Cornwall is the perfect family holiday destination. With its amazing beaches, dramatic coastal scenery and first-class accommodation, Cornwall is a big hit with parents and children of all ages. The county also boasts some quality attractions to keep children entertained on non-beach days or as a special treat during your time away. Here’s our round-up of the best tourist attractions in Cornwall for days out with the kids.
1. Eden Project
What: Part garden, part environmental theme park and part architectural wonder, the Eden Project is hands-down one of the best days out in Cornwall – if not the entire country.
Why: There is something for everyone at Eden – from the exotic plants and canopy walkways of the tropical biome and the educational installations in the Core, through to storytelling, craft workshops and delicious food and ice cream.
Where: Eden is located in an old clay quarry pit in Bodelva near St Austell.
How Much: A family ticket for two adults and two children costs £75. Purchase online to save 10%. Take some cash for lunch and snacks.
What: Flambards is Cornwall’s biggest theme park featuring exhilarating rides on rollercoasters, log flumes swings, drops and carousels, as well as special events and entertainment.
Why: Children of all ages will love the diversity of rides and attractions. There’s more than enough here to keep you occupied for a whole day.
Where: Flambards is located on the outskirts of Helston in the south of the county.
How Much: It’s £21.95 for adults and between £9.95 and £15.95 for children (depending on age/height). Book ahead to get 10% off. Take the free upgrade to get a 7-day pass for return visits.
3. Camel Trail
What: This is a safe, flat, scenic bicycle trail along the route of a disused railway line. You can go as far as you like or do multiple sections over several days, depending on the ages, abilities and levels of stamina of your children. The trail is 18 miles long in total.
Why: The Camel Trail is great for a family ride for exercise, exploration and adventure. This trail runs alongside the Camel estuary and river through a spectacular landscape of rolling hills, woodland and coastline.
Where: Between Padstow and Bodmin, via Wadebridge. There are car parks and bike hire centres in Padstow and Wadebridge.
How Much: Free to ride. Bike hire from £17 for adults and £6 for small child bikes.
4. Blue Reef Aquarium
What: An aquarium full of sea creatures, aimed at younger visitors. Venture through the underground tunnel and discover lobsters, reef sharks, octopus, turtles and fish of all shapes, colours and varieties.
Why: It’s an educational outing that supports the aquarium’s conservation efforts and breeding programmes. It’s the perfect place to learn about marine life in rock pools and coastal waters in Cornwall, as well as sea creatures from further afield too.
Where: On Towan Beach in Newquay.
How Much: It’s £39.10 for a family of four, or £35.19 if booked in advance.
5. Newquay Zoo
What: A compact zoo showcasing 130 species from around the world, including lions, zebras, monkeys, meerkats, penguins, parrots and lynx. There’s also a petting zoo, reptile house and daily feeding sessions.
Why: Kids will love the cute and cuddly animals. A visit also supports the charity’s conservation work with endangered species. It is ideal for a fun, half day visit or an educational few hours.
How Much: Adults entry is £15.95, children aged 3-15 years are £12 and children under three are free.
6. Camel Creek Adventure Park
What: A family theme park with a mix of thrilling and laid back rides including a log flume, giant slides, big drops and a 5D simulator experience. There’s also a pets corner, reptile house, horse stables and large indoor play area.
Why: Camel Creek Adventure Park is great for a dose of adrenalin and is the perfect way to spend a half a day or more while the kids go wild with excitement.
Where: This family attraction is located in Tredinnick, near Wadebridge.
How Much: A family pass, purchased in advance costs £57.40.
7. Tintagel Castle
What: Tintagel Castle is a collection of cliff-top ruins, most famously connected with the legend of King Arthur. This North Cornwall beauty spot was an important medieval trading site where merchants exchanged and imported goods from all over Europe. Look out for the small cave at the base of the cliffs known as Merlin’s Cave after the wizard from Arthurian legend.
Why: It’s a beautifully, rugged spot where you can explore the ruins and learn about this impressive site and its important place in Cornwall’s heritage.
Where: On the coast at Tintagel.
How Much: Family of two adults and up to three children costs £24.70, or free for members of English Heritage.
8. Lost Gardens of Heligan
What: A large estate of gardens have been uncovered and lovingly recreated as an idyllic family attraction. Heligan is laid out in three distinct areas – the Productive Garden, the Pleasure Grounds and the Jungle Garden, surrounded by woodland and farmland.
Why: There is space to roam and run around, and take in the beauty of these exotic gardens. Kids will love the jungle area complete with a 100ft Burmese rope bridge above ancient tree ferns, and discovering the mysterious woodland earth sculptures.
Where: Near Pentewan and St Austell.
How Much: It’s £40 for a family pass for two adults and up to three children.
9. National Maritime Museum Cornwall
What: Displays of boats and special exhibits celebrating Cornwall’s unique maritime history. There are 15 galleries including the main hall where old Cornish working boats mingle with Olympic medal winning dinghies.
Why: It’s a beautiful quayside museum where there’s always a lot going on. Many of the exhibits are interactive and encourage kids to clamber on board or join in with a range of activities. Make sure you climb to the top of the tower for breathtaking views over the harbour, docks and estuary.
Where: On Discovery Quay in Falmouth
How Much: £13.95 for adults, £6.50 for under 18s and free for under 5s. Book online for a 10% discount.
10. St Michael’s Mount
What: This iconic landmark is separated from Cornwall’s south coast by a cobbled causeway. The island is home to a hilltop castle, sub-tropical gardens plus a small harbour and shops and cafés.
Why: Visit St Michael’s Mount for its beauty and breathtaking views. Kids will enjoy the adventure of walking the causeway at low tide or taking the small ferry boat across to the island at high tide. On shore you can learn about life in the centuries old castle and wander around the gardens where exotic plants cling to steep granite cliffs.
Where: Off the coast at Marazion, near Penzance
How Much: A family ticket for two adults and up to three children, for combined access to the castle and gardens is £40. Or it’s free for National Trust members.
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