Top 5 Things to do in Cornwall for Free!
Cornwall has a great array of attractions on offer and you may be surprised to know that not all charge admission fees. In these tough economic times it’s handy to know of a few places to go and things to do that will keep the family amused and won’t eat into your spending money. Here’s our top five suggestions.
Heartlands – a brave new world heritage site
Pool, Redruth – FREE admission
Heartlands is Cornwall’s first free cultural playground on a grand scale. Covering 19 acres, there is so much to absorb, from the poetically landscaped botanical gardens to the interactive exhibitions that truly take you someplace else. This is a lightning bolt of educational fun for all the family. Situated in a forgotten part of Cornwall that was once the richest patch of land on earth, Heartlands lies in the shadow of an iconic Cornish engine house. It has brought this former derelict mining landscape back to life through a £35 million project, thanks to a mammoth amount of hard work, the support and imagination of the local community and some generous funding. Open every day of the year with a constantly changing menu of events, Heartlands has something for everyone.
Halliggye Fogou Caves – English Heritage
Mawgan (5 miles from Helston) – admission to caves FREE
Roofed and walled in stone, this complex of passages is the largest and best-preserved of several mysterious underground tunnels associated with Cornish Iron Age settlements. The purpose of such ‘fogous’ – a Cornish-language word meaning ‘cave’ – is unknown. Refuges, storage chambers or ritual shrines have all been suggested. Managed by The Trelowarren Estate there is free entry to the fogou although entry to the rest of the estate is charged.
Godolphin Estate – National Trust
Godolphin Cross, near Helston – admission FREE
In the 17th century, Godolphin was considered to be the most fashionable house in Cornwall. Long since abandoned, this beautiful, romantic home and garden has an air of antiquity and peace about it. The garden has barely changed since the 16th century. Boasting an original medieval layout, it is considered to be one of the most important historic gardens in Europe today. Discover archaeological features and mine ruins as you wonder along six miles of footpaths. Take a leisurely wander around the lush estate and discover the Leeds Engine House and stack, the remains of the Godolphin family mine. Amble into the tranquil and mysterious woodland, where the mine has left an unnatural, undulating landscape. Amenities include a small shop, refreshments and toilet facilities.
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm
Penhallow (8 miles from Newquay) – FREE admission
Home to Cornish Rattler and the Cornish Scrumpy Co Ltd., Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm are the largest Cornish Cyder maker in Cornwall and the only distillers making Cyder Brandy and Fruit spirits. At this working cyder farm they produce over forty varieties of delicious fruit products. Take a self guided tour (for free) and see how they make their famous range of very strong traditional scrumpys, sparkling ciders, country wines, jams, preserves, brandy and spirits. All products are available for you to taste and buy at the farm shop. Relax in the restaurant and enjoy morning coffee, a tasty homemade lunch or genuine Cornish Cream Tea. You can also let the kids enjoy the friendly farm animals.
Callestick, Truro – admission FREE
This family run working farm has been producing award-winning ice cream for 20 years. The ice cream is completely natural with nothing artificial added and none of the rich dairy goodness removed. There’s a viewing gallery so you can see the ice cream being made and packed. In the summer months you’ll see a collection of farm animals including some rare breeds. In addition to the cows, there’s chickens, pigs, a shire horse and sometimes calves or heifers too. There’s a spacious tearoom and shop serving snacks, light lunches, cream teas, hot and cold drinks and, of course, the best ice cream you’ll ever taste! The shop has a great stock of local foods and crafts.