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We have had so many family holidays to Cornwall over the years and they are always some of our favourite breaks. With so many different areas to explore, beautiful beaches and some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country, Cornwall will always be high on our list of somewhere to visit.
With so many holiday parks and holiday cottages, Cornwall really couldn’t be better suited to a family break away. I thought it might be helpful if you’re planning a trip to Cornwall to put together our top choices when it comes to the best places to stay for a family friendly holiday in Cornwall. There’s so much to see and do, how would you choose where to go? So here are some of our favourite Cornwall holidays.
The Best Places to Stay in Cornwall for Families
Padstow is a working fishing port surrounded by glorious sandy beaches, at the head of the Camel River. It really showcases Cornwall’s natural beauty, with so much rugged coastline with quiet coves and lovely walks. Plus, it’s the start and end point of the Camel Cycle Trail as well as being a great base for water sports.
Things to do: Spend a day at the beach, cycle the Camel Trail, or indulge in Rick Stein’s famous fish and chips. Take a boat trip, explore Padstow Museum or visit the National Lobster Hatchery.
Newquay is always one of the top seaside towns and somewhere families love to visit. It has a real laid back charm and some of the finest sandy beaches in the country. It has so many local attractions, a great range of restaurants and accommodation to suit all budgets.
Where to stay: You could choose to get all the family together in the 6 bedroom Captains Walk holiday cottage that sleeps up to 12 or make the most of the fantastic views of Newquay in the gorgeous Headland View apartment.
Things to do: Spend your days building sandcastles on one of the many beaches in Newquay or pop along to Newquay Zoo or the Blue Reef Aquarium. A little drive away there’s Lappa Valley, Screech Owl Sanctuary, Dairyland and Trerice.
St Ives is working harbour town. It’s a subtropical oasis where the beaches are golden, the trees are green and the sun shines brightly. It’s a glorious place and notoriously popular with artists.
Things to do: Visit a gallery, spend time on the beach, learn to surf or sit in a pavement cafe and watch the world go by. You can go on a boat trip to see the local seal colony or pop along the coast to Carbis Bay.
Fowey is unlike anywhere else. On the side of the Estuary, it’s a place steeped in maritime history with narrow streets and period properties, it’s a fascinating place to explore. Full of independent shops and quirky bistros, it’s the perfect place to pass some time.
Where to stay: Vougeot is a beautiful two bedroom cottage near the beach or The Garden Apartment has three bedrooms and the benefit of a heated indoor swimming pool – that has retractable roof to make it an outdoor swimming pool too!
Things to do: Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you can enjoy just taking in the atmosphere and wandering around the town. You could have afternoon tea in one of the tea rooms. stroll along the esplanade, go on a boat trip or explore the Fowey Museum. There’s also Fowey Aquarium, St Catherine’s Castle and so many beaches nearby too.
Port Isaac is a traditional, picturesque fishing village, well known for being where Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes, was filmed. Full of narrow winding streets and whitewashed cottages, it’s the perfect place to watch fishermen landing their daily catch.
Things to do: Enjoy a scenic coastal walk or take in a local gallery or the many independent shops. Go on a boat trip from the harbour or visit the local beaches of Polzeath or Daymer Bay.
Truro is the UK’s most southern city and a real hub of shopping, culture and impressive architecture in the heart of Cornwall. Truro Cathedral dominates the skyline and it’s surrounded by narrow streets and fantastic independent shops.
Where to stay: There are so many choices where accomodation is concerned in Truro. Check out the great range of Cornwall coastal cottages – we especially love Creekside Cottage. It’s compact but beautiful.
Things to do: A visit to Truro Cathedral is a must. Other than that, wander through a market, take in a gallery or enjoy one of the city’s beautiful gardens. You could go to the Royal Cornwall Museum, visit the National Trust’s Trelissick Garden or go to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, not too far away.
Looe is one of our favourite seaside towns in Cornwall. On the south coast of Cornwall, Looe is a working fishing port. It’s the perfect place to watch the boats, enjoy fresh fish and enjoy a scenic walk. The South West Coast Path passes through the town and the beach is perfect for children. It even has rockpools!
Things to do: Spend some time on the beach and make the most of Looe’s cafes and shops. Visit Looe Museum or The Old Sardine Factory. You could even go on an organised rockpool ramble, play in the arcades or visit The Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary.
Situated around a beautiful harbour, Falmouth has a fascinating maritime heritage, is surrounded by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a great holiday destination for watersports, boat trips and so many family friendly attractions.
Things to do: There are four different beaches to explore – Castle beach, Gyllyngvase beach, Swanpool beach and Maenporth beach which are all great for families. You could try out some water sports like surfing, windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling or diving. If you want a full day out, visit the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Pendennis Castle or Trebah Gardens.
Bude sits on the north Cornwall coast and is the perfect base for action filled family holidays. Sitting on the Devon border, it’s a fantastic place to make the most of attractions in both Devon and Cornwall, having two holidays in one. Bude is full of laid back charm with so much tradition, independent shops and with something for everyone.
Where to stay: Stay in Sandy Toes for a real home from home. With four bedrooms and a great location, it’s a fantastic family retreat.
Things to do: Visit one of Bude’s beautiful beaches like Widemouth Bay, go surfing or head out for a coastal walk. Bude is a great base for cycling, horse riding, rock climbing and more. You could even visit a local nature reserve or get out on the water at an activity centre.
Penzance is most famous for its pirates but it’s really an historic port with fabulous harbour boat trips, sea safaris and fishing excursions. It’s a real hive of activity and a place with so much history too.
Where to stay: 2 Belgravia is a gorgeous two bedroom, dog friendly cottage that the whole family will love or, for something a little bigger, Mackerel Skies has four bedrooms and is a fantastic base to explore the local area.
Things to do: Any trip to Penzance isn’t complete without a visit to St Michael’s Mount. Team it with a trip to the beach, a walk along the South West Coast Path or even hop over to the Isles of Scilly on the ferry.
So there you have our favourite Cornwall family friendly holiday destinations. There are so many other fantastic places too – St Austell, Bodmin or Tintagel to name a few. One thing’s for sure, wherever you go in Cornwall you’re bound to have a wonderful holiday and it’s a fantastic place to travel to as a family.