Cornwall is positively crammed with things to see and do with kids – more than you can hope to do justice to in one family holiday, giving you all the more reason to come back time and again.
This is a place where the pace of life has remained relaxed, and where nothing is ever too far away, leaving you plenty of scope for spending the morning on the beach, relaxing over a long, leisurely lunch in a beach café or a pub, and visiting a garden or other attraction in the afternoon.
In terms of the best time to visit Cornwall with kids, summer is full of fun, with carnivals, regattas and other celebrations galore. Out of season, the resorts and beaches are quieter but the weather is milder in this part of South West England than anywhere else in the UK in spring, autumn, winter and summer, due to the Gulf Stream.
7 Things Not to Miss with Kids in Cornwall
- The stunning coastline with its fabulous beaches and charming coves and creeks. Rock-pooling, shrimping, crabbing and sandcastle-building are all lovely ways to spend a day at the seaside. Lots of Cornish beaches have lifeguards in summer and great cafés in which to refuel and take a break from the sun, and there are incredible walks along the Cornish section of the South West Coast Path.
- The water sports, from swimming to surfing, sailing, body-boarding and more. Our own Mawgan Porth beach is one of the best places in Cornwall to learn to surf or to hone your skills with Kingsurf.
- The food, from pasties and fish and chips to classic Cornish cream teas.
- The fantastic gardens, including the Lost Gardens of Heligan with its farm, Trebah with its private beach, adventure play areas and children’s trails, Trevarno with its vintage toy museum and woodland play area, and Glendurgan with its maze.
- The museums and attractions, from the Tate St Ives art gallery and the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth to the Eden Project eco-attraction with its biomes and England’s longest zip-wire, Pendennis Castle with its rip-roaring historical reconstructions and the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.
- The history, whether it be swashbuckling tales at Newquay’s walkthrough attraction Pirate’s Quest, sea-faring at the Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, Cornish mining at Poldark Mine and Geevor Tin Mine, or life in the Blitz at Flambards (which also has a Victorian village to explore).
- The boat-trips, especially the ferry from Falmouth to St Mawes with its castle, the ferry up the Malpas river to Truro, and the boat over to St Michael’s Mount (when the tide is in – when it’s out you can walk along the causeway).
- The picnic spots, whether on the beach or in venues such as the atmospheric Minack Theatre with its amphitheatre hewn out of the rock.