Toddler Friendly Cornwall
Cornwall is the perfect destination for holidays with toddlers. Bring buckets, spades, wellies and waterproofs, and you can hit the beaches, woodland and wide open spaces for all sorts of family fun. From crabbing to kite flying, here are 10 of our top toddler friendly experiences and activities:
1: Go Rockpooling
Take your fishing nets down to the rocky shoreline to search for starfish, sea anemones, crabs and crustaceans, and see if you can identify different types of seaweed from bladderwrack to sea oak. Our favourite rockpooling beaches are Godrevy (by the lighthouse), Trebarwith Strand and Bedruthan Steps.
2: Go bodyboarding
There are few better thrills than whooshing along on a wave, and even toddlers can paddle out catch the white water on a foam bodyboard. Never go out of your depth and always bodyboard between the flags on a lifeguarded beach. Try Porthmeor, Gwithian or Porthtowan.
3: Go crabbing
Dangle a crab line over the harbour wall at Hayle and see if you can haul in a crab. You can buy a crab line complete with hooks and a net for bait, or make one using string and a wire hook weighted down with a pebble. Beware of toddlers by steep drops and slippery steps at the edge of the water.
4: Build a sandcastle
A bucket and spade will keep a toddler amused for hours on the beach. Whether you make a fortress, a boat or a sand sculpture, digging in the sand is simply what tots love to do most. As well as castles with moats, we like to build sand boats and wait for the tide to come in and cast us out to sea.
5: Take the train to St Ives
Enjoy one of the most scenic train rides in the UK on the coastal railway between St Erth and St Ives. Toddlers will love spotting boats, the lighthouse and surfers against the gob-smacking backdrop of St Ives Bay, and an all-day ranger ticket means you can travel up and down the line as many times as you like (great for a rainy day activity).
6: Hunt for beach treasure
Scour the shore for shells, driftwood, feathers and treasure washed in by the waves. Turn your collection into a game for toddlers by laying out 10 different items on the sand, from limpet shells to mermaids’ purses, then take one item away at a time, and see if the children can identify which one is missing.
7: Fly a kite
There is nothing as simple and exhilarating as flying a kite on a blustery day. Pick up a one-string stunt kite, or try harnessing the elements with a dual-stringed power kite. Our favourite kite-flying beaches are St Ives Bay, Kennack Sands (on the Lizard) and Mawgan Porth.
8: Pick mussels
Turn a rockpool ramble into a family foraging excursion, when you pluck mussels off the rocks at the lowest point of the tide. Kids love filling buckets with their finds, scrubbing off the barnacles and beards, then putting them into a pot for tea. (Always pick mussels in a month with an ‘r’ in it, as there is less bacteria in the water and the mussels aren’t breeding.)
9: Follow the woodland trail
Crunch through leaves, picnic by the river, play in the park and tuck into cake in the family friendly café – Cardinham Woods is the perfect place to take wild toddlers at any time of year.
10: Walk in the footsteps of giants
Walk in the footsteps of a legendary giant when you cross the causeway to the sea-wrapped castle of St Michael’s Mount. Hunt for the giant’s stone heart etched in a cobbled pathway, climb to the castle turrets and return by boat once the tide has come in.
Carbis Bay Holidays offer a superb range of family accommodation in and around St Ives, Cornwall. Our toddler-friendly cottages come equipped with the likes of travel cots, toys, stair gates and highchairs.