Top tourist attractions in Cornwall 2024

Image courtesy of Minack Theatre and Lynn Batten


There are quite literally hundreds of attractions in Cornwall. There are gardens, estates, theme parks, museums, game bases, historical attractions, extreme sports spots and, oh, well so much more besides. So how on earth do you choose the best? Well, after careful consideration, we have selected 15 of what we at Proper Cornwall feel are the best attractions in Cornwall to visit in 2024. There are so many reasons for our choices, of course. Some of these attractions are just too big and exciting to miss. Others have new features for 2024 and a few of them just add something you can’t see or experience anywhere in the Duchy or way beyond, for that matter. Here at Proper Cornwall, we have grown up in this magical land and we know it extremely well, so when we recommend the best Cornwall attractions, we know what we’re talking about, whether it’s for families, couples or those just going solo. So, in alphabetical order, here are the 15 top tourist attractions in Cornwall that we suggest you get out and experience right now…

Adreneline Quarry

Type: Outdoor sports attraction
Suitable for: Adrenaline junkies
Location: Lower Clicker Road, Menheniot, near Liskeard

Kicking off our list is something for the lovers of extreme sports and extreme days out in nature. ‘Throwing people off cliffs since 2009’. That’s what the team at Adrenaline Quarry say they’ve been doing. Here, there’s a gravity park, a water park and a racetrack, all set in beautiful countryside. The Kartworld zone is go-karting to the extreme. The Zip is zip wiring to the extreme. The Aquapark is a huge inflatable playground on the quarry lake. And some of it is extreme. Hell, you get the picture.

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Bodmin Jail

Type: Historic and spooky attraction
Suitable for: History and paranormal lovers
Location: Berrycoombe Road, Bodmin

Spooks and crooks. Nothing quite like these elements to make an attraction you won’t forget in a hurry. Bodmin Jail was indeed a working prison for Cornwall’s ne’er-do-wells and now you can wander into the cells and imagine what it was like to be locked up in the 18th century. You can also browse the creative exhibits that fill you in on what penal life was like in Victorian Cornwall. A new ‘Dark Walk’ inside the jail that combines theatrical effects with moving lighting creates a spooky-yet-thrilling experience for anyone over the age of eight.

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Cornwall Football Golf

Type: Sports attraction
Suitable for: All the family
Location: Trenowah Road, St Austell

This may be an odd choice for some but this attraction-cum-activity is so different and fun, we’re touting it as one of the best things to do in Cornwall. Combining football and crazy golf into one unique experience, Cornwall Football Golf in St Austell is fun for all the family over an afternoon or, perhaps, an entire day. Participants kick a football across a course with the aim of the game being to chip it into a hole and notch up the least amount of shots possible in order to win the game. Score!

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Eden Project

Type: Major attraction
Suitable for: All the family
Location: Bodelva, Par, near St Austell

Many would consider Cornwall’s biggest attraction its best. Eden Project’s two biomes are the king and queen of the county’s must-visits. They house the largest rainforest in captivity, itself boasting exotic plants from all over the world. Then there are Eden’s contemporary gardens, as well as an ongoing programme of exhibitions, workshops, shows, activity days and massive music concerts. Eden, near St Austell, has to be visited. It’s the law.

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Type: Theme park
Suitable for: All the family
Location: Clodgey Lane, Helston, near Porthleven

Choosing our favourite theme park in Cornwall has been no easy task. But we just have to go for Flambards, which has been entertaining visitors since 1976 and just keeps getting bigger and better. The fast and fun rides here share the stage equally with The Victorian Village and the Britain in the Blitz lifesize exhibitions, both of which transport visitors back in time. Take in those sights and smells before getting soaked on the Colorado Log Flume outside.

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Flicka Donkey Sanctuary

Type: Animal attraction
Suitable for: Donkey lovers
Location: Penty Noweth Farm, Trenoweth Lane, Mabe Burnthouse, Penryn, near Falmouth

Flicka’s sanctuary in Penryn, near Falmouth, is home to more than 100 donkeys, ponies and horses who have been rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment. Visitors can meet and pet some of the donkeys and horses before settling down in the on-site café and exploring the gift shop that stocks plenty of donkey-themed souvenirs. For animal lovers, this experience offers something up close and personal in the rolling fields of Penryn.

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Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm

Type: Farm and cider attraction
Suitable for: Cider drinkers and kids who love farms
Location: Penhallow, near Truro and Perranporth

There’s an ever-growing scene of cider, wine and beer makers in Cornwall. But our pick of the alcohol-related attractions is Healeys in Penhallow. Established in 1980, Healeys is billed as ‘a world of apples, imagination and adventure’, with many activities at the attraction for both kids and adults. See the orchards and the cider-making areas before meeting the Cornish black pigs in the farmyard and watching jam being made in the Jam Kitchen. Wash it all down with a pint of Rattler. Cheers!

