Things to do in Cornwall Summer 2018

Helena Clark-Davies

The Cornish Countryside

Summer has well and truly arrived in St Ives, but along with a rise in temperature comes a rise in people frequenting the beautiful Cornish coastal towns. To spend a day in a more tranquil and equally beautiful environment, this summer is the time to see what the Cornish countryside has to offer.

Trelissick Gardens

Situated just 5 miles from bustling Truro, Trelissick Garden is a stunning respite from the busy towns of Cornwall! Owned by the National Trust, Trelissick boasts a 19th century manor in the neoclassical style and accompanying gardens. Both are well worth a visit, but in truth, the best of Trelissick is its countryside and woodland walks. Offering unrivalled views of the River Fal and its estuary, Trelissick is a haven, especially if you get there early in the day! From the northern woodland path it is possible to access the Iron Age fort (the only one of its kind in the whole of Europe!). After a long ramble through the woods and across the parkland, reward yourself with delicious tea and cake at the dog friendly café and call in at the second had bookshop on site to pick up a well loved book or two to read back at your luxury apartment in St Ives.

Kneehigh Theatre

Summer heralds the return of the Kneehigh Theatre to their Cornish home with their annual theatre festival, ‘Asylum’. Having been nominated for both Tony and Olivier awards, the Kneehigh delivers incredible theatre, in a relaxed and mystical setting, completely unique to Cornwall. This year the theatre troupe presents a trio of incredible plays in their somewhat unorthodox style, including an adaption of the Quentin Blake story, The Dancing Frog! While the theatre is fantastic, it is the experience that makes The Kneehigh Theatre so special. The stunning location and ambience of the Kneehigh’s iconic tent both contribute to give you an unforgettable evening of world-class theatre. Food and drinks are available on site and sunset picnics are encouraged! The Kneehigh Theatre is stationed at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, which are well worth a visit in their own right.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

With the original manor being built in the 13th century and the construction of Heligan House completed in 1692, the estate has borne witness to almost a millennia of Cornish history. The gardens began to enter into decline following First World War when their workforce was forced to leave this idyllic estate for the horrors of the trenches. The House was subsequently used as a base for American soldiers during the Second World War. Following decades of disrepair the gardens have been restored to their former glory, following their rediscovery in 1990.

The Lost Gardens are comprised of multiple elements including The Jungle, The Pleasure Grounds and The Woodland. Historical Tours are available or you can explore the gardens at your own pace. Even better, all these are open to four-legged visitors as well as their owners!

Trencrom Hill

If you fancy staying closer to St Ives, Trencrom Hill is a stunning and under appreciated attraction, less than 10 minutes away by car. The ancient hill fort stands 550 feet high. Hut circles and Cairns can still be seen at the site. Although parts of the climb are steep, it can be managed with small children – my brother and I have been racing each other to the top for as long as I can remember! The summit is flat and grassy – perfect picnicking terrain and the views are astonishing. On a clear day you can see St Michael’s Mount to the South and the beautiful beaches of Gwithian and Godrevy to the North as well as hundreds of acres of gorgeous Cornish countryside in-between.

If you don’t feel like making the walk under your own steam, Old Mill Stables offers horseback treks in the area.


If the pull of the sea is too strong to for you ignore, Gwithian beach is a great alternative to the busier beaches in St Ives and Falmouth. Sunset Surf café serves delicious and locally sourced food from its prime position overlooking the beach. Due to its size, the beach itself never feels crowded, even in the height of summer. The café is also a good starting point for walks across the sand dunes with beautiful views of the bay. Common seals are a regular sight from Gwithian so keep your eyes pealed for when Godrevy’s resident seal colony decides to take a trip further afield. If surfing is your thing, the Gwithian Academy of Surfing offers lessons for varying abilities, as well as surfboard and wetsuit hire for if you prefer to go it alone!


Image credit: Matt Jessop and Visit Cornwall