Some of the joys of Devon and Cornwall are the lush green landscapes, fertile land, rolling hills and rugged coast. But that comes hand in hand with our changeable climate; hot sunny days and wet soggy rainy days.
But just because the storms are coming, doesn’t mean that you have to batten down the hatches! There’s plenty on offer in Devon and Cornwall to keep everyone entertained and to keep you from going stir crazy locked up inside the house.
Here’s our guide to wet weather entertainment in the region. Let us know how you get on, via our social media channels – what would you add to our list?
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery is a real hive of activity – whatever the weather. It’s reach spreads across the city with the Merchant’s House, Elizabethan House and many exhibitions that are aimed at a mix of ages. In particular at the moment puppetry and storytelling would suit the younger members of the family https://plymhearts.org/events-by-venue/
Glory of Glass, Lerryn, near Lostwithiel gives you the chance to make your own decorative wall hanging in fused glass under the direction of Fused Glass Artist Wendy Bradberry. 1-day Workshops are held monthly with group bookings for 5+ people can be arranged on mutually agreed dates. All glass, materials, tools and use of kiln are included. Participants must be over 18. Next day bookings can sometimes be made. And even better – a light lunch is provided free of charge www.gloryofglass.co.uk
Aggie Arts, St Agnes offers art & craft workshops – everything from Cornish pasty making, photography & felting through to watercolour & illustration! www.aggiearts.co.uk
Waves Ceramic Studio is a great way to indulge your creative cravings. The paint it yourself pottery studio is suitable for all ages – even those with no artistic talent can make their own unique masterpiece > https://www.facebook.com/wavesceramicstudio/
Tarka Pottery in Torrington is more than just painting ceramics – you can make it first! Try the unique Potter’s Wheel Experience suitable from age 2 to 102 or choose from great throwing options and potters wheel lessons for individuals, families or groups http://www.tarkapottery.co.uk/
Clay Art in Plymouth is a paint your own Pottery Studio located on the Barbican in Plymouth where the whole family can have fun with their creativity, whatever the weather! http://www.clayart.co.uk/
Make at 140 Vauxhall Street is a little haven for all members of the family. From coffee and cake to buttons and fabrics, Mums and Dads will be as ‘happy as Larry’ whilst the children take on some of their special workshops. But there are some super workshops for adults too so check here for more information > www.makeat140.co.uk
The Quay Climbing Centre at Haven Banks in Exeter is the South West’s largest indoor climbing wall. It is a welcoming, safe and vibrant wall for climbers of all ages, abilities and experiences built into one of Exeter’s largest and iconic industrial buildings – formerly the city’s electricity works. There are 85 hangers each with up to 3 lines of climbing making for well over 200 routes to try at any time. There’s a 14.5 metre lead wall, top roped walls from 7 to 11 metres, 5 auto belays for solo climbers and a dedicated novice zone as well as two boulder caves and training room.
Rock and Rapid Adventures, North Devon’s largest indoor climbing centre, is based in South Molton. It’s laid-back, friendly and fun, and it’s as easy or as hard as you make it. Whether it’s the steep lead wall, top ropes, two auto-belays, quality bouldering cave with great routes or the notorious steep training board, it’ll provide great, stimulating challenges http://www.rockandrapidadventures.co.uk/climbing-wall
Tarka Tennis is an excellent indoor tennis facility with six undercover courts where you can start your road to Wimbledon! Anyone can play at Tarka you don’t have to be a member. Phone up on 01271 377701 to book a court or just turn up to see what is available.
Tenpin Bowling is everyone’s favourite! You’ll find a fantastic centre in the Barbican Leisure Centre in Plymouth. Conveniently it’s also next to the Vue Cinema, so if you want to make a day of it why not combine the two?
Plymouth Pavilions Ice Rink is great fun for all the family – as long as you have the nerve for it! Get your skates on and show off around the indoor ice rink; a fun activity for all the family. The snow showers and disco evenings also add to the experience https://www.plymouthice.co.uk/
Country Skittles, Hayle is set in beautiful rural surroundings near Hayle. Country Skittles is a great family venue for fun and also for food! With skittles, bowling alleys, shooting gallery, loads of games and a well-stocked bar, it is perfect for families and friends to spend an evening or afternoon out. www.countryskittles.com
Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre, Newquay, has a range of exciting activities to take part in whatever the weather is like outside. Although most of our activities are outdoors, it doesn’t really matter if it’s raining as you will get wetsuits and protective gear to ensure you have a warm and fun experience. Activities include Surfing, Coasteering, Abseiling, Zip Wire and other cliff activities. lustyglaze.co.uk/adventure-activities/
Time for Adventure
Exeter’s Underground Passages have always fascinated local people, with stories of wars and sieges, plague and pestilence. They were designed to bring clean drinking water from natural springs outside the walled city, through lead pipes into the heart of the city. Now you can explore them with a hard hat and torch – and a guide of course! https://exeter.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/our-attractions/underground-passages/
Kent’s Cavern in Torquay is one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe and one of Britain’s best showcaves! On your visit you’ll go back to a time when the cave was home to ancient humans, sheltering from extreme weather, making fires, shaping tools and hunting Ice Age animals. As you walk through the extensive labyrinth of caverns, you’ll be surrounded by 400 million year old rocks and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites > http://www.kents-cavern.co.uk/caves
Heartlands, Pool, Redruth is a new FREE visitor attraction and World Heritage Site Gateway in Cornwall. Nestled just off the A30 in Pool, near Redruth in the former mining heart of Cornwall, there are 19 acres of eclectic fun to explore. State-of-the-art exhibitions, climb-on sculptures, gardens of epic diversity, a giant adventure playscape for kids, art and craft studios and a funky café in the old carpenters workshop. With swathes of green outdoor space for warm, sunny days and ever-curious indoor space when it is wet, Heartlands is all-year round, all-weather entertainment for anyone and everyone www.heartlandscornwall.com/
Get historical – not hysterical!
