Places like The Eden Project and Flambards need no introduction for families looking for great days out in Cornwall. But with so many fabulous activities and attractions to choose from, here are 10 of the best family experiences to try for 2014.
1: Coasteering, The Lizard
Plunge into Cornwall’s natural environment on a coasteering trip. On a heart-thumping family adventure along the threshold between land and sea, brave rock-jumps, explore sea caves and come face to face with marine wildlife on the Lizard Peninsula.
Lizard Adventure, www.lizardadventure.co.uk, 07845 204040 / 01326 290894
2: Family Campervanning
Take a spin around the sights of Cornwall in a vintage Thames Dormobile Camper. Decked out with a kitchenette, pop-top, dining table and room to sleep four, ‘Teapot’ is perfect for touring around Cornwall and enjoying a spot of family ‘glamping’ en route.
St Ives Bay Campers, www.stivesbaycampers.co.uk, 07818 036966
3: Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum and Country Park
Checkout Cornwall’s largest working water wheel and delve into our China Clay heritage through exhibits and activity trails. At Wheal Martyn you can also witness explosions on a working china clay pit and get active on woodland trails and a commando-style assault course.
Wheal Martin China Clay Country Park, www.wheal-martyn.com, 01726 850362
4: Take the Train to St Ives
Hugging the coast and flaunting panoramic views of St Ives Bay, the train ride to St Ives is guaranteed to have kids (and adults) pressing their noses up against the windows in wonder. And, when you disembark, you’ve got a day out at one of the UK’s top family beach resorts to look forward to.
www.carfreedaysout.com/stives.html. Trains from St Erth, Lelant Saltings and Carbis Bay: www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk
5: Stand-up Paddle-boarding (SUP)
Join in the latest water-sports craze and explore Falmouth Bay on a stand-up paddleboard. Easy to learn and a great way to see the coast, SUP is an ideal activity for the whole family to enjoy together. And if you’re looking for a more high-octane adventure, you can always try SUP in the surf.
Elemental UK, http://elementaluk.com, 08444 889110.
ElementalUK offer a range of watersports from sailing to windsurfing.
6: Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
Climb trees, follow boardwalks through woodland, discover sub-tropical plants and experience nature through a series of art installations including a camera obscura and an elliptical domed chamber: Cornwall’s gardens make fantastic family days out, and Tremenheere is one of the county’s newest and most unique garden attractions. Dogs welcome.
www.tremenheere.co.uk, 01736 448089
7: Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre
Leap into action on a private beach on the outskirts of Newquay. Learn to surf, fly down one of Europe’s longest, highest zip wires, try abseiling, or dare to cross the ‘Terror tightrope’. Less adventurous family members can simply soak up beach life, kick back in the seaside restaurant or enjoy a massage in a beach cabana.
www.lustyglaze.co.uk, 01637 872444
8: St Michael’s Mount
Walk in the footsteps of a legendary giant when you cross the causeway to this sea-wrapped castle on foot. Or, at high tide, make the trip by boat. Once on the island you can discover a fortress that has witnessed many historic battles, hunt for the giant’s stone heart etched in a cobbled pathway and climb to the castle turrets.
www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk, 01736 710265
9: Messing around on Boats
Putter along rivers and creeks on a motorboat, spotting birds and seals, and mooring at riverside pubs or dropping anchor in quiet coves. You don’t need any experience to helm your own motorboat on the Carrick Roads, and children and dogs are welcome onboard.
Mylor Boat Hire, www.mylorboathire.co.uk, 01326 377745
10: Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre
Climb the lighthouse tower, sound a foghorn and track ships passing the UK’s southerly tip. The Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre cleverly engages visitors of all ages with hands-on activities from learning Morse code to building your own lighthouse.
www.trinityhouse.co.uk, 01326 290202