Ten fun things to do in Cornwall with GWR

As one of the most popular destinations in the country, Cornwall is best-known for its amazing beaches that are often thronging with tourists during the summer months. But as well as being a top spot to cool off during the warmer months, the region’s also full of excellent attractions that suit those looking to explore the area beyond the seaside. Here’s our guide to the best places to visit during your next Cornish trip.

Tate St Ives

Take a GWR train to St Ives
Since reopening last year, after a major expansion, Tate St Ives has gone from strength to strength. It was announced the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture.

Home to some of the best examples of contemporary art produced in the area, including works by Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, the gallery is also host to regular touring exhibitions.

Eden Project

Take a GWR train to St Austell and then a short onward bus journey
It’s been nearly 20 years since building began on the Eden Project, transforming an old china clay pit into a major attraction that has since welcomed over 20 million visitors through its doors.

Eden Project boasts two huge biomes (futuristic-looking greenhouses), including one dedicated to plants from the tropics. You’ll also find England’s longest and fastest zip wire, and there’s a delightful terrace where you can enjoy Mediterranean food.

Pendennis Castle

Take a GWR train to Falmouth
This sturdy-looking Tudor fort was built by Henry VIII to help protect England against invasion from continental Europe. It has a distinctive circular design, which allowed for 360° defence.

Pendennis Castle was a royalist stronghold during the English Civil War, and the area’s defence headquarters during the First and Second World wars. Consequently, it is home to some seriously-impressive historic firepower, which can be seen in action on firing days.

Mount Edgcumbe House

Take a GWR train to Plymouth and then a short onward boat journey to Cremyll
This fine Tudor house was the former home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. Built in the 1540s, the building is surrounded by formal gardens and a Grade I-Listed landscape and offers exceptional views out across Plymouth Sound and the River Tamar, making it a great place to spend the day and explore.

The house is also home to an impressive collection of art and artefacts, including paintings by 18th-century English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

Take a GWR train to St Ives
Barbara Hepworth was one of the country’s finest artists. A contemporary of Henry Moore, she was best-known for her large-scale bronze and stone works that appear light and ethereal, despite their weight.

Originally from Yorkshire, she spent most of her creative life in St Ives. Today, her former home, studio and gardens are open to the public and are a must-see for anyone visiting the area. If you are not already a Hepworth fan, you will be after spending a day with these breath-taking sculptures.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Take a GWR train to Falmouth
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall celebrates the area’s rich seafaring legacy, with permeant and touring exhibitions that explore subjects as varied as pirates and boat building.

Until January 2019, you can peruse a fascinating exhibition about the Titanic disaster, and delve into why the story of the sinking ship has beguiled us for over 100 years, spawning hundreds of films, books and television programmes.

Truro Cathedral

Take a GWR train to Truro
This Gothic Revival cathedral is an unassuming masterpiece. Designed by Belgian architect John Loughborough Pearson, it is one of only three British cathedrals to boast three spires, and has an impressive vaulted ceiling that is well worth straining your neck for.

It is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of the Nine Lessons and Carols Service, which takes place around the world at Christmas time, mixing biblical passages and choral music.

Jubilee Pool

Take a GWR train to Penzance
This recently-refurbished Art Deco pool on Penzance’s promenade is one of the finest lidos in the country. With its fresh sea-water pools, fantastic views and high walls – protecting swimmers from the Atlantic sea winds – it is the perfect place for a dip.

Bear in mind that the Jubilee Pool is seasonal (closed from late September), so make sure you visit when you still have the chance.

Penlee House Gallery and Museum

Take a GWR train to Penzance
Penlee House Gallery and Museum is home to some of the area’s finest paintings, photographs and historic artefacts. Among its treasures, you’ll find works by the Newlyn School of painters, who documented local life in the small fishing port, as well as photographs from the 19th century. It’s a great place to discover how the area has significantly changed over the years, offering fun insight into traditional ways of life, now long-gone.

St Austell Brewery

Take a GWR train to St Austell
St Austell Brewery produces some of the country’s best-known beers, including Tribute and Proper Job. If you want to know what goes into making these fine drinks, among other ales produced at St Austell, then visit the ‘Brewery Experience’ and discover how they get such amazing flavours from so few ingredients.

St Austell Brewery Visitor centre is open from 9am–5.30pm and tours start on the hour and last 90 minutes. Book in advance. Two beer tokens are included in the price of the ‘Brewery Experience’.