Family Days Out around Cornwall

Looking for the perfect family day in Cornwall? Here are some places we’d suggest you pop in and visit, filled with a little something to keep the whole family entertained from toddlers to grandparents. From the mining heritage of the Cornish landscape to beautifully designed landscapes that were almost lost to nature, there’s plenty to explore, rain or shine. 

Cornwall Attractions


Pencarrow House

Sitting in a valley between Bodmin and Wadebridge is Pencarrow House and Gardens. A great day out for families, nature and garden lovers. With a large settlement having been on site for years, the Georgian mansion is the perfect place to discover a historic home in modern times.

Approximately 20 minutes and 8 miles

Bodmin Jail

Bodmin Jail
Chris j wood, Bodmin Jail from Cardell Road, CC BY-SA 3.0

For a different sort of day out, take a trip to Bodmin Jail, built in 1779 and is steeped in Cornish history. Explore the social and architectural history and gain an insight into the Cornish Penal life throughout the centuries.

Approximately 20 minutes and 11 miles

The National Lobster Hatchery

National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery is the perfect day out for a little bit of educational fun. Learn all about Marine Conservation, Marine Biology and sustainable fishing. You can even adopt your own Lobster and keep up to date on their website on when it’s released into the wild. 

Approximately 35 minutes and 17 miles

Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Bodmin and Wenford Railway’s a fab day out for the train lovers in the family, young and old. With classic steam trains running frequently throughout the year it’s a can’t miss stop on your holiday with us.

Approximately 25 minutes and 10 miles

Cornish Birds of Prey Centre

The bird of prey centre is a fantastic day out for families who love animals, with more than just the birds of prey on site to say hello to. Plus play areas and forest trails to explore.

Approximately 25 minutes and 15 miles

Carnglaze Caverns

On the southside of Bodmin Moor you’ll find Carnglaze Caverns, a great all-weather family-friendly attraction. As a former slate mine and quarry, there’s plenty of Cornish Mining history to be discovered both above and underneath the ground with enchanting walks in the woods to draw families along after a tour of the cavernous expanses underground.

Approximately 30 minutes and 13 miles

The Tide Climbing Centre

Family friendly climbing facilities in Wadebridge. Different types of climbing are on offer with sessions available for beginners and more seasoned climbers.

Approximately 30 minutes and 15 miles

Wheal Martyn

Discover the China Clay History at Wheal Martyn and discover new adventures whilst you’re there. The museum spreads both inside and out with a great interactive centre and historic trail you can lose yourself in fun and learning as you explore.

Approximately 35 minutes and 18 miles


Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is a fantastic family afternoon out. With a large undercover area dedicated to working vintage fairground rides as well as multiple collections of vintage transport, a selection of working penny falls and show fairground rides, you can’t miss it.

Approximately 35 minutes and 28 miles

Eden Project

The Eden Project makes a fantastic family day out for all the family. With the two tropical biomes to explore – a rainforest and the Mediterranean – right next door to each other, outdoor gardens to explore, seasonal activities to keep the kids entertained and the core, an interactive educational building.

Approximately 40 minutes and 19 miles

Adrenalin Quarry

If you like lots of active fun, then this is the place for you. This once disused quarry has been turned into not only an Aquapark, but it has an 800m all-weather track for Go-Karting, the UK’s maddest and most beautiful 490m long, 50m high zip wire experience and the UK’s tallest Giant Swing If that’s not enough for you, then you can also try Axe Throwing and get in touch with you inner savage!

Approximately 45 minutes and 23 miles

Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay

Great for kids and families to explore – come face to face with a range of wildlife. See turtles, sharks and shoals of fish from the underwater tunnel. Regular talks and feeding times to enjoy and learn.

Approximately 26 miles and 50 minutes

Shipwreck & Heritage Centre

For those of you interested in all things maritime and beyond, don’t miss out on a trip to the Shipwreck and Heritage Centre in Charlestown. Full of fascinating stories of Cornish Industry and shipwrecks there’s lots to learn about, with an i-spy trail and colouring sheets it’s a great place for adults and kids.

