19 Perfect Things to do in Helston with Kids + Nearby Experiences

Located at the northern end of the Lizard Peninsula, Helston is a picturesque Cornish town with an impressive heritage. Helston is beautifully positioned to explore some of the county’s best locations, just three miles from the coast.

There are so many things to do and fun attractions to visit in Helston for fun, family-friendly days out, including Flambards Theme Park, which hosts the best thrill rides in Cornwall and the Cornish Seal Sanctuary where you can meet the incredible ocean-dwellers.

Immerse yourself in historic sites, museums, award-winning restaurants and a mix of gift and speciality shops or travel just a short distance to one of  Cornwall’s best beaches.

This Helston Travel Guide will take you through the top things to do in Helston with your kids and nearby experiences to help you make the most of your family trip to Helston.

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Things to do in Helston with kids

Helston is best known for the annual Flora Day festival held on May 8th. However, there are plenty of other things you can do and places you can visit throughout the rest of the year, including the Museum Of Cornish Life, Coronation Park and the picturesque Boating Lake.

#1 Visit Helston Railway  

Helston Railway is a reconstruction of the original Great Western Railway Branch Line – an award-winning heritage railway. It’s a great place to spend a day out in the Cornish countryside with your kids.

You can visit the gift shop for some railway-themed souvenirs or take the 25-minute train journey towards the Lizard and South Coast and enjoy the breathtaking views over the countryside. There is also a games room and video presentation that the kids will love.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#2 Visit the Museum of Cornish Life

If you are wondering what to do in Helston, Cornwall, you should definitely plan to visit the Helston Museum of Cornish life, housed in the town’s historic market buildings. The museum has one of the largest collections in Cornwall, with thousands of objects to explore the Cornish culture and industry, how our ancestors lived and how things were done in the 20th century.

You can view live sessions on Facebook for a digital collection tour and some learning and activity ideas for your kids.

Admission: FREE

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#1 Visit Flambards – The Best Theme Park in Cornwall

Flambards, theme park in Cornwall, helston
Flambards kids playground (Credit: Ben Sutherland)

There’s plenty to do for all the family. There’s a special kids area for the younger kids – Ferdi’s Funland (photo), including a Dino nursey exhibition. Indoors, you can learn about Britain in the blitz in a life-sized Victorian village display.

There are some thrilling rides for older kids and teens, including the Skyraker, the Hornet and the Thunderbolt.

Website | flambards.co.uk

Go on a Scenic Walk on the South West Coast Path

#3 Celebrate the End of Winter During Flora Day

Held every year on May 8th, Helston Flora Day is definitely one of the liveliest events in the Cornish calendar and one of the most famous things to do in Helston for a great family day out. It’s a unique and colourful way of welcoming spring.  Tradition is that women dress in bright summer dresses, the men wear white shirts, ties, and all the children wear white.

The day starts at 7.00 am with Hundreds of people dancing through the houses and streets decorated with greenery and flowers. It consists of four processional dances, and taking part in one of them is by invitation from the Flora Day Association.

#4 Make Memories at Helston cinema

Situated right in the heart of the town, the Flora Cinema is among the best places to visit in Helston, Cornwall, especially on rainy days; it’s part of the Merlin Cinema in Helston,  a popular cosy two-screen cinema where you can make memorable memories with your kids.

It’s a safe, secure and family-friendly environment to enjoy the best rainy day activity and watch the next Oscar-winning movies. There is a huge selection of drinks, sweets and popcorn.

View on TripAdvisor here >>

#5 Visit Helston Sports Centre

Situated in the heart of Helston,  Better sports and leisure Centre is among the best of Helston things to do. The centre has a huge range of activities for both adults and children, including fitness classes, circuits, leisure activities and one of the best swimming pools in Cornwall.

The centre offers swimming lessons for all ages and abilities and a lot of fun swimming activities for your kids. During school holidays, there are many fun activities for children.

