Things to do in Cornwall

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Things to do around Watergate Bay and in Cornwall.

The South West Coast path

Step out of your room and onto the coast path. If the tides are right, you can walk along the beach to Porth amongst the rock pools and cliffs or choose the coast path route, north or south.

Watergate Bay coastal path

From the hotel, walk south towards Porth and Newquay, or north towards Mawgan Porth and Bedruthan Steps. Expect panoramic views across the Atlantic and sunsets over the horizon. The walk to Mawgan Porth is approximately 2.5 miles and undulating, not suitable for a pram. The walk south to Porth is approximately 1.5 miles.

Explore the South West Coast Path


Cycle trails

Woodlands and coast paths, traffic-free cycle routes all within a 30-minute drive. Bike hire available and various cycle routes for all abilities.

Cardinham Woods

30-minute drive

With multiple walking and cycling trails, Cardinham Woods offers both easy access routes and steeper, adrenaline-fuelled biking tracks amongst the pine trees and wildlife. Picnic tables are dotted all over or take a seat at the Woods Café.

Cardinham Woods

Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow

30-minute drive to either point

Hire a bike or walk the Camel Trail between Wadebridge and Padstow. A disused railway line that passes through some spectacular scenery, following the Camel Estuary. Mostly flat and an easy walk or ride, you can complete the route in about 1 hour on a bike, ideal for lunch in Padstow before returning to Wadebridge. You can extend your route all the way to Bodmin (18 miles round trip) or Wenford Bridge (22 miles).

The Camel Trail

Lanhydrock

30-minute drive

A Victorian country house estate, ancient woodland, extensive gardens, and riverside paths. Off-road cycle trails for all abilities and bike hire available. Currently, pre-booking to explore the house and gardens is essential.

Lanhydrock - National Trust

Pentewan Valley Trail

40-minute drive

From Pentewan, its 3.4 miles to St Austell, through woodland, paved and grass terrain – mostly flat following the old railway that links Pentewan and St Austell. From St Austell, you can carry on to Wheal Martyn through the green corridor (1.9 miles), and onto Eden Project (5 miles) passing working mines and clay pits.

Clay Trails Website


Wild and not so wild swimming in Cornwall

Tidal pools, sheltered bays, and geothermal pools. Discover some of our favourite Cornish spots for some wild and not so wild swimming.

Porthtowan tidal pool

35-minute drive

A difficult to find tidal pool, but well worth it. At low tide, as you face towards the sea – head to the rocks on the right-hand side and climb over them until you find the pool at the foot of the cliffs.

Daymer Bay

40-minute drive from the hotel

Located on the edge of the Camel Estuary in a sheltered bay, waves are rare so you are almost guaranteed a calm swimming experience within the safety of the bay.

Perranporth tidal pool

25-minute drive from the hotel

A large 2-mile-long beach and at low tide a small tidal bathing pool can be found on the southern side of Chapel rock. The temperature during the day heats the water making ideal wild swimming conditions.

Treyarnon Bay tidal pool

25-minute drive

Located near Constantine Bay, a sheltered cove at Treyarnon bay can be found. See if you can find the large pool-size tidal lido at low tide, a long wall of concrete has been built to keep the water level. A deep plunge pool can be found just below the rock. 

Jubliee Pool, Penzance

45-minute drive

The UK’s largest art deco seawater lido and geothermal pool. Bathe in natural saltwater heated to 35 degrees.

Surrounding beaches

Cornwall is blessed with hundreds of beaches; you do not need to venture far from the hotel to take a dip in the sea. Wet suit or no wet suit. Watergate Bay, Newquay Harbour, the Gannel estuary, Polly Joke, and Porth beach are all wonderful places to swim at high tide.


Gardens, walks and historic houses

Rainforest biomes, forgotten gardens, and stepping stones made for giants. National Trust houses, woodland walks and natural beauty, most within easy reach of Watergate Bay.

Eden Project

Near St Austell, a 30-minute drive

Explore the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, hidden gems in the outdoor gardens, iconic sculptures, England’s longest zipwire, and limited exhibitions. Timed ticket entries, booking ahead essential.

Eden Project

Carnewas at Bedruthan Steps – National Trust

1hr 20 min walk along the coast path, or a 10-minute drive

Experience the natural wonder of Bedruthan Steps, dramatic views and sea stacks towering high above the beach. Legend has it a giant called Bedruthan used the sea stacks as stepping stones across the bay. The steps down to the beach are currently closed due to a rockfall in 2019, but the popular tea garden serving cream teas and light lunches is open.