Approximately 45 minutes and 22 miles

Polperro Model Village

Feel like a giant as you explore Polperro Model Village. A complete replica of the village in which it’s based, take in a new perspective of the small fishing village and discover some of the Cornish Folklore in the Land of Legend exhibit.

Approximately 50 minutes and 25 miles

Mevagissey Model Railway

For all those little train enthusiasts The Mevagissey Model Railway is a fantastic stop if you’re in the area. With 5 exhibitions, both of dioramas and model railways including “Junior Junction” with some recognisable characters running to keep the kids amused. 

Approximately 50 minutes and 26 miles

The Lost Garden of Heligan

Steeped in history, The Lost Gardens are a fabulous family day out. Discover the painstakingly restored gardens around the Heligan estate, lost to the overgrowth and decay as The first world war hit and rediscovered in the 90s. Heligan is ever-expanding and has some wonderful places for kids to explore, like The Jungle, acres of raised boardwalks along giant exotic plants with the longest Burmese rope bridge in Britain, and The Mud Maid, a living statue hidden in the woods.

Approximately 50 minutes and 27 miles

Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue Reef Aquarium is a great place to explore for all the family, with interactive sessions throughout the day including the Rockpool Encounter, where you will learn all about the creatures in Cornish Rockpools, watch and learn about Cephalopods at the Octopus feeds and you might even catch the Shark’s being fed too!

Approximately 50 minutes and 28 miles

Cornwall Gold

Cornwall Gold is 18 acres of fun and adventure with workshops, beautiful jewellery and Tolgus Mill. The only surviving Mill of its kind in Cornwall, Tolgus Mill is a piece of Cornish Heritage that you just can’t miss!

Approximately 50 minutes and 40 miles


Described as a cultural playground, Heartlands is a great family day out. Packed with plenty to see and do you could relax in the botanical gardens, watch the little ones explore the adventure playground or even immerse yourself in the World Heritage Exhibitions. No one would be bored during a day here.

Approximately 55 minutes and 42 miles

Paradise Park

With Penguin and Otter feeding daily, indoor and outdoor play areas and over 650 birds and animals to see, Paradise Park is a wonderful all-weather day out for the whole family.

Approximately 1 hour and 49 miles

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is a fab place to explore with the kids with plenty to see and do on a day out, with extensive collections of boats from around the world, maritime art and maritime history archives. Their seasonal exhibits are always fascinating and educational too. 

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 45 miles

Poldark Mine

Poldark Mine is the only complete tin mine available to tour in Cornwall. With an open-air museum and tours around the mine itself, Poldark mine is a fantastic place to explore.

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 47 miles

St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount is a must-see in Cornwall, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the view of this castle on top of an island shut off at high tide from Marazion. With beautiful gardens to explore as well as the small village on the edge of the island, it’s hard to not want to explore.

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 55 miles


Trebah is a beautiful garden set on the edge of the River Helford with its own private beach. Steeped in history and colour Trebah is a wonderful place for those who love nature whilst discovering how Trebah is connected to the D-Day Landings.

Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and 46 miles

Seal Sanctuary

With 9 educational and hands-on zones, the Seal Sanctuary is an exciting place to visit with the kids. Not only can you watch as they help wild seals get rehabilitated for release but you can catch the penguin feeding, watch the otters splash and play and watch the Sea Lions swim in the underwater viewing area. 

Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and 49 miles

Tate St Ives

Explore the history of Modern Art in Cornwall with a walk through the Tate St Ives. Set on the edge of Porthmeor Beach with regular activities for children and regularly changing exhibitions it makes a wonderful afternoon out. 

Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and 55 miles

Geevor Tin Mine

Experience the underground tour at Geevor Tin Mine to see one of the largest preserved mine sites in the country. With family events and activities all year round and your chance to pan for gems, Geevor Tin Mine is an exciting day out.

