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. 

Family days out in Cornwall

Place

Distance

Description

Pencarrow

Pencarrow House and Gardens

Approximately 20 minutes and 8 miles

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.

Bodmin Jail

Approximately 20 minutes and 11 miles

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. 

Bodmin and Wenford Railway

 

Approximately 25 minutes and 10 miles

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

Cornish Birds of Prey Centre

Khan from the Cornish Birds of Prey

Approximately 25 minutes and 15 miles 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 explre. 

Carnglaze Caverns

 

Approximately 30 minutes and 13 miles

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. 

The National Lobster Hatchery

Lobster Hatchery

Approximately 35 minutes and 17 miles

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. 

Wheal Martyn

Wheal Martyn

 

Approximately 35 minutes and 18 miles

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. 

Dingles

 

Approximately 35 minutes and 28 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 it, you can’t miss it.

Eden Project

Approximately 40 minutes and 19 miles

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 enducational building. 

Shipwreck & Heritage Centre

Approximately 45 minutes and 22 miles

For those of you interested in all things maratime 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.

Polperro Model Village

 

Approximately 50 minutes and 25 miles

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.

Mevagissey Model Railway

Approximately 50 minutes and 26 miles

For all those little train ethusiasts 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. 

The Lost Garden of Heligan

The lost gardens of Heligan

Approximately 50 minutes and 27 miles

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 90’s. 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.

Blue Reef Aquarium

Approximately 50 minutes and 28 miles

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 Rockpool’s, watch and learn about Cephalopods at the Octopus feeds and you might even catch the Shark’s being fed too!

Cornwall Gold

Approximately 50 minutes and 40 miles Cornwall Gold is 18 acres of fun and adventure with workshops, beautiufl jewelery and Tolgus Mill. The only surviving Mill of it’s kind in Cornwall, Tolgus Mill is a peice of Cornish Heritage that you just can’t miss!

Heartlands

 

Approximately 55 minutes and 42 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 on during a day here. 

Paradise Park

 

Approximately 1 hour and 49 miles

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

National Maritime museum

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 45 miles

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. 

Poldark Mine

 

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 47 miles

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 fantastice place to explore. 

St Michael’s Mount

Mike Newman

 

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 55 miles

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. 

Trebah

Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and 46 miles Trebah is a beautiful gardens set on the edge of the River Helford with it’s 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. 

Seal Sanctuary

Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and 49 miles

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. 

Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives exteriors

© Tate. Photo: Ian Kingsnorth.

Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and 55 miles

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. 

Geevor Tin Mine

 

Approximately 1 hour and 25 minute and 63 miles

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.

Lands End

Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and 65 miles

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.

Minack Theatre

Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and 65 miles

The Minack Theatre is a magnificient 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. 

National Trust

Lanhydrock

 

Approximately 25 minutes and 10 miles

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.

Trerice

 

Approximately 40 minutes and 27 miles

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

Cotehele

Cotehele - Front of House - March 2016

 

Approximately 50 minutes and 30 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.

English Heritage

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle

Photo Credit: English Heritage.

Approximately 25 minutes and 11 miles

Tintagel Casle 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. 

Launceston Castle

launceston Castle

Photo Credit: English Heritage.

Approximately 30 minutes and 20 miles

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. 

Restormel Castle

Restormel Castle

Photo Credit: English Heritage.

Approximately 35 minutes and 16 miles

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 it’s connection to the civil war in the 1600’s on a family day out. 

St Mawes Castle

St Mawes Castle

Photo Credit: English Heritage.

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and 41 miles

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 1500’s to protect from the threat of Spanish and French invasions. 

Pendennis Castle

Pendennis castle keep

Photo Credit: English Heritage.

Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and 45 miles

One of the finest coastal fortresses in England, Pendennis Castle is a beautiful day out. Paired with St Mawes Castle 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!