In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
Driving down and exploring Cornwall is one of my favourite things to do; ever since I moved away from the area in my mid teens, I just can’t help but revisit as often as I can. It’s safe to say that over the years I have explored some of the most popular destinations, the ones that the tourists love, as well as heading away from the crowds to some of the lesser known about Cornish locations.
Although it’s a fairly small county, driving through the Cornish countryside can be annoying – especially during peak tourist season. The narrow country roads are often backed up with holiday makers, local bus services, and agricultural machinery. Yes – you are likely to get stuck behind a tractor. That’s why it’s a great idea to know where you want to explore, before you book your hotel room in the Cornish countryside. Cornwall has so many amazing places that are worth visiting, so choose a hotel that’s central to the destinations at the top of your bucket list.
There are all manner of activities to do in Cornwall. From lounging around on the beach, to exploring the beautiful Cornish seas via Padstow’s glorious boat tours, so check out my favourite places below and discover what you could get up to on your next Cornish adventure.
Traveling Safely Within The UK From June
We’re all eager to get out into the world once more after the restrictions that have been in place due to COVID 19 over the past year. According to the government’s COVID Lockdown Roadmap, it looks likely that by the 21st June 2021, travel within the UK will once again be permitted. That means Staycations are going to be a popular way to holiday with friends and family this year.
Although it’s going to be amazing to travel and make memories, we still need to ensure that we’re all acting courteously and safely when exploring new places. If we don’t all practice living our lives in a safer, more educated manner, we could end up living a life back under restrictions once more, and nobody wants that. So while we may be able to travel and see friends, it’s important that us holiday makers remember that COVID will still be a part of our lives, and we need to remain sensitive to that.
Each attraction will have guidelines in place to ensure that everyone is kept safe, so make sure you look these up before heading out.
The Best Places To Visit In Cornwall As A Family
With this in mind, let’s talk about the best places to visit in Cornwall as a family! It’s worth noting that for many of the attractions, you may need to prebook in advance – sometimes quite far in advance – if you’re looking to visit some of the most popular attractions.
Flambards – Helston
Flambards is a theme park style attraction that has something for everyone. There are lots of toilet facilities dotted around, as well as food and ice cream stalls – there’s also a café. We visited Flambards with a 5 year old and a 1 year old and there were lots of rides and experiences for both of them. My eldest loved the Skyraker – an adrenaline rush ride that takes you high up into the sky so you can see the glorious Cornish countryside, before plummeting you back down to Earth. My youngest was a big fan of the more gentle rides, including the cute little dinosaur train and tea cup ride. Flambards also has an amazing Victorian Village, as well as an interactive WW11 exhibition you can walk through.
The Cornish Sea Sanctuary – Gweek
Not too far from Flambards is the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, another attraction that needs to be on your Cornish bucket list. Not only will you find the seal hospital and lots of species of seals that have been rescued and cared for, but there are also acres and acres of woodland to explore – it’s even dog friendly.
Due to the location of the sanctuary, there are some quite steep hills that are tricky to push pushchairs up and may not be suitable for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. During peak hours there’s a safari bus that takes passengers up the hills, however currently (April) this isn’t running – presumably due to the lack of social distancing available.
Nature, wildlife, exhibits, attractions, and so much more – Land’s End has it all. The last time we visited Land’s End as a family, we had an absolutely amazing day. Luke met a real life pirate (silversmith Eddie Williams), who told old stories of pirates, piskies, and princesses. As well as jewellery, he sells his art and books – we proudly have one of his prints on display in our bedroom.
I’ve written all about Kynance Cove before, how and when to visit, and why you should go there. Kynance is my favourite place in Cornwall and I could happily spend hours watching the seals in the distance and eating ice cream and pasties in the cafe. There are 2 paths down to the beach – an easy one which is more accessible, or a slightly shorter one.
Tintagel Castle – Tintagel
Famously linked to King Arthur and his knights of the round table, Tintagel Castle is a must visit for adults interested in history, and kids who long to play King & Queens. It’s worth noting that there are steep climbs and sheer cliffs, so it isn’t accessible for everyone. Explore the castle, follow in the steps of medieval knights and walk across the newly built bridge, hunt for treasure on the beach, and grab a bite to eat in the cafe. Tintagel Castle is bound to get the imaginations flowing!
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, nr. Mevagissey
There are over 200 acres of lost gardens to discover, and boy is it worth it. The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a jungle, a jungle in which mystery, romance, and history hide. Once lost to the undergrowth after WW1, The Lost Gardens Of Heligan have been restored with boardwalks, rope bridges and swings; the gardens are glorious, and I could easily spend the day wandering the estate. The woodland is my favourite part to explore, thanks to those famous Heligan statues, half obscured by ivy – it’s a truly beautiful and mysterious place to visit.
The Eden Project – Nr. St Austell
The Eden Project is probably the most famous of all Cornish attractions, and there’s a very good reason for that – it is amazing. I have been there so many times – as a child on school trips, as a teenager with my parents, and as a mother with her own children. It’s a truly wonderful place to explore and there’s just so much to see and do. I’ve written about my visit to The Eden Project before, so check out that post for more information.