I defy anyone to visit the Minack theatre and not be gobsmacked. It is flipping gorgeous! Perched high on the cliffs overlooking some of the best beaches in the entire world, the Minack theatre almost doesn’t seem real.
The Minack was built by THE most amazing woman called Rowena Cade. She hand built – yes I did say HAND BUILT the theatre with her gardener Billy Rawlings. They shifted everything by hand and carved out this most perfect theatre on the cliffs. I find this utterly amazing and inspirational. What a woman!
A spooky bit of info – Rowena Cade looks the spitting image of my husbands Aunt. We are sure they must somehow be related!
The first performance was in the 1930s with The Tempest. But it is not all Shakespeare. The range of works put on at The Minack is just brilliant. Gilbert and Sullivan to Anton Chekov. Lewis Carroll to Roald Dahl. Plus lots of music concerts too. There should be something for everyone – both amateur and professional.
We have been to shows at the Minack in all weathers. We have got terribly sunburned and drenched right through (once both in one play!). In my opinion, the weather just adds to the whole experience. My sister would disagree though, she went to a show last Summer and got COMPLETELY soaked through to the skin. She also dropped her flask of hot soup (the glass inside shattered) and so didn’t have anything nice to warm up with. She came back home a bit grumpy and unimpressed!
I’m really not over-egging how good the view is from the Minack. It is just spectacular. I’ll be honest, I spend a lot of the time just gazing out to sea. It is gorgeous on a blue sky day and even more gorgeous in the evening. I can’t remember what show we went to see (pre-kids so I don’t retain that sort of information). However, I do remember sitting there with the sun setting. It was a totally mind blowing, vivid sunset. Then on the horizon as the darkness swept in, you could see little flashes of light from lighthouses, buoys and boats. And then the stars came out. Oh my, it was fabulous!
This was back in the days of yore when I didn’t have a good camera. I haven’t got any pictures to show you, so you will just have to make do with this day time beauty!
Over Easter and Summer, the Minack puts on brilliant shows for the kids. There is always a story telling session during the day (you do need to book up as tickets sell out fast during the school holidays) and there is usually a very kid friendly play. We have seen George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch and Danny The Champion Of The World.
I’m really excited to see they are putting on The Railway Children by E Nesbit over Easter 2018. It was one of my favourite books as a child – I can’t wait for my daughter to see it!
We have been to the kids shows during the day. We like to park at the car park by the Telegraph Museum and have a picnic lunch on Porthcurno beach.
We then steel ourselves for a bit of a steep climb up the cliff steps to the Minack.
You need to wear decent shoes and be reasonably nimble, like a mountain goat, to get up here.
Otherwise you can walk up the road, or drive up and park in the Minack car park (free).
If you don’t fancy picnicking on the beach, arrive an hour early and sit and eat your picnic in your seats. You will have the best view in the world to aid your digestion! You can take your own food and drink into the Minack and eat and drink right through the show.
Seats are first come first served, so a bonus of getting there early is you get seats nearer to the front. Don’t worry though, if you arrive later you will always get a seat with a view.
Whenever we have been, the seaters have always been really helpful. When Ben was tiny we asked to a back rest seat so I could feed him more easily. They were very accommodating!
If you haven’t brought food with you, you can buy it either from Katies Cornish Hot Pots in the car park (opens 2 hours before shows) or at the Minack cafe. We always come armed with a picnic though (picky children and low funds!).
To just visit the Minack – to wander around the beautiful gardens and theatre, visit the Exhibition Center about the history and Rowena Cade and go to the cafe – entry is £5 per adult, £2.50 for under 15s and 50p for under 11s. Under 2s go free. Dogs are allowed into the Minack but they are not allowed into the shows (except guide dogs).
***ASK FOR A FREE RE-ADMISSION VOUCHER WHEN YOU VISIT. It allows you to visit the Minack free of charge for the rest of the year***
Tickets for shows and concerts vary but I think the most expensive adult ticket is £11.50 – I need to check when the new tickets come back on sale for 2018. Children’s tickets are never more than a few pounds. I do think it is good value for money!
There is free parking at the Minack. The sat nav post code is TR19 6JU.
There are plenty of loos and refreshment facilities on site.
The box office telephone number is 01736 810181
Whether you are a dab hand at surfing or you have never tried it before, St Ives is a good place to surf.
Porthmeor Beach is our best surf beach with good waves most of the year round. It does occasionally go as flat as a pancake in the Summertime, but this is fairly unusual. There is usually decent surf, sometimes fantastic surf!
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