Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the UK to holiday with the kids. It has the perfect mixture of pristine beaches, fabulous food, activities for the family, quaint villages and breathtaking countryside. We’ve had several family holidays in Cornwall over the years, most recently this Easter break. With May bank holiday on our doorstep and Summer holidays around the corner, I thought I’d list out my top 10 tips for a family holiday in North Cornwall. Enjoy!
- Polkerris Beach:
This fabulous beach ticks many of the boxes I look for in great beaches with kids. Parking is close by and a short walk downhill to the beach. The beach is sandy and great for making sandcastles, as well as long enough for a good running race between the kids! There are some good rocky areas too for small or big climbers, and maybe most importantly of all, there is a restaurant on the beach serving fresh seafood and that all important glass of vino.. Sams on the beach. We spent a wonderful afternoon on this beach and would highly recommend it.
- Eden Project:
Several families told me about the Eden Project so I had fairly high expectations of what I’d see when we visited. However, our expectations were blown out of the water. The whole family had a fabulous day out exploring the rainforest and mediterranean biomes, with the suspended bridge in the rainforest biome being an absolute highlight. One tip is that there is a lovely family-friendly restaurant within the mediterranean biome, but there were long queues to get in, so good to eat there nearer 12 noon if you can. We visited this Easter, and very much enjoyed the easter children’s activities on offer.
- Duchy of Cornwall Nursery & Café:
If you are anywhere close by the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery & Cafe, try and plan your lunch around it.. You’ll be in for a treat. The food is delicious, locally sourced and the cakes too good not to find room for. They are great with kids good, providing all the distraction you’d hope for whilst the food is being cooked (colouring in competitions etc..). We spent a good 2 hours here, also roaming around their lovely nursery and being inspired by the rolling hills view beyond. There is also a shop attached selling local wares (and Cornish gin..!).
- Restormel Castle:
This circular castle ruins offer a wonderful insight into life in the 13th century, and happily satisfied a few hours of family time as the kids played hide and seek in the ruins and ran circles around the castle. The panoramic views are breathtaking from the castle, and worth every bit of the £13 family ticket (for 2 adults and up to 3 children).
Padstow is one of those Cornish towns that’s hard not to visit when you are in the area. This fishing port town offers lovely restaurants, great shops and beaches too. We had lunch at Stein’s Fish and Chips. The queues to get in were long, which is slightly annoying with kids in tow, but the fish was great and their gluten free options particularly impressive.
- Port Isaac:
We loved this fishing village and spent a lovely afternoon climbing along the rocks on the beach, and having Cornish cream tea at the Chapel Café. This café also sells a wonderful selection of hand crafted items, and we walked away with two pottery lamps which remind us daily of the magic of Cornwall.
- Fistral Beach:
This beach in Newquay is well known for its surfing and the dunes created by the fast-moving tide. If you time your trip here around lunch, we’d recommend The Harbour for fish & chips, with a jaw dropping view across Fistral Beach.
- Watergate Bay Beach:
Watergate Bay Beach has to be one of our favourite beaches in the world.. The buzz of Watergate Bay starts as you walk down to the beach and pass by the multitude of restaurants and bars like Wax and Jaime Olivers Fifteen, as well as the highly luxurious and family-friendly Watergate Bay Hotel. The beach is vast and very picturesque with the imposing cliff faces in the backdrop, and surf-tastic sea in front. If you can stretch the budget, and you are looking for somewhere to stay nearby, I’d strongly recommend Watergate Bay Hotel. After a show round the hotel, I was searching for availability dates on the spot. This hotel takes family-friendly and luxury to the next level..
- The Camel Trail Tea Garden:
The Camel Trail Tea Garden in Bodmin is a delightful tea garden in the middle of the countryside and a hidden gem, serving a Cornish cream tea to die for.. If you can add this stop into your itinerary, you won’t be disappointed. We timed it with our travels out of Cornwall and it was the perfect farewell spot for our holiday.
- Trewithan Restaurant, Lostwithiel
And one final tip for those who can squeeze a date night into the holiday schedule. My husband and I celebrated his birthday at Trewithan Restaurant in Lostwithiel. It was honestly the best meal we’ve had in years. Delightful service, inventive dishes and extensive wine selection. We couldn’t recommend it more highly.
The places we stayed whilst we were there were Cross Cottage in Landhyrock, and Sands Resort in Newquay – a favourite of our readers. We highly recommend the Moroccan Spa experience at Sands. Picture a relaxing spa session including cake and prosecco for the adults, whilst the kids enjoy the kids club. Guilt free ‘us’ time, thanks Sands for the treat!