Our Top 10 family day out suggestions for Summer 2015

July 21st, 2015

To help our guests at The Valley make the most of their holiday, we post ‘day out’ suggestions through their letterboxes based on tide and weather conditions for the next day. For those considering booking one of our last minute holiday cottages in Cornwall, we have put together a list of our 2015 Top 10 favourite family day out suggestions, all under 45 minutes’ drive from The Valley.

1. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The once glorious ancient estate of Heligan lay overlooked and unloved for more than 75 years before its miraculous resurrection in 1990. Today it’s one of the UK’s most impressive natural attractions. Great for kids on a dry day, with novelty sites such as the Mud Maid and the Giant’s Head particular highlights.

2. Eden Project

Eden Project celebrated its 14th year in March 2015. Its golf-ball domes represent an environmental programme that has attracted over 16 million visitors. The biomes, consisting of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal plastic cells, are home to thousands of species of plants. Book ahead for the SkyWire, England’s longest and fastest zip wire course.

3. Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Set on a 40-acre site in the village of Gweek, this rescue centre for seals and sea lions is a surefire family hit, notably at feeding times. Visitors can also meet the resident otters, penguins and paddock animals — ponies, goats and sheep — and marine creatures in the centre’s rock pools.

4. Fistral Beach

Its well-deserved reputation as a surfer’s paradise perhaps obscures Fistral’s family credentials, but if you’re looking for fun day out at a wonderfully unspoilt beach, it’s hard to beat. Enjoy the selection of restaurants and shops stacked neatly in a corner of the bay, plus there’s surfing and body boarding for kids, too.

5. Lappa Valley Steam Railway

Head to Benny Halt near Newquay to catch a scenic three-mile ride on this miniature steam locomotive. At East Wheal Rose station, you’ll find children’s rides, a maze, boating lake, crazy golf course and nature trails.

6. St Michael’s Mount

Few visitors to the historic Cornish town of Marazion can resist the lure of the fairytale, castle-topped island a few miles out to sea. That island is St Michael’s Mount, one of Cornwall’s most picturesque attractions. It’s accessible via a causeway that appears magically in low tide — not particularly pushchair-friendly — but for older, surer footed children, the combination of ancient battlements on a rocky outcrop should fire the imagination.

7. Padstow

More commonly known as Padstein, due to its most famous resident chef Rick Stein, Padstow is at the heart of Cornwall’s foodie scene. Stein’s empire dominates — restaurant, bistro, cafe, chip shop, deli, patisserie, seafood school — but there’s a certain charm to the whole town. The rugged coastline and stunning walks are totally appealing.

8. Camel Trail

Running the length of an 18-mile disused railway track between Wenford Bridge and Padstow, the Camel Trail is used by walkers, joggers and horse-riders, but is best-known as a cycling route for families.

9. St Ives

Beloved of artists through the centuries, it’s immediately clear why St Ives remains one of the UK’s most popular seaside towns. The harbour is picturesque, the restaurants top class and the art galleries numerous. The beach makes it a great destination for children of all ages, even with dive bombing seagulls.

10. Crealy Great Adventure Park

Conveniently tucked away between Newquay and Wadebridge is a more than manageable theme park for kids up to early teens, with over 40 rides and attractions.