Approximately 1 hour and 25 minute and 63 miles

Lands End

Whilst in Cornwall visiting the most westerly point of mainland England at Lands End should be a must-do. With exciting activities for the kids including 4d cinema experiences, visiting Greeb Farm and meeting their animals and a passport to complete along the Heritage Trail. Plus not forgetting a photo next to the iconic signpost.

Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and 65 miles

Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre is a magnificent outdoor theatre carved into the side of the cliffs below Minack House. With beautiful views and amazing acoustics, even if you can’t catch a performance on the site, it’s still worth a visit to explore the amazing architecture.

Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and 65 miles

National Trust & English Heritage


A beautiful Victorian Country house, Lanhydrock is a perfect family day out. Filled with history and fun, there’s also plenty of gardens to explore and even fantastic cycling trails around the woodland and even a skills area to practice some mountain biking skills.

Approximately 25 minutes and 10 miles


Explore the beautifully decorated Cornish Elizabethan Manor House at Trerice. With beautiful architecture from throughout its lifespan on view as well as beautiful gardens including the Knot Garden, planted in 2013 to mirror the geometric decorative plastering on the ceiling of the great chamber.

Approximately 40 minutes and 27 miles


Cotehele is a beautiful Tudor house to explore steeped in history from the depths of the Medieval times. There’s still more to entice you to explore the grounds with the Cotehele Mill and Quay to fill your day with exciting adventures.

Approximately 50 minutes and 30 miles

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle is a clifftop castle steeped in history, with stories of Cornish rulers living there since the dark ages. Interlinked with many Cornish folk stories including the legend of King Arthur and Tristan and Iseult. Spread over the mainland and a headland island, it’s a sight to see however it’s not suitable for pushchairs and not ideal for littler legs.

Approximately 25 minutes and 11 miles

Launceston Castle

Originally built as an earthwork castle after the Norman Conquest, it’s hard to miss the impressive remains of Launceston Castle atop the hill at the centre of the town. Used to control the river crossing into Cornwall and an impressive symbol of wealth and power, it makes a wonderful afternoon out for the family but it’s worth noting that there are lots of steps, with little accessibility.

Approximately 30 minutes and 20 miles

Restormel Castle

Restormel Castle is one of the best preserved Norman Motte and Bailey Castles in Cornwall. Many parts of the old building are still easily made out as you explore the ruins including the kitchens, great hall and even the keep. Discover the history of Restormel and its connection to the civil war in the 1600s on a family day out.

Approximately 35 minutes and 16 miles

St Mawes Castle

Set in the beautiful coastline easily recognisable from Poldark sits St Mawes Castle, which with Pendennis Castle helped to protect the Carrick Roads and the Fal Estuary. Built by King Henry the 8th in the mid-1500s to protect from the threat of Spanish and French invasions.

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 41 miles

Pendennis Castle

One of the finest coastal fortresses in England, Pendennis Castle is a beautiful day out. Paired with St Mawes Castle on the other side of the Fal Estuary, they protected the Carrick Roads for over 400 years. Most recently used in World War 2 there’s plenty of history to discover here!

Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and 45 miles

Nearby Beaches

Some of the North Cornwall Beaches for a family day out in Cornwall are shown below. This is only our opinion but a handy guide to enjoying days off the farm exploring the Cornish Beaches and Coastline.

Polzeath & New Polzeath

Polzeath beach

A popular beach for families, surfers and bodyboarders and swimmers. At low tide, there’s access to approximately 1/2 a mile of perfect sandcastle sand. At high tide, New Polzeath is not accessible but there is still beach to enjoy at Polzeath. Take a net to explore the rock pools at low tide or escape the crowds with a sandy walk round to the quieter Baby Bay which is only accessible by beach or coast path.

There are plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants at Polzeath selling everything from ice cream to wetsuits. 