Bedruthan Steps

Lost Gardens of Heligan

45-minute drive

A garden frozen in time, forgotten since the outbreak of WW1, and re-awakened in 1990. The history, scale, wildlife, woodland, and jungle rope bridge suspended 100 feet above ancient ferns, are waiting. Pre-booking is essential with timed ticket entries available.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Trebah Gardens and the Helford River

1-hour drive

Discover a 26-acre sub-tropical garden, located above the Helford River and with a coastal backdrop. Open from Saturday to Wednesday for pre-booked visitors, the four miles of footpaths weave through exotic plants to a private secluded beach, just at the mouth of the Helford River.

Visit Trebah

Lanhydrock – National Trust

30-minute drive

Country house estate, ancient woodland, extensive gardens, and riverside paths. Off-road cycle trails for all abilities and bike hire available. The Park café is ideal for a light snack or a hot drink, pre-booking to explore the house and gardens is essential.

Lanhydrock – National Trust

St Michael’s Mount – National Trust

1-hour drive

A tidal island, 500 metres from the mainland, linked by a causeway that is passable between mid-tide and low water. The island is crowned by a medieval church and castle but is also home to a living community. Winding flower-lined paths meander through stone terraces to an exotic garden set on the wild salty coast. Take a picnic, grab a bite from the takeout café menu, and breathe in the views.

St Michaels Mount

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

1-hour drive

A sheltered valley with a coastal backdrop of St Michael's Mount, the sculpture gardens often showcase internationally renowned artists through exhibitions. Permanent sculptures are interwoven with exotic planting making a dramatic and tranquil place to explore.

Tremenheere - Sculpture Gardens

Trerice – National Trust

20-minute drive

Elizabethan manor house and gardens. Booking essential.

Trerice – National Trust


Further afield

Museums, art galleries and vineyards. Boat safaris, climbing walls and “Dark Walks”. Rainy day plans, inspirational exhibitions, and activities for the adventurous.

National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

1-hour drive approx.

Local, national and international stories are told through rare objects around the world, a delve into the history of our seafaring heritage. Limited exhibitions aiming to educate, inspire and gain new perspectives on our boat building heritage and conservation of the seas. Creatures of the Deep exhibition takes you below the waves, into the deep of the blue to discover the rich and varied creatures beneath.

Maritime Museum

Camel Valley Vineyard Tour

35 minute drive

Take a tour of the Camel Valley Vineyard or a seat on the terrace and soak up the view of the rolling hills. Camel Valley produces some of the best English sparkling wine, consistently winning awards for their Pinot Noir Rose Brut.

Camel Valley

The Tide Climbing Centre

A climbing centre in the heart of Cornwall, the Tide Climbing centre is only a short drive from the hotel. Large areas are dedicated to bouldering, so you can climb without any ropes or harnesses. Ideal rainy-day option, you can see how busy it is on the Tide website.

Tide Climbing Centre

Tate St Ives - Modern art and St Ives town

Tate St Ives have a couple of limited exhibitions on this autumn. The Barbara Hepworth Museum, the Bernard Leach Pottery & Museum and many other art galleries are also dotted around this bustling small town which has transformed St Ives into the art mecca of the southwest.

Tate St Ives

Power boat tours with Waverunner Safaris

Take a boat safari from Newquay harbour and explore the Cornish coastline from a different perspective. 90-minute boat tours are available with Cornwall Waverunner Safaris. You might even spot seals, sunfish, and dolphins.

Waverunner Safaris

National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow

Learn all about lobsters and the conservation work that goes into ensuring the sustainability of the wild lobster population in our seas. Open from Sunday to Friday, 10am until 4pm right on the quayside in Padstow, booking ahead is advised.

Lobster Hatchery

Bodmin Jail

A major re-development has taken place at Bodmin Jail. Built in 1779, you can now dig into the history yourself, literally. With immersive experiences, a “Dark Walk” grimy cells, and chilling last moments. The new attraction has been eagerly anticipated.
Booking essential.

Bodmin Jail

Newlyn Art Gallery

Extraordinary postcards for extraordinary times. Exhibition running until 2 Jan, open Wednesday - Saturday. Newlyn is a working fishing port and is home to its own working Cornish fishing fleet and the Newlyn School of Art

Newlyn Art Gallery

Looking for more?

Muddy Stilettos write a monthly blog packed full of things to do in Cornwall. 

October Blog

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