Things to do in Cornwall

Besides numerous sights and a fascinating landscape Cornwall also has to offer a wide range of leisure time facilities. Especially families will find many child-friendly attractions, several of those aren't just an amusement for kids and can also be enjoyed by travelers without offsprings. Further a holiday in Cornwall isn't complete without a boat trip, though the peninsula is surrounded by water on three sides. Let yourself get inspired for a fun-filled holiday in Cornwall.

Holidays with the kids in Cornwall

Here you will find tips and information on spending a Cornwall holiday with the kids as well as children's activities and more things to do in Cornwall. Whether your kids just can't get enough of cute, fluffy animals at the farm or they just want to act out the adventures of their favourite comic book heroes in an adventure playground, the region has a lot to offer!

Theme Parks in Cornwall

Situated in Helston in between Penzance and Falmouth, Flambards provides a fantastic array of thrill rides and smaller, child friendly attractions for a day of fun and games that the whole family can enjoy. In fact there is so much here that you probably won’t be able to fit it all into one visit, from the Canyon River Log Flume to the Skyraker 001, right down to the soft toy area and adventure playground where your children will have the time of their lives. If all of this doesn’t whet your fancy, then surely the park’s fantastic exhibitions will do. Aside from the opportunity to meet Titan, the giant robot entertainer, you can also immerse yourself in the interactive Aviation Experience, where you can learn all about the history of aircraft including a unique look at a full-scale flight deck of the Concorde. In addition to this there is an incredible World War II experience where historians have recreated a typical British street during The Blitz so that you can teach your children about the sights, sounds and terror that your own parents experienced all those years ago.

Crealy Park
Whether you’d prefer to feel the wind rushing through your hair as you plunge from the summit of the Morgawr Rollercoaster or dare to tackle The Beast, Crealy Park located near Newquay is guaranteed to thrill you with its superb selection of classic theme park rides. Other highlights include the Thunder Falls log flume and Raging Rivers raft ride which are perfect for days when the sun is shining and you feel like cooling off in style. Still, it’s not all about extremes at Crealy Park and there are plenty of things for the little ones to do too. Sit back and relax as they climb through the Fun Fort adventure playground or take them on a mystical adventure through the Enchanted Forest. Another great thing for the whole family to do is take a walk along the Swamp Busters Nature Trail – you’ll have to watch your step though because Swampy’s about and he doesn’t like being disturbed.

Holywell Bay Funpark
More fun and games orientated than the other theme parks Cornwall has to offer, Holywell Bay Funpark in Newquay is a great place for a family day trip whether you fancy a game of adventure golf, go-karting or think you’re up to a round of blaster boats. And no, that’s not an event on Takeshi’s Castle, although as a hilarious game of water based dodgems, it may as well be! In fact, all of the usual funfair games are on offer here so if you reckon you’re a crack shot, you can take your kids to school down at the Hillbilly Shooting Range before they return the favour on the many video games to be found in the arcade. Perhaps Holywell Bay’s highlight, though, is the Thunder racing course – a top of the range remote control race course, where you control your vehicle from a pit side seat overlooking the mini machines. The keen racing fan may even recognise the voice of Martin Brundle who commentates on each race, accompanied by live statistics and lap times which stream from state of the art plasma screens.

Zoos and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Cornwall

Monkey Sanctuary
Just north of Looe in South East Cornwall lies the Monkey Sanctuary, a wonderful non-profit rescue centre for Capuchins, Barbary Macaques and Woolly Monkeys, which offers you the chance to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures. Recently having gained support from writer and comedian Stephen Fry, the sanctuary is now home to 37 monkeys, all of which have a home thanks to the kind donations made by visitors each year. This is a great place for the whole family to come and learn about monkeys and the problems they face in their native countries due to hunting, deforestation and the destructive pet trade. Of course, there are many fun things to do around the park too, including a bat cave containing endangered species of bats, a playground for your children and the offer of becoming a Primate Keeper for the day. Who knows? Maybe it will motivate you to get more involved with wildlife conservation in your own local area or even inspire the kids to think about studying or working with animals in the future. Either way this is a unique and enjoyable day that comes highly recommended. If you are interested in a trip to The Monkey Sanctuary, please take a look at their website at

