It looks like the rain’s set in for the week, and it’s blowing hoolie too. So – what with half-term fast approaching – here are few ideas for family days out in Cornwall when the sun don’t shine:
1: Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay
If you don’t want to be out and about on Cornwall’s beaches, the next best place to meet the marine life is at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium. Meet sea cucumbers and spider crabs, watch the giant octopus at feeding time and see baby turtles. As well as informative talks about some of the sea creatures, the highlight is the underwater tunnel, where you can come face to face with stingrays, reef sharks and all sorts of colourful fish.
www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk/newquay/, 01637 878134
2: Kota Kai and the Penrose Estate, Porthleven
Cornwall isn’t short of seaside cafés where you can hunker down and watch storms scud in over the sea. But nowhere caters for having in kiddies in tow like Kota Kai, Porthleven. Pop in for coffee, smoothies or a slap-up feast of Cornish produce, and make use of the family room complete with a skittles alley, beanbags, toys, books and sofas. You’re also only a few minutes from Penrose Estate, so if you don waterproofs and brave the rain, you can take buggies and bikes on a woodland trails around Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake.
www.kotakai.co.uk, 01326 574411.
Penrose Estate: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penrose-estate-gunwalloe-and-loe-pool
3: Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre
Climb the lighthouse tower, sound a foghorn, learn morse code, track ships and build your own lighthouse out of soft bricks. Inside the Lizard’s brilliant Lighthouse Heritage Centre, you can go back in time and hear stories of wreckers and lighthouse keepers, use interactive exhibits to learn all about shipping in the waters around the UK’s most south-westerly point, and – over the October half-term – you can discover all sorts of information about creatures of the deep. If the rain abates, you can also enjoy a stroll to the south-westerly tip of Britain.
Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre, www.trinityhouse.co.uk, 01326 290202.
4: National Maritime Museum Cornwall
One of Cornwall’s most popular rainy day attractions, and undoubtedly one of our favourites, is the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth. Here you can experience oceanic adventures and take a dip in the maritime scene whilst keeping your feet firmly on dry land (and out of the rain). Take the helm of a model sailing boat, checkout the underwater gallery, climb aboard a helicopter, enjoy interactive exhibitions, follow family trails and take part in half-term art and craft workshops.
www.nmmc.co.uk, 01326 313388
If you want to try surfing you’re going to get wet anyway, so don’t let a bit of rain put you off. Togged up in a wetsuit, you won’t care whether the sun’s got its hat on or not. If you really can’t stand the idea of getting in the sea in the rain, change into a wetsuit in the warm, dry changing rooms at Retallack Resort and Spa and practice your surfing techniques on the Flowrider simulated wave.
Children’s surfing lessons: www.activitybookingoffice.co.uk/activity/surfing-in-cornwall/1/