As the leaves turn golden and the air takes on a crisp chill, autumn in Cornwall is a magical time of year. Whilst still in denial that Summer (did it really happen?) is over, thoughts have started to turn to wellies, Sunday roasts and woolly jumpers, so it seemed a good time to share our favourite must do Autumn activities. With its stunning coastline, charming villages and fabulous local produce, West Cornwall offers the perfect destination for your autumn or October half-term getaway. Here we’ll guide you through a few of our favourite, must do Autumn activities, whatever the weather.

Wrap up warm and head out for a walk

Take advantage of Cornwall’s breath-taking coastal paths and woodland trails. It’s the ideal time of year for wrapping up warm and getting out, so its no surprise that an invigorating walk is the first in the list of must do Autumn activities. Explore the rugged beauty of the North Coast between Sennen and St Ives, a dramatic section of coastline with a number of great pubs on the way and taking in the section around Botallack Mine, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively take a gentler option and walk from the historic town of Penzance to the beautiful harbour village of Mousehole; passing Newlyn enroute, one of the largest fishing ports in the UK and central to the fishing industry in Cornwall. You can stock up on some wonderful fresh fish, beautiful cheeses, visit Jelberts the famous and super simple ice cream parlour and even visit the Fermentary, a small business that produces fermented foods and drinks using traditional methods, try their Zinger Water Kefir for instance! I definitely recommend heading out for a walk before dusk, if you are lucky you might witness one of Cornwall’s magnificent sunsets. For more inspiration and some guided circular walks all around the area, download the iwalkcornwall app.

Tin-Mines-Botallack-North-Coast-Cornwall | Must Do Autumn Activities

Pick your own Pumpkins!

Embrace the essence of autumn with a delightful trip to one of West Cornwall’s picturesque farms. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to handpick your very own pumpkins, it’s an adventure for all the family, and you can even involve your dog in the fun. This one stays on the must do Autumn activities year after year! Then get your pumpkins back to your cottage and let the creativity flow by carving these beautiful gourds into spooktacular masterpieces!” Make sure to capture those Instagram-worthy pictures from field to finished article!  Our favourite farm is Trevaskis, Connor Downs, near Hayle. Set among 28 acres of beautiful countryside, Trevaskis Farm is a great day out, pumpkins will be picking soon but you can also wander the orchards, visit the farm park, eat at the restaurant (don’t miss the incredible array of cakes!) and then stock up on all your essentials, and plenty of treats from the fabulous farm shop, don’t miss the award-winning home-reared British Lop pork. Dogs are welcome on leads, but not inside the restaurant or farm-shop, as it’s a working farm and prone to mud in the wetter months, wellies are advised!

Wild Swimming followed by Hot Chocolate

Be Brave; the sea is at its warmest in the Autumn so why not get in that beautiful crystal-clear water for a quick dip and rejuvenate body and soul in the process.  Make sure you check the sea conditions before venturing in, and if you don’t think sea swimming is for you, then get all the same benefits with a visit to Cornwall’s celebrated Art Deco Sea water lido on Penzance’s Promenade.  If visiting the Lido, you can cheat and book yourself a session in the geo-thermally heated pool – after an invigorating swim in the main pool of course! What could be better after your swim than treating yourself to a warming cup of hot chocolate, at a nearby café, complete with marshmallows and whipped cream – you have earnt it after all!  After much research, Stones Reef at Praa Sands gets my daughter, Poppy’s vote for favourite hot chocolate in the area!  Even without the swim, the hot-chocolate option has to remain on the must do Autumn activities list!

Sea-Swimming-West-Cornwall | Must Do Autumn Activities

Sunday roast followed by board games by the fire

Picture your perfect Sunday, a lazy morning reading papers, a brisk, revitalising walk along the coast to a wonderful local pub for a traditional Sunday lunch and then cosy up back in the cottage, light the wood-burner and gather around the table for an afternoon of board games.  There are so many fabulous places to find a great Sunday lunch, but our favourite would have to be The Gurnards Head. Set off the road between St Just and St Ives (B3306, near Zennor, probably one of the most beautiful roads in the UK so maybe have a drive before your walk!) Walks from the Gurnards Head are plentiful, just a 5 minute stroll from the pub and you find yourself on the cliffs and coastal path, there is a relatively short loop you can do which takes about 30 minutes or a longer walk towards Zennor and back through the fields.  The food at the Gurnards Head is kept simple, the menus are short, fresh and seasonal and can change daily depending on what is brought to the back door. After a long, relaxing lunch you can either retire to the bar area, get a table by the fire and crack out the cards or return home and let the competition start, the perfect way to spend quality time together.  Many of our beautiful properties have a good supply of board games but remember if there is a family favourite best bring it along with you!

Gurnards-Head-St-Ives-Zennor | Must Do Autumn Activities

Halloween Fun in Cornwall

If you’re visiting during late October, don’t miss the spooky Halloween festivities. Many Cornish villages really go to town with front gardens and houses decorated to the max.  Many of the big attractions also host Halloween-themed events, from haunted house tours to pumpkin carving contests. Dress up the kids, yourself and of course the dog, and join in the Halloween spirit for an unforgettable autumn experience.  Our favourite, and an absolute must do Autumn activity, is trick or treating in Mousehole; it seems the whole village enter into the spirit and competition is high for the best decorated and spookiest garden/ house!  Without a doubt down one of the small, unsuspecting side streets you will find the answer – I will say no more, you will know when you’ve found it!! For those with young kids who want to trick or treat, make sure you only knock on doors which have a lit pumpkin outside.  The fun starts early for the younger children, usually at dusk; the scarier costumes tend to come out a little later! Once you have filled your baskets with sweets, stop in at The Old Coastguard Hotel for a much-needed glass of something!

West Cornwall offers a treasure trove of autumn delights, whether it’s picking pumpkins, exploring scenic trails, enjoying wild swims and hot chocolate, relishing Sunday roasts and board games, or embracing the Halloween spirit, this corner of England has something special for everyone. So, why wait? Book your autumn or October half-term holiday in West Cornwall now. I list below a small selection of our Cornish cottages with availability this autumn, all of which are ready to welcome you, your family and your furry friends to experience an unforgettable autumn getaway.

Discover Our Beautiful Homestays

So if this list of must do Autumn activities has inspired you, take a look at the properties below for a little more inspiration, book your stay and come and enjoy some Autumn fun in Cornwall!

Mousehole Cottage

Lovely detached Cornish Cottage close to the heart of beautiful Mousehole Harbour, with private parking, a garden, wood burner for the chillier evenings and a great selection of board games!  Sleeps 6, dog friendly.

The Summer House

Stunning detached property set above the beautiful village of Mousehole, spacious and stylish interior, private garden, parking for two cars.  With two beautiful bathrooms and plenty of hot water for your post-swim warm up! Sleeps 6 (max 4 adults), dog friendly.

Porth Nanven Cottage

Beautiful detached Cornish cottage set at the end of a magical valley near St Just, with two comfortable bedrooms, two bathrooms and a spacious sitting / dining room.  With footpaths from the doorstep leading in every direction, a short walk down to the sea at Porth Nanven Cove, an exhilarating walk along the South West Coastal Path to Sennen Cove or a stroll up to the local market town of St Just.