Newquay Zoo
With a vast array of rare and astonishing animals, including red pandas, lynxes and lions, Newquay Zoo is bound to delight children and adults alike. The animals are kept in well maintained enclosures and conservation plays an important role in the zoo’s philosophy with strong links to projects in Africa and South-East Asia so this is certainly not like some zoos where you feel sorry for the animals. You can simply stroll around, admire the beauty of some of the world’s most iconic creatures and maybe even participate in feeding time if you time your day well enough. Don’t worry though; you’re not on the menu. When you’re not marveling at the animals themselves, there are plenty of fun things to keep the kids occupied while you take a break and have a well deserved cup of tea. They will love the dragon maze and outdoor play area where they can swing around in joy as they recreate the antics of their favourite animals. Once you’ve rested there for a bit you might feel energised enough to go on the Tarzan Trail and really take a walk on the wild side. More information about the zoo can be found here

Padstow Sealife Safari
Padstow Sealife Safaris and Boat Trips deliver a unique experience of Padstow's coastline, with a variety of excursions on offer ranging from a jaunt to see the wildlife at Seals Cave, relaxing scenic river tours and even the opportunity to head out on a high speed mackerel fishing boat. Of course, these are all great days out in their own right but don’t forget that you are headed deep into dolphin territory, not to mention the porpoises and basking sharks that also inhabit this stretch of coast. Just a chance to see these wonderful animals in the wild is worth the price of the ticket alone and should you be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them, you will certainly never forget it.

Paradise Park
Paradise can mean different things to different people, however certainly one of the most universally beautiful associations has to be with birds of paradise, whose colour and elusiveness have fascinated the world ever since their discovery. In this sense Paradise Park has a very apt name indeed, for since opening in 1973 it has been a home to over 400 birds of all shapes and sizes and bred as many as 200. The park is also home to The World Parrot Trust and as such is one of the best places to come face to face with some of the most endangered parrots in the world. Aside from this, its wonderful gardens and activities for the kids make it an excellent family day out for anyone staying in the Hayle area.

Adventure Playgrounds

At 19 acres, Heartlands is perhaps the most expansive children’s playground you are ever likely to visit but it will seem even larger to your kids as they scramble between fully scalable shipwrecked boats, a landlocked beach and a pyramid tower. Your kids will also love ‘The Giants Trap’: a wooden climbing frame which plays on the local myth of Bolster the Giant, whose head fell 50 feet over his heels after seeing a St Agnes maid. However, playgrounds aside there are also a vast array of interactive museums and other activities that the whole family can take part in. A must for any young family!

Crealy Park
Although best known as a theme park, Crealy’s adventure playground is up there with the best. Lead your toddlers through the dragon’s eye in ‘Dragon’s Kingdom’, a world where soft toy basilisks are slain by humble hedge knights and every mum is a damsel in distress. There are also mazes to get lost in, rides to go on and an adventure area for older kids where the little monkeys can climb and swing to their heart’s content. Crealy is also great for relaxing in the sun with an ice cream, so make sure you take some time out from all of that action before you go home too.

Play Zone
If the rain scuppers your plans for a day out with the kids, you need not worry. Play Zone is an indoor soft play area which is more than enough to entertain them until the sun puts his hat back on. But to describe it as a mere substitute would perhaps be an injustice. This place is packed with whacky slides, quasar and a soft play area for children under 6. There’s also a café on site so you can keep an eye on the kids without getting embroiled in any adventures to imaginary bat caves. That said, we actually recommend imaginary adventures to bat caves, the X-Mansion and any skyscraper owned by Lex Luthor during your visit.

Farmyard Trips

Old MacDonald’s Farm
Old Macdonald had a farm – but I bet you didn’t know it was in Cornwall. Okay, so maybe it’s not the original but even so this lovely little farmyard near Porthcothan Bay in Padstow is everything you would expect from a place named after a children’s song. Your little ones will love meeting all of their favourite farmyard animals including sheep, pigs and ponies. If they’re lucky may even get the chance to feed some of them! You can even camp here if you like; just don’t expect the rooster (or the children for that matter) to respect your hopes of a lie in.

Dairyland Farm World
This place is jam packed with fun things for the whole family including the chance to traverse nature trails, take tractor rides and come face to face with every farmyard animal you can think of. Okay, so admittedly that all sounds a bit child orientated but like I said, there really is something for everyone here and if tractors don’t get your heart racing, how does a Lamborghini Hayride sound? All in all this is a fantastic place to spend a day with your children and even if it’s raining, you can simply head to the ‘Bull Ring’, an indoor playground with slides, ball ponds and a great atmosphere.

