Cornwall is the perfect place for a holiday with the whole family, especially with our guide to toddler-friendly days out in Cornwall

Holidays in Cornwall aren’t all about extreme water sports, hikes along the South West Coast Path and days lounging on the beach. There are plenty of attractions and things to do in Cornwall with toddlers and babies that will keep the little ones entertained and give parents a much needed minute to relax, explore and have fun too. 

Carbis Bay Holidays’ top things to do in Cornwall with toddlers

  1. Lappa Valley Railway Park – Newquay
  2. Dairyland Farmworld – Newquay
  3. Seal Sanctuary – Gweek
  4. Roskilly’s Farm – St. Keverne
  5. Paradise Park – Hayle
  6. Eden Project – Bodmin
  7. One2Eleven – Helston
  8. Roar Jungle Play – Redruth
  9. Waterworld – Newquay
  10. National Maritime Museum – Falmouth
  11. Blue Reef Aquarium – Newquay
  12. Outdoor Adventures at Lanhydrock – Bodmin
  13. Waterside Fun at Stithians Lake – Redruth
  14. Glendurgan Garden – Mawnan Smith
  15. Sandy Beach Days at Gwithian – Hayle
  16. Paddling Playtime at Carbis Bay – St Ives
  17. Rockpooling at Godrevy – Hayle
  18. Causeway Exploring at Marazion – Penzance

Toddler-friendly outdoor attractions in Cornwall

Cornwall is a stunning holiday destination all year round but is especially beautiful in the summer months when the temperature is up and the skies are brilliant blue. If you’re visiting the county in the summer season, these outdoor activities are sure to be fun for the whole family and are especially great for keeping the toddlers entertained. 

1. Lappa Valley Railway & Activity Park – Newquay

If you’re not sure what the weather’s doing, a day out at Lappa Valley will ensure you have plenty to do to keep the little ones busy come rain or shine. Take a ride on the woodland railway, explore the toddler’s path maze and follow the nature trails. There’s an outdoor play area plus indoor play areas inside train carriages! There are plenty of family events throughout the year including Halloween fun and Santa trains at Christmas.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Roskillys Farm

2. Dairyland Farmworld – Newquay

Dairyland is a fantastic all-weather attraction on a farm near Newquay. Young children can enjoy tractor rides and pony rides, feed farm animals, watch cow milking, follow nature trails and burn off energy on the play areas and rides. The Bull Pen indoor play area, soft play areas & ball pool are great in the rain, whereas the mini tractors and adventure playground are great in dry weather.

3. Seal Sanctuary – Gweek

The Seal Sanctuary in Gweek is a great all-weather attraction where you can meet the seals and sea lions both indoors and outdoors. September to February is the best time to go and meet the new seal pups and Parent and Toddler tickets are available for one adult and one child aged 5 or under, for just £10.00 to visit during off-peak periods between Monday to Friday.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Seal Sanctuary

4. Roskilly’s Farm – St Keverne

Visiting Roskilly’s Farm is completely free, so you can have a fun day out meeting the animals without spending any money! The free entry includes seeing the farm animals, going for a stroll around the meadows, and enjoying the tranquillity by the ponds. However, we’re sure you’ll want to sample Roskilly’s award-winning ice cream too!

Try their ice cream, sorbet or frozen yoghurt, all made on-site, and enjoy in a tub or cone with spectacular rural views. Daily milking takes place between 0830-1030am which you can watch from above in the milking gallery. You can also pick up bags of animal feed from the Croust House restaurant to feed the animals roaming around the farm.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Dairyland

5. Paradise Park – Hayle

Situated just down the road from St Ives, Paradise Park is a popular choice with families staying at our St Ives holiday cottages. Children love watching the penguin feeding and meeting all the different birds of paradise and other animals, Paradise Park is home to 140 species and 650 birds! Be sure to take a ride on the Jungle Express train and enjoy the Jungle Barn indoor play centre, which also has a toddler’s area with soft play and a ball pool.

6. Eden Project – Bodmin

Where else can toddlers step into a rainforest, explore the Mediterannean and get up-close to nature with weather-proof, child-friendly facilities at hand? Exploring our natural environment, children can step inside jungle huts, take a walk in the rainforest canopies, enjoy story-time in the iconic biomes and ride a tractor-train up through the gardens. As well as themed events throughout the year, during winter Eden hosts toddler ice-play sessions on the ice rink.

