One of the places I had wanted to see in Cornwall was the Minack Theatre, probably the open air theatre with one of the most spectactular settings ever. It is carved into a cliff on the south coast of Cornwall, overlooking a beach and the sea. It was the dream and creation of a woman called Rowena Cade who built it in the early 1930s. She moved here in the 1920s, building a home out of local granite for herself and her mother. She'd always loved theatre and performing and helped put on local Shakespeare productions. The Minack theatre started off fairly basic but over the years it was improved on, with gardens grown nearby to add to the attractions.
The rows of seating are cut from granite blocks, infilled with dirt and have a blanket of grass over them for seating. There are winding staircases through the site. The stage is at the bottom and is also consisting of granite surface and stones. The views from the seating is jaw dropping as you look right out to sea over the cliffs below.
We would have loved to go to a performance here though you are very open to the elements. We drove down and scurried around the site, admiring the views and the gardens. The current gardens only date from the late 1990s but use the same sorts of flowers and plants that Rowena would have used back in her day. The roads leading to Porthcurno where the theatre is are very narrow and I can't imagine traveling them at night after an performance!
The visitor centre and shop are modern and there's an exhibition on the history of the site to look at as well. There's a cafe that overlooks the theatre. The website (http://www.minack.com) has webcams that give you a good idea of what it would be like to attend a performance.
There is an accessible viewing area above the regular seating and accessible facilities as well. The general public can go and view the theatre when there are no performances on. That includes most days except Wednesday and Friday afternoons in the summer months and there are a number of afternoons in June that they have performances. Best to check ahead if you are unsure. It's open from April to October for visitors and performances in the evenings. It costs £4 per adult to visit the gardens and theatre.
It is located on the south coast at Porthcurno, not too far from Penzance and close to Land's End.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.