Things to do in Cornwall February half term
February 3, 2020
10 Things to do in the Great Outdoors for February Half Term
February half term is a fantastic time for a break in Cornwall. And while there are plenty of indoor attractions – from the Eden Project to the Blue Reef Aquarium – we prefer to immerse ourselves in nature, embrace the elements and be outside. Here are our top ten outdoor activities for February…
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Hit the Surf
During winter the waves are more consistent and powerful, yet there are less surfers in the water – making it the perfect season to increase your wave count and work on your technique. Get lessons from the Extreme Academy in Watergate Bay, where the instructors promise to keep you as toasty during winter as they do during summer surf sessions. Using high-tech wetsuits, gloves, booties and hoods, you’ll barely even notice the cold air and water temperatures, so with expert tuition and no crowds to contend with, you’ll be riding waves like a pro in no time at all.
Don your wellies and go down to the woods
For all-weather walking and biking trails, den building, a wildlife pond and plenty of trees to climb, head to Tehidy Woods. Whether you’re looking for an energetic stomp, a romantic stroll, or a family ramble, it’s a magical location come rain or shine. Follow the buggy-friendly routes, feed the squirrels and ducks, and tuck into cake and hearty Cornish food in the café. Dogs are welcome in much of the estate, except in the designated wildlife area.
Get moving on a Park Run
Get active on a 5km run in the stunning surroundings of Cornwall’s parkland. Join hundreds of other runners – and walkers – to kick-off the weekend on a fun run for all abilities and ages. Starting at 9am each Saturday, locations include the Penrose Estate (near Porthleven and Loe Bar), Trelissick (hemming the River Fal), Lanhydrock (close to Bodmin), the Eden Project, Heartlands and Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. There are also junior 2km events at some venues.
Follow the clues along a Treasure Trail
Who doesn’t love solving a mystery or searching for clues along a treasure trail? From a murder mystery trail through historic Hayle, to a secret spy mission in Mousehole, or hunting for buried treasure in Charlestown, there are lots of self-guided Treasure Trails that will take you under the skin of Cornwall’s heritage and landscapes. Simply choose your location, download your map and follow the clues – it’s a fun day out for the whole family.
Slide down giant sand dunes
Six miles south of Newquay’s buzzing surf hub, Holywell Bay is the perfect setting for an active day in the Great Outdoors. Having scored a starring role in the BBC’s recent Poldark hit, its breath-taking beauty needs little introduction – with the iconic twin peaks of Gull Rock and towering sand dunes. We love exploring the sea caves and collecting shells, but our favourite thing to do is strap a sandboard to our feet and slide down the giant dunes as if we’re surfing a huge wave or snowboarding.
Encounter seals and sea life
Over winter there are large numbers of grey seal pups found stranded on the Cornish coast, unable to make it back into the wild due to injury or malnourishment. The Sea Life Trust offers a sanctuary for rehabilitation, nursing the seal pups until they are ready to head back into the ocean. On a visit to this picturesque setting on the edge of the Helford, you can see rescued seals dipping and diving their way to recovery, learn all about grey seals and other species, and encounter lots of marine wildlife including sea lions, otters, penguins, crabs and starfish.
Hike along the South West Coast Path
There’s nothing like a coastal walk to blow the cobwebs away and clap your eyes on Cornwall’s staggering scenery. Wherever you’re staying, you can pick a section of the South West Coast Path to suit your timescale and energy levels. For an easy-going two-hour stroll, wend through the woodland from Cawsand and trace the cliff path to the remains of the chapel perched on Rame Head. If you’re up for a challenge, some of the toughest sections of coastline await on the northern fringes of the Atlantic coast between Bude and Morwenstow, where calf-busting climbs etch the rise and fall of dramatic cliffs that collapse onto rocky beaches.
Get your skates on
While ice skating at the Eden Project isn’t entirely alfresco, we really recommend you visit this world famous attraction for a twirl around the ice rink before it melts on 23 February. While you’re there enjoy lots of outdoor attractions including gardens and a mini beast play tower. Throughout February half term you can explore the incredible world of colour, with craft workshops, a colour trail around the biomes, and get hands on with the creation of a giant collaborative art installation. If you need any more fresh air, fly half a mile along the SkyWire and take in the biomes from 100m above.
Freewheel along the cycle trails
One of Cornwall’s most popular cycle routes is the Camel Trail, and February is one of the best months to enjoy it crowd-free. We love the easy section along estuary from Wadebridge to Padstow, stopping for fish and chips by the harbour of this foodie town. Our other favourite for off-road cycling is Lanhydrock, where a series of bike trails and skills areas are graded for all abilities. Plus, you can fuel up in the National Trust café, and take a twirl of the grand Victorian manor house on the sprawling country estate.
Drop in on your skateboard
If you can’t face the freeze of the ocean’s waves in February, head to the world-class concrete waves of Newquay’s revolutionary new skate park. Cruise around the retro pool, race along the street run, get air on the stairs and drop into the bowl. Making skating fun for all ages and levels of board riders, this is the place to head for guaranteed waves. And if when you’ve had enough of board life, it’s located right next to Newquay Zoo, the Trampoline and Play Park, and Waterworld swimming centre.