Things to do in Cornwall with toddlers when it rains

One of the questions we are asked most often is ‘what can we do with the children if it rains?’ The answer is, plenty! Cornwall has many indoor play centres, museums, galleries and all-weather attractions, many of which are also fun places to visit for toddlers and young children. Read on for things to do in Cornwall with toddlers when it’s raining.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Soft Play

7. One2Eleven – Helston

This fun play centre has kept the parents in mind as well as the children. The eating facilities at One2Eleven have been positioned around the indoor play area creating the perfect opportunity for parents to watch and interact with children whilst enjoying a drink or snack.

Play equipment includes slides, a cannon park, ball swamps, climbing frames, an assault course, rope walkways, set across different levels. There’s also a toddler zone for 1-4-year-olds with a soft play horse carousel, soft play rocking horses and giant puzzles. On One2eleven Street there’s also an animal hospital with cuddly toys, a costume castle dressing up area, a ‘let’s pretend’ supermarket and much more.

8. Roar Jungle Play – Redruth

Roar Jungle Play in Redruth has everything you need to keep kids occupied for hours! This jungle-themed play centre has bouncy castles, play frames, ball pools, roller skating, an under 4’s area and much more. There’s even a jungle-themed cafe to grab some refreshments after working up an appetite.

9. Waterworld – Newquay

The Tropical fun pool at Waterworld in Newquay consists of a leisure pool, 2 water flumes, snake floaties, water play hut with cannon and tipper, erupting volcano and snake fountain. The perfect ingredients for family fun in the water! Little ones can splash about in the shallows and kick about using floats. Waterworld also has a 6 lane 25m swimming pool adjacent to the leisure pool.

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is great for toddler friendly days out in Cornwall. Look out for their fun half term and holiday activities for kids. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

10. National Maritime Museum – Falmouth

Boats, helicopters, pirates and sea life; experience maritime adventures with your feet firmly on dry land. At the National Maritime Museum, kids can take the helm of a model sailing boat, check out the underwater gallery and climb aboard a rescue helicopter. With interactive exhibitions designed especially for younger children, family trails and half-term art and craft workshops, it’s no wonder that this was the winner of the What’s On Cornwall award for Best Gallery in 2017. 

11. Blue Reef Aquarium – Newquay

Peering into the underwater kingdoms on display at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium, children will feel as if they’ve just dived into the Finding Nemo film set. Come face to face with all sorts of sea life from clownfish and sea cucumbers, to spider crabs and a giant octopus. The highlight is the underwater tunnel, where children will be mesmerised by close encounters with stingrays, reef sharks, turtles and tropical fish.

Things to do outside in Cornwall with toddlers

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Lanhydrock

12. Outdoor adventures at Lanhydrock – Bodmin

Lanhydrock has a spectacular Victorian country house surrounded by beautiful gardens and a spacious wooded estate. There’s plenty of space to explore on balance bikes, lots of routes suitable for buggy walks, and a great adventure playground which is situated next to the cafe.

13. Waterside fun at Stithians Lake

Stithians Lake Country Park has plenty to do, both on and off the water. The pirate-themed adventure play area is great for young children, there are nature trails and lakeside pathways to explore on foot, with buggies or on bikes, as well as canoeing, sailing and other watersports available.

14. Glendurgan Garden, Mawnan Smith

Get dizzy on the Giant’s Stride swing, find the heart of the cherry laurel maze, wend through the bamboo jungle and take shelter under giant Gunnera plants. Glendurgan is the perfect setting for a day out in the garden with toddlers. Tumble through sub-tropical gardens, picnic on the beach, skim stones in the Helford River and scoff ice cream in the family-friendly café.

For more buggy-friendly walks check out our guide to the best walks in Cornwall

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Beach Day

Toddler-friendly beaches in Cornwall

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Cornwall with toddlers, why not grab your picnic blanket and basket, bucket and spade and sun hats and get ready for a day on the beach! If it’s really hot, don’t forget to slather on the sun cream and bring a little tent or a windbreak to provide some shade for the little ones. On chilly but dry days, bring jumpers and woolly hats and keep everyone moving with fun beach games, shell collecting, rock pooling and sandcastle building.

15. Sandy beach days at Gwithian – Hayle

The beauty of a beach day is that children can entertain themselves for hours just playing in the sand, allowing you to relax a bit whilst keeping an eye on them.

16. Paddling Playtime at Carbis Bay – St Ives

Carbis Bay is the ideal spot to get your toddler’s toes wet. With sandy shores that stretch out into shallow waters, it’s the perfect place for you to give your little one their first taste of a Cornish beach. The shallowness of the waters means they’re much warmer for little ones to sit and splash in safety. And, with the beach conveniently located so close to our Carbis Bay luxury coastal cottages, you’ll only be a short walk from home during your stay; perfect for spontaneous beach trips or popping back if you forgot the towels!

