Helston, Cornwall from above

Things to do in Helston

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You might have heard of Helston as the Gateway to the Lizard Peninsula. It’s apt, really, as you’ll often start your journey through wild and wonderful Cornwall by beginning here.  

Helston’s a mix of rich history and quirky, modern places to visit with friendly faces and beautiful scenery. If you’re staying at our Riviere Sands Holiday Park, it’s only 11 miles up the road. Pack up the car and get exploring! Here are some exciting things to do in Helston that you won’t want to miss.

Flambards Theme Park

Flambards Theme Park
Flambards Theme Park: an all-round great day out

For nail-biting things to do, Helston’s indoor and outdoor theme park could be just the ticket for all-weather fun. There are kid-friendly rides like the mini carousel and Jurassic Journey. If you fancy kicking things up a notch, jump on the Thunderbolt, Sky Raker, or Hornet roller coasters! If white-knuckle rides aren’t quite your thing, fear not. Stick to solid ground and race around the go karting track or try your hand at mini golf.

For something rather unexpected, step back in time and take a stroll down the Victorian Village. This is a purpose-built street with over 50 scenes set up just like real shops and events that would have happened 150 years ago! History lessons have never felt so interactive…

Museum of Cornish Life

Some describe this museum as a TARDIS. Fairly unassuming from the outside, it’s hidden behind the Guildhall and bursting with artefacts and a rich history. Originally opened in 1949, it’s a celebration of everything Cornish and boasts one of the largest collections in the South West! 

From the geological history of mysterious Serpentine, to tin mining, farming, and local industry, there’s just about everything you can think of to satisfy your curiosity. We’re sure you’ll have questions—just head to the nearest friendly volunteer who will be more than happy to help you learn more about the vast collection here.

When you’ve made your way around, make sure you visit the unique serve-yourself cafe for a refreshing tea or coffee. Pop into the gift shop in the old market building before you leave to spend some pocket money and leave a donation if you can, as this museum is free to enter but relies on donations to keep it going for others to enjoy.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Gweek is about three miles out of Helston and is home to this sanctuary, run by the Sea Life Trust. Their main mission is to rescue and rehabilitate as many seal pups as they can from around the Cornish coast. You’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures as you learn more about marine life and the work the sanctuary does to look after seals. Make your way around the sanctuary to see seals in different stages of their rehabilitation, including underwater viewing and Harbour View pool areas.

As well as seals, you’ll get to visit sea lions, penguins, and even paddock animals as part of your visit! No need to pre-book—just pop down during opening hours. There’s accessible parking and toilets, plus a cafe serving hot and cold food to take away. Well behaved dogs are welcome on leads!

Discover breaks in Cornwall

Perran Sands self catering holidays

Perran Sands, Cornwall

4 nights from £49
Riviere Sands self catering holidays

Riviere Sands, Cornwall

4 nights from £69

Ferdi's Indoor Play

An experience all of its own, you’ll find Ferdi’s inside Flambards theme park. This indoor soft play area caters more to the littlest members of the family, where they can slide, swing, and wade through ball swamps, solving giant puzzles as they go. There’s even a mini climbing wall! Tots can visit the mini street to visit the kiddie supermarket, pet shop, and mechanic. For the grown-ups, there are plenty of comfy seats and a coffee shop for refreshments, before you move onto your next adventure. 

Got a Flambards season pass? You can enter Ferdi’s at no extra charge!

Halliggye Fogou, near Garras

Halliggye Fogou, near Garras

For one of the stranger things to do in Helston, you can’t miss a visit to Halliggye Fogou. It’s a complex underground network of tunnels dating back to the Iron Age that to this day, we still aren’t really sure what it was used for. To get there, you’ll have to go by foot along a quiet, rough track but don’t worry as there’s a rough parking area about half a mile away from the tunnel entrance.

It’s free to enter between May to September, but during the winter months, greater horseshoe bats nest in the tunnels. Dogs are welcome to join you on your exploration but remember to bring a torch!

The Homestead Woodland Garden

Take some time to recharge in nature with a visit to the Homestead Woodland Garden. It was developed and is run by Shirley and Chris, who have made it their mission to sculpt a beautiful and interesting outdoor space to enjoy. Meander around the different themed areas, including the fish pond garden, sculpture garden, and veg garden. Enjoy the gentle sway of wildflowers in the meadow and explore the woodland that surrounds the garden. If you’d rather get active, have a go on the climbing ropes or build a den! 

There’s parking available for visitors and a lovely garden cafe serving fresh food and drink.

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