Seeking Adventure in Cornwall

When you think of Cornwall, pasties, surfer dudes and beach holidays normally spring to mind, but holidaymakers seeking exhilaration and adventure should head to Cornwall too. Behind the quaint facade, Cornwall is a great place for an action-packed holiday for big kids of all ages.

Here’s our pick of the best adrenaline activities Cornwall has to offer and where to do them.

Zip Wire

If you’re looking for a gentle introduction into adrenaline sports, having a go on a zip wire is probably your best bet. Slip on a harness and soar through the air, wonderful views guaranteed. The popular Eden Project near St Austell is home to England’s longest zip wire at 660m. Fly over the biomes for a birds’ eye view of one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cornwall and witness spectacular displays of seasonal colour.

At Adrenaline Quarry near Liskeard, descend from a height of 50 metres and reach speeds of up to 40 mph as you zipline over a flooded quarry. This is guaranteed to get your adrenaline soaring whether you’re 4 or 84 and is must on your holiday in Cornwall.

Climbing? Tick. Wild swimming? Tick. Jumping off cliffs? Tick. Welcome to coasteering, the latest watersport craze to sweep the Cornish coast. Participants are kitted up with a wetsuit, helmet and buoyancy aid and then scramble up cliff sides, jump into the water below before swimming to the next obstacle.

As long as you’ve got a head for heights and have a basic swimming ability, coasteering is a great way to gain a unique view of the Cornish coastline. Coasteering is available from most of the seaside towns such as Polzeath, St Agnes and Falmouth and some operators welcome children as young as five so it’s a good family holiday. In addition to the usual obstacles, Adrenaline Quarry has a giant inflatable in the middle of the quarry which you jump onto to launch yourself into the water.

Kite Surfing in Cornwall
Kite Surfing in Cornwall. Photo by jonofpob/flickr

Kite Surfing

The near perfect surfing conditions in Cornwall also bode well if you’re a budding kite surfer. Consistently good wind and waves as well as milder waters than elsewhere in the UK ensure excellent kite surfing throughout the year along the Cornish coast. Whether you’re using a kite to propel you along the sand on a surf board or skimming over the waves with the kite far above you, Cornwall is ideal for newcomers to the sport as well as those looking to improve their technique. Watergate Bay not far from Newquay and Maraizon near Penzance are particularly popular with kite surfers and it is at these holiday resorts where you’ll find excellent instructors.

Nature Spotting

Nature spotting isn’t strictly speaking an adrenaline sport, but given that Cornwall is a haven for all types of wildlife, it would be a shame to miss out while you’re on holiday here. To ramp up the exhilaration, wildlife spotting from a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), the boast used for life saving, is your best bet. Join a sea safari leaving from Falmouth, Padstow, Newquay or Penzance and hope to see whales, dolphins and basking sharks as you reach serious speeds. While the operators can’t guarantee that you’ll see all animals on your voyage, your adrenaline levels are sure to soar after a trip on the RIB.

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