Author: gloversure

Arts on the beach at Watergate Bay

Head to Watergate Bay on the 15th and 16th June for a free family weekend of theatre, aerial performance, dance, music and craft workshops inspired by the ocean. Arts on the Beach 2024 is a celebration of creativity, community, imagination and ocean culture, set against the mesmerising backdrop of Watergate Bay.

Discover roaming sea giants and sailors’ love songs, mermaid’s tales and shoreside silent discos. This event is brought to you by the team behind Polo on the Beach
and the Watergate Bay events calendar.

Book a retreat in Watergate Bay to experience the weekend in full.

It’s set to be a lively, fun-filled and exciting weekend. Will Ashworth, Watergate Bay Hotel founder and executive director, said about the event:

“We’ve always loved creating inclusive events on the beach for our wider community, as well as visitors. Being able to provide this exciting new event for people to come along to for free means everyone can be part of something special.”

The itinerary

Find out more about the event here. We’ll see you on the beach!

Fancy a long weekend packed with oceanside entertainment and creativity? Book a self-catered retreat by the two miles of beach and enjoy two days of sea-themed, sustainably minded festivities.

Newquay Wild Activities

“The minibus is buzzing with conversation as we drive the family group back to their hotel. As the youngest son gets out, he hugs the guide and says, ‘I want to be a marine biologist just like you.’”

We recently caught up with our friends from Newquay Wild Activities, who gave us a run down on their latest Rockpool Ramble on Fistral beach.

Visiting with a large group? Discover our large holiday homes perfect for big families or friend groups.

Image credit: David Kirwan

The day started when Liz picked them up three hours earlier from Watergate Bay. A lovely group down on holiday and booked with Newquay Wild Activities to experience a rockpool ramble. The van pick up means they can leave their cars in the car park and not worry about navigating the busy Newquay streets. They arrive at Esplanade Green overlooking the world famous South Fistral Beach.

Want to stay in Fistral? Have a look at our luxury holiday cottages in Fistral.

Image credit: Neil Wilkinson

Here they meet their guides, two passionate locals who are as excited as the group to share and explore the rocky shore.

There are some amazing pools on South Fistral that contain a wondrous number of species – each with their own story to tell. Even the seaweed has some secrets to share, if you look close enough. A multitude of shells cling to them for security such as the iridescent blue ray limpet as does the beautiful Stalk Jellyfish.

Stalk Jellyfish by Ivan Underwood

Blue Rayed Limpet by Zeni Hayton

The group wander their way down towards the surf to look at the deeper pools and rocks covered in thousands of mussels and barnacles, always keeping an eye out for wildlife passing by in the bay. Crabs are discovered, fish swim by and shrimps come and play on their toes. Starfish of all types are found – they are incredible creatures that eat algae while clambering over rocks. Did you know they can lose a limb for an easy getaway if they are ever in danger?

Spiny Starfish and Cushion Star by Gwynnie Griffiths

As the tide exposes more rock, anemones begin to close to protect themselves while they wait for the protection of the water.

Anemone by Josh Symes

The group are enthusiastically hunting for more animals as Liz returns with their pasty and drink. A perfect spot to enjoy some sustenance before the slow meander back to the steps.

Amazingly, as they clamber their way off their beach, more wildlife is spotted – a Stone Chat just hanging out on the brambles!

Stone Chat by Josh Howells

There is so much to explore on Newquay’s shores. Liz and the group spend the drive back talking about everything they saw. The guides log all the wildlife information ready to send to the record centre which the group helped to collect (they are now citizen scientists!) and the guides get ready for their next group – this time… a Wildlife Walk around the headlands of Newquay to spot some of the bigger, more elusive wildlife.

Grey Seal by Adrian Langdon

Newquay Wild Activities is a brand-new Social Enterprise set up by Liz and Laura in 2022 – it stemmed from a decade in the marine conservation sector in Cornwall, a fabulous network of friends and colleagues and a yearning to show tourists and locals that Newquay has so much to offer.

Discover what lies beneath our rockpools and the wildlife that shares our shores. Book onto a Rockpool Ramble or a Wildlife Walk with mini-bus pickup included. Learn how to collect valuable scientific data that can help to inform conservation research and national policy. Explore the north Cornwall coastline with experts on hand to guide you.

