinating granite jail was built by the prisoners themselves and stood as a statement to Cornwall’s penal life. 

Enjoy an immersive tour through Bodmin Moor, Cornish houses, mines in 3D, and the courtroom where you learn about the crimes committed during Victorian times in Cornwall.

You can also check out the tour that takes you through six levels of this historic building, where you will experience what it’s like to live a life in jail – the sights, sounds, smells, and more. 

If you like haunted houses and scary movies, book a ghost tour or a seat for a scary movie night there. 

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: £10 (USD 13.60
  • Children: £7.50 (USD 10.20)
things to do in cornwall in the rain lanhydrock

6. Lanhydrock  

Lanhydrock is a National Trust Victorian country house and estate with beautiful expansive gardens. If it’s raining, don’t worry – you’ve got more time to explore the indoors! And we assure you, they’re just as incredible. 

Initially built in the early 17th century, it was mostly destroyed in a fire in 1881. The house is presented today in late High Victorian style, and its interiors offer an exciting glimpse of how a Victorian household is run. If you enjoyed watching Downton Abbey, you’ll enjoy it here!

You’ll also have a chance to glimpse both sides of Victorian life – the elegance and the beauty of the rooms’ upstairs’ and the quarters for the servants’ downstairs.’

Explore the interiors of the rooms and the antiques that adorn them; beautiful wallpapers and elegant plasterwork on the ceilings too. 

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: £17 (USD 23.12
  • Children: £8.50 (USD 11.56)

7. Royal Cornwall Museum

If you’re a fan of culture, this is the place for you. The Royal Cornwall Museum is one of the nicest things to do in Cornwall on a rainy day.

It holds a vast collection of social history and European and Cornish archaeology and cultures of the world. It also has exhibits about mining history and the strong identity of Cornwall. 

In addition to all this, it also houses decorative and fine art collections by Cornish artists, makers, and designers, including essential works from significant national and international artists from various parts of the world. 

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: £5 (USD 6.80
  • Children: Free

8. Truro Cathedral 

Truro Cathedral exudes a certain charm and is the only cathedral in the county. It’s not as striking as some other famous churches, but it holds a lot of history like most. It is also one of the best free things to do in Cornwall when it rains. 

The Cathedral was built sometime between 1880 and 1910 with many compelling features like stained glass windows, a brass eagle lectern, and statues, resembling a Gothic Revival design.

The Cathedral’s choir is also one of the most renowned choir groups in the country. 

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults: Free
  • Children: Free

9. Hall for Cornwall 

A rainy day in Cornwall would be perfect for catching a show or two at the Hall for Cornwall, the biggest theater in the county.

Located in the heart of Truro, this spectacular venue plays host to over 300 musicals, musical arts, opera, ballet, and other entertaining shows all year round. 

It features a cafe that serves delicious teas, coffees, cakes, cream tea, and desserts, as well as a licensed bar with outdoor and indoor seating areas to unwind and relax. It is the perfect indoor activity to do in Cornwall. 

Hall of Cornwall also showcases a range of different performing arts, like gigs and concerts for many chart-topping artists like George Ezra and James Morrison, in addition to many others.

Renowned for hosting entertaining, lively, and outstanding performances by great artists, a trip here will guarantee an evening you won’t forget. 

Location: Google Maps 

Show listings and ticket prices:

  • You can find it on their website here

10. Pendennis Castle

One of the most exciting places to visit in Cornwall is Pendennis Castle – yes, even in the rain! Constructed in the 1540s by Henry VIII, this castle was built to protect Cornwall and England from the Spanish and French invasions. 

During the English Civil War, 1000 men were trapped in this castle for three months during a siege before they surrendered when they ran out of food.

This castle was also used in both world wars as a command center for artillery defense in WW1 and naval attack in WW2. 

Opened in 1957 to the public, there are many areas, mostly indoors, where you can learn more about its history. If the rain is not too bad, be sure to check out the grounds too! 

