What do you think of when you think of Cornwall? We imagine that the first things that spring to mind are the county’s beautiful beaches, with their golden sands and safe waters great for swimming and surfing. They’re wonderful of course, but if you’re paying a visit to the county for the first time you’ll find there is so much more to Cornwall than just the coast.
In fact, there’s so much going on it can be tough to choose where to go with your family! Whatever your family like to do, you’ll definitely find something to keep everyone happy — so if you’re looking to find something new to do with the family, here are ten of the best family attractions in Cornwall!
The Eden Project, St Austell
Undoubtedly Cornwall’s most famous attraction, the staggering geodesic domes of The Eden Project would be reason enough to visit. Yet with the world’s largest indoor rainforest, adventure activities for kids and England’s longest and fastest zip wire over the domes, there’s so much more to the Eden Project than “just plants”.
Flambards Theme Park, Helston
The sky-high thrill rides at Flambards are probably the best in Cornwall, with Ski Force, Sky Swinger, Thunderbolt and the Hornet rollercoaster offering plenty of excitement. Prefer a more sedate speed? The indoor Victorian Village, Britain in the Blitz and special attractions are great whatever the weather.
Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek
This sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline, saving over 70 each year. Some are returned to the wild, while some are cared for permanents alongside other marine animals that need specialist care. When visiting, you’ll see the seals up close — along with otters, penguins, sealions and paddock animals you can get up close and personal with.
Newquay Zoo, Newquay
With its emphasis on conservation, you’ll know your entrance money is making a really positive difference when you visit. With more than 130 species there’s plenty to see, from zoo staples like lions and zebras to lesser known species like the Malaysian mouse deer or the warty pig!
Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan
For a more relaxed family day out, the Lost Gardens of Heligan are a throwback to Victorian gardens of years gone by, having only been brought back to its former glory 30 years ago. Since then it’s become one of the most beloved gardens in Britain. It has been split into three areas; The Pleasure Grounds make for a lovely place to slowly explore, the Jungle area is filled with unusual plants usually found in hotter climes, while the Productive Gardens produce over 300 types of food!
National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
Fancy an educational day out? The NMM always has some extremely interesting exhibitions that are well worth seeing. Whether exploring Cornwall’s maritime history, the marine life in the county’s oceans or reflecting on art and literature inspired by the region, the museum is a real gem and worth exploring.
Paradise Park, Hayle
This park feels like something you might find on a hot island, with tropical birds doing flying displays. The rare and colourful parrots live alongside flamingos, penguins, red-billed choughs, eagles, kookaburras and more than 1,200 other birds. Many of the species here are in conservation schemes. The Junglebarn indoor play centre is great for parties or burning off some energy, while the talks done by staff are great for learning something new.
This beautiful Victorian manor house is a National Trust property and while the stately home is well worth exploring in its own right, there’s so much outdoor stuff to explore too. The gardens and riverside walks are fun for a relaxed wander outside, while if you need something more high energy, the estate is blessed with several cycle trails that are great for some fresh air and exercise.
Camel Creek Adventure Park, Tredinnick
This vibrant leisure park has a welcoming vibe and delivers a great day out for families all year round. The park is split into zones like Kiddie’s Kingdon for smaller children, Thunder Canyon with some of the bigger water slides and Swampy and Dina Land with rides for all children. The varied annual calendar of events, where children can meet their favourite TV characters or take part in seasonal events, reflect the weather and time of year perfectly.
Lappa Valley, Newquay
This “secret world of play and trains” is exactly what it says on the tin; on the play side of things there’s crazy golf, outdoor and indoor adventure play zones, a canoeing lake and more, you’ll always have something to keep you busy. The site also has a wonderful fleet of narrow gauge and miniature engines, each with their own history that make for a fun family ride.
What are your thoughts? Have we missed your favourite? Let us know and leave a comment below!