It's the school holidays, the jet stream is in the "wrong" place and your hopes of lazing on the beach in the sun whilst the kids frolic in the sea have been dashed by what we in Cornwall call "liquid sunshine". Drat. It's not ideal but it's how we roll here in Cornwall so if your kids are driving you mad with "Mum/Dad, I'm bored" then here's 10 things to do in Fowey when it's raining.
1. MAD Fowey
Did you know that Fowey has it's own science museum? It's not very big but MAD Fowey (MAD stands for mechanical art & design) is packed full of interesting exhibits. Housed in the old Barclays Bank building opposite the church you can wander at leisure around the various rooms and admire the clever creations. My particular favourite is the beach themed one featuring lots of products from my shop.
2. The Aquarium & Fowey Museum
The aquarium is quite dark and rather wet but has a brilliant touch pool and showcases local specimens found in our waters, often fished out by local fisherman and brought in to aquarium owner James.
The Town Museum is an absolute treasure trove of old photographs and interesting artefacts, run by volunteers it really will give you an insight into the history of Fowey.
3. Go To The Pub
To paraphrase the classic line from Shaun of the Dead, one of the best things to do in Fowey when it's raining is "grab [the kids/husband/wife/dog], go to the [Ship/Lugger/Galleon/Safe Harbour/King of Prussia], have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over". Plus there's chips which always helps.
4. Play On The Beach
I never fail to be impressed by the British stoicism when it comes to beach holidays. "We've booked this holiday to Cornwall to spend time on the beach and we shall spend time on the beach regardless of the weather". Yes! I fully embrace this. Get your waterproofs and wellies on, grab a spade and dig some holes. Everyone loves digging holes at the beach (please do fill them in afterwards though, no-one loves falling into holes on the beach).
We've got buckets, spades and all sorts for sale in the shop (plus our free beach library of abandoned toys) so sod the weather, have a family sandcastle contest, we'll happily come out and judge if you ask nicely! The beach shelter provides a lovely dry space to rest in afterwards, perhaps with a hot chocolate or ice cream, extra flake for the winner?
5. Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
Sometimes it's just too grim to go outside. If you're lucky enough to have booked a holiday cottage with a view of the water then why not pull up a table and chair in front of the window and do a jigsaw puzzle.
We have these two puzzles available in the shop, featuring photos from a local photographer so even if you can't see the sea from where you are, these puzzles will help. They are notoriously tricky though so if you need something more straightforward for littlies then I'm sure Just Jonah in town will have some great options.
6. Do Some Crafting or Colouring
Continuing the things to do in Fowey when it's raining without getting wet theme, we've got a great range of crafting and colouring items. For the kids we have cute plastic free craft kits including a pirate egg, make your own football game kit or make your own matchbox car kit.
Kids and adults alike love our Cornwall Colouring sets, available in spiral bound book or postcard form and if you add one of our colouring pencil sets (with handy sharpener included) there's hours of mindfulness/peace & quiet to be had. We've also got a variety of cross-stitch kits for the keen stitcher, the Fowey Harbour kits are particular popular and I love the abstract sea life kits.
7. Write A Story or Holiday Journal
Time to get those creative juices flowing! Fowey has been the inspiration for some classic stories over the years, most notably Wind in the Willows. Can you be inspired by the adventures of Ratty, Mole and the wayward Toad to come up with your own characters?
We have a variety of lovely notebooks in the shop plus pencils if you need writing materials to get you started. Or you could just pop on an audiobook of Wind in the Willows (my kids love listening to audiobooks via the Audible app) and lay back and think of warmer sunnier days messing about in boats on the river.
8. Take A Kayak Tour
Now for this you WILL get wet but it's still a great option for things to do in Fowey when it's raining, skin is waterproof after all. You can either book with Fowey River Hire who run from Caffa Mill or head further along the river to Golant to Encounter Cornwall, both offer a variety of tours which can be booked online.
9. Lunch & Swim
This option is just outside Fowey so you'll need to hop in the car (or catch the bus) but did you know you can book lunch and swim at Trenython Manor, a hotel just past the Castledore turning into Fowey on the way to Tywardreath. It's not a huge pool but you get an hour in the pool and there's a sauna, steam room and hot tub.
The wooden panelled restaurant with great views of the gardens makes for a really nice post-swim lunch and the views over St Austell Bay can be great provided it's not a full on sea mist day! Do book in advance though as it can get busy.
10. Soft Play
A large part of me is eternally grateful that my children are now too old for such things but if you have younger children and are really desperate to wear them out to the point of exhaustion without getting wet then Kidzworld is the answer, again just outside Fowey in Par, next to Par Market.
There's ball pits, demon drops, mini golf, dodgems, rollerskating and all sorts. It'll be heaving on a rainy day but you can always treat yourself to a restorative burger and shake at Sam's Diner next door afterwards.
I hope my list of things to do in Fowey when it's raining has been useful. If you've got any other ideas you'd like to share (sitting on the sofa eating crisps and watching Netflix is also perfectly acceptable when you're on holiday!) then please do comment below. And maybe, just maybe, the weather will take a turn for the better and "normal" summer activities can resume.