Visiting Cornwall: Family Travel Tips

by Asako Maruoka / Dec 13, 2013 /
Asako Maruoka's picture

One of the best places to explore as a family is Cornwall. Located in Southwest England, it’s an incredibly beautiful location – and has plenty of things to keep both the kids AND the parents interested. Base your family holidays in Looe, Cornwall, and head out from there. There’s plenty to do for any interest, a plethora of great dining options, and oh, the beauty of the place.

 

Here are 5 ways to explore Cornwall with your family

 

 5 ways to explore Cornwall with your family

Flickr creative commons: Antidigital_da, adapted by Wandering Educators

 

Castles

Who isn’t inspired by castles? And Cornwall boasts many castles, including St Michael’s Mount (Marazion), where you can time your trip to the tides, and walk there during low tide, and Pendennis Castle (Falmouth).

Visit Pentillie Castle, built in 1698, and you can explore both geographical features (tidal river, valleys, woodland, parkland, promontories) and history (what kid doesn’t love a mausoleum?). There are also plenty of events, including treasure hunts, garden tours, and live theatre. Check the calendar!

Be sure to visit Tintagel Castle, the birthplace of King Arthur. You can explore Merlin’s Cave, the castle ruins, and even perform your own Arthurian Legend.

 

The ruins of the upper mainland courtyards of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall. Wikimedia commons: Kerry Garrat

The ruins of the upper mainland courtyards of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall. Wikimedia commons: Kerry Garrat

 

Lighthouses

There are 13 lighthouses in Cornwall. On the Lizard Peninsula, the southernmost point of mainland Britain, visit the Lighthouse Heritage Centre. You’ll be able to climb up and time warp yourself back, looking for pirate ships and helping sailors navigate treacherous shores. You can also build your own lighthouse (much smaller, of course), create a weather logbook, send a Morse code message, and more.

 

Lizard Point Lighthouse from across Housel Bay. Wikimedia Commons: Tim Heaton

Lizard Point Lighthouse from across Housel Bay. Wikimedia Commons: Tim Heaton

 

Watersports

There are all sorts of things you can do in and on the water in Cornwall. Canoe at Cotehele, a world heritage site that explores the Cornish mining heritage. You can also check out a working watermill here.

In Swanpool, take lessons at the Elemental UK water sports centre, in a variety of watersports activities, including windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and more.

At Sennen Cove, Land’s End, you can play in the waves or rent a surfboard. The scenery is magnificent – and the name speaks for itself.

The sand dunes are the lure at Crantock Beach (well, and the caves, too). You can also play in the rock pools, walk along the beach, and watch the tide hit the River Gannel, located on the eastern end of the beach.

Go Coasteering! Do you know what this is? You swim, climb cliffs, leap into the ocean, and swim with wildlife as you explore the coast. There are several coasteering companies in Cornwall, if you have older kids that like to MOVE and explore.

And at any of the numerous beaches, you can play in the water, walk, sail, dig in the sand, and gaze at the waves (I’m guilty of this, often losing hours while sitting under a beach umbrella).

 

Surf’s Up! Whitesand Bay. Wikimedia Commons: Chris Allen

Surf’s Up! Whitesand Bay. Wikimedia Commons: Chris Allen

 

Land’s End Aerial Photo Wikimedia Commons: Tom Corser

Land’s End Aerial Photo Wikimedia Commons: Tom Corser

 

An Enchanted Valley

Look for fairies and elves at the Golitha Falls Nature Reserve. This inland wooded valley, complete with rushing river, stepping stones, bridges, and a waterfall. Bring a picnic and clear eyes – who knows what you’ll see?

 

Golitha Falls Nature Reserve. Wikimedia Commons: Jim Champion

Golitha Falls Nature Reserve. Wikimedia Commons: Jim Champion

 

Places to Play

Heartlands offers botanical gardens, art galleries, and the biggest free adventure park in Cornwall. It’s also part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape world heritage site.

Cornwall’s Crealy: a Great Adventure Park lives up to its name! There are all kinds of rides, indoor and outdoor fun, animals, and more.

Flambards is another theme park with a great variety of rids – including some adrenaline-inducing rides! If you’re searching for a bit of peace in between, there are gardens and an aviary to explore.

 

Flambards. Flickr creative commons: Ben Sutherland

Flambards. Flickr creative commons: Ben Sutherland

 

 

Need more inspiration and ideas? Check out our article on 12 cool things to do in Cornwall.

What's your favorite family travel adventure in Cornwall?