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Land’s End Landmark

Type: Major attraction
Suitable for: All the family
Location: Land’s End, Sennen, near Penzance

Land’s End needs no introduction. We all know this is England’s most westerly point. But now, it’s not just about the famous signpost. The Landmark is the tourist attraction that surrounds that signpost and it boasts many fun family experiences, a shopping village, restaurants and more. Visit Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience or enjoy the Jolly Roger 4D Film Experience which includes squirting water and seat movements. This is just the tip of the iceberg too as there’s tons to do here. Well, it’s the tip of the headland at least…

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Lost Gardens of Heligan

Type: Garden attraction
Suitable for: Nature lovers
Location: Pentewan, St Austell

A magical natural attraction that was once thought to be lost to the ravages of time. Stretching out over 200 acres, these Victorian productive gardens and pleasure grounds surround winding paths that were laid out more than 200 years ago. The gardens were lost shortly after the outbreak of the First World War but rediscovered just over 30 years ago when a door was discovered by chance. Shortly after, this once magnificent estate was restored and it now stands as a tourist attraction of ‘history, mystery and romance’.

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Minack Theatre

Type: Major arts and stage attraction
Suitable for: Theatregoers
Location: Off The Valley, Porthcurno

Compiling this list has been difficult due to the amount of ‘obvious’ attractions that just have to be included. But they are ‘obvious’ because they are important hotspots that visitors flock to and love for good reason. Minack is ‘obvious’ but just has to be included. The shows staged here can be world-class but even before you get to seeing them, you are bombarded by the drama of this unique open-air arena that’s cut into the granite and perched on sheer rugged cliffs at the edge of Porthcurno. Breathtaking.

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Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

Type: Occult attraction
Suitable for: Lovers of the bizarre
Location: The Harbour, Boscastle, near Tintagel

It doesn’t matter what decade we’re in. We’ll always choose this unsettling museum as one of the top tourist attractions in Cornwall. Opened in Boscastle in 1960, the MWM is devoted to the underground world of the occult and is home to more than 3,000 bizarre-yet-fascinating items that visitors can explore. Voodoo dolls, black mirrors, crystal balls and preserved skulls. It’s all here in all of its gruesome glory. This is not for the faint hearted. This is for those who are interested in the history of the occult.

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St Michael’s Mount

Type: Major attraction
Suitable for: All the family
Location: Off the coast from the town of Marazion, near Penzance

One of Cornwall’s tourist heavyweights. People come from far and wide to visit the island out in the bay near Penzance with its ancient castle sitting on top. St Michael’s Mount’s oldest building dates back to the 12th century and the castle on the top is simply iconic, with regular tours being run around it. Myths, miracles and legends abound and there’s even a piece of Napoleon’s coat here. If you’re heading to the furthest reaches of the county, you can’t miss out on a visit to an integral piece of Cornwall’s history and heritage.

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Tate St Ives

Type: Art gallery
Suitable for: Art lovers
Location: Porthmeor Beach, St Ives

The most famous art gallery in the South West is affiliated with one of the most famous art galleries in the world. Tate is an institution and Tate St Ives is one of its shining stars, with a mission to ‘increase the public’s enjoyment and understanding of British art from the 16th century to the present day and of international modern and contemporary art’. Enjoy some of the best contemporary art in Cornwall at Tate before you wander the streets of one of the prettiest coastal towns in the country: St Ives.

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Tintagel Castle

Type: Historical building
Suitable for: All the family
Location: Castle Road, Tintagel

King Arthur’s footprints are all over Cornwall, depending on what legend you’ve been reading. But the home of the Arthurian legends is, for sure, Tintagel Castle. This place is stunning due to its cliffside location and it’s full of tales of King Arthur and Merlin, who has a cave dedicated to him on the beach below. This year, a spectacular new bridge at the castle greets visitors who want to take in the coastline vistas before exploring the most famous ruins in Cornwall.

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Wheal Martyn

Type: Historical attraction
Suitable for: History buffs
Location: The Harbour, Boscastle, near Tintagel

Cornwall’s china clay industry was once incredibly important to the success of the county. And much of it was mined in and around St Austell. Enter Wheal Martyn, the big attraction when it comes to learning all about china clay. Tools, artefacts, machines and stories abound at this museum that’s set in the grounds of an original Victorian clay works. Enjoy a virtual tour into a working clay pit and a real tour around historic machinery, as well as a rolling programme of exhibitions at Wheal Martyn’s new gallery. Fascinating stuff.

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