October half-term - things to do in Cornwall

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As Autumn approaches, look forward to strolls along deserted stretches of coastline, watching the sun set over the ocean and exploring some of Cornwall's most iconic landmarks.

Here's our guide to the very best places to visit during October half-term in Cornwall, along with what's on for the whole family.


Nestled in a sheltered inlet just a short drive from The Cornwall estate is this charming historic harbour, built at the turn of the 19th Century by local landowner Charles Rashleigh. The village's namesake worked in the tin and china clay industry, exporting raw materials from the port to locations all around the world.

Charlestown Cornwall

Today, the harbour is still used to export small amounts of china clay, while also being home to tall ships, moored year-round in the inner harbour. Charlestown has been the backdrop of many historical dramas, from Poldark and Dr Who to Hollywood films Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island. It was also used as a location in the BAFTA award-winning film BAIT.

Its friendly tea-rooms, original granite quays, and shingle beach are popular with families all year-round - explore the rock pools at low tide, paddle in the waves on the gently sloping shore, and take the pebble-stack challenge (how many can you pile up before they tumble down?).


Another of Cornwall's traditional fishing villages, Mevagissey is a working harbour with colourful chocolate box cottages lining its narrow streets. As well as restaurants and bars, the village also offers unique gift shops and art galleries selling handmade products crafted by local artists and creatives.

Mevagissey Harbour in Cornwall

There are plenty of outdoor activities to add some action to your visit. Take a leisurely sight-seeing trip aboard one of the many skippered local fishing boats, where you may spot dolphins, giant basking sharks, seals, and even whales. Or for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure, you must also check out "Bouncing Betty", a 10 metre speedboat rib offering high-speed rides around the Mevagissey Bay area.


Just a short ferry ride from Mevagissey is the popular town of Fowey, famous for its links with writer Daphne Du Maurier. It is also thought that Kenneth Graham got his inspiration for Wind in the Willows while messing about on the River Fowey.

Fowey Estuary Cornwall

Wander the streets, shop in the quirky independent retailers along the harbour-front, and watch the world go by from one of the many vantage points on the quay.  The fish and chips alone are worth a visit, eaten straight from the paper of course, and the charming sweet shop selling locally made fudge and chocolate will satisfy even the sweetest tooth. Take the ferry from Mevagissey or drive the 5 miles straight from St Austell to the little town.

Eden Project

With its iconic biomes sunk into the Cornish countryside, the Eden Project is home to the largest indoor rainforest in the world. Follow the winding path through the jungle, below the towering trees, under the waterfall and over the rope bridge to discover totem sculptures, bananas growing naturally, and exotic birds.

Eden Project St Austell Cornwall

If you're feeling brave and want to see Eden from a different angle, head to the canopy walkway and step out above the treetops, through the swirling vapours of the cloud bridge. The temperatures in the biomes range from 18- 35°C so wear layered clothing that can be dressed up or down - look out for the cooling hut, located at the top of the humid biome, where temperatures are much lower - the perfect spot to sit down, cool down and recharge for the descent back to the core and the Mediterranean biome.

Woodland Trail

We're lucky at the Cornwall Hotel to have access to 43 acres of rambling woodland estate, where you'll discover dense woodland, an ancient walled garden, ornamental pond and manicured lawns for lawn games and picnics. For a 2-hour adventure, pick up your Guide to the Woodland Trail from Reception and follow the winding woodland path, solving the clues as you go to learn more about the history of the estate.

family walking a woodland trail

There is another woodland trail close to the Hotel, following the path of an old railway line alongside the St Austell River. The Pentewan Trail, popular with families, cyclists and walkers, starts just outside the Hotel and leads to the long sandy beach, cafes and shops at Pentewan five miles away. The length of the walk may be a challenge for little legs, so consider bringing the bikes or hiring some for the day.

Sunset at Stepper Point

After all that fresh air, you may be ready for an early night, but make time if you can to watch a Cornish sunset from the north coast - one of our favourite places is Stepper Point, a headland close to the bustling town of Padstow. Follow the South West Coastpath out to the stone tower perched on top of the cliffs - this imposing structure was built as a day mark in the early 19th Century, acting as a navigation point on land for sea farers.

Stepper Point day mark near Padstow

It is often deserted at dusk and gives 360 degree views across the Atlantic as the sky changes from azure blue to vibrant yellow, burnt orange, and deep indigo.

Cornish sunset over the sea

Cornwall is a wonderful county to visit at any time, but the Autumn is particularly special as the weather is often warm and sunny, but the roads, beaches and streets are quieter

Cornwall October half-term - what's on?

Dinosaur Quiz Trail at Paradise Park, Hayle

Follow the prehistoric clues, find the dinosaur eggs and solve the puzzles on this interactive trail, free with entry into the wildlife sanctuary. Successful complete the missions to receive your Professor of Palaeontology Certificate.

Eden Project, St Austell

This iconic landmark is a treat all year round, with its stunning biomes bursting with colour, life and nature. There is always plenty for the whole family to experience, and in October half-term the events team present interactive, memorable and creative activities to keep everyone entertained.

Silhouettes & Shadows at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth

Climb the look-out tower, discover life under the waterline in the Tidal Zone, and jump aboard boats at this interactive and engaging attraction. During October half-term there are also themed craft activities, the sea sprite trail and stories of adventures on the high seas.

Halloween at Camel Creek Family Theme Park, Newquay

Get the adrenalin pumping aboard the rides, follow the nature trail and prepare for a soaking in the water splash zone. October half-term at Camel Creek promises a spooktacular (sorry) range of activities and events that little ones will love.

October half-term Breaks in Cornwall

Book your stay in Cornwall today and choose from a family suite in the hotel or self-catering lodge - The Cornwall Hotel offers comfortable accommodation, acres of woodland to explore, extensive leisure facilities*, and plenty of dining options for the whole family. You could even treat the family to a hot tub, available with some of the lodges.

October half-term breaks at The Cornwall Hotel and Lodges

Don't miss out - get ahead of the game and reserve your October half-term family escape today.

Simply book online or give us a call on 01726 87 40 50 to reserve a family suite or dog-friendly room. We can't wait to see you.

* We are following the latest Government guidance regarding opening the spa, gym, pool, steam room, sauna, restaurant etc. Please check the website to see what facilities are available during your stay, or call us on 01726 87 40 50.

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