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What to do in Cornwall in May Half Term

9th May 2019

With the next school holidays just around the corner we’ve been thinking about some of the wonderful events and things to do in Cornwall over the May half term. The last week in May is a lovely time of year to visit Cornwall. It’s usually warm but not too hot; lively but not too busy; and with plenty going on to keep the whole family entertained. Here’s our pick of some of the best things to do in Cornwall over May Bank Holiday weekend and half term.

Have a Thrilling Time at a Theme Park

Treat the kids to a day out at a local theme park. There are numerous attractions in Cornwall with rides, slides and carousels, with thrills and spills for all ages. One of the biggest is Flambards, near Helston, which has big drops and rollercoasters, as well as fairground rides for younger children. Another good day out is Camel Creek Adventure Park, near Wadebridge with fast rides, a log flume, roundabouts and a huge indoor play area. Closer to Perranporth there are mini-train rides at Lappa Valley, while at Healey’s Cyder Farm kids can join tractor rides and feeding sessions with the farm animals.

Swing ride at Camel Creek
Swing ride at Camel Creek Adventure Park

Join the Fun at a Music Festival

The season is in full swing in Cornwall by May when some of the best local music festivals are staged. One such event is the Great Estate Festival which takes place at Scorrier House, just down the road from Perranporth, over the last weekend of half term. It’s a family-friendly celebration of music, comedy, arts and food on a large country estate, headlined this year by 90s band James and the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show. Here in Perranporth, you can see the likes of Bananarama, Madness and Circa Waves at Tunes in the Dunes over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Hit the Trail on Foot or Bike

There are so many beautiful places in Cornwall that can’t be reached by car. To really explore the hidden countryside, creeks and coves, you need to walk, run or cycle. The South West Coast Path passes through Perranporth and St Agnes, connecting pristine stretches of coastline characterised by high cliffs and sandy beaches. If biking is more your thing, head for the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast which stretches from north to south coasts through rolling countryside and historic landscape along old mining trails.

Walkers at Wheal Coates
Walkers at Wheal Coates. Photo by Adam Gibbard

Celebrate the Season at a Glorious Garden

Late spring and early summer is the best time to visit Cornwall’s gardens. It’s a time when the foliage is in full bloom, the flowers are at their most colourful and there is abundant birdlife. Glendurgan Garden near Falmouth is a favourite with families as it’s a hidden valley with botanical wonders, a giant maze and pathways leading to a secluded beach on the Helford Estuary. It’s also worth a trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan or the Eden Project for their exotic plants and special half-term events.

The maze at Glendurgan Gardens in Cornwall
The maze at Glendurgan Gardens in Cornwall. Photo by the National Trust

Make a Splash with Some Watersports

You can’t come to Cornwall without at least dipping your toes in the water. Just in our local area we have surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, wakeboarding, sailing and open water swimming. One of the best places to start is Perranporth Beach where there are two excellent surf schools offering family-focused surf lessons. See our guide on where to watch, learn and go surfing in North Cornwall. At nearby Crantock Beach you can hop on a paddle board for a SUP adventure on the Gannel Estuary. While kayaking tours along the rugged coastline start out of Trevaunance Cove in St Agnes.

Lran to surf in Cornwall
Surfing at Holywell Bay

See Artists in Action in Open Studios

We’re lucky this year because the annual Open Studios event takes place over the half-term week. This is a special period when local artists and craftspeople open their studios to the public so you can meet them, see their work and learn about the artistic process. This year there are an incredible 291 Cornish artists taking part in the Open Studios programme. Local artists include a wildlife painter, abstract photographer, wooden surfboard maker and textile upcycler. Head to Krowji in Redruth to see a range of different artists all in one place.

Or Just Chill on the Beach

Of course, if it’s good weather, there are few better things to do in Cornwall than spend time at the beach. If you’re staying in Perranporth you have three miles of golden sand, surf and dunes to enjoy. It’s a beautiful place for quality family time together - where you can play some games, have a picnic and admire the scenery. Other fantastic local beaches include Holywell Bay, Crantock and Trevaunance Cove at St Agnes.

The beach at Trevaunance Cove in St Agnes
The beach at Trevaunance Cove in St Agnes

May Half Term Accommodation in Cornwall

If you’re heading to Cornwall for half term and have not yet booked your accommodation you’d better act fast as things are filling up. However we do have some availability remaining in holiday homes in and around Perranporth and St Agnes, including some special offers. See our availability for half-term holiday accommodation.

Featured image at top of page is the rope bridge at the Lost Gardens of Heligan by Matt Jessop

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