You know the school holidays have begun when it starts to rain in Cornwall. Kernow in the sun is close to perfection; in bad weather it’s best to remind yourself that this is what’s keeping things green and beautiful. But whether it’s pelting down, windy or just a mild case of mizzle (the Cornish name for mist + drizzle), there are options. Here’s where to go.
To live all your Poldark fantasies, there’s the nattily named Poldark Mine near Helston – a complete tin mine dating back to pre-Roman times that’s open for underground tours of its 18th century mine workings.
Up in the north on Bodmin Moor, there’s Carnglaze Caverns, a former slate mine which offers self-guided underground tours of its three huge caverns (quarries) and a turquoise subterranean lake.
Walk in a biome
There’s a walk down from the car park to navigate first, but most of the action at the Eden Project takes place in the giant biomes, so you can remind yourself that you’re on holiday as you step into the Mediterranean area and the tropical rainforest. The education centre is also indoors.
Take in some art
Tate St Ives is the Tate, on a beach, so there’s little that can go wrong. What’s more, it’s very child friendly, with activities for the kids and hints on getting them into art – meaning you might find the rain inspires the next Tracey Emin. While you’re in St Ives, don’t miss the Barbara Hepworth Museum, either – there’s an indoor collection as well as the sculpture garden outside.
Go to a vintage cinema
The Regal in Wadebridge has been going for 87 years, while Truro’s The Plaza opened in 1936. Don’t worry, they’ve both been upgraded – and show a good range of films, from blockbusters to live feeds from London theatres. Hall for Cornwall has a good programme of live entertainment, too.
Smell the coffee
Cornwall has a solid coffee scene, with local roasters Origin leading the pack (it has an outlet in Shoreditch – surely the ultimate accolade). Relish in Wadebridge is one of the best places in the county for coffee, and 108 in Truro is also fantastic.
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