For more information visit Newquay Wild Activities for the summer dates and activities. Including the spectacular night-time rambles – see what happens in the cover of darkness!

Dive into the exciting world of alternative surf activities in Cornwall and discover new ways to enjoy the waves

Anemone at nightAnemone by night, Josh Symes

What to do Around Newquay, Cornwall

Thinking of booking a trip to Newquay and not sure the best things to do around the area? We’re the experts of the Cornish coastline and Newquay in particular is our home, being the closest beach town to our origins at Watergate Bay. Home to seven unique beaches, including one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world, Fistral beach, this vibrant north coast town isn’t short on beauty.

But beyond its sandy shores also lies a buzzing culture of food, shopping and events, making it a great holiday destination for everyone from families to couples to solo explorers. Here’s our handy guide on the best things to do in Newquay.

Watersports

Newquay is known for its surfing, but its also a great place for plenty of other watersports too. Head to Newquay Activity Centre in the heart of the town to try your hand at coasteering, kayaking, bodyboarding, super stand up paddleboarding and more. Or, try jet skis at Lusty Glaze beach. It’s sure to get your heart racing….

Walk in fisherman’s footsteps

Newquay is rich in fishing heritage, and the famous Huer’s Hut which sits on the cliff top near Fistral is a symbol of this. Historically, this hut was used as a lookout point for the huer to alert the town of the arrival of pilchard shoals, by crying out to nearby residents. You can take a spectacular walk, starting at Fistral beach, going along the sand, around the cliff path and past the Huer’s Hut, a great vantage point to gaze down on Newquay’s bays below, before continuing around the working harbour and onto Towan beach. This way, you’ll walk fisherman’s footsteps whilst taking in some of the most scenic viewpoints in the area.

Take a dip

Newquay harbour and the surrounding bays are also great spots for a cold water swim. Sea swimming in Cornwall has rapidly grown in popularity as a way to get some feel-good hormones throughout the winter, and the trend is still thriving. Newquay harbour is ideal if you’re looking for a safe, sheltered spot- just be careful not to swim too close to the harbour entrance, where fishing boats are regularly going in and out.

Dine on the sand

Newquay has plenty of delectable eateries with sea views, such as The Fish House, overlooking Fistral beach, and The Colonial, on the sand at Tolcarne beach. However, in sunny months the temptation to spend every moment on the beach is strong, and therefore Newquay’s Boathouse, down at the harbour, is the perfect balance. What started as a few pop ups next to the restaurant overlooking the water has become a permanent street food set up, where you can order takeaway or sit on benches right by the tideline and enjoy the flavours of Mexico, Jamaica and Cornwall from the variety of vendors. They regularly host DJ evenings too, so you can get that Ibiza beach feeling whilst you eat.

Indulge in some spa therapy

Coastal walks and sunbathing are relaxing, but if the natural elements have inspired you to take your indulgence further, head to one of the town’s spas for a day of restoration. Try the sea facing Aqua Club at the Headland Hotel, featuring an outdoor heated Sunset Spa pool, jacuzzi and Vitality Pool for hydrotherapy with a sea view. For something a little more outdoorsy, try Saunassa Nordic Spa, tucked away in the centre of town. With a wood-fired sauna, cedar wood hot tubs and an ice-cold plunge bath, spa days take on a new meaning and invigoration is key.

Boat trips

Head down to the harbour for an excursion on one of Newquay’s many boat trips. Choose from a sea safari where you can explore the beautiful coastline and spot wildlife; a mackerel fishing trip where you might catch something for dinner; or an exhilarating speed boat trip around the bay to get your heart racing. Look out for the hungry seals waiting to see what you’ve caught as the boat comes back in! Trips can be pre-booked online, or at the kiosks down on the harbourfront.

Horse riding

Are you a family of animal lovers? Head to Trenance Stables, where you can ride ponies along the sands of the River Gannel in Newquay. The perfect activity to enjoy a sunny day in Cornwall, taking in the breathtaking scenery whilst trotting down the river bank. Trenance Stables put on lessons for all abilities, so even if you’ve never tried horse riding before you’re still guaranteed a fun time.

