Polkerris, prawns and paddleboards

Kids can rock-pool and paddleboard at nearby beaches, get their fingers tickled by prawns at Fowey Aquarium and see the tall ships at Charlestown Harbour. Grown-ups can pedal the Camel Trail, sample local ales at St Austell Brewery, or simply stay home and swim in the heated pool or hang out in the hot tub.

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For the grown-ups

Head to Lanhydrock House to discover every side of Victorian life: from the servants’ quarters to the luxurious family areas, and the year-round colour of the gardens. Or discover one of only three cathedrals in the UK with three spires, at Truro, completed in 1910 and now a fine example of gothic revival architecture.

Potter the winding streets of Fowey, awash with shops, galleries, art, crafts, clothes, souvenirs and soaring views of the sea. See items recovered from shipwrecks at Charlestown. Pedal the Camel Trail from Wadebridge. Or rummage around the antique shops of Lostwithiel.

Sample powerful and traditional local ales at St Austell Brewery. Come in May for the Fowey Festival, a world of folk music, books and art. Arrive in August for Fowey Regatta’s carnival processions, giant pasty ceremony and crab-catching contest. Or, in June, it’s the Royal Cornwall Show, bustling with agriculture and entertainment.

Discover the Med, rainforests, contemporary gardens, stunning plants, ice rink and England’s longest zip wire at the Eden Project. Or find the Lost Gardens of Heligan, once just a door in a tangle of weeds and now among the finest gardens in Cornwall. Wrap things up at Pendennis Castle or the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

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Kids ahoy

It’s beaches that make Cornwall magic, so kick off with a skip down to Polkerris, with its idyllic sandy cove, curvaceous coastline, watersports, walks, rock-pooling and paddleboarding. Also worth a trip are dog-friendly Par, Polridmouth and Readymoney, in the shadow of medieval Fowey and St Catherine’s Castle.

Pick up a shore crab and have your fingers tickled by prawns at Fowey Aquarium, meet 1000 of the world’s rarest and most-endangered animals at Newquay Zoo, including meerkats, monkeys, macaws and marmosets. Lunch in the Lazy Lion Grill when it’s human feeding time.

Explore local maritime history at the Charlestown Shipwreck Museum, or steam back through time on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Head to Waterworld Newquay for water flumes, snake floatie, water playhut, erupting volcano and other water-based fun. Or paddle your way around the estuary with Fowey Kayak Hire.

See the tall ships at Charlestown Harbour, take a Fowey river boat or sea cruise, catch a flick at the White Water Cinema in St Austell or a performance perched on the cliffs at the Minack Theatre. Or explore the world’s largest greenhouse at the Eden Project.

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