Discover Cornwall’s Charms: A Treasure Trove of Free Activities

If you’re planning a visit to the stunning coastal haven of Cornwall, we’re here to tell you that this gem of southwestern England offers more than just captivating landscapes and pristine beaches—it’s a treasure chest of free experiences waiting to be uncovered!

At Harlyn Sands, we understand that the joy of a holiday often lies in the unexpected discoveries and the simple pleasures of life. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to “Free Things to Do in Cornwall.” Whether you’re a budget-savvy explorer or just looking to add some extra magic to your trip, you’re in for a treat.

So, grab your sunhat, put on some sunscreen, and let’s embark on a journey through Cornwall’s charming nooks and crannies, all without breaking the bank. From breathtaking natural wonders to cultural gems and hidden local secrets, Cornwall has it all, and we’re excited to share it with you. Let’s set sail on this cost-free adventure! 🌊✨


Trenance Gardens and Leisure Park – 30 minutes away

There’s heaps to do at Trenance, including something for every member of the family. Try out Cornwall’s biggest wooden outdoor skate park. Relax by the Boating Lake (you can hire pedalos if that’s your style). Or take a stroll through beautiful Trenance Gardens.

Royal Cornwall Museum – 40 minutes away

The RCM is free to under 18’s (£5 for an annual pass for adults). This eclectic collection of Cornish culture, art, antiquities, archaeology, science, and natural history will take you on a journey. From deep underground to up into the sky, around the world and way back in time, RCM will take you there.

St Michael’s Mount – 1 hour 10 minutes away

Believed to be the site of a great battle between King Arthur and Cormoran the giant. St Michael’s Mount stands proudly overlooking its famous walkway between to Marazion. You can’t explore the castle and gardens for free but you can take a walk at low tide across to the Mount, and scramble across the rocks to find Merlin’s cave.


Since 1995, the Flicka Foundation has rescued and rehabilitated over 1000 animals, including sheep, pigs, cows, cats, dogs, rabbits and more. Currently, the sanctuary cares for more than 100 donkeys, horses and ponies who have been rescued from abuse and neglect. Whilst it is free to visit, the sanctuary relies on donations to continue their work.
Scattered across the Duchy, you’ll find many Cornwall Wildlife Reserves. There are woodlands, meadows, streams, Tors and former quarry sites. 15 minutes away by car, you’ll find Downhill Meadow. Great for birdwatching and wildflowers. The meadows boundary hedges have been in existence since medieval times.


Roskilly’s Ice Cream Farm – 1 hour 30 minutes away

“Take a peek at a real, working Cornish dairy farm! Meet the animals. Stroll around the meadows. Enjoy the tranquillity of the ponds. And of course, sample some delicious, real Cornish ice cream!”

Trevaskis Farm – 1 hour away

“The complete countryside experience… whether it’s a family day out, romantic meal, a light lunch after a wander around the orchards or just a trip to our award winning farm shop.” It’s completely free to visit and wander around Trevaskis Farm. Meet ponies, pigs, cattle, chicken and sheep on the working farm. When you’re done with the animals, Pick Your Own tantalising juicy fruit to take home with you.


Heartlands – 55 minutes away

“Heartlands a celebration of Cornish heritage and Culture”. Spread over 19 acres of Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, is Heartlands. Find a mining museum and exhibition, diaspora gardens, a giant adventure playscape for kids, all completely free to enjoy.

Falmouth Art Gallery – 1 hour 5 minutes away

One of the leading art galleries in the South West, it has won or been nominated for 16 national awards. Falmouth Art Gallery has an innovative, eclectic and popular community education programme. There’s also an impressive automata and children’s book illustration collection too.

Out & About

The Camel Trail – 10 minutes away

Hop on your bike and join the Camel Trail as it takes you along the scenic, former railway track to Wadebridge (5.5 miles). You don’t have to stop there, continue on to Bodmin (another 5.75 miles) or Wenfordbridge (a further 12miles). The trail is virtually level in its entirety, making it perfect for families. Pack a picnic and enjoy the views from one of the many stop off points along the route.
Stretching the entire 630 miles of coast from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. You can pick up the trail from anywhere on the Cornish Coast. Including by the Beach at Harlyn Sands. Some sections are more strenuous than others so check the guide before setting out.
A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Bodmin Moor is a deeply historic place. Made up of large unenclosed moors and granite tors. You’ll find ancient monuments, remnants of Cornwall’s tin mining history and Cornwall’s highest Tor. Brown Willy stands at around 420m elevation making it the highest hill in the county.

Beaches & Rockpooling – various

You can’t come to Cornwall and not spend at least a little time at the beach. Whether you opt for the busy Surfer’s Paradise of Newquay, or find a quiet sandy cove to call your own, be sure to check tide times. Always make sure someone knows where you are heading, and take note of our Beach Safety tips.
We’re definately biased, but Harlyn Bay is OUR favourite and it has lifeguards in the summer months too!

Golitha Falls – 1 hour away

“The Golitha Falls are a series of spectacular cascades and waterfalls along a section of the River Fowey as it makes its way through the ancient oak woodland of Draynes Wood. It is one of the best known beauty spots on Bodmin Moor.” Golitha Falls is a National Nature Reserve and designated Site of Special Scientific interest due to its woodland fauna. Look out for otters, salmon and dormice among other wildlife known to frequent the area. If you don’t feel like carrying your lunch, there is a truly fantastic smokehouse in the car park that is well worth a visit.

Harlyn Sands… obviously!

You don’t need to travel far to enjoy a wonderful (and free) family day. Here on site we have lots to keep the kids whole family entertained. Make sure you pop into reception and pick up an Entertainment Guide for all the activities we have planned each week. On site we have beach days, Meady Maker, Chase the Pirate and more! Plus check out our super fun, Play Park!