  • A perfect beach for babies to teens.
  • Dog Friendly between 1st October and Easter. 
  • Public toilets in the car parks.
  • Seasonal Lifeguards
  • Pay and Display Car Parks and some off street free parking places at New Polzeath.
  • The main Polzeath car park is on the beach – perfect for buggies. 
  • Blue Flag Awarded

Approximately 25 minutes & 12 miles.


Tregardock beach

A beautiful hidden beach managed by the national trust between Tintagel and Port Isaac. It’s well worth a visit but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart with very little car parking space along a narrow lane followed by a 15-minute cross country walk and a steep cliff-side descent onto the beach itself.

Beautiful once there with waterfalls, high rocks, caves and soft sand, though it is inaccessible at high tide.

  • Wouldn’t recommend to anyone under the age of 5, or to anyone with mobility issues. 
  • Dog Friendly between 1st October and Easter. 
  • No toilets.
  • No lifeguard cover.
  • Limited parking spaces on the roadside by a farm at Treligga.

Approximately 20 minutes & 8 miles.

Trebarwith Strand

Trebarwith Strand

A wonderful stretch of sand with caves set into the cliffs and plenty of rock pools, perfect for hunting for sea creatures. Do remember during high tide the beach is inaccessible. 

There is a couple of small souvenir/beach shops and a couple of cafe/coffee shops beside the beach to explore at high tide.

  • A good beach for school-aged children and up.
  • Dog friendly all year round.
  • Toilets are accessible on the beach.
  • Seasonal Lifeguards.
  • Pay and Display Car Park.
  • 5 minute walk from car park to beach with an incline on walk back.

Approximately 20 minutes & 10 miles.

Daymer Bay

Popular with families with little ones, Daymer Bay is often sheltered with very gentle waves being up the camel estuary between Polzeath and Rock.

  • Pay and display parking usually sufficient even in high season but steps down to the beach.
  • Dogs allowed all year.
  • Beach side cafe
  • Public toilets
  • No lifeguards, but very small waves.

Approximately 25 minutes & 12 miles.


Rock beach

Set within the Camel estuary and the heart of the boating world. Rock is perfect for sailing and water sports and attracts many visitors. A lovely walk from or to Daymer Bay by beach or coast path in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Try reaching by ferry from Padstow for a fun way to see the beach.

  • Dogs allowed Oct – Easter only
  • Beach side cafe
  • Public toilets
  • No lifeguards, but very small waves.
  • Pay and display parking but not enough spaces in high season

Approximately 30 minutes & 14 miles.

Crackington Haven

Crackington Haven is a small and unspoiled almost secret cove on the North Coast between Boscastle and Bude. A lovely sandy beach with the chance to go rock pooling at low tide. 

There are two lovely cafes as well as a pub with spectacular beach views, as well as a little shop selling beach paraphernalia. 

  • A perfect beach for babies to teens.
  • Dog Friendly between 1st October and Easter. 
  • Public toilets in the car park.
  • Seasonal Lifeguards
  • Decent sized pay and display car park.

Approximately 30 minutes and 18 miles.

Widemouth Bay and Black Rock Beach

A fantastic pair of beaches that cover almost 2 miles of shoreline with plenty of space to explore. The northern side of the beach is a wide stretch of sand with plenty of space for sandcastle building. To the south of the beach, you will find long fingers of rocks that create the perfect place to relax and rock pool.

There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops dotted around the bay, as well as a small beachside shop with buckets and spades

  • A perfect beach for babies to teens.
  • Black Rock Beach (the south end of the shore) is dog friendly all year around whilst Widemouth Bay (the north end) has a seasonal ban on dogs between Easter and the 1st of October.
  • Public toilets in the car park.
  • Seasonal lifeguards.
  • Multiple car parks and view points along the stretch of beach, some easily accessible to the beach others a short walk. The closest car park is Pay and Display whilst others are free.
  • Blue Flag Awarded

Approximately 30 minutes drive & 20 miles.


