4 of the Best Animal Sanctuaries to Visit in Cornwall
September 06th, 2021
Make the most of your family friendly holiday in Cornwall and get to know some of the local inhabitants with a trip to an animal sanctuary!
Cornwall’s breathtaking landscape is home to a vast array of native wildlife, including seals, dolphins, lizards, adders, turtles, and so much more. There are numerous brilliant animal sanctuaries across the county that do wonderful work to protect and rehabilitate all sorts of animals from Cornwall and around the world.
Each wildlife sanctuary offers a unique experience, with many including other great attractions to entice you and plenty of ways to support the animals on a long term basis.
We’ve narrowed down some of our favourite Cornish animal sanctuaries below.
1. Paradise Park and Jungle Barn, Hayle
Situated along the north Cornish coast, Paradise Park and Jungle Barn is the place to go for birds of every kind. This exciting bird sanctuary is home to over 130 species of birds from all over the globe.
You’ll also find red pandas, farm animals, Asian seals, red squirrels and miniature donkeys.
Things to Do and See at Paradise Park
There’s lots to do here with plenty of opportunities to see rare birds you might not find anywhere else. You’ll find everything from flamingos to kookaburras, bald eagles, penguins, golden eagles – and lots more.
The tropical aviaries are a must-see – these awesome exhibits include areas where you can sit or meander and watch the birds as they fly above you. Don’t forget to catch one of the brilliant bird shows where you can learn all about these wonderful animals.
From there, take a tranquil stroll through the tropical gardens where birds fly free amongst the beautiful botanicals, streams and ponds. Here, you’ll also find a children’s play area, bee garden and other features to explore.
Stop by the Fun Farm, where the kids will adore the chance to get up close and feed the sheep, rabbits, goats, guinea pigs and miniature donkeys. You can then head to the Jungle Barn indoor soft play area for even more fun.
Conservation at Paradise Park
Additionally, Paradise Park is home to the World Parrot Trust and the brilliant Cornish conservation project – Operation Chough.
Thanks to the great work of Operation Chough, you can see some of the red-billed choughs the charity is working hard to bring back to the area permanently.
Ticket Prices for Paradise Park
- Adults: £14.75
- Children: £10.75
- Family of 4: £47.50
- Over 60s: £13
(Add a couple of extra pounds for entry tickets to the Jungle Barn)
2. Porfell Wildlife Park, Liskeard
Porfell Wildlife Park is another fun-packed adventure. As Cornwall’s largest exotic animal sanctuary, you can expect to see all sorts of animals here, with plenty of great opportunities to learn about the natural habitats they would usually call home.
Things to Do and See at Porfell Wildlife Park
The park is home to more than 250 animals who live in enclosures designed to replicate their natural environment. One of the most memorable sections is The Great Rift Valley which contains an authentic Maasai village constructed using traditional methods.
Native animals surround the village to replicate the beautiful way the Maasai people and local wildlife cohabitate. Inside the village, there are all sorts of artisan crafts to enjoy as well as insight into the clothes and the history of the people.
Another stand-out space is the Ancient Woodland, where you can follow the many trails to learn about the wetlands. You’ll also find woods filled with ancient Cornish ash, willows, alders, oak, plants and lots of other native botanicals.
The Children’s Farm is also tons of fun with everything from pigs to chickens, chipmunks, rabbits, sheep, goats and more. Ultimately, it’s a great day out with an enormous range of animals from around the world to see.
Tickets Prices for Porfell Wildlife Park
- Adults: £10
- Children: £7
- Family of 4: £31
- Over 60s: £8
3. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek
The beautiful Cornish coast is famous for its population of grey seals and lesser numbers of common seals. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is part of The Sealife Trust, a charity that comes to the aid of Cornwall’s grey seals when in need.
Things to Do and See at The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
At the sanctuary, alongside grey seals who are rehabilitated then returned to the waters, you’ll also find common seals, South American or Southern sea lions and Humboldt penguins. Out in the paddock, there are also ponies, goats and sheep.
There are lots of great ways to see the seals and other marine animals during your visit. You can join the morning rounds on the Cornish Seal Sanctuary’s Breakfast Tour to uncover why seal pups end up getting rescued.
Or, why not discover how the seals are looked after on the Keeper For a Day Tour? For a private afternoon visit that starts with an exclusive Cornish cream tea, check out the Afternoon Seal Tour.