Discover our retreats in Newquay and Fistral. Browse our special offers page to secure your stay by the sea for less. 

Sea spotting

It’s spring and the coastline, from the clifftop fields to the low-tide rock pools, is waking up to the new season. We took a closer look at seaside sights, from the door of one Beach Retreat right down to the shore, and found out more about what spring has in store for coastal adventurers, rock poolers and seasonal menus…

Spring is a rapidly unfolding season by the sea, with nature’s delights unfurling: seasonal flavours ready to savour at dinner and clear blue seas inviting explorers in. While seaweed is starting its fresh new growth, farm produce is welcoming in the sun’s growing energy ready for harvest come May.

To begin, we follow the coast path from Port Isaac to Port Gaverne to find out what spring holds for coastal adventurers Cornish Rock Tors

Image credit: Mia Rumble

Early emergence

Ben Spicer, Cornish Rock Tors owner, says the team are “a bit like coastal wildflowers, starting to emerge and grow as spring picks up pace”. Winter excursions happen occasionally but March is when everything is checked, in readiness to fully open on the beach-front at the start of the school Easter holidays.

Image credit: Mia Rumble

Based in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a stretch of Heritage Coast, it’s a wild and unspoiled environment with extraordinary sights in store. “If there is a prolonged period of high pressure and calm weather then the sea in spring can be extraordinarily clear, marking a stark contrast to the winter,” he explains.

“The rocky coast is a playground of jumps, wave features and caves, and because the tidal range here is so large the route can change drastically over the two hours between setting out and getting back.”

By April, wildflowers begin to carpet the edges of cliffs, with thrift, also known as sea pinks, standing out, soundtracked by the sounds of razorbills and guillemots nesting along the coast.

Coastal playground

Coasteering with Cornish Rock Tors is to journey through an intertidal world, revealing “multicoloured seaweeds, predatory starfish, beautifully patterned anemones, crabs and common blennys – small fish that can survive out of water and slither between rockpools,” says Ben.

Once out in this rocky world, there’s little sign of human activity, aside from distant movement atop the cliff and the occasional passing fishing boat. Instead, the shifting sea reveals a truly picturesque playground:

Image credit: Mat Arney, Cornish Rock Tors

“The rocky coast is a playground of jumps, wave features and caves, and because the tidal range here is so large the route can change drastically over the two hours between setting out and getting back – what was a one meter ‘introductory’ jump at the start of the session can be much bigger a few hours later if the tide is dropping,” he says.

Kayak to clarity

“If we get a period of prolonged high pressure, as has happened a few times in the last few years, the clarity of the water is incredible and you can look over the side of your kayak and see many meters down, all the way to the seabed below,” says Ben.

Image credit: Mat Arney, Cornish Rock Tors

A short paddle from the shore reveals respectfully distant views of seabird nesting sites, and kayak trips often take in the unique view of the harbour at Port Isaac from sea.

“Beyond that, there is a beach that is only exposed at low tide and that it is impossible to get to any other way than by sea kayak or boat. In spring we often take groups there to enjoy their own little private beach before paddling back to Port Gaverne,” he adds.

The dynamic weather along the coast any time of year means booking in advance for any activity is best, advises Ben; if the weather or sea conditions change for the booking time, a different weather window can be found to head on out.

“Every two weeks, all year round, we have spring tides…It’s so much better than other times because these rock pools are home to species that wouldn’t be able to live further up the beach”.

Lying low

While the tidal flux along Port Gaverne’s rocky surrounds creates an ocean playground, each day all along the Cornish coast – north to south – the tides are revealing hidden habitats to discover, with spring quite possibly the best time of year to go on safari there, says Dr Ben Holt of The Rock Pool Project:

“Rock-pooling is all about the tides; it’s the only reason rock pools exist. So it has a really big impact on what you can find.

Image credit: Mia Rumble

“Every two weeks, all year round, we have spring tides when there’s either a full moon or a new moon. It’s when the tide goes out the furthest. It’s so much better than other times because these rock pools are home to species that wouldn’t be able to live further up the beach as they wouldn’t survive with being out of the water for too long.”

