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Days out for kids in Cornwall holiday cottages

Days out for kids in Cornwall

Kate A 14 January 2020

Ice creams by the beach, running through wild gardens, and family bike rides in the sunshine; Cornwall is the ideal setting for a fun family holiday during spring and summer. With half term just around the corner, you might be thinking about treating your brood to an exciting getaway, so we’ve put together a list of some of the best days out for kids in Cornwall that will make the most of the warmer weather and longer days.

Discover the top beaches for children to learn to surf, one of the craziest zip wires in the country, and a mighty castle once home to King Arthur and his wizard Merlin. And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Cornwall with kids, click the button below!

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Days out for kids in North Cornwall

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle credit: Instagram @englishheritage

 

Top highlight

The new footbridge at Tintagel Castle means that little feet no longer have to climb over 100 steps to reach the cliff-top ruins, and crossing this vast walkway over the raging Atlantic, as the castle’s medieval inhabitants once did, is sure to bring heaps of excitement to your family day out.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

Tales of brave knights, Celtic kings and wizardly magic are sure to captivate young minds at this dramatic castle in Tintagel, one of the top kids’ attractions in North Cornwall. Fabled to be the birthplace of King Arthur, families can traverse the iconic 13th-century ruins, discovering more about this historical figure and the myths and legends surrounding him. After playing king and queen of the castle, head down to the beach to explore the mysterious Merlin’s Cave and enjoy a paddle in the sea, before climbing back up the steps to enjoy a cream tea in the café – be sure to look out for dolphins and seals in the sea below.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

The Camel Trail

The Camel Trail

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There are loads of family-friendly attractions and heritage sites dotted along the route, so you can combine a scenic cycle ride with another fun activity – keep your eyes peeled for secret shipwrecks!

Why you’ve got to take the kids

Following a disused railway track alongside the Camel Estuary, the 18-mile Camel Trail links Padstow, Wadebridge and Bodmin. One of the best free days out for kids in Cornwall, it’s level, traffic-free and there are plenty of places to stop for refreshments and toilet breaks along the way, making it an ideal activity for all ages. If you don’t already have a bike, you’ll find an abundance of options for cycle hire nearby and it’s easy to explore smaller sections too if you don’t fancy the complete trail. A perfect springtime or summer activity, you can pedal your way through a spectacular landscape of rolling hills, woodland and coastline, all bursting with wildlife – there’s nothing like a family bike ride.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

Lappa Valley Steam Railway 

Lappa Valley Steam Railway
Lappa Valley Steam Railway credit: Instagram @lappavalley

 

Top highlight

There’s not one, not two, but three miniature steam railways for children to hop aboard as they puff through a magical woodland wonderland.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

When the sun is shining, nothing beats the nostalgia of chugging through the pretty Cornish countryside on board a steam train. But when it comes to things to do in Cornwall with kids, this top attraction near Newquay also offers a world of play and fun family adventure. At Lappa Valley Steam Railway there’s crazy golf, a canoeing lake, nature trails, children’s rides, and a maze which are all included in the price of your ticket. So, there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained all day long.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

Learn to surf

Learn to surf

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For a budding young surfer dude, it doesn’t get much cooler than this. Riding the crests of the waves is a true Cornish experience and will give the kids plenty to tell their friends about back home!

Why you’ve got to take the kids

Cornwall is famed for its beautiful beaches and incredible surfing, but it’s definitely not just for adults. You’ll find surf schools peppered across the county’s coastline, and some of our favourite family-friendly surfing spots are in North Cornwall. So, if you’re looking for exhilarating days out with the kids in Cornwall, book a surfing lesson for your water babies and watch them catching waves under the safe guidance of an experienced instructor. Most academies teach kids from the age of six, and some offer more exciting water sports to try including paddleboarding, bodyboarding and kayaking, particularly during half-term and school holidays. Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay in Newquay are home to some great schools including Extreme Academy, Escape Surf School, Fistral Beach Surf School and Quicksilver Surf School.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

For more fun things to do in the area, read our ultimate guide to North Cornwall.

Days out for kids in South Cornwall

Adrenalin Quarry

Adrenalin Quarry
Adrenalin Quarry credit: Instagram @adrenalinquarry

 

Top highlight

For the ultimate adrenaline junkies of the family, jump off a cliff and fly down a 150ft zip wire, reaching speeds of 40mph! 

Why you’ve got to take the kids

A paradise for thrill-seekers of all ages, Adrenalin Quarry in Liskeard is the place to head to for kids’ days out in Cornwall full of high-octane activities. If your family thought this holiday was going to be ‘boring’, then they can think again as they’ll love defying gravity on the giant swing, splashing around in the aquapark, racing against the rest of the family on the go-karting track, and diving from the cliffs into the depths below on a coasteering expedition. Bring out the extreme fun-junkies in your family and get your hearts pumping in this awesome outdoor playground.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

The Monkey Sanctuary

The Monkey Sanctuary
The Monkey Sanctuary credit: Instagram @wildfuturescharity

 

Top highlight

Kids will love getting up close and personal with around 40 playful primates including marmosets, woolly monkeys and capuchin monkeys.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

Whether you’re meeting the furry residents, swinging through the playground, or making the most of the arts and crafts workshops, the whole family can enjoy monkeying around together at The Monkey Sanctuary near Looe. Kids will go bananas for the Wild Play Area, and there are a variety of birds, butterflies and other beautiful creatures to be found in the gardens. Friendly keepers are also on hand to share the individual stories of the monkeys in their care, and whilst your little monkeys are enjoying themselves, it’s good to know that you’re supporting a worthy cause by visiting.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Top highlight

