What to do in Cornwall this summer

Here’s our round up of the hottest Cornwall days out this summer.

lost gardens of heligan outdoor theatre

Outdoor theatre: 

From the breathtaking beauty of the Minack Theatre (nestled way down west in Porthcurno) to Sterts in North Cornwall, these long evenings are perfect for a spot of outdoor theatre.   It is often hard to know what people enjoy more, the fact that the county is home to some world class performers (Kneehigh etc) or the elaborate picnics that spring forth!  Champagne, strawberries, the obligatory pasty and cream teas are all devoured in some of Cornwall’s most beautiful settings.  Our picks for the summer season include Miracle’s The Third Policeman staged at Carlyon Beach in St Austell, Restormal Castle near Liskeard and Nancarrow Farm near Truro;  Pride and Predjuide by Illyria Theatre Company which you can see at Penlee Gardens in Penzance and Sterts, Liskeard, and finally Rogue Theatre’s Lost Garden Summer Ball taking place at Heligan Theatre, just outside St Austell.


outdoor cinema

The Big Picture:

Everyone knows that summer is all about big movie blockbusters, but who wants to sit inside on these balmy Cornish summer nights?  There’s a series of outdoor cinema experiences planned throughout July and August screening movie classics such as Rocky Horror, The Goonies, Lost Boys and Grease in towns from Bude to Penzance.

Sound is broadcasted through wireless headphones you won’t need to ‘shush’ anyone.  With venues including beach, park and drive-in’s it’s a romantic night out – just don’t forget the popcorn.



Open top bus rides:

Driving around Cornwall’s stunning coast is a great way to see everything that this diverse county has to offer, but it can be a tough job keeping your eyes safely on the road while soaking up the views.  Why not relax and get a birds eye view atop a fantastic open top bus tour?

Leaving from multiple destinations across the southwest the First Bus Group offer open top rides starting in Newquay, Fowey, Penzance and St Ives.  The circular routes offers hourly pick up points, meaning you can hop off and on all day long and explore different destinations in bite sized chunks.


open top busses cornwall

Pirates in Penzance:

If you find yourself in Cornwall over the August Bank holiday, it might feel a little empty as most of the county’s residents head to Penzance to stand and be counted as a pirate.  Our history as wreckers is never far from the surface and this year Cornwall is primed to attempt a Guinness World Record challenge to have the most pirates in one place.

The event which draws more than 14,500 people brings ashore an army of fun with a weekend programme of activities, re-enactments, a funfair and entertainment. The event will take place on the August bank holiday weekend (26 and 27) with the aim of raising funds for the RNLI with the official count will take place on August 27 at 4pm.




Port Eliot Festival (27th to 30th July) 

Imagine a four day festival of arts, music, fashion, comedy literature, culture and plain otherworldliness.   The indefinable Port Eliot festival takes place in the grounds of the ancient estate, which nestles alongside a river giving the festival a dreamy quality.

Famous for it’s famous faces, the family-friendly event offers everything you would expect, plus some unexpected twists along the way!  Guests this year include Samantha Morton, Stanley Tucci and Michael C Hall – not your average line-up!


Port Eliot Festival cornwall

Boconnoc Steam Fair. (28 to 30th July)

A great family day out, this old-fashioned steam fair brings together everything you could want – food, music, steam engines and a fun fair – and wraps it in the magnificent grounds of a historic estate.

Organised by the Liskeard Steam and Vintage Club it is one of the most popular events of its type.



Falmouth Week (4th to 13th August)

Called Falmouth Week even though the festival extends that little bit longer every year, this is a highlight in Cornwall’s coastal calendar.

More than 450 racing yachts take part in this sailing regatta boosted by a colourful programme of events back on dry land.

With a marching carnival, firework display and its legendary themed party nights and live music there’s plenty to suit the whole family.

Topped off with the best of Cornish seafood in the various bars, restaurants and street stands.



Creation Fest (5th to 11th August)

Having started as a one day event in 2002, Creation Fest has grown to be the biggest free Christian music festival in the UK.

With a surf-based feel, the festival offers sports, music and fun interspersed with a mix of Christian teaching.

The event draws families from across the UK and is held at the Royal Cornwall Showgrounds in Wadebridge.  Weekend and day passes are available.



Boardmasters (August 8th to 13th)

We couldn’t do a round up of festivals and summer events without a nod to BoardMasters.  The colossal surf, skate and music festival is situated just a stones throw away in neighbouring cove Watergate Bay and then further down at Fistral Beach in Newquay.

With its laid back vibes, killer music and spectacular surf and skate competitions it is one of the highlights of the year.


Pride (August 28th)

The city of Truro becomes a sea of colour as Pride sweeps into town on August 28th.  The streets fill with floats, music, dancing and one of the UK’s longest rainbow flags, as the annual celebration of diversity turns the city into a rainbow.

Culminating at Victoria Gardens, the party continues all day with stalls music, entertainment and of course, lots of food. The fun then heads to Lemon Quay where a special day marquee plays host to an over 18’s ticketed party.