We think of Cornwall as a well-loved holiday destination due to its beautiful stretches of sandy beaches, sensational coastal walks and sunny climate. But alongside these natural treasures, there are also loads of attractions which offer fantastic family-friendly days out.
From toddlers to teenagers, Cornwall has a quality family attraction to offer. While the weather is great you may prefer to head to the beach, but keep these rainy day activities in your back pocket just in case!
We’ve compiled a list of the best places for a day trip in Cornwall, tried and tested by us. From high-octane adventures to more sedate wildlife watching, there are loads of ideas here to keep you and the little ones entertained.
If you love: Adrenaline adventures
Perfect for thrill seekers, Hangloose Adventures at the Eden Project, St. Austell has a range of exhilarating and unforgettable activities for visitors. Take a skywire zipline giving you a birds-eye view of Eden’s gardens or a 33ft leap of faith base-jumping experience by the biomes!
Cornwall’s biggest theme park Flambards, near Helston, has something for all ages. Adrenaline junkies will love the Hornet Rollercoaster, Skyraker and Log Flume. Younger kids will enjoy Ferdi’s Funland and outdoor adventure play. Meanwhile, history lovers can travel back in time to a Victorian Village and Britain during the Blitz with the indoor attractions.
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If you love: Wildlife watching
If you’re looking to spot some exotic wildlife, Paradise Park situated in Hayle is a sanctuary to an amazing array of colourful birds, beautiful red pandas and rare red squirrels. The park also has a jungle barn indoor play area and a number of outdoor adventure parks. Winning double gold at the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2020-21, this is one not to miss!
Catch a glimpse of some carnivorous creatures at Newquay Zoo where you’ll also find activity trails, kids play areas and a dragon maze. Just down the road at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, you’ll encounter some fascinating finned friends with 40 naturally-themed underwater habitats taking you on a journey from the Cornish coasts to the exotic seas.
If you love: History hunting
Picturesque Pendennis Castle on Falmouth’s headland is the perfect spot to picnic while exploring a mighty Tudor fortress. This 450 year old historic site brings to life the sights and sounds of battle from Tudor times all the way through to the Second World War.
Little steam train enthusiasts will love Lappa Valley just outside Newquay. Take the family on a miniature steam train adventure to enjoy row boats on the river, play parks, indoor soft play and restaurants. Based on a site with a rich Cornish mining history and heritage, Lappa Valley also celebrates its past, running on one of the oldest railway track beds in Cornwall.
If you love: Garden gazing
If a more gentle garden ramble is your thing, check out the Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey. Created by members of the Cornish Tremayne family from the mid-18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, the gardens are now home to a host of farm animals, amid wonderful woodland walks and outdoor play parks.
So whether it’s a fast-paced, action-packed day out you’re after, a nostalgic journey into the past or a chance to immerse yourself in nature, Cornwall has a day trip destination to please all the family.