Things to do in Cornwall when it rains

Much as we would wish blue skies and sunny days all summer, Cornwall does get its fair share of rain (although rumour has it Devon is wetter).

The good news is that bad weather rarely sets in for long as coastal winds keep things changeable. And if it’s raining on one coast, a drive north or south can make all the difference.

Even on a relentlessly damp day, I do enjoy a stroll on the beach, with new subtle colours to appreciate and fewer crowds.

However sometimes you just need to head inside. Here are some wet weather things to do in striking distance of Boscastle.

  • Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Boscastle harbour. Packed full of history and artefacts, this is a fascinating and serious museum. Open April to October
  • Lanhydrock – Beautiful late Victorian country house and estate stately run by the National Trust. There is stacks to do here for all ages and children will love the hands-on sections in the giant kitchens.
  • Check what’s on at the Rebel Cinema just off the A39 near Bude.
  • Eden project, an excellent full day out. Although it’s near the south coast it’s less than an hour’s drive. Plenty of it is indoors including the two giant biomes.
  • Pirate Quest Newquay. An interactive history of piracy guided by real actors. It may seem aimed at younger children to start off with but there is a great Davy Jones’s Locker scary section for older ones. Booking ahead advised as the tours have timed starts.
  • National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow. See tiny baby lobsters and learn all about the clawed creatures. It’s in the harbour car park area near the bike hire.
  • Surfing lesson – you honestly don’t care if it’s raining when you’re in a wetsuit and trying to catch a wave. Surf schools at Bude and Newquay.
  • Leisure centres with indoor swimming pools at Camelford and Bude

Further afield – Falmouth has the National Maritime Museum which is a full day out for all ages and the town itself is lively too.

Ancient lanes – Cornwall’s other beauty

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6618Cornwall’s spectacular coastline is the first thing many people think of when bringing the county to mind. But its miles of country lanes are beautiful too.

I particularly love the holloways – ancient roads carved out by countless feet, hooves and cartwheels over the centuries.

Small wonder that these paths with their high sides and narrow gauge are only just suitable for cars (although tractors still seem to manage.)

But the deep verges and overhanging trees give these routes their magic, creating a lush green tunnel that envelops the traveller.

Driving down one is like forest bathing by car – and should be done slowly!

The back route into Boscastle, taking the lane behind the village’s slate name sign, is one of my favourite approaches to the cottage.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_65ea


What’s in a name?

St Christopher carrying the Christ child, depicted by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1516 in Germany
St Christopher depicted by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1516

St Christopher’s Cottage has carried its name for many years – but not for ever. It was originally called Penleigh, matching Fernleigh next door. We considered reinstating the name but there is already a Penleigh and a Penlea in the village and we thought it would be confusing.

The more we thought about it, the more we wanted to keep St Christopher’s. After all, he is the patron saint of travellers – and further research revealed he also has a brief to look after surfers and sailors, and to protect from storms and floods. Highly appropriate for Boscastle!