There is plenty to do in Porthtowan, and you could spend your whole week just pottering around on the beach, strolling the cliff path and enjoying the local restaurants if you prefer to leave your car at home. If you would like to venture further afield, this section for our guests contains a comprehensive list of things to do and great days out in the local area. Our blogs also contain more detailed information on our favourite activities in the area.
Nearby resorts and great day trips…
As previously mentioned, Seashells is a short drive from a number of great days out. The lovely coastal town of St Ives, with its gorgeous harbour, beautiful scenery, great beaches and numerous individual shops and restaurants is a favourite. The north coast resorts of Perranporth and Newquay offer fantastic beaches and a relaxed café culture to enjoy while you soak up the sun. For shopping, restaurants and theatre, head to the beautiful cathedral city of Truro, or for more great beaches, boat trips, maritime attractions and spectacular scenery Falmouth makes a great day out. For more information on these resorts see our blog post, Beautiful Truro, stunning St Ives and fabulous Falmouth
There are some spectacular cliff walks right on your doorstep, from a gently stroll to Chapel Porth for ice cream to a proper day hike to Trevaunance Cove or Portreath and back, or even all the way to Godrevy to view the lighthouse and the beach where the seals have made their home (luckily there is a café and a bus back from Hells Mouth at the end!). You will find a detailed map of the local area with the leaflets at Seashells. See www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk and www.nationaltrust.org.uk for details of more great walks in the area.
If you fancy trying your hand at surfing, Tris surf shop (www.trissurfshop.com) near the beach in Porthtowan village offers surf hire and lessons for all ages. You can often book in the shop on the day but during peak times it might be advisable to book early as they like to keep groups small to ensure quality tuition.
For the more adventurous, Koru Kayaking (korukayaking.co.uk) offer kayaking tours and Coastal Rush (www.coastalrush.co.uk) offer coasteering from Trevaunance Cove, a short drive from Porthtowan at nearby St Agnes.
For any budding or serious skateboarders, Mount Hawke Skate Park (www.mounthawkeskatepark.com) is an undercover skate park for bikes and scooters, reputedly the best in Cornwall.
Family days out....
Healy’s Cornish Cyder Farm (www.thecornishcyderfarm.co.uk) is just up the road from Seashells – wander round the orchards, ride a tractor, see how local cider is made and maybe enjoy a little taste!
St Agnes treasure trail (www.treasuretrails.co.uk) is a murder mystery trail around St Agnes, a great way to explore the village (download online – a small charge applies).
The famous Eden Project (www.edenproject.com) is a fantastic attraction for adults and children alike, with its tropical and Mediterranean biomes, acres of outdoor gardens, beautiful and fascinating displays, activities for children and lovely café and shop.
Lands End (www.landsend-landmark.co.uk) offers the opportunity to see the spectacular westernmost tip of mainland UK and also includes a visitor centre, café and shop.
Roskillys Farm (www.roskillys.co.uk) offers the opportunity to wander round the farm where lovely Cornish ice cream is made, and of course sample the end product! Callestick Farm (www.callestickfarm.co.uk) also makes delicious Cornish ice cream and makes an enjoyable day out.
Lappa Valley stream railway (www.lappavalley.co.uk) offers train rides, play areas, nature trails, crazy golf and more at the end of your ride on a traditional steam train.
Gardens, historic buildings and Cornish heritage…
Heartlands (www.heartlandscornwall.com) is a great Cornish heritage visitor attraction, just a short drive from Seashells. Based at a historic tin mine in Pool, it offers a very interesting visitor centre, cafe, gardens and a large childrens adventure playground.
Geevor tin mine (www.geevor.com) is the largest preserved mine site in the country, in the heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage area.
Poldark Mine (www.poldarkmine.org.uk) is the only complete tin mine in Cornwall open for guided underground tours.
