Category: For kids

7 things to do in Cornwall during Easter

Spend your family holiday on the beach this Easter and enjoy the saltwater lifestyle.

With the Easter holidays just around the corner, there’s an abundance of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Whether it’s a day on the sand or a visit to one of Cornwall’s attractions, here’s our favourite things to see and do during your stay this Easter.

Admire the coastline from the water

You’ll find the ocean-mad team at Newquay Activity Centre togged up in wetsuits and sharing their expert tips in everything from surfing to stand-up paddle boarding 360+ days a year. Take the plunge with them as they coasteer around the coast, paddle their huge super stand-up paddleboard through caves, kayak under the famous bridge as you look up to the house on the island, or take on a family surf lesson. They offer something for everyone.

Book online today.

rockpooling

Walk the South West Coast Path

Walk onto any beach in Cornwall and you’ll spot part of the South West Coast Path to your left or right. Whether you choose to explore the rugged north coast and its hidden coves or the tropical south coast, you’ll find something different and exciting each turn you take.

Find your closest route.

sea view over cliffs

Go rockpooling

Head to many beaches in Cornwall at low tide and visitors will be pleasantly surprised with hundreds of rockpools just waiting to be explored. You’ll be treated to a natural display of fascinating and tough creatures, including the Cornish Sucker fish, Worm Pipefish and the Common Shore Crab.

See the top tips from Dr Ben Holt at The Rock Pool Project on rockpooling and where to go.

family rockpooling

Eden Eggstravaganza

Every bit as good as the hype, the Eden Project is on Cornwall’s essential tick list. Outstanding on a sunny day and a good choice when it rains, Eden is an inspired blend of indoor and outdoor fun. Dubbed the eighth wonder of the world by some, this dramatic global garden is housed in tropical biomes the size of 30 football pitches.

Over Easter, discover dozens of activities, crafts and games for the whole family across a three-week programme.

easter egg

Go Foraging

Make the most of the Spring sunshine and get out and about with a forage that will take you deep into Cornwall’s woodlands, hedgerows and on the coast. From Cornish mussels and rose chips to wild herbs and edible plants, you’ll find plenty of wild foods great for cooking.

Read our guide to foraging in Cornwall, including foraging experts The Fat Hen Cookery School who run local courses.

Image credit: The Fat Hen Cookery School

Heligan Gardens

Cornwall’s not only known for its stunning beaches, its magical gardens are home to a wealth of exciting, rare and beautiful plants and trees just waiting to be explored. Visit The Lost Gardens of Heligan in St Austell over Easter and you will creep past the sleeping giant, skip past the Mud Maid and explore higgeldy gardens filled with wonky veg and exotic plants.

Book your Easter break and be by the shoreline this year.

What to do in February half-term in Cornwall

February. The post-Christmas blues, new working year stresses, and winter fatigue often mean that this month gets overlooked, treated as one final hurdle to get over before Spring begins to bloom.

Here in Cornwall, we see February a little differently.

Empty, windswept beaches. Wild seas. Clear water and crisp blue skies. Rambling coast paths. Nature undisturbed. February showcases the wild, untamed beauty of Cornwall before the summer crowds roll in, and is secretly a loved-by-locals time of year, due to its general calmness, great surf and spectacular scenery.

February half-term is no different, and makes for a perfect time to gather the family and escape to the coast, giving you that much needed rejuvenation after a long winter season. Here’s some fresh inspiration for things to do this February half-term in Cornwall.

Browse our beach locations or our selection of retreats to find your perfect February half-term holiday home.

Surf’s up

February is ideal for getting in the water, particularly if you’re a beginner wanting to avoid the busy summer seas. Most of Cornwall’s surf and watersports schools operate all year round, and provide the appropriate kit for chillier water. Try Newquay Activity Centre, Kingsurf in Mawgan Porth or Big Blue Surf School in Bude for a challenging but exhilarating day mastering your chosen activity.