For an extra special experience, you can see the seals, sea lions and penguins up close with a visit to the underwater viewing experience.
Ticket Prices for The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
- Adults: £15
- Children: £12.50
- Family of 4: £48
- Over 60s: £14.50
4. Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary, Looe
Wild Futures is a UK charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of primates in need. The Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary is home to 40 primates, including Barbary macaques, capuchins, marmosets and woolly monkeys.
Things to Do and See at Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary
Alongside the monkeys, the children’s Wild Play Area will provide plenty of fun. This area has lots of room to run around, plus an adventure playground, children’s craft workshops, face painting and sanctuary-themed activities.
The Monkey Sanctuary’s south-facing garden is a resplendent space, surrounded by woodland and meadows with views across the coast. You’ll find over 285 types of wildflowers, 23 species of butterflies, 60 species of birds and lots more within the grounds.
Watch the bees busy at work on the live feed in Bumblebee Corner, then take a quiet moment to sit and spot all the birds from the Bird Hide.
Before you go, visit the Wildlife Room to learn about all the animals and plants that inhabit the site’s nine acres, as well as the essential work done by Wild Futures.
Ticket Prices for Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary
- Adults: £9.50
- Children: £5
- Over 65s: £7
A trip to any one of these attractions is sure to make your holiday to Cornwall one to remember!
To round off your perfect Cornwall break, you’ll need the perfect place to stay. Take a look at our luxury award-winning cottages today and start planning your next break.
Image Credits: Visit Cornwall
What’s on August 2021| Cornwall Guide
August 02nd, 2021
With dozens of fabulous events taking place across the county, this August may just be the best time to go on your family-friendly holiday in Cornwall.
From live music festivals to spectacular displays of modern art and dance, we take a look at some of the best events taking place in Cornwall this August, so you don’t miss out!
6 – 15 Aug
What started as a local sailing regatta in 1837 has since evolved into an amazing week full of events for all the family to enjoy!
Falmouth Week has been drawing in visitors from across the UK thanks to its fantastic activities right in the heart of Falmouth. With live music, sailing races, an eclectic market and even a carnival complete with a demonstration by the iconic Red Arrows, there’s truly something for everyone at Falmouth Week!
Drive-in Summer Cinema
16 Jul – 5 Sep
If you’re looking for a fun attraction that all the family can enjoy, then look no further than the Drive-In Summer Cinema at Watergate Bay in Newquay. With giant LED screens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you can experience some of your favourite films such as The Goonies, Moana, Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean (to name a few) in a whole new light!
Showings take place every Thursday through Sunday at 12 pm and 6.45 pm. Plus, there’s the special Sunday Summer Singalongs where you and the family can rock out in the comfort of your own car to hits from The Greatest Showman, Grease and Mamma Mia.
Spectacular Summer Season at Flambards
4 Aug – 25 Aug
Make the most of your family holiday in Cornwall by coming along to one of the wonderful events hosted at Flambards Theme Park in Helston.
The park itself is open throughout the day for hours worth of family fun, but everything changes when the sun goes down. Every Monday and Wednesday this August, Flambards is offering guests an evening they’ll never forget. With after-dark rides, spectacular firework displays and live music from local Cornish artists – a visit to Flambards is a must this August.
Summer of Celebration at the Eden Project
This summer, the Eden Project becomes the backdrop for a whole range of performances from parkour to storytelling to dancing, all inspired by Eden’s unique setting.
With carnivals, jazz performances and a whole host of other performances on offer, there’s never been a better time to visit the Eden Project. Some of the most notable performances are:
- Emergent Ensemble (9th – 13th August)
- Mandinga Arts’ Carnival (16th – 20th August)
- UPG’s Beyond The Strandline (23rd – 27th August)
The summer celebration has been running since March of this year and doesn’t wrap up until early September. This means there’s plenty of time for you to catch one of these fantastic performances during your trip to Cornwall.
We hope you make the most of your Cornish holiday this August by visiting one or more of these fantastic events! It’s not too late to book! Browse our range of family-friendly cottages available in Cornwall.
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
4 Activities for All the Family in Cornwall
May 11th, 2020
Cornwall is the perfect holiday destination in the UK; with numerous seaside towns, plenty of delicious restaurants and so many activities, you will never be short of somewhere to visit or something to do!
