Things to do in Cornwall
Cornwall is a fantastic place to entertain children – from toddlers to teenagers there is something for everyone.
Crackington Haven is the closest beach to Cargurra Farm and it is a long pebbly beach that boasts excellent surf and rock pooling. There is parking directly opposite with several cafes on the beach front. Do check the tide times as when it is high tide there is very little beach to enjoy. There is a lifeguard present in high season. Crackington Haven is dog free from Easter day to the 1st October.
Towards Bude you will find Widemouth and Blackrock. All one long beach. Widemouth is a long open bay with a large sandy beach. The beach is ideal for families as it offers a variety of attractions including swimming, sunbathing, surfing, rock pooling and beach combing. There is plenty of parking and the sun is on the beach nearly all of the day. Lifeguards are present during high season. The Blackrock end of the beach, the more southern end, is dog friendly.
Trebarwith Strand is approximately 1 mile outside Tintagel and is reached on foot from the coastal footpath. A superb all round beach it is good for sunbathing, swimming and surfing. There are also plenty of rock pools. At low tide the beach is almost a half mile stretch of golden sand. There is ample parking and good general facilities.
Polzeath is just tucked inside the Camel Estuary which provides long, slow breaking waves perfect for younger surfers or those wishing to improve from novice to advance. Surfing is often superb in the summer season and is a big draw for the beach. Swimmers and rock poolers are also well catered for. This beach has lifeguards in high season. Polzeath is dog free from Easter day to the 1st October.
Daymer Bay is nestled between Rock and Polzeath. It is on the mouth of the Camel Estuary and unlike Polzeath it has very little surf. That makes it an excellent spot for swimming, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding or canoeing. The wide beach is very sheltered and because it is on the estuary at high tide you can walk out a long way before the water gets up to your waist. Daymer is ideal for families with younger children and offers some stunning walks fot those with older ones. You can walk from Daymer to Rock – from there you can catch a foot ferry across to Padstow. This beach has lifeguards in high season.
If you have had enough of the beach there are still plenty of things to do in Cornwall. We have a display of local leaflets in the Games Room. Here are a few popular places to visit:
South West Coastal Path
The South West Coastal Path runs around the 630 miles of superb coastline making the longest national trail in the UK. You are never far from the Coastal path. There are a selection of walks ranging from easy to challenging locally. Boscastle Farm Shop offers an easy 0.6 mile circular route to take in some views. There are more moderate walks through Minster wood to see the areas flooded during the Boscastle Flood or the Tintagel King Arthur walk at 3.3 miles. A great walk for children taking in the atmosphere of Tintagel castle. For walkers looking for more of a challenge there are walks of up to 15 miles. Full information and a list of searchable walks can be found on the South West Coastal Path website.
Boscastle is situated on the dramatic and unspoiled North Cornwall Coast. More recently famous for the Boscastle Flood of 2004 it is a truly picturesque village to visit. It has a distinctive natural harbour surrounded with quaint old buildings and local potteries. Walk out to the Coastwatch Lookout which is still manned by volunteers and offers amazing coastal views. Or relax and enjoy a cream tea while taking in the atmosphere. Plenty of parking, cafes and pubs, most of which are dog friendly.
The site of Tintagel Castle has been inhabited since at least the Roman period. Built with dramatic views of the ocean, the castle is a must-see destination. In 2019, for the first time in more than 500 years, the two separated halves of Tintagel Castle were reunited thanks to a new footbridge. This has proven to be very popular to cross. Timed tickets are sold so we recommend pre-booking a timed slot to visit to avoid the lengthy queues. Dogs on leads welcome. There is no parking on site but there are pay and display car parks 600m away in the village.
The Eden project is made up of two man-made biomes that house a collection of plants from around the world. Each dome simulates a different environment: one the Rainforest and the second a Mediterranean environment. There is plenty to do with the children with a mixed holiday calendar packed full of activities. It is also a fantastic place for adults to explore with such a variety of plants to view. You can take your dog with the whole site being dog friendly. It has a variety of restaurants at the site but you can also take a packed lunch too. Pre-booking in high season will reduce your queue time.
Set on a large mound it is the gateway to Cornwall. Its focus is an unusual keep dating back to the 13th century. Dogs on leads welcome. Ample parking locally.
Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre
Just outside of Launceston you can visit the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre. There you can see British and Asian short-clawed otters being fed close up. There are also fallow deer, wallabies, meerkats, several species of Owl and other Birds of Prey.
The Camel Trail
Running through a site of Specific Interest and Special Area of Conservation the 18 mile Camel Trail is largely traffic free with a virtually level multi-use trail great for bikes. You can start the trail at several points along the track. Wadebridge and Padstow being the most popular to cycle between but the Wenfordbridge stop has a lovely locally run cafe with delicious cakes.
Bike hire is available at several spots along the track.
Bridge Bike Hire – Wadebridge
Camel Trail Cycle Hire – Wadebridge
Padstow Cycle Hire – Padstow
Trail Bike Hire – Padstow
Snail Pace Cafe and Bike Hire – Wenfordbridge
Bodmin Bikes and Cycle Hire – Bodmin
Bude has lots to see locally. There is a sea pool which is great for swimming in the summer, several beaches, local shops and restaurants, supermarkets and public swimming pool called Splash. There are also lots of places that offer surfing lessons at Bude or the other local beaches.
You can cycle the canal or hire a paddle boat. A lovely walk between 2 cafes.
Hire a bike from Bude Bikes. They also do weekly rentals with car carriers.
There are lots of National Trust sites to visit in Cornwall. Here are a few highlights.
Tintagel Old Post Office – Tintagel
An unusual 14th-century yeoman’s farmhouse with a famously wavy roof. There is a display of Victorian postal equipment and furniture dating back to the 16th century. No dogs, parking locally pay and display.
Lanhydrock House and Gardens – Bodmin
Visit the house refurbished after a fire in 1881 with all the best Victorian mod-cons. Visit the kitchen, nurseries and servant quarters as well as the luxurious family areas, dining rooms and bedrooms. There are extensive gardens with ancient woodlands and beautiful herbaceous borders. Cafe on site, dogs welcome on leads in the park and wood but not in the formal gardens. Parking close to the house.
St Michael’s Mount – Marazion
This rocky island sites a castle, medieval church and small community. You can walk to the island at low tide or take a short boat trip. A unique place to visit. Parking on the mainland. Has a shop, cafe and restaurant.
Trerice – Near Newquay
A Cornish gem of an Elizabethan manor house. Little has changed over the years and today it is renowned for its tranquillity. No dogs on site. On-site parking.
Trelissic – Near Truro
On a peninsula with panoramic views of the Fal estuary the house provides an ever changing seascape and landscape. Walk the woodland gardens or explore the house. There is also an art gallery for Cornish artists, cafe and gift shop. Parking on site, dogs welcome in the countryside but not the gardens.
There are two soft play areas locally. The first in Bude at The Venue. It has soft play and bowling in one building. Located conveniently near the supermarket and swimming pool. The playzone is 8m high and set over 6 levels. There is a separate toddler area. Suitable for under 12s.
The second soft play is at the Bridge Centre, Launceston. It has a cafe serving freshly ground coffee, tea and home made lunch options. The children’s food is fairly priced with fish-finger or jam sandwiches as an option. Suitable for under 10s with a baby area.