Image credit: Big Blue Surf School

National Maritime Museum

Head to Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum for a rainy day activity that’ll connect you to our oceans. Their regular exhibitions bring new and diverse perspectives to maritime issues, whilst showcasing Cornwall’s fascinating maritime heritage. With 15 galleries across five floors, you’ll take a walk through history. While you’re here, Falmouth is a great place to grab lunch and wander the quirky boutique-lined streets.

Eden Project

A unique and innovative eco project, the Eden Project is an absolute must see this February half-term. This stunning global garden consists of tropical biomes the size of 30 football pitches, including the rainforest biome, home to 1000 species of tropical plants, a fully running waterfall and suspended canopy walkway. Adjacent to this you’ll find the Mediterranean biome, filled to the brim with spiky cacti and ancient olive trees.

Trebah Gardens

A spectacle at any time of year, Trebah Gardens are worth a visit during your February half-term stay. Trebah is bound beneath canopies of sub-tropical foliage that tumble to the edge of the Helford Estuary, where there’s a divine sandy beach perfect for picnic and stone skimming. Families with dogs will particularly love this natural playground.

Wildlife wonders

Get acquainted with some Cornish creatures, from native baby seals to African lions. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, in Gweek, rescues and rehabilitates over 70 seal pups, which you can see up close. Or, spot them in the wild below the cliffs at Mutton Cove in Hayle, where they often bask on the sand – just be sure to keep the noise down as to not disturb their nap time. For a wet-weather-friendly day out, head to Newquay Zoo to meet over 130 species of the worlds rarest and most endangered animals.

Eat local

Refuel after a wintery walk with soul-quenching food at one of Cornwall’s many gourmet restaurants. From the range of Rick Stein eateries in Padstow, to cosy pubs with great menus such as The Mariners in Rock, take some time this half term to taste the shoreline’s seasonal delights. Many places to eat are kid and pet friendly, too.

Family time

Above all else, a February getaway gives you a chance to be together, away from the chaos of term time routines, work and household chores. Settle into a retreat where everything has been sorted for you, allowing you to truly relax. With games rooms, log burners, lavish dining tables and gorgeous views, cosy evenings in are a delight. Browse our selection of coastal properties just made for family stays.

Book your February half-term retreat.

National Trust at Christmas

Get into the festive spirit at the National Trust’s houses and exotic gardens, which transform every year into winter wonderlands. From holly-adorned great halls serving up mulled wine, woodland strewn with fairy lights, wreath making and Santa’s grotto, these Cornish heritage sites are the ultimate Christmas delight.

Here’s a run down of what’s on.

Find a festive retreat in Cornwall

Cotehele

Visit this atmospheric Tudor house with Medieval roots, with a mill on a historic quay, and a vast estate and garden to explore. This grand home, near Saltash, is a festive wonder, with a 60-foot garland in the Great Hall, festive lights along the stream and choir performances throughout the season.

See this year’s garland in all its glory from daily Saturday 18 November – Sunday 7 January, 10.30am-4pm. (Closed 25-26 December).

Trelissick

This lovely house and garden, set in an estate with maritime views and woodland walks, gets festive year on year. With Father Christmas in residency, mulled wine and spiced apple juice in the café, Christmas gifts in the shop and festive cheer in the stable yard, this is the perfect day out for all of the family. This year, pick up (or make) some Christmas gifts at the Christmas craft fair and festive weaving workshop.

Find Trelissick in Feock, near Truro, with Father Christmas around from 2 – 23 December.

Lanhydrock

Enjoy woodland magic and festive delight at Lanhydrock. This late Victorian country house features a countryside trail, Father Christmas’s woodland grotto and plenty of surrounding land for winter walks and bike rides. With frost-dusted trees and a festive cheer in the air, Lanhydrock makes for a perfect wintry visit. Open throughout the festive season.

Trerice

Trerice, near Newquay, is an Elizabethan manor house bursting with colourful plants by summer and a festive ambience by winter. This year, experience storytelling with Father Christmas, wreath making in the hayloft, and festive performances from the volunteer choir, the house and barn adorned with traditional decorations and festive cheer.

Father Christmas will be at Trerice on Saturday & Sunday 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 and then daily between Monday 18 – Saturday 23 December.