Whether you are looking for adventure, heritage or simply a fun-filled day out, Cornwall has plenty to offer. We share some of our top activities for all the family so that you can all enjoy your time in the Cornish countryside.
Flambards Theme Park
Come rain or shine, Flambards Theme Park is a brilliant day out for the whole family. From soft play areas for the little ones to sky-high adventure rides for the thrill-seekers and a life-size Victorian Village for the aspiring historians!
Flambards Theme Park features award-winning indoor attractions, so if you find yourself visiting on a day that is a little wet, not to fear because there is still lots to see and do. Additionally, when purchasing a full-price ticket, you receive a free return for a further six consecutive days from the date of the first admission. So, you could always visit again to experience the whole park!
Take the day to explore the 30 acres of lush gardens and discover some beautiful and picturesque scenery. Each season offers a different experience as different flowers come into bloom. No matter what time of year you visit, you can be sure to have a wonderful time spent with loved ones unwinding in the countryside.
From ponds and flower gardens to woodlands, there is lots to discover. The gardens are huge, so there is plenty for the little explorers to see! There is also Enys House to visit; step back in time and see the old Georgian house that was built in the 1830s!
After building up an appetite from walking around the stunning gardens, you can stop at the Garden Café for a bite to eat and light refreshment. With sandwiches, salads and homemade soup, there is lots to choose from for your lunch. There is also an array of freshly baked cakes and scones for a little treat. After all, you are in Cornwall, so it’s only right to have a cream tea!
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
While visiting the Cornish seaside, why not learn more about the big blue sea? The National Maritime Museum features 15 galleries that span over five floors! Each of the galleries shares insight and information on the sea’s history and culture. Here are just some of the things you can explore at the National Maritime Museum:
- A variety of boats from around the world
- RNLI Rescue Zone
- Boat Building Workshop
- Cornwall and the Sea
- Tidal Zone (you can look underwater at the harbour through two large windows)
- The Treasure Island Play Zone
- The Lookout Tower (look at breathtaking views over the harbour, docks and estuary)
- The Boat Pool (you can sail small model boats)
One of the most well-known attractions in Cornwall is Newquay Zoo. With over 130 species, there are plenty of animals to meet and learn all about. From monkeys and reptiles to zebras and big cats, you can get up close to some of the world’s most fascinating animals.
You could spend the whole day at Newquay Zoo exploring the 13 acres of the park. There are two onsite cafes for you to grab a bite to eat, or you can pack your own picnic and settle down in one of the eating areas.
If you want to add something extra special to your trip, you can pay extra to meet the animals up close and personal. Animal experiences are something that you will remember for a lifetime. The following animal experiences are available at Newquay Zoo:
- Lion Feeding: Help the keepers feed the lions and learn all about these incredible cats.
- Red Panda Experience: Meet the loveable pair of red pandas, Germaine and Zou, feed them and learn all about them from the panda keepers.
- Penguin Encounter: For those who love penguins, this could be an incredible experience. Get up close with the animals, feed them some fish and learn from the keeper all about the fascinating species.
- Junior Zookeeper Experience: For those aged between 8 and 14 years old, this is the perfect experience! You can get first-hand experience of what it’s like to work with the fantastic animals at Newquay Zoo.
- Zookeeper Experience: Are you an animal lover, or maybe you wonder what it would be like to be a zookeeper? The zookeeper experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close with so many different animals.
If you would like to visit any of these attractions, why not stay with us at The Valley? We offer luxury family holidays in Cornwall, perfect for a getaway with loved ones!
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Cycle Trails in Cornwall
May 07th, 2020
Cornwall is a beautiful part of the UK, and a brilliant way to explore the glorious Cornish countryside is to cycle along its many trails! You can immerse yourself in the greenery and discover some local towns and villages during your trips.
Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, old or young, here is a list of some excellent cycling trails to visit when on holiday in Cornwall that you can ride along either alone, with family or friends.
Mineral Tramways Trails: Great Flat Lode Trail
The Mineral Tramways Trails are traffic-free routes based alongside the old transport network of the 19th-century mining era. It is 37.5 miles long and offers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful countryside while also discovering the mining heritage.