East Pool Mine (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/east-pool-mine) is another historic metal mine in the heart of nearby Pool, run by the National Trust. Levant Mine is also run by the National Trust and is spectacularly located on the cliff edge to the west of St Ives, with tunnels that run for 100s of meters out under the sea. This mine offers the opportunity to go underground and view the head of one of the mineshafts, which is a great draw for the children.
There are a number of other National Trust properties in the area (see www.nationaltrust.org.uk). Trelissick house and gardens are on the banks of the beautiful Fal river (you can take a lovely ferry ride from Truro or Falmouth if you fancy it) and offer acres of little paths, beautiful and relaxing gardens, wonderful views over the Fal estuary and the chance to visit the spectacularly sited house with its amazing views.
Trengwainton gardens are near Penzance and again offer spectacular views and peaceful surroundings.
Glendurgan gardens are on the banks of the beautiful Helford estuary – you can wander down to the little beach at the mouth of the estuary and take a walk up to lovey Helford Passage, and even take a ferry over to the gorgeous village of Helford itself. Children and adults alike will love the historic hedge maze.
Godolphin House is also near Penzance and offers the opportunity to wander round this historic building.
St Michaels Mount is in a spectacular location in Mounts Bay and has some beautiful gardens and the historic building offers amazing views. You can walk across the causeway at low tide or enjoy a boat ride when the tide is high.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan (www.heligan.com) near Mevagissey make a great day out, with their huge sub-tropical species and long rope bridge in the ‘jungle’, historic orchards and kitchen garden, lots of trails and activities for children, lovely café and shop.
Trebah garden (www.trebahgarden.co.uk) is another sub-tropical garden with a secluded beach in the beautiful Helford estuary.
Pendennis Castle (www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/pendennis-castle) is a historic castle run by English Heritage, situated in a spectacular location at the mouth of the Fal estuary in Falmouth.
The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth (www.nmmc.co.uk) is a very interesting museum for all things sea-related. It has some fascinating and ever changing displays, great activities for children, café and shop.
The Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno (www.telegraphmuseum.org) offers a fascinating insight into where the first transatlantic cables were laid and the telecommunications age all began.
Animals and wildlife…
The Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay (www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk/newquay) is a great attraction next to the beach with some fantastic fishy displays.
Newquay Zoo (www.newquayzoo.org.uk) has hundreds of species, childrens play areas, animal feeding times and a good café and shop.
The Seal Sanctuary (www.visitsealife.com/gweek) offers the opportunity to meet and feed the seals and see the great work the sanctuary does to protect wildlife.
Paradise Park (www.paradisepark.org.uk) is a wildlife sanctuary, gardens and indoor play barn near Hayle.
The Screech Owl Sanctuary (www.screechowlsanctuary.co.uk) is another wildlife park with some lovely owls and attractions for children near Newquay.
Dairyland Farm World (www.dairylandfarmworld.com) offers a good day out for the little ones with indoor playbarn, outdoor rides and play areas, activities for children and the opportunity to watch the cows being milked.
Adrenaline fun days…
Holywell Bay Fun Park (www.holywellbayfunpark.co.uk), Flambards theme park (www.flambards.co.uk) and Camel Creek adventure park (www.camelcreek.co.uk) (formerly Crealy) all offer a fun day out for all ages.
Waterworld Newquay (www.tempusleisure.org.uk/waterworld-newquay) is a great fun pool for kids (and adults!) of all ages.
A bit of culture....
Tate St Ives (www.tate.org.uk/stives), the famous gallery in lovely St Ives, is well worth a visit to see their great collection of work from artists in the local area.
The Hall for Cornwall (www.hallforcornwall.co.uk) offers great shows for children and adults in the beautiful cathedral city of Truro.
The Minack Theatre (www.minack.com) is the dramatic amphitheater hewn into the cliffs near Porthcurno and offers day and evening performances for children and adults, or you can just visit to admire the spectacular location and fantastic engineering involved in building this great theatre.
WTW Cinemas (wtwcinemas.co.uk) are based in Truro and Newquay if you fancy taking in a film.