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers

17. Rockpooling at Godrevy – Hayle

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. Godrevy, close to the lighthouse, is one of our favourite places for a spot of rockpooling, there’s always something exciting to discover!

18. Causeway exploring at Marazion – Penzance

Walk in the footsteps of a legendary giant when you cross the causeway to the sea-wrapped castle of St Michael’s Mount. The tidal causeway is only visible at low tide and makes a lovely walk towards the Mount with the ocean on either side of you. When you reach the Mount, try and 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.

Enjoy all of these toddler-friendly days out in Cornwall while you’re staying in one of Carbis Bay Holidays’ cottages in and around St Ives. Our family-friendly cottages are ideal for babies and young children, and we provide all sorts of equipment from travel cots and toys to highchairs and toddler steps.

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By: Amanda O'Toole On:10th February 2016
Categories:Family Friendly,Local Area,Things to Do

Best Sunsets in Cornwall

2nd February 2016

Celebrated for its unique near-island status, Cornwall is surrounded by the ocean on all coasts but one, meaning that a spectacular beach sunset is a holiday guarantee.  A waterside wonderland, West Cornwall’s land to sea ratio presents a bevy of beautiful beaches and seascapes that showcasing the natural light and acting as an awe-inspiring canvas.   Check out our recommendations for the best beach sunsets in Cornwall:

Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay makes an especially captivating sunset destination, providing the perfectly sheltered spot to admire the sun as it sinks beneath the ocean.  Imagine your day on the beach morphing into night as you bask in the sun’s final rays and wallow in the sea’s warm shallows for an incredibly fitting finale.

The sunset in Carbis Bay is, in our opinion, one of the best beach sunsets in Cornwall. We are of course biased but the magical colour displayed wows us time after time. This image was taken from one of our properties at Carbis Beach apartments. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Sunset over Carbis Bay from Carbis Beach apartments

Porthmeor Beach, St Ives

Venture into St Ives in the evening, where the Island and Porthmeor Beach take advantage of their north Atlantic reach and are renowned for treating visitors to some truly spellbinding scenes. Whether you wish to dine in a café or restaurant or enjoy an al fresco glass of wine, your day will end with dazzling, show-stopping effect.

St Ives Bay

The northern stretch of coastline along St Ives Bay from Hayle Towans to Godrevy offers miles of unspoiled beaches from which to experience nightfall, providing picture-postcard views and rainbow coloured skies that smack of pure romance.

Sunset over Hayle Towans and St Ives Bay. One of the most beautiful sunsets in West Cornwall. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Sunset over Hayle Towans in St Ives Bay

Land’s End

For one of the most memorable and best beach sunsets in Cornwall, the Land’s End area delivers a heady dose of high drama. Being at the far western point of the country makes it one of the best vantage points for viewing jaw-dropping sunsets scattered over uninterrupted Atlantic Ocean.  You may also be lucky to see the sub-tropical Isles of Scilly dotted in the distance.

Cape Cornwall, Sennen and Gwenver Beaches

Cape Cornwall, Sennen and Gwenver beaches are particular sunset hot spots, providing a plethora of eye-catching features and gazing opportunities such as the twin-peaks of the Brisons rocks to the pulsating Longships Lighthouse.

Marazion Beach

The southern coast proffers more subtle skies, as the sun escapes westward over the land, with the early-disappearing soft light pouring peach and rose tones over Mounts Bay.  Marazion Beach grants eye-catching views of the bay stretching from the south-jutting Lizard to the striking silhouette of St Michael’s Mount and outlying fishing village of Mousehole.

St Michaels Mounts sunset. One of the best sunsets in Cornwall. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Sunset at Marazion Beach

Sunset from the Ocean

For something decidedly different and utterly unforgettable, consider taking a boat tour or twilight sail from Carbis Bay in order to literally transport yourself into the sunset. Whether you sit alongside or immerse yourself into the ocean with a swim, surf, stand up paddleboard or sail; relish the raw magic of dusk before the arrival of yet another promising dawn.

Sunset from the Ocean at the Cornish Coast. Whether you surf, sail or stand up paddle board, relish the silence and contemplate what the next day ahead holds. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Sunset from the Ocean

Carbis Bay Holidays offers a wide range of self catering holiday homes in the St Ives area that make the ideal base for experiencing the dramatic sunsets of West Cornwall. If you’re considering a couple’s break or honeymoon, our wide portfolio of properties will help ensure the perfectly romantic stay.

