May is a great time of year to visit Cornwall, whether it’s your first time or a returning visitor. As the temperatures rise with highs of 20 degrees, summer is just around the corner, and there’s plenty to see and do in Cornwall during the May school holidays. As well as some pretty spectacular places to stay, although we are a little biased…
Spring brings with it a bounty of natural beauty, with gorgeous flowers – keep your eyes peeled for foxgloves – and luscious greenery and let’s not forget the beautiful beaches, which look stunning all year round.
As the days grow longer, the sun shines brighter and the winter layers come off, Cornwall comes to life. Here’s a handful of not-to-be-missed events taking place across the Duchy this May half term.
Select dates over May half term
Cornwall’s iconic Minack Theatre in Porthcurno family-friendly show The Piskie in the Garden is running on Monday 29, Wednesday 31 and Friday 2 June. The show tells the tale of an old gardener who has a sudden awakening. Expect a mixture of puppets, music and wonderful storytelling, plus plenty of mischief and fairy magic.
Friday 26 May to Monday 29 May, 11am-11pm
Cornwall Street Food Festival returns with a four-day May Bank Holiday bonanza! Taking place on the picturesque Barrowfields Cliffs in Newquay, Cornwall Street Food Festival is a great way to spend the weekend in Cornwall, with vendors cooking up a storm from 11am – 11pm daily. Tickets are free (upgrades are available), but you’ll need to book them beforehand.
Saturday 27 May until Sunday 4 June, 10-4pm
A trip to Tate St Ives always comes recommended, and those visiting over May half term can join in the artistic fun with the family-friendly ‘Art Explorer’ activity. Explore the galleries with an Explorer Backpack and Tate Shapes activities, as you get creative with a sketchbook or pick up an Art Challenge card. There’s also a major exhibition during this time about the artists of the renowned Casablanca Art School, exploring the intense period of artistic rebirth that followed Morocco’s independence, forged by the experimental teaching methods of the Casablanca Art School in the 1960s and 1970s.
Open every day from 9:30am
Trebah Gardens is a sub-tropical Cornish garden, steeped in heritage and creativity in Mawnan Smith just outside of Falmouth. A visit to Trebah is always magical, with its 26 acre garden packed with plants from around the globe, this May the new Court Garden opens. A unique walled garden, showcasing traditional herbaceous beds with a mix of shrubs alongside more exotic and tender plants that would struggle to grow outside of Cornwall.
Thursday 1 June, 3pm
For something different this May half term, head to Norton Barton Farm, just outside of Bude and home to The Cornish Distilling Co, where visitors can enjoy a guided tour showing the rums and gin made from scratch on site.
On arrival you will receive a welcome drink of either a Morvenna Spiced Rum and ginger ale, or a Bude Gin and tonic. The tour ends with a generous tasting session in the distillery bar. And fear not, designated drivers will get a mini of their choice to take away with them.
Running time: approx. 1 hour 30 mins @ £20 per person
Monday 29 May – Friday 2 June, 11am – 3pm
Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum is always a hive of activity, and this May half term visitors can discover the curious creatures found along the Cornish shore with the Rock Pool Project and their magical mobile rock pool which will be at the museum. Create paper plate rock pools to take home and join the Museum trail to help find all the hidden rock pool creatures. Drop-in from anytime between 11-3pm.
Saturday 27 May – Saturday 3 June, 9:30-6pm
The Eden Project is often at the top of most families Cornish bucket list, and there’s always extra activities on during the holidays. This May half term there’s plenty of family fun to be had with pop-up performances and theatre – including music, storytelling, dance and creative workshops.
We have some last-minute availability in some beautiful self-catering cottages across Cornwall. Your dream holiday awaits...
Celebrate New Years Here!
An impressive contemporary retreat in an idyllic creek-side location
Pets Welcome: Yes
Special Feature: Home cinema room
Special Feature: Private bar area
Gorgeous 19th century sea-view cottage, lovingly refurbished
Pets Welcome: No
Special Feature: Spectacular sea views of St Ives
Parking: Reserved space nearby
Stunning sea view apartment
Pets Welcome: Yes
Parking: Private space
Special Feature: Spectacular sea views from balcony