Hide and seek

This abundant marine environment, hidden for much of the day, is bright and bustling as spring shoots into life. The 350 different seaweed species in the UK waters are more vivid than ever, growing fresh fronds and leaves, while, mirroring the terrestrial life cycle, it’s a time for laying eggs and carrying young.

Image credit: Mia Rumble

“Pipe fish are in the same family as seahorses, and the male pipe fish carries the eggs,” says Ben.

“Female crabs carry their eggs on the underside of their body. They can be carrying six or seven thousand tiny eggs until they’re ready to be released. Some rock pool creatures reproduce at other times of year but spring is when there’s a higher rate of this behaviour.”

Spring tides – which fall to their lowest in the middle of the day in Cornwall – get their name because spring is when these tides are at the greatest range, their lowest and highest; although, autumn is the other season of very high and low spring tides.

As well as checking the tide times for the best rock-pooling opportunities, Ben’s tip for any intrepid explorers is to make sure you have the right footwear. Flipflops and bare feet don’t make for the best foundation on the slippery, sometimes sharp rocks out on the farthest strandline. In colder conditions, wellies are great, and a pair of old trainers work well for safely exploring in warmer temperatures.

To get searching, grab the guidebook and a camera – to snap any mystery finds for later identification.

The Rock Pool Project runs community projects around Plymouth and Falmouth. You can also book a guided rock pool safari with the team throughout the year.

Diverse delights

Looking out to St Michael’s Mount standing tall in Mounts Bay near Marazion, the team at Trenow Fields are tending to their produce, dictated by the season on land that’s managed to regenerate the habitat and boost biodiversity.

“There’s wild rock samphire, foraged at the cove, which is fantastic in curries or sautéed with eggs.”

Ready for harvest from May, flavourful salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers from Trenow can be found in restaurants all over west Cornwall, and further afield, from Argoe in Newlyn to The Crumb, Penzance, to Source Kitchen in St Ives.

Chefs also request ingredients from the wilder fringes of the farm, emerging from rocks and sand as spring gets going.

“There’s wild rock samphire, foraged at the Cove, which is fantastic in curries or sautéed with eggs. And nettles – great steamed with poached eggs on sourdough toast, or as a creamy nettle soup with lashings of double cream,” says Trenow grower Mark.

Image credit: Mia Rumble

Not on the Trenow produce list, but abundant not far from the shoreline, Mark recommends keeping a lookout for navelwort: “a cucumbery succulent leaf that will be all over the hedges”, and mallow leaves: “an excellent ‘poppadom’ when baked in the oven for a minute.”

While not open to the public, Trenow’s essential oils – produced from the lavender grown on the farm – are available online, and farm shops and veg boxes stock their seasonal sustenance.

To stay by the sea in spring is a chance to spot all that is unfolding along the shoreline from your door to the shore, whether fresh shoots served up at dinner, rare rock pool discoveries or tidal thrills in the clearest of seas.

A place to huddle up for two or a space for all your loved ones to gather and celebrate, where will you explore from #doortoshore? Find your Beach Retreat below.

A fresher taste: spring recipes

After the grey, mizzly days of winter, Cornwall comes alive again in spring: what are the seasonal flavours to try in your cooking best tasted fresh?

Wildflowers in the hedgerows, young lambs in the fields and the first new crops of the year, the farmers’ markets are fully stocked and there’s a new abundance awaiting foragers.

We caught up with three Cornish chefs to find out about their favourite spring flavours. They shared a special recipe featuring ingredients that are best eaten as fresh as possible – ideally on the same day.

Fancy staying in a holiday retreat with a swimming pool? Check out our cottages with a swimming pool for a relaxing getaway.

Wild flavours

Carla Viladomat is the head chef and co-owner of El Huichol, a Mexican street food company serving up brunch, lunch and dinner at their new spot Pachanga in Newquay.

Her food combines the traditional flavours of Mexico with the fresh ingredients of Cornwall – two places which share a surprisingly close culinary heritage thanks to the large numbers of Cornish miners who crossed the Atlantic to help Mexico mine silver to pay for the Mexican war of independence in the 19th century.

