Image Credit: Penstones
Cornwall is one of the UK’s most popular regions for holidays, and it is an excellent base for family holidays in the South West of England. Cornwall is fortunate to have some of the UK’s most beautiful sandy beaches, as good for building sandcastles as they are for surfing.
The north of Cornwall has the best beaches, particularly Newquay and St. Ives, however there are some lovely beaches to be found on the south coast too.
Cornwall’s greatest advantage is its climate; it is the mildest part of the country which means that not only is the weather pleasant for holidaymakers, but it allows plants to grow which will not thrive in any other part of the country. This gives Cornwall an almost Mediterranean feeling in the middle of summer.
Best of all, Cornwall has a great range of attractions for all the family to enjoy, whether the weather is Mediterranean or more typically British. Here is a selection of the best places to keep the kids entertained on a holiday in Cornwall.
The Eden Project in St. Austell is Cornwall’s best known tourist attraction, and is a fascinating insight into the plant life of the planet. Designed with children and educational considerations in mind it can be enjoyed on many different levels.
There is lots of space outside for children to run around in and inside the biomes they can see the food that they eat actually growing that they will only have seen packed in a supermarket. Just to let you know it is REALLY WARM, especially when you get near the top of the biomes, so wear layers!
Flambards Theme Park, in Helston is named after the series of books by K.L. Peyton which are set before and during the first world war. I absolutely loved the Flambards books as a child and the park was originally set up to recapture the atmosphere of the TV series that was made from them.
It has now grown into a hugely popular theme park with thrill rides and also retains the original Flambards Victorian Village, as well as the Britain in the Blitz and Memory Lane exhibitions.
Image Credit: Andrew Poynton
Land’s End is the most southerly point in Britain and gives you a magnificent view of the beautiful coastal backdrop. Don't forget to take a photo next to the famous sign post!
The kids were more interested in A Grand Experience, which is an interactive exhibit of Aardman Animations favourite characters, Shaun The Sheep, Wallace and Grommit and Morph, plus you can find out about Arthurian legend in Arthur's Quest.
Poldark Mine is in Trenear near Helston, and is the most important and best preserved location of the historic Cornish mining industry. The name was changed to tie in with the original 1970's TV series - although the mine was used as a filming location for the recent series.
This is not really one for smaller children or ones that still are in a push chairs, as the mine is, well a real mine so you need to be able to climb around. But it is ver interesting for kids who can walk by themselves.
Lappa Valley Steam Railway is a lovely family attraction near Newquay with three different train rides, several play areas and the ruins of a historic mine.
Highlights for us were the canoeing lake - no, you don't need to be an expereinced canoeist to enjoy it, none of us had ever been in one before and the water is very shallow! Also the crazy golf went down really well and started a bit if a crazy golf craze with my elder son.
Image Credit: dawidx
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, for me, were the surprise hit of our visit to Cornwall. Yes, any garden is great for the kids to work off energy, but the sheer variety of things to see and the feeling of something different around every corner kept the kids interest maintained through out the day.
The highlight has to be the tropical jungle area with it's own micro-climate; it is awe-inspiring and you can't beat a rope bridge over a lake for keeping the kids entertained for hours. Plus they will love the witty sculptures which are dotted around the gardens, including the Giant's Head pictured above.
Dairyland Farm World is perfect for little (and big) animal lovers, as it is a cow-themed park - which also has sheep, pigs, rabbits and ponies as well as indoor and outdoor play areas.
We loved the indoor playcentre with it's exciting drop slides plus well, COWS! The kids were fascinated watching how the cows are milked in the milking parlour and the Cornish Heritage Museum made a nice calming break.
Mevagissey Model Railway is a lovely exhibit, just note that it is open in the summer only. Perfect for a rainy morning - you'll only need about half a day for this - it is truly charming.
There are various train layouts which have beautiful and delighful details all over them. You can even have a go at controlling the trains yourself. Model train nerds will love the shop too.
Image Credit: Martin Marais
The Shipwreck and Heritage Centre in Charlestown wins our award for the most bonkers museum in Cornwall. An eccentric mix of maritime memorabilia, RNLI history and actual artefacts from local shipwrecks as well as local and other historical exhibits.
The village of Charlestown is also a Poldark filming location and the lovely village has a harbour where you can often see historic tall ships too. A great day out.
Crealy Adventure Park in Wadebridge is a whole day out with animals, wild water rides, a nature park, a huge children’s indoor play area, There are gentle rides for the more nervous and enough excitement for anyone who likes an adrenalin rush.
The rest of the family wasn't going anywhere near The Twister myself but my younger son loved it. I'm more of a meerkat girl myself, and I'm a big softy around alpacas.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!