Cornwall is filled with exciting attractions and spectacular scenery, so there’s plenty on the surface to keep you entertained. However, there are also many secret spots hidden away that you’d probably never know about, just waiting to be explored.
From caves featuring engraved love poems, to underground caverns that host concerts and weddings, there are lots of mysterious locations in Cornwall for you to discover. Here at Parkdean Resorts, we’ve unearthed some of the best caves hiding in the region, so the whole family can have a magical adventure in Cornwall.
Just 20 minutes from Looe Bay Holiday Park you’ll find Carnglaze Caverns, made up of three magical man-made caves that were once part of a slate quarry. About 60 metres below ground, these incredible caverns have a consistent temperature of 10 degrees, making them perfect for escaping the rain in winter, or for cooling down in the summer.
Grab your hard hats and head underground for a self-guided tour of the three caverns, learning about how the miners would have once worked, as well as how slate helped the Industrial Revolution. You’ll see why the caverns are so popular at the end of your tour, when you reach the spectacular underground lake. With crystal clear blue waters, sparkling in the light, it’s easy to see why some people choose to get married here!
Above ground, there’s even more to explore. Step out of the cave onto a magical woodland walk through the Terrace Garden to the Enchanted Dell. Follow the zigzag paths through the wonderful woodlands and you’ll stumble across a panoramic view of the charming village of St Neot. There’s even a children’s trail available for the little ones to enjoy too.
If you’re a hopeless romantic, then a visit to the cave at Crantock Beach is a must. Just minutes from Crantock Beach Holiday Park, you’ll find a small cove with a lady’s face and a poem engraved into the rock.
The story goes back over 100 years, when a beautiful woman was riding her horse along Crantock Beach. As the tide came in, the rough seas swept both her and the horse out to sea. It’s said that her distraught lover carved a portrait of the lady into the rock, along with a poem reading:
‘Mar not my face but let me be
Secure in this lone cave by the sea
Let the wild waves around me roar
Kissing my lips for evermore’
This engraving can still be seen today if you walk along the beach and past the dunes. There are also plenty of other wonderful walks to enjoy nearby, offering up stunning views of the Gannel and the charming village of Crantock along the way. If you follow the South West Coast Path, you’ll get incredible views of the coast beyond West Pentire too.
One of the most well-known caves in Cornwall is Merlin’s Cave, sitting below the historic Tintagel Castle, about 30 minutes from St Minver Holiday Park. This spectacular sea cave is steeped in history, and you can learn all about its long and fascinating past on a visit.
The cave and Tintagel Castle have been linked to King Arthur since the 12th century. According to poet Tennyson, in Idylls of the King, waves brought baby Arthur to the shore, before Merlin carried him through the cave to safety. From 2016, visitors can now see the sleeping face of Merlin carved into the rocks. A local craftsman spent 3 months on the project, so visitors can reimagine even more of Tintagel’s history and legends.
Whilst you’re there, a trip to the castle itself is a must. Immerse yourself in history at the castle’s exhibition, where you’ll discover artefacts on display for the first time, as well as an incredible 3D model of the site, demonstrating how the castle has developed over the years. Then, take a walk along the headland and soak up the beautiful views of the dramatic coastline.
Tucked under the cliffs of Kelsey Head, just down the road from Holywell Bay Holiday Park, are the mysterious pink caves. These unique caverns are tricky to find, as you can only reach them through a slit in the rocks, so keep your eyes peeled!
Only accessible during low tide, on the left-hand side you’ll find some steps in the rock. These can be quite slippery, so be careful when walking. Head up the steps to the top, where just to the left, you’ll see an opening which is only just wide enough for you to creep inside. Once you’re in, you’ll be amazed by the multicoloured rocks. From pinks and reds to blues and whites, these rocks are like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
At the bottom of the cave is a pool, which has been slowly formed from the water dripping down. Before you decide to visit the cave, make sure you check tide times, and it’s recommended that you don’t go in alone.