From the world famous Eden Project to the Cornish Mines World Heritage Site, this rural county is also home to some of the best indoor activities in the country.
Indoor activities in Cornwall
As the world’s largest indoor rainforest, the Eden Project needs little in the way of introduction. It’s like Cornwall’s own little piece of the Amazon plonked an 18-mile drive from our Liskeard hotel. Famous the world over for its pair of giant biomes, and the exotic plant species that thrive there, more than a million people visit every year. The larger of the two domes simulates the tropical conditions of a rainforest, while the smaller one has more of a Mediterranean environment. You’ll find nearly two million plants in the Eden Project, with over 5,000 different varieties, and if that wasn’t exciting enough, you could also have a go on the longest zipline in England, and (drumroll please) it’s the home of The World Pasty Championships.
If you can’t help wondering just how tough life was for prisoners in Cornwall during the olden days, take a tour around Bodmin Jail. It puts you behinds bars of the 18th century prison – but don’t worry, they won’t throw away the key. The tour takes in all six levels of the jail, so you can explore the cells, read about how it was built for ‘Mad King George’, and wince at the descriptions of prisoner punishments. The bloodthirsty among you can also check out the Execution Shed, which is a fully restored Victorian hanging pit, and the site of the last execution in Cornwall.
If you’re interested in the industrial history of Cornwall, pay a visit to a ‘ding dong’. That’s what they called tin mines back in the day, and Poldark Mine is the only intact tin mine in Cornwall open to the public for underground tours. It’s part of the Cornish Mines World Heritage Site, and the tour takes you deep into the countryside into open caverns and claustrophobic passageways. The tour guides are passionate about the mine, and their immense knowledge immerses you in the history of the area.
A truly awe-inspiring experience, if you’re looking for something to do in Liskeard, is the Carnglaze Caverns – a collection of three man-made caverns that were forged from a slate quarry. They have a unique history; the main one is nicknamed the Rum Store because during World War II the Royal Navy used it to house their supply of rum safely – sadly it’s all long gone. However, the cavern has been converted into a 400-capacity music venue, making the most of its incredible acoustics. There are also two underground pools; the larger is particularly stunning when lit up.