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Five family-friendly places to visit in Cornwall

by Eugene Costello
Eden Project: children climbing on the nest

Cornwall is about quaint villages, gorgeous wide-brimmed sandy beaches and the opportunity to hurtle head-first 660m through the air. We tell you where to find it in this made-for-holidaying part of England.

The Eden Project

Eden Project: children climbing on the nest

Only five miles and fifteen minutes’ drive away from Trenython Manor is the ecological and scientific wonder that is the Eden Project, with its trio of meteorologically contrasting biomes, recently added wobbly rainforest walkway and mesmerizing horticultural diversity.

Last year the world’s longest zip wire in England was launched here. It’s pretty high at 660m and it’s definitely the fastest. You’ll hurtle over the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biome structures and get a birds-eye view over huge gardens.

More sedate activities include the ice rink or if visiting in summer, you might catch one of the high profile Eden Sessions concerts.


Rhyming with, ‘joy,’ not, ‘Maui,’ Fowey is the quintessential picturesque Cornish fishing village and is a designated area of natural beauty. It’s perilously steep, narrow streets are best walked not driven and the view across the harbour to Bodinnick to the east and the English Channel to the south is spectacular.

Tea-rooms, old-fashioned sweet emporiums and fish and chip shops line the sinuous lanes but if your kids want to come face to face with some of the ugliest local sea creatures, take a ten-minute detour around the small but perfectly formed aquarium on the sea front.

For your inner rambler, there is a four-mile circular Hall Walk that starts at Fowey taking in Polruan. En route to Hall Walk you will pass Daphne du Maurier’s first home in Cornwall.

The undulating path follows the river estuary, through oak woods where you get a constantly changing eyefull over the port of Fowey.

Rick Stein’s Fish Restaurant

Rick Stein's Fish Restaurant, Falmouth

(c) David Griffen Photography

Falmouth is a charming harbour-side fishing village. So it makes sense to enjoy a fish supper in the glass-fronted and airy Rick Stein’s Restaurant, overlooking the little port. This is fish ‘n’ chips in the same way that a Lamborghini Murcielago is a car. But unlike a Lambo, this won’t break the bank — expect to pay no more than £20 per head for two courses and drinks.

Read also: Best Restaurants in Cornwall

Best Restaurants in Cornwall

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum, Cornwall

Across the harbour is the National Maritime Museum. Allow two hours to get through the collections of skiffs, coracles and speedboats. Kids get the opportunity to spend time in a Coastguard helicopter. Remember to take the lift to the third-floor observation deck for simply superb views across the town and the River Fal. Beautiful. A family pass costs £32 but really is worth it for an entertaining and educational afternoon that’s hard to beat.

Lantic Bay

St Ives may be the Cornish beach with the biggest international reputation, but for sheer, unadulterated natural beauty Lantic Bay is hot on its sandy heals. Take the thirty-second car ferry from Fowey to Bodinnick and head east for ten minutes towards Polperro and after a challenging 40-minute descent across fields and down a narrow, steep beach path, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of a majestic stretch of almost completely deserted, white sandy beach, sheltered in a south-facing bay. There are no cafés, no toilets, and virtually no people but for jaw dropping beauty there is nowhere like it.


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