A Family Day Out at the Minack Theatre and Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

Group of people and families walking down the cliff to the outdoor cornwall theatr The Minack

On the first day of the Easter holidays I grabbed my grandchildren and set off to the Minack Theatre near Porthcurno to see ‘Tales from the Trees’ with Craig Johnson from Squashbox Theatre.

Craig is a fabulous storyteller and I was pretty sure he would keep my four (ranging from 4-11) interested and entertained. As always at the Minack we went prepared for all weathers. My top tip is to wrap up warm and take a blanket to sit on and another to snuggle in with waterproofs and snacks plus a flask of tea or coffee for grown ups! They do sell drinks and snacks if you prefer but it’s always a struggle to climb over other seated audience members once you’re in your seat!

The performance lasted just over an hour and Craig had us all in the palm of his hand the entire time. I especially loved his niece Treesa who bore a very close resemblance to her uncle!

There are child-friendly theatre productions and storytelling sessions at the Minack during school holidays and throughout the summer. Find out more about what’s on at the Minack and book tickets >

After the show we headed down to the beach at Porthcurno to stretch our legs and eat our packed lunch. I adore this beach with its golden sand and turquoise sea. The children headed off to dam the stream whilst I did a 20 minute beach clean, picking up pieces of plastic debris the tide had washed in.

Our next stop was Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. There is a big car park in Porthcurno to access the beach and the museum next door. I was a bit concerned about the young ones being bored, but as usual in most attractions of this kind you’re given the option of following a trail. This one was to spot the carrier pigeons, translate the Morse code letter underneath and work out a message for a certificate at the end. Job done!

In 1870, the tiny seaside village of Porthcurno in Cornwall was the most connected place on the planet. It all started with a single cable that was laid under the beach and out to sea. Suddenly it became possible to send messages from Porthcurno to Mumbai within a minute. This place was the hub of global communication, linking Britain with the rest of the world.

This award-winning museum is extremely family-focused and has masses of hands-on science exhibits, games and interactive installations. Even more exciting are the secret underground tunnels (dug out by Cornish miners in 1940 to protect from air attacks) hidden behind bomb-proof doors, and the trails with codes to crack. The museum also has an unexploded bomb on site, dropped on the telegraph station by the Luftwaffe.

It was a challenge for the children to imagine life without computers or mobile phones. We enjoyed dressing up and looking at the places all over the world that telegraph engineers trained here might have been sent to work.

We spent an enjoyable two hours at the museum and only scratched the surface of the fascinating history of this important gem in communications history. I plan to return on my own when I can spend more time reading about the fascinating exhibits.

On a practical note, the toilets are clean and well kept inside the museum, there is a cafe with a fairly limited choice of menu and a well stocked shop.

Getting there

From Bosinver, it’s approximately 1 hour 20 minutes by car to Porthcurno. There is a large car park at Porthcurno beach and plenty of parking at the Minack.

Find more ideas for great child friendly days out in Cornwall on our blog >
Share this post:

Red cow with a red heart clipart

Here are some more posts you may like

Action Nan and the rest of the team are always busy writing posts that we think you’ll like – from top tips on where to take the kids, to what’s likely to be going on in the local area when you stay – we’ve got it all in our blog!