Carla also has a mobile Mexican food van that travels to events and weddings around Cornwall throughout the summer.

Image credit: El Huichol

Favourite spring ingredients

After the Cornish winter I’m pretty sick of tubers – potatoes and turnips and all the rest – so I always look forward to spring, which is when the vibrant flavours of Mexican food come into their own!

“My number one spring ingredient is wild garlic. It’s packed with flavour, and easy to collect in the hedgerows around Cornwall”

There’s so much on offer in Cornwall at this time of year. Fresh mackerel is fantastic, bought from the fishmonger or from the fisherman if you know where to ask! We like to smoke it and make into a lovely paté with pickled smoked chilli, served on a crispy tostada with a mackerel fillet on top. That’s one of our most popular dishes at this time of year.

I also love fresh cauliflower leaves – sometimes I tempura them for texture, or roast them and make them into a purée with lots of fresh lime.

Carla’s on the day recipe

Wild garlic pípian

My number one spring ingredient is wild garlic. It’s packed with flavour, and easy to collect in the hedgerows around Cornwall in March and April. Look out for the wild flowers and the dark green leaves that have a strong garlic smell. It’s best used straight away, but you can also ferment it for extra flavour.

I make it into a Mexican salsa called pípian, or green mole. You need to collect quite a few wild garlic leaves. I blend them with toasted pumpkin seeds, coriander, chilli, fresh radish leaves and plenty of olive oil. It’s like a Mexican pesto, punchy and packed with flavour. The consistency is thick because of all the ground up seeds, but if you like it runnier, just add extra olive oil.

It’s a really versatile sauce. Traditionally it’s eaten with pork or chicken, but I like to use it in a fresh radish salad. I use the freshest radishes I can find, ideally ones I’ve just picked myself, chopped up finely and served with plenty of pípian drizzled over the top.

The freshest fish

Rich Adams runs Argoe, a sustainable seafood restaurant opposite the historic fish market in Newlyn. The restaurant celebrates the best Cornish fish and seafood, and champions species that rarely make it on to British menus.

“Spring is a superb time for trying some different varieties of Cornish fish, with several species coming into season at this time of year”

Favourite spring ingredients

In Britain, we’ve been stuck in our ways eating the same old fish for the last fifty years, and here at Argoe we’re passionate about changing that. Spring is a superb time for trying some different varieties of Cornish fish, with several species coming into season at this time of year – including two of my favourites, megrim sole and spider crab (or Cornish king crab, as we’re calling it these days!). Both are at their best in spring. You can buy them from fishmongers in Newlyn, literally straight off the boats.

Image credit: Argoe

Rich’s on the day recipes

Boiled spider crab and grilled megrim sole

When it comes to spider crab, there’s not much you need to do. Put the crab to sleep by putting it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then drop it into a pan of boiling salted water; the rule of thumb is about 15 minutes per kilo of crab, and 70g of salt per litre of water. I’m a great believer in doing things simply, and presenting things as they are – so once it’s done, turn it whole upside down onto the plate, and separate the claws away from the body.

We pre-crack the claws with a rolling pin or pincers to make it easier to eat at the table. Prise the inner part of the shell away, leaving the brown meat inside – add a squeeze of lemon if you like, and serve with fresh bread and lots of homemade mayo. You’ll need crab picks to get out all the meat, but it’s worth the effort – for me, nothing tastes so much of the sea as fresh spider crab.

Megrim sole is even easier. A fish of about 600-700g is perfect for two. It’s best cooked whole, under a piping hot grill or over a barbecue. Brush with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. It cooks quickly – 5-7 minutes each side. I serve it whole at the table. Getting the fish off the bone is easy once you know how – we use two forks to pull away the flesh from the centre.

Don’t miss the best bits: cheeks, collars, crispy edges and fins. If it’s your first time cooking sole on the bone, ask your fishmonger for advice if you’re unsure, or better still come into the restaurant and we’ll show you how.

Discover coastal charm at Fowey, South Cornwall, with Beach Retreats.

What the garden grows

Daisy Hillier is head chef at Potager, a vegetarian cafe and kitchen garden located outside Constantine.