The Mayflower Museum on Plymouth’s Barbican is set over three floors that explore the story of the voyage of the Pilgrim Fathers and their journey aboard the Mayflower to the New World. Step out onto the balcony on the top floor to enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the Barbican and Sutton Harbour and see if you can spot the Mayflower steps where the journey of discovery began http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/plymouthmayflower
Dingles Fairground Heritage Museum is not the usual museum! It holds the National Fairground Collection and captures the magic of a bygone age through exhibits, vintage engineering and stunning artwork displays. You can even ride the rides and bump the bumper cars! It’s a 45,000 square foot indoor attraction that provides a unique opportunity to view our Fairground Heritage in a beautiful rural location. http://fairground-heritage.org.uk/
Cobbaton Combat Museum Military Museum and tourist attraction covers mostly World War Two and the years 1939 – 1945, but with exhibits from the Boer War right up to the First Gulf War. Ranging from military surplus British Army – plus Canadian, American and Russian Forces – tanks, guns, helmets, artillery, grenades, and bombs to Home Front ration books, gas masks, ARP and Home Guard uniforms and blackout lamps. In 1981 Preston Isaac’s runaway hobby was opened to the public, and just keeps growing. On site is a large shop stocking collectors’ items, inert ammunition, clothing, hats, badges, survival equipment, books, CDs, toys, souvenirs and much more. http://www.cobbatoncombat.co.uk/
Pencarrow House, Washaway, Cornwall is a family owned 18th Century Georgian House, with acres of formal gardens and woodland. Fun for all the family, whatever the weather! See chickens, peacocks and many other bird species; you can even experience the oldest rock garden in England! Dogs are very welcome to run free in the grounds (and swim in the lake!) If it is too wet for a walk, guided tours of the Molesworth-St Aubyn family House run throughout the day www.pencarrow.co.uk
Greenaway in Brixham was the holiday home of Agatha Christie and featured as the setting for three of her novels, and now offers a fascinating glimpse into her private life. You could even choose to travel there by boat or steam train to make the visit even more poignant https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway
Dartmouth Castle is an imposing fortress that dates from 1388 and is worth visiting for the views alone. For over 600 years Dartmouth Castle has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the busy, vibrant port of Dartmouth. It offers stunning views of the estuary and out to sea and offers a great family day out, whatever the weather http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/dartmouth-castle/
Buckfast Abbey in Buckfastleigh is a spiritual haven for the many thousands of visitors who come each year. There is an overwhelming sense of peace as soon as you enter the grounds with the church surrounded by gardens which in the summer come alive with colour. Within the Abbey precinct, visitors can browse in the Bookshop or visit the Monastic Shop which has an extraordinary array of products made by nuns and monks across Europe. There is also a gift shop and information point by the Westgate entrance http://buckfasttourism.org.uk/
Meet those that don’t mind the wet!
The National Marine Aquarium is the largest in the UK. Your journey here will take you across the world’s oceans, from the shores of Plymouth to the coral reefs of the tropics. With over 70 sharks, three species of ray, a loggerhead turtle and smaller family favourites such as clownfish, lion fish and smiley pufferfish. www.national-aquarium.co.uk/
Falmouth Aquarium, Falmouth is a fun, affordable and educational look at the marine world.
Uniquely, the Falmouth Aquarium combines the live marine life exhibits commonly found in aquariums with artefacts and the type of media found in museums. The aquarium utilises a combination of live animal exhibits, multimedia, fossils, skeletons and models to create a multidimensional experience of how our oceans work. www.falmouthaquarium.com
Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, Cornwall is the county’s only Seal Sanctuary and rescue centre. Hear about dramatic rescues and meet the seal and sea lion characters whose individual stories are brought to life during your visit. The Sanctuary is also home to fun loving otters, playful penguins, potty paddock animals and a rock pool hosting a wide range of marine creatures. Open daily from 10am except Christmas Day. Dogs on leads always welcome. www.sealsanctuaries.com