#6 Visit the Coronation Park and Boating Lake

If you are feeling adventurous and looking for things to do in Helston to entertain your kids, then you should definitely plan a visit to Coronation Park, a community-managed historic park just outside Helston town centre. With its wonderful Boating Lake, the place has been a family favourite for generations. 

You can hire a rowing boat or a family pedalos, and there is an amazing outdoor play area with some challenging climbs in the treehouse and a skate park. Don’t miss the Lakeside Café, where you can sit, relax and enjoy the amazing view over the lake.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#7 Visit the Helston Shops

Helston Cornwall things to do are not only about tourist attractions, museums and events. There are also some amazing shops in Helston. The high street has a wide range of choices, from unique local products to handcrafted gifts and clothes.

Make sure you visit the chocolate factory and craft centre for some local handmade chocolates and Trevena Cross Nurseries, one of the biggest gift departments in West Cornwall with a huge variety of fabulous plants and many more beautiful gifts. There are also some great local organic food producers and farm shops in the area.

Things to do near Helston with kids

There are so many things to do near Helston, from visiting the magnificent island of St Michael’s Mount to spending a day at the renowned Eden Project. If you like coastal walks you need also to consider visiting the beautiful Harbour of Porthleven.

#8 Visit the Lizard Heritage Centre and Climb to the Top of Lizard Lighthouse

lighthouse, the lizard, cornwall
Lizard Lighthouse and Heritage Centre (Credit: Andrew)

Located on the Lizard peninsula, Lizard lighthouse and heritage centre is the only Lighthouse you can climb in Cornwall. You can climb to the top, learn about the workings of the place and enjoy some breathtaking views. 

There are a lot of interactive activities you can do, including building a giant foam lighthouse, spelling your name using Semaphore Flags and learning to send a message using Morse Code. The heritage centre has also an exhibition material, an audiovisual room and several interactive displays.

Please note that children must be at least 1.1 metres in height.

View on TripAdvisor here >>>

#9 Visit the Magnificent castle of St Michael’s Mount

Distance from Helston | 10 miles

st michaels mount, cornwall

Located just off the coast of Marazion. St Michael’s Mount is one of the best places to visit near Helston, the beautiful rocky island is accessible by boat during high tide and via the causeway when the tide is low. You can visit the castle grounds and the harbour village to get a taste of island life or visit the gardens to explore some amazing exotic plants.

Whether you are on our holidays or spending some quality time with your kids, visiting St Michael’s Mount is definitely one of the very best things to do near Helston.

Website: stmichaelsmount 

#10  Visit The Porthleven Harbour

Distance from Helston: 2.6 Miles

porthleven cornwall

Surrounded by picturesque scenery and small shops, restaurants, and cafes to suit all needs, the Cornish Harbour of Porthleven is a great choice if you are looking for things to do near Helston or searching for the best free things to do near Helston Cornwall.

You can enjoy the spectacular view of the waves crashing over the outer wall, go on one of the lovely circular walks or visit the local market located around the harbour and featuring a variety of little shops, galleries, and small independent businesses selling local products.

Website: porthlevenharbour  

Immerse Yourself into the World of Poldark at Poldark Mine

Poldark mine, Cornwall, mines in Cornwall to visit, rainy day activities cornwall, Poldark, Camborne
Image Credit: czu_czu_PL

A Jewel in the Crown of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site..


If you’re a Poldark fan, then this mine will be perfect for a family day trip. Poldark was filmed in Wheel Roots 18th century mine, which used to produce tin. The mine is the only true & complete tin mine in Cornwall open to the general public for underground educational guided tours by experienced guides.

Website | poldarkmine.org.uk/index.php

Location | TR13 OES

#11 Visit Trebah Garden

Distance from Helston: 13.4 Miles

things to do near helston with kids, trebah garden cornwall
Trebah Garden – A picturesque scene (Credit: Steve Bittinger)

Your list of the top things to do near Helston Cornwall should definitely include Trebah Garden, a beautiful tropical valley garden with a stunning coastal backdrop.