Image credit: Potager

Favourite spring ingredients

At Potager, we’re lucky to be able to grow lots of our own ingredients, and I always look forward to all the fresh flavours of spring and early summer – from edible flowers like nasturtium and borage, which I like to use in salads, to the first Cornish asparagus of the year, delicious lightly steamed and eaten with lots of fresh Cornish butter and black pepper.

“Many people dread cabbage, thinking of that horrible boiled stuff we all had at school. But it’s actually one of my favourite spring vegetables – and the fresher the better. It’s especially well-suited to Asian-inspired dishes”

Spring is also a great time to wander the lanes and forage for wild flowers and edible plants. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with floral flavours in some of my gins at the distillery – watch this space!

Daisy’s on the day recipe

Pan roasted cabbage with togarashi and miso and orange butter

Many people dread cabbage, thinking of that horrible boiled stuff we all had at school. But it’s actually one of my favourite spring vegetables – and the fresher the better. It’s especially well-suited to Asian-inspired dishes like this one.

Start by making the miso butter: 2 tbsp miso paste, 10 tbsp salted butter, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar, the zest of an orange and the juice of two more.

Then peel and cut the cabbage into 8 pieces, retaining some root on each wedge to hold it together. Heat a non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil, add half of the wedges, and fry on each side for 3-5 until caramelised. Put the wedges on a baking tray, cover with the miso butter and a splash of water, and roast in foil for 15 minutes. Turn over and roast on the other side for another 5 to 10 minutes until soft.

While it’s cooking, make the togarashi, a Japanese spice mix. It’s made with the dried zest of an orange, 3 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds, 1 tbsp toasted black sesame seeds, 1 tbsp toasted poppy seeds, 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns, ½ tsp ground ginger and 1 sheet of nori, ground up together.

Serve the roasted cabbage with a fried egg and a good sprinkle of the togarashi spice mix, and some sushi rice on the side.

Explore more things to do in Cornwall this spring.

For more Cornish foodie inspiration, browse our blog.

7 Things to do in Cornwall during Easter

Spend your family holiday on the beach this Easter and enjoy the saltwater lifestyle.

With the Easter holidays just around the corner, there’s an abundance of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Whether it’s a day on the sand or a visit to one of Cornwall’s attractions, here’s our favourite things to see and do during your stay this Easter.

Find out why Easter is a great time to visit Cornwall and some of our favourite Easter retreats and things to do.

Admire the coastline from the water

You’ll find the ocean-mad team at Newquay Activity Centre togged up in wetsuits and sharing their expert tips in everything from surfing to stand-up paddle boarding 360+ days a year. Take the plunge with them as they coasteer around the coast, paddle their huge super stand-up paddleboard through caves, kayak under the famous bridge as you look up to the house on the island, or take on a family surf lesson. They offer something for everyone.

Book online today.

rockpooling

Walk the South West Coast Path

Walk onto any beach in Cornwall and you’ll spot part of the South West Coast Path to your left or right. Whether you choose to explore the rugged north coast and its hidden coves or the tropical south coast, you’ll find something different and exciting each turn you take.

Find your closest route.

sea view over cliffs

Go rockpooling

Head to many beaches in Cornwall at low tide and visitors will be pleasantly surprised with hundreds of rockpools just waiting to be explored. You’ll be treated to a natural display of fascinating and tough creatures, including the Cornish Sucker fish, Worm Pipefish and the Common Shore Crab.

See the top tips from Dr Ben Holt at The Rock Pool Project on rockpooling and where to go.

Alternatively, thinking of visiting in the February half term, check out what activities we recommend trying in February.

family rockpooling

Eden Eggstravaganza

Every bit as good as the hype, the Eden Project is on Cornwall’s essential tick list. Outstanding on a sunny day and a good choice when it rains, Eden is an inspired blend of indoor and outdoor fun. Dubbed the eighth wonder of the world by some, this dramatic global garden is housed in tropical biomes the size of 30 football pitches.

Over Easter, discover dozens of activities, crafts and games for the whole family across a three-week programme.

easter egg

Go Foraging

Make the most of the Spring sunshine and get out and about with a forage that will take you deep into Cornwall’s woodlands, hedgerows and on the coast. From Cornish mussels and rose chips to wild herbs and edible plants, you’ll find plenty of wild foods great for cooking.