A large sandy beach just past Padstow. Family-friendly and good for surfing but watch out for the tide which comes in fairly fast across the sandy beach.

  • Family Friendly
  • dogs allowed all year
  • Beach side cafe
  • Public toilets
  • Seasonal lifeguards
  • Pay and display car park

Approximately 35 mins & 18 miles.


Summerleaze beach

Accessible even at high tide, Summerleaze is a fantastic beach with more than just the sand and sea to draw you in. With flat access making it perfect for people with mobility issues, Summerleaze also has the breakwater, access to the Sea Lock, one of only 2 working Sea Locks in Britain, colourful beach huts, and the Sea Pool a saltwater pool that has been created from a partially formed pool.

You’re a short walk from the centre of Bude where there are lots of coffee shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. There is also a beach view restaurant halfway up the cliffs overlooking the beach.

  • A perfect beach for babies to teens.
  • Dog Friendly between 1st October and Easter.
  • Public toilets in the car park.
  • Seasonal Lifeguards.
  • Large Pay and Display car park directly next to the beach as well as plenty of other car parks a short, flat, walk away.

Approximately 35 minutes & 23 miles.


Trevone beach

Similar to Harlyn and just round the bay but much smaller with a family feel to it. Lovely soft sand and blue flag status.

  • Family Friendly
  • dogs allowed Oct – Easter only
  • Beach side cafe
  • Public toilets
  • Seasonal lifeguards
  • Pay and display car park
  • Blue Flag Awarded

Approximately 40 minutes & 19 miles.


A pebbled top of the beach leads down to a wide expanse of golden sand and plenty of rock pools to explore at low tide. A great surfing spot, there are also beautiful beach huts lining the shoreline that you can hire for the day!

There are two seafront cafés at Crooklets both of which serve delicious treats. You’re also a short walk from the centre of Bude where there are lots of coffee shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

  • A perfect beach for babies to teens.
  • Dog Friendly between 1st October and Easter.
  • Public toilets in the car park.
  • Lifeguards active daily from the 6th of May to the 27th September.
  • Decent sized pay and display car park, with additional parking further along the road.

Approximately 40 minutes & 24 miles.

Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay is a huge sandy beach great for surfing. The Beach shack is reputed to be great for a treat family breakfast.

  • Dogs allowed Oct – Easter only
  • Beach side cafes and reataurants
  • Public toilets
  • Seasonal Lifeguards.
  • Pay and display car park

Approximately 45 minutes & 25 miles.



Wide expanse of beach famous for its surfing waves. Family friendly, though parking is tricky in high season. Close to Newquay town if you wanted a beach and shopping day out.

  • Family Friendly
  • Beach side cafe
  • Public toilets
  • Seasonal lifeguards
  • Pay and display along the roadside.

Approximately 50 mins & 28 miles.

Local Towns & Villages to Explore

Cornwall is full of places to explore be it a charming little village on the moor or a harbour town with the day’s fish being hauled in. Here are the towns and villages around us that we’d recommend a visit to. Some for the History surrounding the area like Wadebridge and Fowey whilst others are a fun visit if you enjoy Poldark or Doc Martin.


Wadebridge is a quaint town situated on the estuary of the River Camel. With the Camel Trail stretching out towards Padstow or Bodmin as well as small quirky shops, great pubs, cafes & restaurants and walks along the river it makes a fab family day out.

Approximately 20 minutes & 9 miles.


Bodmin is the closest town to us with fantastic Supermarket locations including an Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Lidl. Not ideal for a town centre day out. For a different sort of day out with tweens and teens it’s worth a trip to Bodmin Jail which is mentioned regularly in the Poldark Series.

Approximately 25 minutes & 8 miles.

Port Isaac

A picturesque fishing village on the North Cornwall Coast, Port Isaac is where Doc Martin is filmed as well as being associated with Poldark. With magnificent views, coastal walks as well as a rich history makes Port Isaac a lovely afternoon stop off with tweens and teens.

