When staying at a family friendly holiday cottage in Cornwall, what better way to take in the scenery and occupy the little ones than with an exhilarating exploration of Cornwall’s great outdoors?
With so many ways to actively adventure out for the day, both the natural landscape and alluring range of attractions provide the perfect platform for discovery – whatever your age.
From cycling trails and walking to water activities, the key is to embrace the day by venturing out and treating the senses to a wind-blasted/salt sprayed/breeze-through-the-hair/sand-between-the-toes extravaganza.
An active day out with a difference starts here…
Pedal along a pretty path
Whether you fancy somewhere off-the-beaten-track to trail blaze your way through, or a slow and meandering cycle along one of Cornwall’s popular and established cycle paths, hitch a trailer to the back of your bike or attach the stabilisers for a fun-filled escapade.
The Camel Trail covers 20 miles of traffic-free terrain between Padstow, Wadebridge and Bodmin, providing largely level paths along stunning scenery; while The Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast route navigates the 15 miles from Portreath to Devoran across a section of Cornwall’s captivating World Mining Heritage site.
Alternatively, immerse yourselves in Lanhydrock’s spellbinding surrounds with a cycle around their trails, which are graded as ‘Green’, or easy, to ‘Blue’ – or moderate. The skills area features a balance bike track, while en route you’ll also encounter the fantastic adventure playground and Park Café.
Book a boat trip
Being practically surrounded by water, there are oodles of options for boat trips around Cornwall’s rivers and coastline, meaning that wherever you stay or visit, you’ll find an on-the-water adventure to suit.
From wildlife watching excursions and fishing trips to tours, all occasions are catered for. Explore gorgeous scenery with a ferry ride along Fowey River, Fal River, the Helford River, Camel Estuary and Tamar River where crystalline coves, breath-taking beaches and uber quaint villages eagerly await.
Visit a garden and nature-spot on a woodland walk
Green spaces in Cornwall are as ubiquitous – and equally as beautiful a backdrop – as its beaches. In short: they’re everywhere.
Not only are you welcomed by sub-tropical blooms and Eden-esque surrounds, but a variety of activities, features and unique sights will ensure both young and old a sublime-filled day out of the most memorable kind.
Trebah is a top choice, providing under 5’s with the fabulous, Fort Stuart, which is sandy home to a slide and rocking horses. Then there’s Tarzan’s Camp – complete with climbing ropes, monkey bars and the alike – for over 5’s. And with adventure and wildlife trails tailored to young ones alongside a café and shopping for all, everyone will find a space and activity to individually relish.
Stumble across stunning viewpoints, natural areas of interest, wildlife and fun features at Cornwall’s collection of woodland walks, including those found at Cardinham Woods, Tehidy, Trebarwith Valley, Cotehele Estate, Crackington Haven, Luxulyan Valley and Pentewen Valley.
Take a train ride
Put your feet up but keep moving as you embark upon one of Cornwall’s scenic train rides.
Lappa Valley Steam Railway runs near Newquay and features stop offs at play areas, toddler’s path maze, crazy golf, boating lake, indoor play carriages, rides, café and nature trails for the entire family to get stuck into.
Combine country walks with a pub lunch, beautiful scenery and locomotive heritage with Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway. The changing schedule of special events and trains will add to the entertainment factor as you chug your way along the tracks.
The St Erth to St Ives branch-line offers one of the most scenic train rides in the country. Although only short, you’ll experience stunning views along the way, and when you reach your destination, you’ll find plenty of family friendly activities on offer in the beautiful harbour town of St Ives.
Make a splash
With beach activities everywhere, you’re obviously spoiled for seaside choice in Cornwall. But there’s also a selection of other water wonderlands designed to thrill visitors.
Rapid river rides, ridewave machines, flumes, Jacuzzis, water slides, fountains and fun pools can all be found at the brilliant likes of Waterworld Newquay, Falmouth’s Ships and Castles, The Splash in Bude, Dragon Leisure Centre in Bodmin and outdoor delights of Hayle Swimming Pool and Penzance’s iconic art deco offering, Jubilee Pool (currently undergoing restoration, reopening summer 2016).
Find out more about family attractions in Cornwall >