You know the big Cornish institutes and they’re all popular for a reason.
But if you’ve ‘been there and done that’ countless times before here are some fresh ideas to keep your holidays interesting.
1. Arty Seaside town - swap St Ives for Penzance
Cornwall has attracted artists in their droves for hundreds of years thanks to the quality of light and mesmerising landscapes. And the top spot? St Ives. It was the home of some of the world's most renowned modern artists and today boasts glorious galleries including Tate St Ives. The town itself is a joy to peruse with pretty cobble stone streets lined with beautiful boutiques, fisherman’s cottages and excellent eateries. But all of this means things get pretty crowded in the summer months so our suggested swap? Penzance!
The town is a historic port on the pretty shores of Mount's Bay - oh and did we mention it has one of the mildest climates in the UK? Like St Ives, it’s a mecca for artists and well worth a visit. See contemporary art within award-winning architecture at The Exchange or head to the nearby Newlyn Art Gallery. The town of Penzance itself is charming too; take a stroll along Chapel Street and visit the characterful old pubs and antique shops that line it. Check out Morrab Gardens landscaped in Victorian times and home to many subtropical plan or for a good old fashioned seaside time walk the promenade and treat yourself to some fresh fish and chips.
Browse our suggestions of things to do in Penzance here.
2. A spot of culture - swap the Minack Theatre for Kneehigh Theatre
If you haven't been to The Minack Theatre, you really should. This world famous open-air theatre is carved into the granite cliffs and overlooks a gorgeous vista of Porthcurno Bay. Each summer they produce a full programme of drama, musicals, comedy, story-telling and opera and the surrounding sub-tropical gardens are worth a visit too. If you want to learn more about its origins head to the Visitor Centre where you'll discover how a girl in the Victorian era grew up to build the theatre with her own hands.
For something different, we suggest you check out Kneehigh. With humble Cornish beginnings, the theatre company now boasts an international reputation with poet Charles Causley calling it "Cornwall's National Theatre'. This year The Asylum (a flexible nomadic structure) is back in a new site at The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
3. Fish feast - swap Rick Stein for Nathan Outlaw
If you've ever been to Cornwall before, you've probably heard of Rick Stein. Some locals even jokingly refer to Padstow as Padstein, because of his huge influence in the town. His flagship restaurant - The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow - has been going since 1975 and is famous for its super fresh fish, beautifully prepared.
But if you've been there and are looking for something new we suggest you check out Nathan Outlaw's Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac. Housed in a 15th century fisherman's cottage boasting harbour views, here the sea and fishermen dictate the menu. Depending on what's in the water that day, you might tuck into smoked mackerel dip, monkfish ceviche or cured brill.