• Tehidy Woods
  • The Mexico Inn
  • The Minack Theatre

October Half Term In Cornwall: What’s On In 2023

Are you planning your Cornwall holidays for October half term? The autumn is a lovely time to visit Cornwall: it’s a bit quieter, but there’s still plenty for families to do. Here’s what’s on in Cornwall in October Half Term 2023.

Spooky Events in Cornwall

Most schools are on their half term break from Monday 23rd October 2023, which means that this year’s holiday misses Halloween itself. However, there are plenty of spooky activities planned for the half term week across Cornwall.

As ever, the National Trust pulls out all the stops with trails, crafts and pumpkin-related activities in most of their properties. Keep an eye on their website to find out what’s on in Cornwall over half term.

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth takes eerie shadow puppetry as its theme for Halloween 2023, with its Silhouettes And Shadows week. Watch a performance or join in with a shadow puppet-making workshop. Can you create your own ghostly galleon or menacing sea monster?

Paradise Park in Hayle is running its fabulous Pumpkin Trail, and there willll also be the opportunity to meet some Creepy Creatures with Mark’s Ark wildlife encounters.

Trick or tree? It’s time for Halloweden at The Eden Project, which is always spectacular. This year, the theme is Tree Giants with a magical quest to learn the wisdom of these ancient beings. There are also wand making workshops, and the ice rink will be open in time for October half term.

Eden’s sister attraction The Lost Gardens of Heligan is offering a pumpkin trail with “giant pumpkins like you’ve never seen before”… Check out their helpful website for further updates.

If you want to carve your own pumpkin, Splattenridden Farm near St Ives and Trevaskis Farm near Hayle usually have pick-your-own pumpkin fields. Keep an eye on their websites for more information.

Crisp Woodland Walks

Kicking through the leaves is one of autumn’s real pleasures. Pack your wellies and head for the woods.

Lanhydrock is a large country estate near Bodmin, managed by the National Trust. As well as the house and formal gardens (both definitely worth visiting), there’s a network of paths through the wooded grounds.  There are trails to suit all ages and abilities and if you prefer, you can even hire bikes onsite.

Nearby Cardinham Woods also has a choice of pathways (plus a nice cafe!). The landscape here is rich and varied and you’re soon immersed in the beautiful glades and valleys. It’s hard to believe you’re just five minutes’ drive from the A30.

Tehidy Woods is a real locals’ favourite spot, with a network of (mostly easy) paths, and plenty of waterfowl and squirrels to feed. The main entry points and car parks are near Pool off the A30 (“South Drive”, home to the cafe) and along the coast road past Gwithian (“North Cliffs”). If you’re in Cornwall with your dog, North Cliffs is the better option, as some of the paths near the lake at South Drive don’t allow dogs.

October Half Term Theatre

There’s some great theatre in Cornwall for October half term 2023. The beautiful Minack Theatre is showing The Lonely Lighthouse Keeper during half term week, which answers the age-old question, “Why can’t you keep a horse in a lighthouse?”. Book in advance, and pack for all weathers.

For another outdoor performance, it’s back to Tehidy Woods and the incomparable Rogue Otherworld. This magical, mystical theatre company creates unique immersive experiences in the heart of the woods. They hadn’t released details of their autumn show when we were putting together this guide, so watch their website for upcoming information. Their previous October performances have been incredible, with different shows for younger and grownup audiences. 

Heartlands Cornwall is a mining heritage centre near Pool, and for October half term 2023, they’re hosting the marvellous Squashbox Theatre. Shivers And Shadows is a spooky and hilarious puppet show that tells the story of Great Uncle Vladimir’s creepy mansion. 

Truro’s Hall For Cornwall has four performances of There’s A Monster In Your Show, based on the popular books by Tom Fletcher. These are on Monday, 23 and Tuesday, 24 October, with afternoon and evening shows. Combine your trip with lunch or dinner in Truro along with a trip to the family-friendly Royal Cornwall Museum.

Cosy Cornish Pubs for Autumn Days

On a rainy autumn day, there’s nothing like a long, lazy lunch in a cosy pub. Load up with entertainment for the kids and treat yourself to some hearty Cornish food.

Our favourite cosy Cornish pubs include the medieval Tinners Arms in Zennor and the Victoria Inn in Perranuthnoe (East of Penzance). A holiday in St Ives isn’t complete without a trip to The Sloop Inn, with its ancient low ceilings and menu of freshly caught fish.

The Admiral Benbow in Penzance is one of West Cornwall’s most fascinating pubs (look up at the roof as your step inside!), or head just out of town to Longrock and the inviting Mexico Inn. If you’re after somewhere a bit special, the Rising Sun in Truro and Rick Stein’s Cornish Arms near Padstow serve exceptional food.

Book Your Cornwall Holidays for October Half Term 2023

Come back from your woodland walk and warm your feet by the fire. At Cornish Escapes, we have a wonderful selection of cosy Cornwall holiday cottages that are perfect for your autumn break. Choose from rural retreats and village-based properties, within walking distance of those welcoming pubs!

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