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5 Attractions to Visit in the May Half-term

Cornwall has so much to offer during the May half-term - there's fun craft workshops, historic battles, England's longest zip wire, fishy friends and so much more! We've carefully trawled the local events guides and quizzed our team to compile The Esplanade's definitive guide to the May half-term...

1. The Eden Project

The Eden Project in St Austell is a full-day-of-fun whenever you visit. Its clever biomes are home to the world’s largest in-captivity rainforest which features steamy jungles, impressive waterfalls and a Rainforest Canopy Walkway, where you can take a stunning walk among the treetops. And there's more, the SkyWire - England's longest zipwire - is open now for the 2014 season! You can now 'fly' for 660m over the biomes in the new 'Superman' harness. Not only is it England's longest zipwire, it's also the fastest - test pilots have clocked-up speeds of 60mph!

During the May half-term hols the Eden Project will be celebrating stories and animation in their many forms. There’s an exciting schedule of storytelling, model making, writing workshops and celebrity animators to keep you entertained. The full schedule of fun is available here; our favourite activities include:

Meet Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th May

Its your opportunity to meet Axel Scheffler, the illustrator of The Gruffalo and many other childrens classics. Axel will be revealing the secrets of his award-winning illustrations; bring your favourite Gruffalo book with you to get it signed by the man himself! In addition, daily from 10am to 5.30pm you can create masks and bunting to celebrate the Gruffalo’s 15th birthday. More information…

Create your own comic character with Beano artist Nick Brennan
Saturday 24th - Thursday 29th May, and Sunday 1st June

The Beano is a classic favourite both with today's generation of little nippers as well as some not-so-little nippers who grew up with the famous annuals! Throughout half-term the Eden Project are hosting workshops with Nick Brennan, a super-talented cartoonist, who will be sharing some comic strip secrets and showing you how to create a comic character of your own! More Information…


2. Newquay Zoo

The award winning Newquay Zoo's exotic lakeside gardens showcase animals from all around the world, ranging from the smallest monkey the Pygmy Marmoset to 'Ronnie' and 'Connie' the African Lions. From the amazing open rainforest exhibit to the beautiful oriental garden there is something for everybody to love.

This half-term there are two exciting new trails just waiting to be explored! Follow the first trail to discover some of the rare and endangered feathered friends, or take the ‘Love your Zoo’ trail for the chance to win some zoo-tastic prizes. Furthermore, there's a daily schedule of feeding frenzies and keeper talks to keep you entertained.

TOP TIP: Head to Newquay Zoo on the 29th of May to see TV star Bill Oddie!


3. Trebah Garden

Trebah Garden near Falmouth is a Cornish valley garden with over four miles of footpath for you to explore. The canopies are bursting with gorgeous blooms - in spring the 100-year-old rhododendrons come into bloom as do the magnolia and camellias so it’s the perfect time to visit. There are also adventure play areas and trails to follow to keep little nippers out of trouble!

During the spring half-term, Trebah Gradens plays tribute to the American 29th Infantry who left for the Normandy Landings from Trebah Beach in 1944 heading for Omaha. There’s a whole host of fun and educational stuff happening, including the opportunity to make your own mini garden with the help from Trebah’s land girls. We’re also particularly looking forward to the family day on the 31st May. There’s going to be a fleet of military vehicles, performances by Ritzy Bells and Shanty Singers as well as an Avro Anson flypast.


4. Bluereef Aquarium

Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium is home to some truly incredible creatures. The sheer variety of their size, shape, colour and behaviour makes the world of land animals seem quite tame in comparison! From jellyfish and giant octopus to freshwater turtles, puffer fish and living corals, there are literally oceans of extraordinary characters to meet at the aquarium.

This May half-term, the team at the aquarium have teamed up with local artist Helen Eastham. Helen’s stunning glass works will be appearing in the tanks alongside the usual aquatic stars. Pop along to join the hunt for the carefully-crafted glass fish, flowers and upside-down monsters. Find out more...


5. Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle in Falmouth is one of the finest of the mighty fortresses built by Henry VIII to defend the country against invasion. The castle has seen action in many conflicts and was one of the last royalist strongholds to fall during the English Civil War. It's well-worth a visit if you love a bit of history.

We’re super-excited about the ‘Fighting Knights’ event on the 28th and 29th May where you’ll get the chance to hear weapons clash and feel the heat of battle. Take a trip back in time to the days of brave nights and don some armour to try out your own combat skills! Better still, pack a picnic and plan to visit on the 28th May to see the fighting knights at the castle before heading to Pendennis Point or St Mawes Castle to catch the sailing at the Pendennis Cup. Look on in awe as some of the finest skippers around race classic and modern superyachts, battling the extremes and exploiting clever tactics in hope of winning the coveted prize.


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