The garden offers its visitors a year-round experience with adventure play areas, children’s trails, Plant Centre and Gift Shop, Trebah Kitchen and boathouse Cafe.

The landscape is dominated by a beautiful colourful array of magnolias and camellia in spring,  giant plantations of gunnera in summer, Hydrangea Valley In autumn and the famous champion trees in winter.

Website: trebahgarden 

#12 Visit the World Renowned Eden Project 

Distance from Helston: 35 miles

Eden Project, st austell things to do

If you’re out and about near Helston, you can’t miss a trip to the renowned Eden Project, recognised as the best leisure Attraction in Uk by the British Travel Awards and one of the best things to do around Helston.

Located in St Austell, The Eden Project is a huge global garden housed in two covered biomes. The Rainforest biome features some amazing tropical plants, and the Mediterranean biome houses plant species familiar warm temperate and arid plants. Many planted landscapes, sculptures, and an education facility with different classrooms and exhibition spaces are designed to reconnect people with the environment.

Website: edenproject 

Best Beaches Near Helston to Visit with Kids

#13  Spend a Great Day Out at Porthleven Beach 

Amenities: car parking, toilets, shops and cafés can be found in the town, lifeguards (7July – 2 September)

Porthleven Beach (Credit: Reading Tom)

Visiting Cornwall’s wonderful west coast lined with sandy beaches is one of the best things to do near Helston.  

Porthleven Beach is a three-mile shingle sandy beach with outstanding natural beauty just outside the harbour wall. It is a popular spot for experienced surfers, swimming is inadvisable during rough weather, and lifeguards are available during peak summer months.

There is a self-catering holiday accommodation near the beach and you can take a boat trip from the harbour where you can find a lot of cafes, restaurants, shops, and galleries.

#14 Visit Kyance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula

Amenities: car park (10 minutes away), cafe, toilets

Photo by Elektra Klimi

Kyance Cove is a National Trust site on the Lizard Peninsula – one of the most famous beauty spots in Cornwall and one of the most photographed, filmed and painted beaches in the UK.

The beach is famous for its white sand, turquoise sea and rock stacks. Rather than a beach for a day in the sun, Kyance cove is more of a key sight to see in Cornwall to take in its natural beauty and a picturesque walk.

Note: Plan your visit by the tide as the beach almost disappears at high tide. The descent is quite steep with steps at the bottom of the path onto the beach and can take about 10 minutes; there’s also an alternative pushchair route that is flatter and follows a track around the beach’s back to emerge by the café. This route, which you’ll need to take at high tide, takes between 15 to 20 minutes. There is no public vehicular access to the cove. 

#15 Swim and relax at Poldhu cove beach

Amenities: car parking at the back of the beach, toilets, cafés, lifeguards (19 May – 30 September)

Poldhu Cove (Credit: Shiokazan)

Located on the south coast of Cornwall, Poldhu cove, known as Black Pool, is one of the most popular beaches near Helston. The sandy beach is suitable and easily accessible for children. 

You can do plenty of family activities, including swimming in the sea, fishing, surfing, windsurfing, and building sandcastles with kids. You can also spend the day relaxing on the sand, watching the waves, or taking lovely coastal walks with spectacular views around the cove.

#16 Kennack Sands, Lizard Peninsula

Kennack Sands, Cornwall, Lizard Peninsula, best family beaches in Cornwall
Image Credit: Reading Tom

This more remote beach is located on the picturesque Lizard peninsula. The beach is very sheltered and significantly less windy than others in Cornwall, and there are plenty of rockpools for the kids to play in. Kennack sands are also popular with surfers, and it’s a great place to learn to surf.

Amenities: RNLI Lifeguards seasonally (weekends 19 May – 6 July and daily 7 July – 2 September), toilets, cafe, shop

Where to Stay in Helston with Kids

Search for the perfect place to stay in Helston with your family below:

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