Approximately 25 minutes & 9 miles.


Lostwithiel is a lovely day out if you’re looking to explore somewhere full of history, you can spend your afternoon exploring the antique shops in the cellars of old buildings or wandering around Restormel Castle where the Earl of Cornwall would reside. 

Approximately 35 minutes & 15 miles.


A lovely working fishing harbour town Padstow is a lovely seaside day out for the whole family. Enjoy some of Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips whilst crabbing from one of the many slipways or cycle to Wadebridge along the beautiful Camel Trail. 

Approximately 35 minutes & 17 miles.


Bude is a fantastic town to explore with two beaches, that you can walk between at low tide, as well as a sea pool, sea lock, crazy golf, pedalos along the canal, fabulous views along the many coastal paths along the cliff top and Bude Castle built on the sand by Sir Goldsworthy Gurney. 

Approximately 35 minutes & 23 miles.


Minions is a wonderful little village to explore, the highest village in Cornwall there’s lots of moorland to explore in the area and the Hurlers Stone Circle. Minions is also one of the many places in the area that was used as a filming location for the latest Poldark series.

Approximately 40 minutes & 19 miles.


Set amidst an area of outstanding natural beauty, Fowey is a quaint little harbour town full of character. With a vibrant maritime history why not take a beautiful harbour tour by boat or wander the streets taking in the Georgian and Mediaeval buildings decorating the town plenty of delicious treats to be found in the takeaways and restaurants. 

Approximately 45 minutes & 20 miles.


Newquay is jampacked with so much so see and do, with the Zoo, Blue Reef Aquarium, Arcades, Beaches – including world-famous Fistral beach and Watergate Bay – as well as a wide selection of cafes, pubs and restaurants – including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and a Rick Stein restaurant – the whole family could spend all day exploring and having fun from Babies and Toddlers all the way through to grandparents.

Approximately 45 minutes & 25 miles.


Looe is a beautiful harbour town that is still a busy fishing village, if you arrive early enough you might even see the fish being auctioned off on the quay. A wonderful place for crabbing or fishing as well as a lovely beach to relax on with plenty of independent shops full of souvenirs and restaurants and takeaways to fill hungry tummies!

Approximately 26 miles and 50 minutes


Truro is Cornwall’s only city and is packed full of exciting activities to enjoy on a day out. With lots of small local businesses and big-name brands, there’s something to catch everyone’s eye. Truro cathedral’s gothic towers dominate the skyline of this most southerly city in the UK. 

Approximately 33 miles and 50 minutes


Plymouth is just over the border in Devon, with a rich maritime history there’s so much to see and do to make a full day of it in Plymouth. Wander along the Hoe to explore the beautiful lighthouse or take a splash in the Art Deco Lido. Otherwise, you could explore Drake’s Circus Shopping Centre, Plymouth Gin’s Distillery, the National Marine Aquarium and much more!

Approximately 39 miles and 1 hour and 10 minutes

St Mawes

St Mawes is a beautiful harbour town set on the Roseland Peninsula, with one of Henry the VIII’s best preserved Coastal Fortresses overlooking the Estuary. There’s two beautiful beaches, making it a great place for water sports and lots of fab cafes and pubs to pop in for a bite to eat after wearing yourself out exploring. 

Approximately 42 miles and 1 hour and 10 minutes


Falmouth is a wonderful harbour town that really gives off a creative flair with lots of art galleries and independent shops. With plenty of beaches and the harbour side to explore outdoors there’s also the National Maritime Museum for some fantastic experiences for wet weather days.

Approximately 44 miles and 1 hour and 10 minutes


A tiny fishing village in South Cornwall, Mousehole retains much of its quaint charm and beauty from a bygone era. With narrow streets leading to its picturesque harbour it’s a lovely place to spend the afternoon paddling in the family friendly harbour beach. Visiting at Christmas is a must with their fantastic displays throughout the harbour town and clifftops. 

Approximately 60 miles and 1 hour 25 mins