Museum of Cornish Life

Situated in the historic market town of Helston, near the Lizard Peninsula, the Museum of Cornish Life is a treasure trove of history and culture.

Housed in a beautifully preserved former market building, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the everyday lives of Cornish people, from the prehistoric era to the present day.

With its diverse collections, interactive exhibits, and engaging activities, the Museum of Cornish Life provides an enriching experience for visitors of all ages, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Cornwall’s rich heritage.

Discovering the Museum of Cornish Life

The museum’s extensive collection spans several floors, featuring artefacts, photographs, and memorabilia that tell the story of Cornwall’s industrial, social, and cultural history.

Highlights include historical costumes, mining equipment, agricultural tools, and a fully furnished Victorian kitchen.

The museum also plays host to temporary exhibitions, workshops, and events throughout the year, offering fresh and exciting insights with each visit.

Highlights of the Museum of Cornish Life

Cornish Industries Exhibition: Explore the history of Cornwall’s key industries, including mining, fishing, and farming, through an impressive array of artefacts.

World War Memorabilia: Discover a poignant collection of World War memorabilia, shedding light on the impact of global conflicts on local communities.

Victorian Schoolroom: Step back in time in the recreated Victorian schoolroom, complete with authentic desks, teaching aids, and even period costumes for a truly immersive experience.

Helston’s Heritage: Learn about the town’s unique customs and traditions, including the famous Flora Day celebration and the story of the Helston Furry Dance.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

The Museum of Cornish Life is located in the heart of Helston, easily accessible by car with several public car parks nearby.

For those using public transport, Helston is well-served by bus routes from major towns and cities across Cornwall, including Truro, Falmouth, and Penzance.

Admission and Opening Times

The museum offers free entry to all visitors, making it an accessible attraction for everyone to enjoy.

It is open year-round, with varying opening hours depending on the season.

It’s recommended to check the museum’s official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on opening times and any special events.


Gift Shop: The museum’s gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs, books, and locally made crafts, perfect for picking up a memento of your visit.

Accessibility: The museum is accessible to visitors with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, with lifts available to all floors.

Maximising Your Experience

Join a Guided Tour: To gain deeper insights into the collections, consider joining one of the guided tours offered by knowledgeable volunteers.

Check the Events Calendar: The museum hosts a range of events, workshops, and temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so be sure to check what’s on during your visit.

Interact with the Exhibits: Many of the exhibits are interactive, offering hands-on experiences that bring history to life.

Tips for Your Visit

Allow Plenty of Time: With so much to see and do, plan to spend at least a couple of hours exploring the museum.

Photography: Photography is allowed in most areas, so don’t forget your camera to capture the fascinating exhibits.

Ask Questions: The museum staff and volunteers are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, so don’t hesitate to ask questions about the collections and exhibits.

Nearby Attractions

Poldark Mine: Just a short drive from Helston, this former tin mine offers underground tours, providing a unique insight into Cornwall’s mining heritage.

Penrose Estate: Enjoy a leisurely walk through the beautiful woodlands and around the lake of this nearby National Trust property.

Lizard Peninsula: Explore the stunning beaches, coves, and coastal paths of Britain’s most southerly point, just a short drive from Helston.


The Museum of Cornish Life in Helston offers a captivating journey through Cornwall’s past, presenting a comprehensive and engaging portrayal of the county’s history and culture.

Whether you’re interested in exploring Cornwall’s industrial heritage, experiencing the life of a Victorian child, or simply soaking up the local history, the museum promises an educational and enjoyable day out for the whole family.