Whenever you visit, there’s a wealth of wonderful things to do in Cornwall for families. From sandy bays, gorgeous gardens and rugged hills, to canoe trips, steam trains and historic homes – there are endless ways to be entertained. So here’s a Coast and Country guide to the fantastic activities and attractions within easy reach of our two luxury Cornish holiday parks.
Spring things to do in Cornwall for families
Antony, Torpoint Half-day; admission charge
Spring is the perfect time to explore Antony, an enchanting National Trust property near Torpoint. An impressive 18th-century manor house sits beside splendid landscape gardens that have a historic collection of daylilies and are dotted with neatly snipped topiary and fine statues. Antony is so photogenic it even appeared in Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice In Wonderland film. Check to see if they’re having one of their fun Easter egg hunts.
Tamar Valley Donkey Park Half-day; admission charge
This is an attraction that overflows with the “Ahhhh” factor. Quite possibly the cutest thing to do in Cornwall for families, the Tamar Valley Donkey Park is home to scores of sweet donkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs and goats. You can often feed and pet the creatures and there’s a big play barn just in case it rains.
Cawsand to Plymouth Ferry Half- to full-day; admission charge
Tucked into the Rame Peninsula, the winding streets of the twin fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand sit beside sandy coves. They’re delightful places to stroll, chill out and swim. You can also hop on a ferry from Cawsand for the 40 minute blast across the wide waters of Plymouth Sound. Enjoy a stroll around the city’s historic Barbican district and an ice cream before cruising back.
Summer things to do in Cornwall for families
Whitsand Bay Half to full-day; parking charges
Backed by craggy cliffs and gorgeous coastal trails, the three mile sweep of sand at Whitsand Bay is a soul soothing spot. The bay stretches from Rame Head to Portwrinkle and at high tide is effectively split into a series of coves – at low tide it’s a vast expense of sand. Popular with swimmers and surfers, currents can be strong – head for the areas patrolled by the seasonal lifeguards.
Launceston Steam Railway Half-day; charge
The Launceston Steam Railway is one of the most joyful things to do in Cornwall for families. Trains puff their way from Launceston station to Newmills Station – a 20 minute journey in a vintage carriage pulled by a Victorian locomotive along a narrow gauge track. You’ll also find pretty stations, a fascinating museum and a cafe serving cream teas and ice creams.
Tamar Trails – Canoe Tamar Half-day; charge
The broad waters of the River Tamar frame the edge of east Cornwall, forming a beautiful watery boundary between neighbouring Devon. One of the best ways to experience the river is to take a guided Canadian canoe safari with Canoe Tamar. These see you paddling up river from Cotehele Quay, past rolling farmland and the towering Calstock viaduct to the wild tidal limits, enjoying a picnic along the way.
Autumn things to do in Cornwall for families
Adrenaline Quarry Half-day; charge
Zip wires, giant swings, axe throwing, a karting track and a watery obstacle course – Adrenaline Quarry lives up to its name. Zip down the 490m zip wire from 50m high. Or jump, slide and bounce your way around the inflatable obstacles floating on a lake Or perhaps zoom skywards on a giant swing set 150ft above the water. All in all, it’s one of the most adrenaline-fuelled things to do in Cornwall for families.
Cotehele Half-day; admission charge
A visit to the National Trust’s property at Cotehele is one of the most atmospheric things to do in Cornwall. A dimly-lit Tudor manor house with a warren of rooms, a history-rich mill and quay, and gorgeous gardens that flow down to the River Tamar. While the gardens delight year-round, autumn often brings orchard-related events as the apple harvest gets underway.
Winter things to do in Cornwall for families
Kit Hill Half-day; free
Kit Hill juts up from the undulating Tamar Valley, an outcrop of granite that rises 333m above sea level. The surrounding country park has more than 400 acres of heathland and is peppered with heritage features including the remains of a stone age burial mound and 19th century mine workings. It’s a place to hike, fly kites, watch birds and drink in the 360 degree views which take in Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, Plymouth and the sea.
The Box Half-day; free
This one is more something to do from Cornwall, but we’ve included the Box as it’s less than 10 miles from our Notter Bridge Holiday Park. Set in Plymouth, this award-winning museum brings heritage subjects bang up today. A striking box-like, glass panelled structure perched three stories in the air, the Box is chock-full of imaginative displays. From a set of massive suspended ships’ figureheads to stories of exploration and discovery, it’s an utterly absorbing place to visit, with plenty of hands-on activities.
Where to stay when enjoying things to do in Cornwall for families
At Coast & Country we’re proud of our luxurious holiday retreats. Spacious, comfortable and set amid stunning scenery they’re just the places to head to for a perfect Westcountry break. And with two beautiful parks in Cornwall, they’re perfectly placed to enable you to enjoy all the cracking things that we’ve mentioned above.
Tamar View Holiday Park is tucked away between the shores and the moors in the bewitching valley of the River Tamar. Set beside the village of St Ann’s Chapel, it offers glorious views over the Tamar Valley and down to the sea at Plymouth Sound.
Dartmoor National Park is on the doorstep, and the park is within easy reach of south coast beaches and the charismatic market town of Tavistock. The Rifle Volunteer, a pub serving real ale and good food, is just a short stroll away.
The Tamar Valley Donkey Park is less than a mile’s stroll, Cotehele House, Canoe Tamar’s launch site and Kit Hill are all under 3 miles away, while the Launceston Steam Railway is about a 20 minute drive.
Notter Bridge Holiday Retreat
The peaceful woods lining the River Lynher are the setting for our tranquil Notter Bridge Holiday Park. Vacation here and you’ll be surrounded by nature trails, ponds and gardens and have kayaking spots right on your doorstop.
The long sandy beaches of Whitsand Bay are just 11 miles away, while Adrenaline Quarry is only a 15 minute drive. The Box in Plymouth is under 10 miles away, the National Trust’s property at Antony is 13 miles away, while the ferry ride at Cawsand is only a 15 mile drive.