While there are lots of things to do in Falmouth and Penryn, you have a whole county to explore during your time here. Cornwall is a corner of the UK rich in history, culture and heritage: its unique folklore and local traditions are sewn into the fabric of the land, and it’s all on your doorstep.
From camping on the Lizard Peninsula to sailing the open seas, from exploring renowned surfing beaches to trekking wild coast paths, Cornwall offers countless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
Here, you can discover all you need to know about Cornwall’s best attractions, festivals and year-round things to do.
Cornwall's big attractions
The Lizard and Kynance Cove
If turquoise waters and a picturesque cove float your boat then you have to visit Kynance Cove. It's on the Lizard Peninsula, the UK's southern-most tip. Great all year round, but you will need a car to get there.
Just a 25-minute train journey from Falmouth, Truro is a city well worth getting to know during your time at university. If you're on the hunt for vintage clothes you should make Enjoy Clothing your first port of call. Music Nostalgia, an independent record shop, is also worth a look-in if you’re into vinyl, CDs and merch. The Old Ale House is the perfect start to any night out.
St Michael’s Mount
A medieval castle perched on an island just east of Penzance, St Michael’s Mount is a sight to behold. With plenty of places of eat and bask in the sun, St Michael’s Mount is a summer day trip just waiting to happen.
St Ives and the Tate gallery
You'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to planning day trips to idyllic coastal towns, but St Ives on Cornwall’s north coast is a must-see. Among the many shops, eateries and seafront attractions, you'll find Tate St Ives – Cornwall residents can get unlimited year-round entry for just £5.00
Much of Cornwall is explorable by public transport. From Falmouth train station you can catch the swell in Newquay or walk the St Ives coastline. Ferries will take you to Flushing, St Mawes and the Roseland Heritage Coast. And local bus and train services run regularly across Cornwall too.
From international sea shanty festivals to St Piran’s Day festivities, there’s always something going on in our part of the world. Keep up to date on all things Cornwall using the links provided below:
On the water
Revel in the north coast’s bounty of surf spots. Slip into a drysuit and deep dive into clear waters. Hoist the sails or jump into a kayak to explore tucked away bays. Whether you’re swimming, surfing, or coasteering there are plenty of opportunities to make the most of studying by the sea.
The Students’ Union hosts clubs for all sorts of water sports, including diving, gig rowing, sailing and sea swimming, which are a great way to meet new people too.
Need to hire watersports equipment? There are plenty of places offering watersports rentals, including paddleboard, kayak or boat hire. Here are just a few to get you started.
- Wavehunters, various locations
- Gylly Adventures, Falmouth
Cornwall surf schools
If you're new to surfing, why not join a surf school? You'll build confidence in the water while being supported by qualified instructors.
From rambling on Bodmin Moor, walking the dramatic coastal paths to cycling the backroads and pitching a tent in one of the many beautiful campsites across Cornwall, there’s plenty of fun to be had on land too. Why not join the Students’ Union Expedition or Climbing societies, or perhaps you’re more into horse riding? Discover all our clubs and societies for outdoor pursuits.
Our top campsites in Cornwall
- Treen Farm, Penzance
- Treveague Farm, Gorran Haven
- Gwithian Farm, Gwithian
- Henry Campsite, The Lizard
- Beacon Cottage Farm, St Agnes
- Trethias Farm, Treyarnon Bay
- Treloan Coast Holidays, Portscatho
Cornwall’s creative culture
From the Cornubian Arts and Science Trust (CAST) to Falmouth’s Independent arts centre The Poly, and live music venue The Cornish Bank, our county boasts a thriving and supportive creative community. You can also explore a plethora of artist and maker studios dotted about Cornwall’s coastline and countryside.
Festivals in Cornwall
Cornwall is known for its festival calendar. Annual events include Boardmasters, the Eden Sessions, The Great Estate Festival, Tropical Pressure and the Cornwall Film Festival. But you don’t have to go far to get involved, the International Sea Shanty weekender, Fal River Festival and Real Ale Festival all take place in our very own Falmouth town.
If food is your thing, check out the Porthleven Food Festival, which brings together celebrity chefs, local food stalls and music to the picturesque harbour port, or stay close to home and enjoy the ever-popular Falmouth Oyster Festival.
The inside scoop
Hear from your fellow students about making the most of living in Cornwall
Ask our student community
What better way to find out about student life at Falmouth than asking our current students? Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.