Read our guide to foraging in Cornwall, including foraging experts The Fat Hen Cookery School who run local courses.

Image credit: The Fat Hen Cookery School

Heligan Gardens

Cornwall’s not only known for its stunning beaches, its magical gardens are home to a wealth of exciting, rare and beautiful plants and trees just waiting to be explored. Visit The Lost Gardens of Heligan in St Austell over Easter and you will creep past the sleeping giant, skip past the Mud Maid and explore higgeldy gardens filled with wonky veg and exotic plants.

Check out more of our locations and explore our Charlestown holiday properties.

Book your Easter break and be by the shoreline this year.

What to do in February half-term in Cornwall

February. The post-Christmas blues, new working year stresses, and winter fatigue often mean that this month gets overlooked, treated as one final hurdle to get over before Spring begins to bloom.

Here in Cornwall, we see February a little differently.

Empty, windswept beaches. Wild seas. Clear water and crisp blue skies. Rambling coast paths. Nature undisturbed. February showcases the wild, untamed beauty of Cornwall before the summer crowds roll in, and is secretly a loved-by-locals time of year, due to its general calmness, great surf and spectacular scenery.

February half-term is no different, and makes for a perfect time to gather the family and escape to the coast, giving you that much needed rejuvenation after a long winter season. Here’s some fresh inspiration for things to do this February half-term in Cornwall.

Browse our beach locations or our selection of retreats to find your perfect February half-term holiday home.

Surf’s up

February is ideal for getting in the water, particularly if you’re a beginner wanting to avoid the busy summer seas. Most of Cornwall’s surf and watersports schools operate all year round, and provide the appropriate kit for chillier water. Try Newquay Activity Centre, Kingsurf in Mawgan Porth or Big Blue Surf School in Bude for a challenging but exhilarating day mastering your chosen activity.

Image credit: Big Blue Surf School

National Maritime Museum

Head to Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum for a rainy day activity that’ll connect you to our oceans. Their regular exhibitions bring new and diverse perspectives to maritime issues, whilst showcasing Cornwall’s fascinating maritime heritage. With 15 galleries across five floors, you’ll take a walk through history. While you’re here, Falmouth is a great place to grab lunch and wander the quirky boutique-lined streets.

Eden Project

A unique and innovative eco project, the Eden Project is an absolute must see this February half-term. This stunning global garden consists of tropical biomes the size of 30 football pitches, including the rainforest biome, home to 1000 species of tropical plants, a fully running waterfall and suspended canopy walkway. Adjacent to this you’ll find the Mediterranean biome, filled to the brim with spiky cacti and ancient olive trees.

Trebah Gardens

A spectacle at any time of year, Trebah Gardens are worth a visit during your February half-term stay. Trebah is bound beneath canopies of sub-tropical foliage that tumble to the edge of the Helford Estuary, where there’s a divine sandy beach perfect for picnic and stone skimming. Families with dogs will particularly love this natural playground.

Wildlife wonders

Get acquainted with some Cornish creatures, from native baby seals to African lions. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, in Gweek, rescues and rehabilitates over 70 seal pups, which you can see up close. Or, spot them in the wild below the cliffs at Mutton Cove in Hayle, where they often bask on the sand – just be sure to keep the noise down as to not disturb their nap time. For a wet-weather-friendly day out, head to Newquay Zoo to meet over 130 species of the worlds rarest and most endangered animals.

Eat local

Refuel after a wintery walk with soul-quenching food at one of Cornwall’s many gourmet restaurants. From the range of Rick Stein eateries in Padstow, to cosy pubs with great menus such as The Mariners in Rock, take some time this half term to taste the shoreline’s seasonal delights. Many places to eat are kid and pet friendly, too.

Family time

Above all else, a February getaway gives you a chance to be together, away from the chaos of term time routines, work and household chores. Settle into a retreat where everything has been sorted for you, allowing you to truly relax. With games rooms, log burners, lavish dining tables and gorgeous views, cosy evenings in are a delight. Browse our selection of coastal properties just made for family stays.

Book your February half-term retreat.