By: Tony Townsend On:2nd February 2016
Categories:Holiday Ideas

Big ones, small ones, sandy ones and shingle ones… for a small town St Ives is well endowed with beautiful beaches that lure bathers, bucket and spade brigades and surfers. What with lifeguards on duty throughout the holidays, pods of dolphins passing through and seals popping their whiskered noses above azure waters, it’s no wonder that St Ives beaches are rated as some of the best in the UK. Choose your patch of golden sand from sheltered coves to surf-lashed shores:

Porthminster

Take the train into St Ives and disembark right beside the perfect crescent of white sand that is Porthminster beach. Build sandcastles, make footprints along the shoreline and dip your toes in calm, clear waters. Ideal for families, Porthminster boasts excellent facilities including beach huts for hire, a beach kiosk and café, toilets and a putting green. There is also the eminent Porthminster Café serving world-class food bang-on-the-beach, and it’s a short stroll across the pearly sands to reach the hub of town.

No dogs between Easter and October.

Porthminster beach in Summer. Lots of visitors to St Ives are enjoying the sun. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Porthminster beach in Summer

Harbour

Backed by chic boutiques, art galleries, beach bars, arcades and gourmet eateries, the tidal, sandy-bottomed harbour beach is a stunning sun trap in the heart of town. Tuck into pasties, fish and chips and ice cream with your toes in the sand, and watch local fishing boats landing fresh seafood ready to be flipped into the frying pans of local restaurants. Just watch out for sea gulls swooping down to share your picnic!

Dogs permitted only between 7pm and 8am during summer months.

Harbour beach, St Ives, Cornwall. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Harbour beach

Porthgwidden

Our favourite of St Ives’ enviable necklace of beaches, Porthgwidden is tucked into the nook of The Island, gazing across the bay towards Godrevy Lighthouse. This idyllic sandy cove is the perfect place for swimming, launching a kayak, basking in the morning sunshine and lounging around in one of the beach huts for hire. Another spot that beckons families, not only is there loos and a snack kiosk, you can also keep an eye on the kids building sandcastles from the terrace of the Porthgwidden Café – one of St Ives’ foodie hotspots.

No dogs between Easter and October

Looking down on Porthgwidden beach

Porthmeor

More exposed to the Atlantic swell, Porthmeor is where the surfers flock to ride peeling waves. Learn from the experts at St Ives Surf School and hire any equipment you need, or simply rent a deck chair and watch friends and family hit the waves from your front row pew. As well as luring surfers and sunbathers, Porthmeor draws the arty crowds from the beachside Tate St Ives; after all, with blood-red sunsets, rich coastal hues and such mesmerising scenery, it’s no surprise that world-class artists have been coming here for many years. Soak up the scenery and watch the sunset over tapas and delectable local cuisine at the Porthmeor Beach Café.

Facilities include toilets and beach huts. No dogs between Easter and October.

Surf board on Porthmeor beach with The Island as a back drop. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Porthmeor beach

Carbis Bay

The next stop along the branch line from St Ives, or a short stroll along the South West Coast Path, Carbis Bay’s sweeping sands beckon families seeking safe bathing, Blue Flag water quality, and bucket and spade territory. Beachside facilities include parking, toilets and a café, making this an ideal place to visit with young children. If you’re looking for a dash of ocean adventure, you can castaway on a kayak, SUP or Hawaiian canoe and explore the stunning coastline or, if you fancy swanky seaside dining or a sunset cocktail simply retreat to The Beach Club or chill out on the heated deck at The Shack. Alternatively, take a stroll over Hawke’s Point to neighbouring Porthkidney Sands, or follow the coast path back into the hub of St Ives.

Dogs permitted from 5am–8am during the summer months.

A deserted Carbis Bay beach with it's glorious golden sands and azure waters. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Carbis Bay beach

Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk

These two small, tidal coves are the only beaches in St Ives that allow unrestricted access to dogs year-round. Bamaluz is located between the Harbour and Porthgwidden (in front of the St Ives Museum), and Lambeth Walk is located behind the Lifeboat station. At low tide Lambeth Walk extends all the way to the lighthouse at the end of Smeaton’s Pier, except for the main harbour area during the restricted daytime hours.

Lambeth Walk, one of St Ives beaches. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Lambeth Walk beach

St Ives’ stunning beaches are just footsteps Carbis Bays Holidays’ luxury holiday cottages. Bag a boutique bolthole beside the pearly sands of Porthminster Beach or perhaps a chic self-catering cottage overlooking Carbis Bay.

If you wish to explore the coast further afield, check out our recommendations for secret beaches and coves, or discover even more dog friendly beaches in Cornwall.

By: Tony Townsend On:5th May 2015
Categories:Local Area,Things to Do

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