Why Cornwall Should Be Your Next School Trip Destination

Amaze your students with these fantastic school trip ideas in Cornwall
May 24, 2018

Many of you will know and have a soft spot for Cornwall, being the UKs number one coastal holiday region attracting millions of visitors each year.  But what you may not have considered is just how incredible this county is for school trips of a variety of topics and leaving endless possibilities to inspire your students.

Where to Stay

Adaptable Travel hand-pick the best accommodation for school trips and having staff from and passionate about Cornwall means we know the best areas to stay and partner with the best accommodation.  There are some great YHAs scattered across Cornwall, including YHA Eden Project (although availability can be tricky unless booking far ahead).  The YHA at Penzance offers a good base to explore the southern part of the county and other YHAs in places such as Gollant and Treyarnan mean there is always somewhere for every group.  One of our favourite hostels in the UK happens to be based in Cornwall, the Cohort Hostel in St Ives.  This recently renovated gem is located a stones throw from the harbour, shops and beaches in St Ives, which has to be one of the most stunning towns in the UK.  If you have not been to St Ives, think pirates meets foodie heaven meets quirky shopping...by the sea.  The Cohort Hostel is run by husband and wife team Dan and Lee and is a great option for anyone wanting to explore the famous art scene of St Ives, try their hand at surfing or explore the amazing Cornish coastline, Eden Project or World Heritage Cornish Mining sites.

Cohort Hostel

Map of accommodation locations

World-class Art & St Ives

St Ives as described above is an incredible and safe destination for your students.  However, it has also attracted artists for centuries, brought to the area by the amazing natural light, combined with incredible scenery and quant Cornish vistas.  It is home of the amazing and recently extended Tate St Ives, rivalling anything you would find London and elsewhere in the UK.  Add to this the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Leach Pottery and you have a collection of top-class art visits.  But that is not all to satisfy the budding young artists demand - St Ives also offers some other incredible hands-on art excursions including art workshops at the St Ives School of Painting and St Ives Society of Artists, or how about a full day with renowned art educator Greg Humphries who will combine hands-on art with art-history and education.  Or you could just head down to the St Ives harbour, head up the coast to a tin mine or Eden Project and sketch away! Nearby is also the Newlyn Art Gallery, Penlee Art Gallery and The Exchange, all linked to Tate St Ives.

St Ives

St Ives is also a great location for easy access to the rest of Cornwall.  Within one hour you can reach the impressive Eden Project (more on that below), Tintagel (birthplace of King Arthur and his castle), Pendennis Castle and Falmouth, Lands End and Sennen Cove, the amazing Porthcurno and unique Minack Theatre, and a plethora of amazing Cornish World Heritage tin mine sites.

Cornish Tin Mines – World Heritage Site

Cornish Tin Mines

The Cornish tin mine is a symbol of this amazing county, with thousands of these unique structures dotting the landscapes.  Some of the most famous include Wheal Coates, Botallack, Levant and Geevor, and all will blow you away how these old monumental buildings cling to the edge of a cliff as students imagine how the serene scene in front of them once supported the world’s largest tin mining region, once upon a time being places of immense activity.  These mining sites also present a fantastic opportunity to explore Geography deeper.  Add to this some other Geography related visits including the Cornish Mining School, Heartlands which is the main site of the Cornish Mining World Heritage and Museum and some amazing coastal rock formations across the Cornish coast such as Bedruthen Steps or Porthcurno, then you have an incredible UK based, cost-effective school geography trip.

Eden Project

Eden Project

The Eden Project is Cornwall’s top attraction and with good reason.  A disused clay put was transformed into a world-renowned visitor attraction with futuristic biomes which house an indoor rainforest.  This allows our students to explore rainforest environments, sustainability and tourism subjects.  The Eden Project also offer some excellent subject focused workshops for schools to really enhance your school trip experience.  Other Eden Project workshops for schools include art and design, science, food, branding and business.

Beaches & Incredible Geography

Cornish Coast

OK – so this is an obvious one in some respects.  But Cornish beaches attract millions of visitors each year and can quite rightly claim to be some of the finest anywhere in the world.  But what does this have to do with school trips?  Many students on our school trips will have never visited beaches.  That aside beaches of Cornwall present an incredible diversity of rock formations and landforms for geography, and some world-class vistas for art groups.  Many of these are dotted with tin mines for yesteryear adding even more of a unique feel to your school trip.  The Adaptable Travel team do like a nice Cornish beach and so are well placed to advise the most suitable based on your itinerary!

Other Visits Unique to Cornwall

The above far from an exhaustive list.  Cornwall and the West Country is home to some fabulous visits that are unique to the area.



Not unique to Cornwall, but Cornwall does boast some of the best surf spots in the UK, from St Ives to the world-famous Fistral Beach in Newquay and many more in between.  Why not give your students an experience they will never forget, with Adaptable Travel partnering with hand-picked, suitably trained surf schools on the Cornish coast.  The St Ives Surf School also offer a fabulous Big Beach Day, including surfing, beach safety, a talk about the RNL and beach games.  Leisure and learning personified.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Unique botanical garden, home to amazing plant species and child-friendly activities.

St Michael’s Mount

St Michael's Mount

Cornwall’s answer to Mont Saint Michel in France, this amazing castle on an island is accessible by a causeway at low-tide, and offers amazing history, adventure and views from the castle.

Gweek Seal Sanctuary

Fabulous site that rescues seals from across the UK, and is a great half day tour for students to be amazed by these fascinating creatures.

National Maritime Museum

One of the most lauded attractions in the South West and based in Falmouth, this is an excellent museum to explore.

Jurassic Coast

Head to nearby Dorset and explore the amazing Jurassic Coast, with fossils, amazing rock formations and the famous Durdle Door.


Filming location for many historic films and TV programmes (includes Poldark), Charlestown is a historic dock complete with tall ships and a great Shipwreck Museum.

There are plenty more visits in Cornwall and the West Country, far too many to list here, but this we hope gives you a flavour of what you could offer your students on a school trip to Cornwall.  Our friendly, expert team know Cornwall very well.  

Contact us to start planning your Cornwall school trip and we will work with you to plan the perfect, bespoke itinerary for your group.