Godolphin

Open throughout the festive season except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Godolphin hosts a range of Christmassy activities and events. From Christmas wreath making, craft sessions, candle and lip balm making, and a variety of Christmas performances, head here for a fun day out. The 500 acres of countryside are also perfect for a winter walk.

Godolphin is near Helston, experience the Christmas House Sat 2 – Sun 3 Dec, Sat 9 – Sun 10 Dec, Sat 16 – Sun 17 Dec, 10.30 am – 4pm (last entry at 3pm).

Find your Christmas retreat in Cornwall and be here for the holidays.

The Importance of Play

Fun, adventure and the childlike nature of play are all important to our wellbeing, allowing us to switch off from day-to-day responsibilities and embrace our inner child. We explore how you can incorporate play into your family holiday, and the benefits this can bring.

When you’re in need of a real break, (like so many of us are right now), holidaying with the kids can be tricky. Their constant energy and endless need to be entertained often means you don’t get much chance to truly relax, and you may find you aren’t quite as revitalized as you’d hoped after a family day on the beach.

However, spending an uninterrupted week on holiday with your children is also an opportunity. A chance to switch off from day to day working life and responsibilities and get back in touch with your own childish side. Children are a great reminder of the importance of play, inviting you to become involved in games, adventure and exploration. Studies show that play for adults helps to release endorphins, improve brain functionality, and stimulate creativity. It can even improve memory and stimulate the growth of the cerebral cortex. Embrace a playful mindset and view your time away through younger, inquisitive eyes – it could bring a whole new lease of life to your beach days.

Here’s a few suggestions for how to dial up the play in each moment of your beach stay.

Rise

Wake up with the peach tinted rays of the morning sun. Waking early aligns best with children’s’ natural body clocks and gives you a great start to the day, allowing you to make the most of the hours of beachside adventure which lie ahead. Over breakfast, let your children choose the task for the day (set a list for them to pick between if you think it’s too risky) then plan together. Make a scavenger hunt list of things to look out for, play hide and seek with the things you need to pack – if you make the getting ready as much of the day as the outing, you’ll enjoy yourselves from the very start.

Roam

Head out, little feet skipping along dusty paths lined with Cornish montbretia and sea pinks. This is the most exciting moment of the day- when the anticipation for seeing the sea takes over, and you are yet to spot the first glimmer of blue in the distance. Make it a challenge- the first to spot the beach, a surfer, a bird….

Collect

The shoreline and surrounding coast are dotted with treasures- from seashells, flowers and mother of pearl to striped feathers, driftwood and smooth sea glass, start a hunt and see what you can find. Collect as many different things as you can, or pick one category and see how many different kinds of that thing you can find. There are hundreds of different patterned pebbles, types of shells, or varieties of seaweed you can gather and discover once you start to look. Through rockpooling secret ponds, scaling the shore or delving into the flora, collecting seaside treasures is a great way to while away the hours whilst finding keepsakes that hold the memory of these beach days. Whoever finds the best seashell wins!

Picnic

Make sure you’ve packed up plenty of fuel. Find a serene spot overlooking sea views and tuck in. Spread jam and dollop clotted cream on scones, the classic Cornish snack which kids love. Food is all part of the fun, so let the little ones get involved in assembling their snacks- don’t worry about the mess! For more food inspiration, have a look at our Cook and Carry blog with ideas on beach friendly meals that can be easily transported from pan to sand.

Navigate

Help keep the little ones engaged on the walk home by letting them navigate the route. Do they remember any particular landmarks passed on the way? Do they recognise the route they mapped out earlier? Are there any detours or artefacts they want to look at? You could even have a go at reading natural signs- look at where the sun is in the sky and track its movements or examine the sea and how the tide has changed throughout the day. This will engage the kids in the elemental forces at play by the coast, giving them a fuller understanding of what nature can teach us. Read our Natural Signs blog here.

Relax

Once you’ve returned to your retreat, the kids should be tired out. If they still want to play, suggest drawing, journaling or scrapbooking moments of the day, or set up a board game out on your balcony. Your beach retreat is equipped with all the entertainment you need for an evening in, so you can sit back, relax, and indulge in a well-deserved glass of wine.