Planning a family holiday on the south-west coast in 2019 and on the hunt for things to do with children in Cornwall? Browse our guide to Cornwall for kids for child-friendly activities, best hotels, restaurants and more…
Cornwall for Kids: Family-Friendly Hotels, Restaurants & Activities
STAY: Family-Friendly Hotels in Cornwall
When you have kids in tow, it can be hard to choose between home comforts and hotel service. Carbis Bay’s stunning (and ambitious) new Beach Lodges offer both. Book in to one of their multi-room lodges for a truly memorable family holiday where you’ll wake up in your sea-room view to find a breakfast hamper of delicious Cornish treats on the doorstep, before stepping off your private terrace straight onto the beach. The lodges all boast rooftop or beach gardens, with open-plan lounges and floor-to-ceiling windows leading out to private sun decks, access to all the hotel’s spa facilities. Oh, and the sea-view hot tub will keep both you and the kids happy. Beach Lodges from £1200 per night, includes Full Cornish breakfast or breakfast hamper delivered to lodge. Tariff may vary over Bank Holiday periods and Christmas/New Year Weekend stay – minimum 2 nights. To book call call +44 (0)1736 795311
The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth
Just a stone’s throw from the winding streets of Falmouth’s town centre, The Greenbank Hotel is located atop a private pier, with an impressive seafront location overlooking Falmouth Harbour. Offering panoramic views and traditional charm, the nautical décor and spacious rooms are just the ticket for a seaside holiday with all the family. Cots are available on request, and friendly staff are happy to help with storing bottles, food and milk for little ones. The pub downstairs is bustling and lively enough for an enjoyable meal with even the most spirited of children…
St Enodoc, Rock, Cornwall
Well-heeled British families have flocked to Rock for their bucket-and-spade holidays for generations, but it wasn’t until the emergence, in the late 1990s, of classic seaside hotel St Enodoc, following a total makeover, that they had somewhere to stay that was both stylish and relaxed, as well as just right for all ages. Today, James Nathan is in charge of the food at the brasserie-style restaurant and its Mediterranean feel, clean lines, easy-going comfort and wide terrace for outdoor dining are in perfect harmony with its location. Modern European dishes are fresh, healthy and locally sourced. Upstairs, the bedrooms – many with views across the water – are brightly painted, with original art on the walls. St Enodoc Hotel and Spa makes the ideal seaside base, with surrounding sandy beaches, the ferry to Padstow and St Enodoc golf course on the doorstep. There’s fine walking too: don’t miss hidden St Enodoc Church, resting place of Sir John Betjeman, who loved this area. Doubles from £200.
4 Coastguard Cottages, Coverack near Helston
Check out Sykes Cottages collection of family-friendly rentals if you’re planning a Cornish escape. (Check out our Newquay guide for a great child-friendly apartment overlooking Fistral Beach.) Traditional end-terrace cottage 4 Coastguard Cottages boasts a truly spectacular coastal location on the famous South West Coastal Path, making it great jumping off point for a host of family walks that end in beach picnics. The property is a short walk from the beach and picturesque fishing village of Coverack on the Lizard Peninsula, and has gorgeous sea views from all rooms. 7 nights from £525 |
Mount Haven Hotel, Marazion
Perfectly situated opposite St. Michael’s Mount, enjoy the view of the small tidal island and silhouetted stately home from your room’s balcony. For the perfect adventure with kids in tow, catch the tide at the right time and take the throughway over the water to explore the Mount. Troop back to the hotel and be soothed by sea views and tastes at the Mount Haven Restaurant. Seaweed butter with bread to start and Brill, oyster fritter, mussels, cockles, celeriac, sea vegetables & smoked buttermilk taste as fresh as the air smells. When the kids are tucked up, why not slide open the door to the balcony from your bathroom and enjoy the sea views from the tub? Turnpike Road, Marazion, near Penzance, Cornwall TR17 0DQ. Room rates at Mount Haven Hotel are from £100 per night. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast, taxes and fees. Visit , email [email protected], or call 01736 719 937.
