Looking for things to do in Helston? Whether you’re after natural beauty or want to experience the culture of a Cornish town, there is a wide range of attractions in and around Helston.
Helston is not the most popular place to stay in Cornwall, but it’s in a fantastic location in West Cornwall. From here, it’s easy to get to the Lizard Peninsula and Lands End, but you can also drive to the north coast or eastwards toward Falmouth and beyond.
It’s also got a charm that a lot of Cornish towns seem to have lost as tourism has grown. Let’s take a look at all of the best things to do in Helston, Cornwall!
The Best Things to do in Helston
Museum of Cornish Life (Helston Museum)
The Museum of Cornish Life is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Helston, featuring one of the best social history collections in the country.
This museum focuses on the social side of Cornwall’s incredible history. It looks at the industries of Cornwall throughout the ages, as well as historical Cornish shops and children’s toys. There are a huge variety of exhibits here with some impressive historical models.
What’s more, Helston Museum is free to enter!
Coronation Park is a lovely spot close to Helston that’s perfect for a family day. You can take out pedalo boats on the lake for lots of family fun, or enjoy lunch at the waterside cafe.
Helston Heritage Trail
Helston Heritage Trail will give you an insight into the interesting history of the town. It is one of Cornwall’s oldest, which means it has plenty of stories to tell! Helston was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and its history stretches to the modern-day, with plenty of curious quirks hidden around the town that you can uncover with the heritage trail. Click here for more information about the Helston Heritage Trail.
Cornish Seal Sanctuary
The Cornish seal sanctuary is one of the best things to do in Cornwall for animal lovers – especially if you only want to visit ethical animal attractions. It is an animal centre for seals who have been injured or orphaned.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, located in Gweek, is home to dozens of seals, sea lions, penguins, and other aquatic animals. The registered charity rescues injured or orphaned seals who won’t survive in the wild and rehabilitate them.
Then, they release any seals who are ready to go back into the wild – if a seal has injuries or illnesses that mean that they will not be able to live independently, they have a permanent home at the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is based in a beautiful spot in the village of Gweek, with beautiful views over the Cornish countryside. Gweek is a 10 minute drive or 15 minute bus ride from Helston.
Flambards Theme Park
Flambards Theme Park is located right on the edge of Helston – you can easily drive or take a bus here. This is a brilliant theme park with a vast range of rides and is perfect for all the family!
With rides from go-karts to a log flume to the skyraker adrenaline-boosting ride, you’re guaranteed to have a good time here. Flambards Theme Park call it ‘the best day of the week!’.
Flambards Theme Park is on the outskirts of Helston – a five minute drive or seven minute bus ride. You could even walk there if you fancy!
The Loe Pool
The Loe is the biggest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall, and you can walk here from Helston. Take an easy hiking trail through the Cornish countryside to reach it. This is a wonderful place for walking, and you can also hike up to Loe Bar Beach.
However, do be warned; this is one of the most dangerous beaches in Cornwall, and you certainly shouldn’t swim here. However, it is a lovely spot to enjoy coastal views!
Beaches near Helston
As well as Loe Bar Beach, there are a variety of other beaches around Helston. Porthleven is a beautiful beach with plenty of resources – you can either walk here from Helston or take a short bus.
Alternatively, there’s Gunwalloe Church Cove Beach, Poldhu Cove, or Mullion Cove on the Lizard. These beaches are all easily accessible from Helston by car, bike or even hiking. So, if you’re after a beach holiday, you could opt to stay in Helston and travel to a different beach every day.
Heading westwards from Helston, you can also go to Praa Sands or Marazion, home to St Michael’s Mount.
Hiking on the Lizard
The South West Coast Path connects all of the beaches in Cornwall – this is a long-distance hiking trail that you can pick up at any point. So if you want to do some hiking around Helston, you could walk from Porthleven to Mullion Cove or even further! If you keep following the coast path, you’ll end up reaching the popular Kynance Cove and Lizard Point.
You could also hike the coastal path on the other side of the Lizard, visiting places like Cagdwith, Kennack Sands, Coverack and Porthallow.
Poldark Mine is Cornwall’s only complete underground mine. You can take tours of the mine, which explore either three or four levels of it. This will give you an excellent understanding of the mining culture in Cornwall.
Poldark Mine is located just 3.5 miles from Helston and is easy to access by car or bus.
If you’re after beaches, Porthleven is your best bet. Visit Porthleven Harbour, a historic harbour with lots of places to eat, drink, and go boat-spotting. Or, enjoy the three-mile stretch of Porthleven Beach, which eventually leads to Loe Bar. Swimming is not recommended here due to rough tides.
Godolphin is a historic house located seven miles from Helston. The house itself has centuries of history, and there are also beautiful Medieval gardens to enjoy. Run by the National Trust, Godolphin House is a great spot to visit if it’s raining, or the gardens are perfect for a walk!
Godolphin House is a 12 minute drive or 20 minute bus ride from Helston.
Places to visit near Helston
- Falmouth – here you can enjoy the National Maritime Museum, Pendennis Castle, the Falmouth Art Gallery and take in the fantastic diverse dining scene.
- Porthcurno – this is home to the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, the Minack Theatre, and Porthcurno Beach.
- Trebah Garden – this sub-tropical paradise is one of the most beautiful outdoor spots to see in Cornwall, with exotic blooms and walking trails.
- Truro – home to the Royal Cornwall Museum and the county’s only cathedral, this is a great spot to learn about Cornwall’s fascinating history.
- St Ives, with the Tate Gallery Art Museum and famous beautiful town centre. The Geevor Tin Mine is also close to St Ives and well worth a visit.
The Best Helston Attractions!
As you can see, there are lots of things to do in Helston for all types of travellers! It’s the ideal base to explore some of South Cornwall’s best beaches or the Lizard Peninsula, and there are also lots of attractions in the town too.