It's raining-what shall we do?
The start of the main school summer holiday season seemed a good time to consider the possibility of less than perfect weather.
Hopefully there will be some helpful ideas in here, apologies for stating the obvious at times.
Obvious point #1: The short term weather forecast now is generally fairly accurate so it is worth keeping an eye on this to help plan your program of holiday activities. We find that a combination of the Met Office and XC Weather is generally good.
Obvious point #2: During peak holiday times the conventional "wet weather" attractions will be very busy when it rains, as will the main roads, car parks and town centres.
Obvious point #3: The busiest time is generally between mid morning and mid afternoon.
Combining the above points if the forecast is for rain for all/most of the day and you are planning a trip to The Eden Project, for example, it makes sense to get away early or to wait until late afternoon before going if you don't enjoy crowds and traffic jams. (The Eden Project is often suggested as a good option for a rainy day but I wouldn't really recommend it as it does get very busy on wet days and quite a lot of it is outside. Best to go on a sunny day when lots of other people are at the beach.)
Connoisseurs can identify various forms of Cornish wet weather including typical rain, warm and drizzly rain, and sideways rain with strong winds.
Days with warm & drizzly rain can be quite good for going to the beach for rockpooling, learning to surf, kayak or SUP. This will generally get you away from any crowds and as you may well get wet anyway a bit of extra rain won't matter too much. There are various surf schools nearby and the Ocean Sports Centre at Carbis Bay do lessons and equipment hire for SUPs, kayaks and small dinghies.
The warm but drizzly/misty type weather can be localised to either the North or South coast or to the far west of Cornwall, so if it looks misty out of the window it is worth checking some webcams of other locations to see if it is better elsewhere. This is a good selection of beach webcams around the county.
The sideways rain with strong winds scenario doesn't usually last too long during the summer months and even with good outdoor clothing it is best to stay out of it. If it is only for half a day or so maybe stay in the house and play some board games or have a "Bake off challenge". Cornish Hevva (or heavy) cake was traditionally made after a good catch of pilchards and is tasty and easy to make. There are many variations in the recipe so it would make a good bake off option. There is a recipe on the App for Cornwall which also includes a lot of other useful information.
Rainy day activities out and about include museums, galleries, soft play centres, theme parks and shopping.
St Ives has a good range of shops, cafes and galleries, including the Tate St Ives who run some indoor (and outdoor) art workshops during the school holidays. The Leach Pottery runs workshops for children on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the school holidays (£7 per child per workshop-need to book in advance) with drop in sessions on Thursdays for visitors to the museum of all ages. The Barnoon workshop also run lots of art-based activities for all ages.
The St Ives Museum is compact but contains a lot of interesting local history.
There is an Escape room in St Ives with puzzle solving challenges for ages 12-adults.
Penzance is about 20 minutes drive away and is home to the Penlee House Gallery & Museum which is well worth a visit. Also in Penzance is the Eureka Escape Room a puzzle solving challenge that sounds interesting and is getting some good reviews.
Geevor Tin Mine is about 30 minutes drive away from Halsetown.
Falmouth is about an hour away by car and has a good range of shops,including a branch of Trago Mills which is something of a Cornish institution. The National Maritime Museum is interesting for all ages and runs some additional family activities during the school holidays. Also in Falmouth is the Ships & Castles leisure pool. If the weather improves there are several gardens nearby including Trebah, Glendurgan and Trelissick. It is also possible to take a boat trip across to St Mawes or up the Fal river to Trelissick garden or Truro. Pendennis Castle in Falmouth and St Mawes Castle across the estuary are Tudor castles run by English Heritage.
Paradise Park in Hayle is about 10-15 minutes drive away and includes an indoor soft play area. The park is primarily a bird and animal sanctuary and includes animal feeding displays so it's best visited on a day when the weather isn't too bad.
Somewhat off the main tourist trail at Townshend near Hayle is Country Skittles this includes a large bar/restaurant area, traditional skittle alleys and various other games and activities. Also in this area is the National Trust Godolphin Estate, the house is only open occasionally but there is a historic garden and on a clear day there are great views of both coasts from the top of Godolphin Hill.
Flambards Amusement Park in Helston is about 30 minutes drive away in Helston and includes indoor and outdoor activities. The one2eleven indoor soft play park is nearby. Also close to Helston in Gweek is the Seal Sanctuary.
There is a roller disco rink near Redruth that has recently added virtual reality gaming to the range of activities on offer.
A warm but drizzly type day on the
coast path near St Agnes
4pm on a warm but damp June Saturday and we have the beach to ourselves.