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults:  £12.20 (USD 16.60
  • Children: £7.30 (USD 9.90)
things to do in cornwall in the rain eden project

11. Eden Project 

Saving the best for last, the Eden Project is one of the best attractions in Cornwall, not just on a rainy day but any day! And we guarantee it’s for a good reason too.

It’s a sustainability enterprise that features two biomes, large areas characterized by their soil, climate, vegetation, and wildlife in a gigantic disused china clay pit. Plants from different environments are housed in the two biomes – the Mediterranean and the rainforest. 

The drive behind the Eden Project is to enlighten visitors about how crucial it is to protect these alternative climates and educate them about how our actions where we are can affect climates thousands of miles away in different countries and different continents.

It is a great place to go with kids and for a family day out as adults will enjoy it. Besides the two biomes, there is an indoor exhibit about space and a range of different Cornish plants, so be sure to check that out as well! 

Location: Google Maps 

Entrance fees: 

  • Adults :  £28.50 (USD 38.75
  • Children : £15 (USD 20.40)
  • Family :  £75 (USD 102)

When Is The Best Time To Visit Cornwall? 

Sometime in the summer between July and August are usually the best times to visit Cornwall as the weather is warm and great – roughly around 19 ºC (66 ºF) with approximately 7 hours of sunlight a day. 

On the other hand, winter is an excellent time for those looking to save a little more on their trip as you would be able to enjoy all that Cornwall has to offer minus the crowds and cheaper too! May, June, and September are also great months to travel for smaller groups and lower prices compared to the summer months. 

What Items Do You Need To Explore Cornwall In The Rain? 

If your travels happen to coincide with rainy weather in Cornwall, here are some items you should carry with you to shelter you from the rain and to keep you safe from stormy weather. 

  • Quick-dry socks and suitable shoes (good grip and waterproof) – To keep you warm and to prevent slipping on wet, slippery surfaces. 

Safety Tips For Driving In The Rain In Cornwall

When driving in the rain in Cornwall, keep in mind that not only should you go slow, but you should also turn on your headlights when you’re driving.

This is because bad weather can sometimes cause poor visibility, and this can be dangerous if you’re not aware of what’s ahead of you while you’re on the wheel. 

Some other tips include: 

  • Reduce your speed and be mindful of the space between you and the vehicle in front of you as stopping distances in the rain are increased.
  • Avoid rear fog lights as they can mask your brake lights and confuse the drivers behind you. 
  • Use dipped headlights 
  • Look out for fast-moving or large vehicles creating water sprays that minimize visibility.
  • Keep your air conditioning on to avoid your windows from misting up. 
  • If your car breaks down in the rain, keep your bonnet closed while waiting for help to prevent the electrical in the car from getting soaked. 
  • Be considerate and wary towards other road users and cyclists.

What Is Cornwall Popular For?

Cornwall is popular among tourists for its world-renowned beaches that have attracted many worldwide to this surfing haven. It is one of the leading destinations for a holiday in the UK.

Cornwall is also known for its pasties, a local snack of potatoes, swede, and potatoes baked in a shortcrust pastry. 

things to do in cornwall in the rain cornwall popular best

What Part Of Cornwall Is Best?

The best parts of Cornwall are:

  • Penzance – for fantastic coastal views 
  • St.Ives – for its thriving art community
  • Helford River – for stunning landscapes
  • St. Michael’s Mount – for picturesque sunsets 
  • Falmouth – for beautiful coastal hikes 
  • Padstow – for great food 
  • Polperro – for quaint harbors and idyllic cottages 
  • Newquay – for its beaches and surfing 
  • Looe – for nature lovers and fresh seafood 
  • Truro – for the perfect nature and countryside combo

Conclusion

Some of the best things to do in Cornwall in the rain are mostly indoors, so you won’t have to worry too much about being stuck in your room the whole day when you’re there.

Make sure to check out Eden’s Garden, the Telegraph Museum, and Lanhydrock for some unique sightseeing opportunities.

We hope this article has helped you plan your trip to Cornwall during the rainy season, without having to worry about where to go or what to do when it’s not sunny in Cornwall. All the best! 

​​11 Best Things To Do In Cornwall In The Rain

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