Gylly Beach Café
Located right on the lovely Gyllyngvase Beach, this is a great spot for a daytime bite with little ones in tow. With a large terrace offering exceptional views across Pendennis Castle and the Lizard Peninsula, the family-run café boasts tasty fresh fish dishes as well as delicious breads and cakes from the neighbouring beach bakery. They also offer takeaway if you prefer a picnic on the beach.
Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay, Newquay
With panoramic views (through sparklingly-clean windows, just waiting for sticky fingers to touch) overlooking the beautiful beach at Watergate Bay, Jamie Oliver’s is an absolute must-visit. All profits from Fifteen Cornwall go to its registered charity, Cornwall Food Foundation and together they manage the award-winning Apprentice Programme, which helps support those in need to change their lives through a career in the kitchen. With its elegant styling and light linens, you’d think the place would detest runny noses and air-born crayons, but the kids menu is outstanding and even the loudest diners made welcome. The kids menu comes in the form of an origami fish, and the options on it are as far as possible from the beige + chips options on so many.
Kynance Cove Café, Kynance Cove
The Kynance Café offers one of the best locations in Cornwall, set in the beautiful Kynance Cove a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The café nestles above the cove and makes a perfect place to stop and sample the cornish pasties, fresh crab sandwiches and baguettes, not to mention the mouth watering home made cake and cream teas. Kids love it as they can play on the beach whilst you enjoy the view.
Picnic Cornwall, Falmouth
For a cream tea or light bite in the centre of Falmouth, check out Picnic Cornwall for their coffees, deli and hamper services. All food is supplied by the very best local Cornish producers, so you can be assured you’re getting a taste of local life.
This friendly restaurant along the charming sloped streets of Penzance lets adults make the most of Cornwall’s abundance of delicious fresh fish dishes while kids can still get their way their way with a sturdy offering of classic, comfort foods. Let the kids wield their burgers while adults tuck in to prawns served with focaccia and spiced fish chowder.
Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Give little ones a chance to be king of the castle at one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses, Pendennis Castle, which has defended Cornwall against foreign invasion since Tudor times.
Hop on the Falriver service running from Falmouth to St Mawes 364 days a year. Not only with children enjoy the choppy short ferry ride across the river, once there, there are further boat trips, beaches and another castle to explore. Check out for a great lunch menu and live music.
Kimberley Park, Falmouth
If you want a break from the beach, check out Kimberley Park just north of the town centre. With gorgeous gardens and plenty of playgrounds and activities for all ages, it’s a great spot for some outdoors relaxing away from the sand. Pick up a bag full of on the way for the ultimate Cornish pasty picnic.
The Eden Project is an absolute must-visit for nature-lovers young and old, you can spend a whole whatever-the-weather day exploring the best inland attraction in the county. An educational charity, The Eden Project’s visitor destination is a mixture of indoor and outdoor plant havens, nestled in a giant crater. The two enormous biomes hold a living rainforest and Mediterranean paradise of plant and animal life that kids of all ages will enjoy exploring, thanks to the educational stations dotted throughout, daily activity schedule from expert talks to story telling sessions. There are various outdoor play stations for them to burn off some energy, while the indoor weather maker in the rainforest biome is a firm favourite, where you can walk through the clouds on a canopy bridge. At lunch time check out the Mid Terrace Restaurant in the Mediterranean biome, where the star of the kids menu is the seriously tasty stone-baked pizza.
With so much emphasis on the beaches of Cornwall, it’s easy to ignore some of the inland options. But if you need a break from Newquay‘s surf, sun and sand, head to Newquay Zoo, where there are plenty of daily talks and activities for kids of all ages to get involved in. Not the biggest zoo in the country, but certainly one of the most interesting; finish your visit with a trip the Tropical House where the first person to spot a sloth hiding out in the trees will be the winner.
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