Kernow Adventure Park

In Brief

Type: Watersports attraction
Suitable for: Watersports enthusiasts of any age
Address: Kessel Quarry, Penryn, near Falmouth
Price: Prices vary depending on the activity so check their website
Dog friendly?: Yes

Ever wanted to hurtle down a freefall slide on a secluded lake in a rural Cornish quarry? Or ever fancied learning wakeboarding or stand up paddleboarding on tranquil fresh waters? Kernow Adventure Park in Penryn, near Falmouth, is your destination if this piques your interest. This is an outdoor adventure centre set on a beautiful freshwater lake that’s set deep into the earth and is surrounded by a sheer quarry.

Kessel Quarry was in use between 1878 and 1931, producing huge amounts of granite which was shipped around the UK mostly for road and bridge construction projects. In the 1950s, it was taken over by aggregate industries which continued the mining works until Alex Sly bought it in 2013 and set about converting the flooded quarry lake into the adventure park you can see and enjoy today. Most of the materials on the site, including the glass-fronted clubhouse, have been upcycled from old items like railway sleepers. It’s worth taking in the beautiful natural environment here during your visit, including the rare wildflowers, wildlife and trees.

This park is all about the watersports, though. Freefall slides, an assault course and trampolines abound in the aquapark that sits on the expanse of freshwater. Then there are the ringo rides, which are inflatable rings that you can splash about in on the lake. And there’s wakeboarding, which is a watersport in which the rider stands on a short board with foot bindings and is towed behind a motorboat. There are obstacles to negotiate and anyone from beginner to pro can learn how to do impressive midair tricks. Plus, try the stand up paddleboards, which are much more tranquil and can be done standing up with no waves to tip you off balance.

Finally, you may just want to go au naturel and engage in a spot of open water swimming. Triathletes train at Kernow Adventure Park but novices and those who just want a relaxing swim surrounded by sheer quarry cliffs and dragonflies are welcome. It is essential to book ahead via the team’s website for any of the activities, though. And do check what activities are on at the time you’re planning to visit as they may not all be going ahead. Plus, there are plenty of package deals if you’re looking to do more than one activity or if you’re coming in a large group of thrillseekers. For anyone who’s sick of the sea and wants a more serene setting for their swims or adrenaline-fuelled watersports, Kernow Adventure Park is well worth seeking out.