Springfields Fun Park and Pony Centre
It’s all about ponies at Springfields Fun Park. In fact there are over thirty available for your children to ride and groom, all of which take part in the not to be missed pony show that takes place every day here. Of course there is also the chance to meet plenty of other cute farm animals and there are both indoor and outdoor play areas to be explored. Just be warned: bringing your little girl here may well lead to a Christmas list comprised solely of ponies.

Day trips in Cornwall

Why not make the most of your stay in Cornwall and get out on the holiday road to experience some of the wonderful day trips that can be found on the south west coast? Aside from the many theme parks, and boat trips to be found here there is also a wealth of wildlife including some of the ocean’s most iconic creatures, sharks and dolphins, and a colony of rescued woolly monkeys which are cared for in Looe’s monkey sanctuary. Day trips like these can easily be the highlight of a holiday so whatever your interests there is bound to be something out there to add a bit of zest to your holiday.

Boat Trips

Orca Sealife Safari
Right on the doorstep of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall is the perfect chance to put all of the boating inspiration into practice and take a trip of your own on Falmouth’s harbour. Not only does the Orca Sealife Safari offer you the chance to hop aboard the exhilarating "Seaquest" and take to the water for a rip roaring ride, but you might even get to see some extraordinary wildlife while you’re at it. The trip is led by an expert team of guides who work alongside local conservationists and love sharing their extensive knowledge about the region’s history and wildlife with guests who board their vessel. Crucially, they know exactly where to find all of the magnificent creatures that inhabit this coastline, from its seals and dolphins to the 21 different types of shark that can be found in Britain’s seas with the basking shark being Cornwall’s best known species. All in all this a great trip to take, whether you especially want to learn about the region’s marine life or just feel like going for a trip.

Cornish Sea Tours
Take an exhilarating ride along Cornwall’s northern coast aboard an RIB speedboat led by experienced marine biologists who know everything about the geology and wildlife of these waters. Setting off from Padstow and Rock, you will explore some of Cornwall’s most beautiful waters and even have the opportunity to sail out to Pentire and The Rumps, home to a colony of Puffins, 300 foot cliffs and Iron Age hill forts a plenty. Additionally Cornish Sea Tours offer seal and dolphin trips, designed with the specific aim of taking you right into the home of these wonderful creatures and giving you an intimate look at how they live together in the wild. The beauty of RIB boats is that they are incredibly agile and manoeuvrable, carrying guests very close to the water. This allows the tour guides to take you closer than ever to some of the amazing creatures and rocky islands meaning that you gain incredible views of the coast. These tours come highly recommended by tourists.

Mermaid Pleasure Trips
Under the leadership of Cornish seafaring veteran, Adrian Thomas, Mermaid Pleasure Trips offer a number of different boat trips off the coast of Penzance which range from outings on a fishing boat to wildlife excursions and a Penzance cruise, upon which you will get to see the famous seaside theatre from an entirely unique perspective. The Mermaid II has been giving keen anglers of all experience levels the fishing trip of a lifetime since 1991. Carrying up to 18 people for 4 hour outings at speeds reaching 18 knots, this is one boat trip that is bound to have the wind blowing through your hair and the fresh sea air flowing through your lungs. Even on the fishing trips, Adrian will make sure to point out any wildlife he notices, meaning that whichever one you decide to embark on there is a fantastic chance of seeing some of the magnificent dolphins, porpoises and sunfish that inhabit these waters. Please take a look at Mermaid Pleasure Trip’s webpage and book online if you like what you see.

Cornwall Cycle Trails

Get out on the open road and explore Cornwall with a bike hire: the freest and most rewarding way to see the South West Coast from your holiday home. Whether you just want to spend the day taking a relaxing cycle around the countryside or you want to challenge yourself to riding coast to coast from Penzance to Plymouth, cycling is always fun and worthwhile. So you can make the most of this wonderful pastime, this page contains some great recommendations of bike hire in Cornwall and we strongly urge you to at least think about the unlimited possibilities and flexibility that cycling could offer you on your trip.

Take to Cornwall’s unique countryside with nothing but your wits and a bicycle to get you by. Cycling can be the ultimate way to experience the region’s beautiful landscape, offering the freedom to explore wherever you desire at a pace that suits you and with Cornwall Cycle Trails, you can go coast to coast as easy as pie. Incidentally you can also eat pie and many more scrumptious treats including the company’s very own ale at their base afterwards. All in all "The Bike Barn" offer a fantastic deal for beginners to advanced cyclists and you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time that you will never forget.

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