Do you know your whizpops from your snozcucumber’s? How about your frobscottle from your whangdoodle?
The much-loved children’s author who brought us cult classics like Matilda and the BFG is celebrated every year on the 13th September, a day which invites kids and adults alike to immerse themselves into the magical world of Roald Dahl and the beloved characters of his books.
There are many ways to embrace this day including a Broadway show of Matilda, but why not do something different and take a trip over to North Cornwall where one of the screen adaptations of Roald Dahl’s work was shot? The 1987 production of The Witches was filmed in the imposing Headland Hotel in Newquay which is the perfect starting point for exploring North Cornwall.
You can discover some magical spots in North Cornwall, including these six top attractions to visit after you’ve been inside the chilling building where the Grand High Witch vowed to rid the world of children…
1) Fistral Beach
From witches to waves, Fistral Beach is overlooked by the grandeur of the Headland Hotel.
An adrenaline junkie’s dream, it’s earned its place on the map as one of the best-surfing destinations in the world. The Atlantic swell creates huge tumbling waves where pros can show off their skills, while beginners can learn the ropes with a surf lesson.
Great for a family day out, award-winning Dairyland is situated just outside Newquay. Themed around all things dairy, activities include ‘pat a pet,’ pony rides, a maize maze and huge indoor play area.
It can be found by following the brown and white signs on the A30, A3075 and A392 which will bring you on to the A3058. From here it is signposted.
3) Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps
Magnificent vistas can be viewed all along the north Cornwall coast path and one of the most impressive spots, Carnewas, is just a 20-minute drive from Newquay.
The popular location is famous for its views across the Atlantic of towering sea stacks named Bedruthan Steps.
There is a steep cliff staircase leading down to the beach, but beware – you can get cut off at high tide.
4) Newquay Zoo
Set amid sub-tropical gardens, visitors to Newquay Zoo can expect to see over 1,000 of the world’s most endangered animals.
Venture through the African Savanna and Madagascan Walkthrough and enjoy daily keeper feeds and talks.
The attraction is located just one mile from Newquay town centre on the A3058.
5) Lappa Valley
Immerse yourself in a time gone by as you journey into Lappa Valley by steam train. This unique attraction offers several family-friendly activities such as crazy golf, a canoeing lake, play areas and railways.
Situated just outside Newquay, you will find it by following the brown signs from the A3075 via the Cubert crossroad.
6) Bodmin Jail
Ghost zappers at the ready? You might need them at eerie Bodmin Jail, where paranormal events are known to have taken place.
And it’s no surprise. Here you’ll find the Execution Shed - a fully restored Victorian hanging pit and site of the last man executed in Cornwall.
Showcasing six floors of exhibits, the attraction can be reached in just 30 minutes by car from Newquay.
However, you decide to celebrate Roald Dahl day this year, make sure you infuse your day with a little magic. As the man himself said … ‘above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.’