West Cornwall has some magnificent caves, some on the doorstep of Vellandreath Cottages and others a short drive. We have accessible access caves—so you can take the kids— then they get progressively more adventurous. Most require no caving skills, while others you can only enter from the sea by kayak or swimming.

Tin Mines In Cornwall

Tasty as it is, Cornish cream tea is not the only thing to come out of Cornwall. Anyone who watched the TV series Poldark will know tin mining played an essential role in its history. While in Cornwall, take a trip back in time and join with those intrepid miners who worked for long hours in poor conditions to pull the tin from the ground. While Cornwall has numerous tin mines to explore, when staying at Vellandreath Cottages, you have two exciting ones in the area to visit.

Caving With The Kids - Geevor Tin Mine In Pendeen

Twenty minutes drive from Sennen Cove will bring you to the historical mining centre of Geevor. Here you can learn about the 'Bal maidens', wives and daughters of the miners who worked 'at grass' crushing the tin ore.  

FYI, 'Bal is the Cornish term for mine and at grass means above ground

Or how about taking a guided tour of part of the underground mining caves to understand what the miners experienced daily? Children of any age are welcome at Geevor and can get hands-on experience of gold and gem panning. Adults will also find the history of the place fascinating. Those who loved the Poldark series might recognise Geevor, as part of the series was filmed there.

Poldark Mine & Rural Open Air Museum

This famous visitor centre is slightly longer from Sennen Cove, around 50 mins but worth the journey. There is plenty to see and do at the Open Air Museum, but you can also don your tin hat and explore underground. You must wear sensible shoes. This is a dog and smoke-free area due to local wildlife conservation.

Caving in Cornwall - Different Levels Of Adventure

Have you a sense of adventure, a feeling of being an explorer? Then caving in Cornwall is for you. Due to the land's relationship with the sea over the thousands and thousands of years. Sea caves are numerous. Some are not even mapped yet, and some are newly formed.

Different levels of caving adventures are available, from mildly adrenaline-raising to extreme adrenaline rush. For some being underground is an experience of the world from a different perspective. For instance, exploring some of the older tin mines lets you experience some of what the miners did. You will also see fascinating rock formations, strata, and colours you might not have expected to see underground.

Safety First With Any Cave Adventure

Tin Mine Caving

As with any sporting activity, ensure you contact the people who know about the local caves, are experienced and reputable and will teach you all the safety requirements. Staying at Vallandreath cottage, you can contact Cornwall Underground to organise a caving adventure, which you can do from age ten years upwards. They will provide all the necessary equipment. You need old clothes to wear under your caving suit and a spare pair of socks. The first entry caving experience can offer those who wish to try abseiling options.

Raising the adventure level, from 14 years upwards, you can book a thrilling trip in a 16th-century mine. This will require confidence with heights, and you must abseil in some sections. All equipment and instruction provided.

Fancy a challenging 6-7 hour caving extreme experience? Then this extreme adventure requires you to be at least 16 years old and relatively fit. You will have to negotiate natural obstacles and abseil down some shafts - not for the faint-hearted!

Sea Caving

The magnificent Cornwall coastline is home to a vast array of caves, from small grottos to huge caverns, some easy to enter, so definitely a challenge. While some can be dark and spooky, other sea caves are full of light and colour, a wonder to behold. As with tin mine caving, do not try these by yourself. Once again, choose a reputable firm to ensure a safe and fun adventure.

3 Sea Caves Near Sennen Cove

Merlin's Cave At Tintagel Castle

A short drive will get you to this cave. Fortunately, you don't have to swim to it. Instead, you can walk into the cave at low tide—ensure you know the tide table before going here! Merlin's Cave has long associations with the great enchanter. Tennyson made the cave famous in his Idylls Of Kings. A carving of Merlin's face can be seen at the entrance, and a pretty cove and lovely waterfall complete the picture. 

Prussia Cove

A 40-minute drive from Sennen Cove will take you to this delightful area. So named after a smuggler operating in the late 1700s, who looked, it is said, remarkably like the then King Of Prussia. Prussia Cove was his main smuggling depot. Access is only at low tide. Once again, know the tide table before venturing here.

  • On the western cove, you will find two high caverns full of light and colour.
  • Easterly, a cave around 60 metres attracts plenty of walk-in adventurers at low tide.
  • The last cave is small and undetectable unless you know where to look. A narrow opening leads to a small sandy beach.

Format - Trevean Cliff Caves

About a 30-minute drive from Sennen Cove, these can only be seen from the sea. They are not an impressive site from the outside, but it is a humbling experience to go in and see the height and depth hidden away here. These are difficult to access and not to be undertaken alone.

Cornwall is full of explorations and adventure, like caving. However, a suggestion for those fit enough. Have you ever thought of coasteering? This blend of exhilarating coastal scrambling, sea swimming and low-level cliff jumping is worth considering and is a popular activity in West Cornwall. More on this and other adventures in a later blog.

Late availability offers

We have some great late availability offers for cottages at Vellandreath Cornish Cottages:


Sleeps up to 10 people over 5 bedrooms
20% off for Tuesday 29th Nov - Saturday 3rd Dec 2022, was £796. £636.80 - Book now
15% off for Saturday 3rd - Saturday 10th December 2022, was £1499. £1,274.15 - Book now
10% off for Saturday 10th - Saturday 17th December 2022, was £1499. £1,349.10 - Book now


Sleeps up to 8 people over 4 bedrooms
15% off for Friday 2nd - Friday 9th December 2022, was £1499. £1,274.15 - Book now