Kids will love the jungle area complete with a 100ft Burmese rope bridge above ancient tree ferns.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

Known as the inspiration behind the renowned Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan near Mevagissey offers 200 acres of magical gardens, woodland walks, and whimsical sculptures. Budding little horticulturists can traverse boardwalks, rope bridges and swings, admiring towering trees, exotic plants and moss-covered giants lurking in the undergrowth. During spring and summer, the gardens really burst into life, carpeted by colourful rhododendrons and camellias. And toddlers will be delighted to meet the rare breed animals who roam the grounds. Of all the kid’s attractions in Cornwall, this is one of our favourites for the season ahead.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

Carnglaze Caverns

Carnglaze Caverns
Carnglaze Caverns credit: Instagram @barbuey

 

Top highlight

A tour of the caverns concludes at a dazzling subterranean lake, with crystal-clear waters that have a glittering green tint and provide the perfect surroundings for family photos.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

Whether above ground or below, there is plenty to entertain families at Carnglaze Caverns near Liskeard. Intrepid young explorers can delve 60m underground into three gigantic caverns which have a constant temperature of 10°C. This former slate mine allows teens and their parents to learn more about Cornwall’s fascinating mining history. Emerge back into the sunshine to enjoy a picnic in the terraced garden above, or a magical walk to discover fairies, waterfalls and dragons in the Enchanted Dell, carpeted in 4 acres of bluebells in spring.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

For more top things to do in the area, read our ultimate guide to South Cornwall.

Days out for kids in West Cornwall

Flambards Theme Park

Flambards Theme Park
Flambards Theme Park credit: Instagram @flambardsuk

 

Top highlight

Feel the G-force as you whizz high above the park and spin 360 degrees in the air on Sky-Force, the first ‘white-knuckle’ ride in the South West.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

A holiday in Cornwall with kids isn’t complete without hitting the rollercoasters, and Flambards Theme Park in Helston is simply bursting with them! When the sun is shining, this is the perfect day out for families; brave the sky-high thrill rides, step back in time in the life-size Victorian Village, discover the next Formula One champion on the go-karts, and prepare to get wet on the Colorado River log flume. With a seven-day free return on an upgraded day ticket, families can easily dip in and out during their stay.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

Roskilly's Farm 

Roskilly's Farm
Roskilly's Farm credit: Instagram @chloeet96

 

Top highlight

Head to Roskilly's Ice Cream Parlour where kids can dig their spoons into huge ice cream sundaes or create mighty milkshakes from all manner of mouth-watering flavours.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

Free to visit, Roskilly’s Farm on the Lizard Peninsula is a real Cornish working farm who produce some of the county’s most delicious ice cream, as well as yoghurts, fudges, sorbets and jams. Have a wander around the 20-acre farm, lakes and woodland, watch the cows being milked, say hello to the cute new-born animals during Easter time and let the kids feed the furry residents with special bags of food. There’s a great restaurant on-site for lunch, and of course, the ice cream parlour where there are over 30 flavours to choose from including cream tea, malty mystery, and blackberry and apple crumble – kids will be in ice-cream heaven!

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

St Michael’s Mount

St Michael's Mount

Top highlight

At low tide, families can follow in the footsteps of giants (so legend says), and stroll across the causeway to this iconic sea-encircled castle.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

One of the top days out for kids in West Cornwall, National Trust’s St Michael’s Mount in Marazion is a breathtaking island home to a hill-top castle, sub-tropical gardens, plus a small harbour and a selection of shops and cafes. Curious children can learn about the giant who once lived on the island as they climb the steep medieval pathway, following the clues to the fairy-tale castle turrets and looking out for the giant's stone heart, along with the armour of a samurai warrior and even a mummified cat. During the summer, there are lots of family-friendly activities to enjoy such as storytelling, rock pooling and craft days. And if you time your trip with the tides, you can catch the ferry back across to the mainland, another adventure kids will love.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

The Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre

Top highlight

Watching a play with the big skies of Cornwall above and the waves crashing beyond is something your kids won’t forget in a hurry.

Why you’ve got to take the kids

During the school holidays, The Minack Theatre at Porthcurno offers a wonderful selection of fun storytelling shows with puppets and songs for families (as well as improvised performances from passing dolphin pods). Carved out of granite rocks on a dramatic cliff-scape, kids can take a seat in this world-famous open-air theatre which enjoys dramatic panoramas over Porthcurno Bay. This is a really special, one-off place in Cornwall to take your kids.

Family-friendly places to stay nearby

For more brilliant things to do in the area, read our ultimate guide to West Cornwall.

Stay in Cornwall

Fancy experiencing one of these amazing days out for kids in Cornwall? With the warmer weather just around the corner, why not have a browse of our family-friendly cottages in Cornwall and start planning a half-term getaway that the kids will never forget. You can look forward to the likes of games rooms, swimming pools and even home cinemas in some of our self-catering accommodation – just click the button below!

 

Need some more inspiration for things to do in Cornwall with the kids? Have a read of our guide to affordable family days out in Cornwall, and if you still can’t decide where to stay, our guide to the best family-friendly cottages in Cornwall will give you some great ideas. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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