The Great Flat Lode Trail circles the hill of Carn Brea behind Camborne and Redruth. It is situated amongst the mines that worked the Great Flat Lode! So, you can get in some exercise, enjoy stunning views and you can learn all about some of Cornwall’s finest old mine workings.
The Camel Trail
A route that is perfect for all abilities and ages, the Camel Trail is an 18-mile long, surfaced and mostly level trail. Parts of the route runs alongside a disused railway line, and while travelling the route, you will capture some of the most beautiful scenery in Cornwall.
The trail is suitable for walkers, horse-riders and wheel-chairs users, as well as cyclists, so be aware of any traffic that may occur during your cycle. The trail falls into three routes:
- Padstow to Wadebridge: 5.5 miles
- Wadebridge to Bodmin: 5.75 miles
- Bodmin to Wenfordbridge: 6.25 miles
If you don’t have your own bike, then you can hire bikes at Padstow, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Wenfordbridge. Toilets are also located Wadebridge alongside the trail, Wendfordbridge, and in Padstow town centre.
The Cornish Way
Perhaps one of the most well-known routes in Cornwall is the Cornish Way. It is a mighty trail as it runs from Land’s End all the way to Bude and consists of 195 miles!
Along the route, you will come across some beautiful beaches, stunning seaside towns and wonderful wildlife. It is great because you can pick a part of the route you wish to cycle that is nearest to you.
A beautiful part of the trail is where it runs along the coast until you reach Marazion. You can enjoy spectacular coastal views along with a sea breeze. At Marazion, you could stop for a refreshment and then head inland towards Hayle Estuary and Camborne.
Bodmin Beast Cycle Trail
For those looking for more of an adventurous ride, the Bodmin Beast Cycle Trail could be the perfect option. The trail is 12km and stretches through the wooded slopes of the Cardinham Valley. Along the route, you will be faced with some challenging climbs and descents, as well as some tight corners, steps, tabletops and rollers.
Clay Trails: Bugle to Eden Trail
There are Clay Trails dotted around St Austell and offer some unique views. The China Clay industry was situated in this area for over 300 years, and it left a fascinating stamp on the land. What were once clay pits are now turquoise lakes and former spoil heaps are now miniature mountains.
The trail that runs from Bugle to Eden is four miles and is a fairly easy trail, making it perfect for all ages and abilities. Once you arrive at the Eden Project, why not head inside and explore?
If you are interested in visiting one or more of these cycle trails, why not stay in Truro; a town that is well located among these routes making each cycle path easy to access. We have a range of hot tub cottages in Cornwall to add some much-needed luxury to your trip to the Cornish countryside!
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6 Unusual Things to Do in Cornwall
September 16th, 2019
Cornwall is a fantastic part of the country, with so many picturesque villages, exciting attractions and breath-taking beaches. There are many things in Cornwall that are relatively mainstream and attract many tourists, and while these are awesome, we would also recommend visiting some of these usual activities to really make the most of your holiday!
Lost Gardens of Heligan
A truly encaptivating experience, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is not your usual attraction. With the garden being 400 years old, there are numerous fascinating features to explore, perhaps the most famous being the giant’s head in the ground made from greenery. With over 200 acres to discover, this place is full of extraordinary sculptures, fascinating wildlife and spectacular gardens. Another mesmerising place to explore at the Lost Gardens of Heligan is the jungle. Here you will find bamboo tunnels to walk through and towering banana trees above you.
After you have taken a trip around the gardens, visit the Heligan Kitchen & Bakery and enjoy a cup of coffee with some tasty local produce! Why not take the chance to try the local delicacy and have a Cornish cream tea?
Initially built in the 11th-century, Restormel is an extraordinary medieval castle. These fascinating ruins were once a luxury residence for the Earl of Cornwall, and it was one of the four chief Norman castles of Cornwall. Something that makes Restormel unique from other historic castles is its formation and design. The chambers are all arranged against the outer circular walls; this includes the kitchens, great hall and guest rooms. Since 1925, Restormel has been cared for by the English Heritage, while being officially owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. Throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, this castle is the best remaining example of a circular castle, making it quite the sight to see! Not only is the castle an interesting attraction in itself, but the location is also perfect for a picnic or a country walk. The castle boasts an incredible 360-degree view of lush countryside, and it is surrounded by woodlands that are a haven for birds and wildlife.
Now, this isn’t one for the faint-hearted. Adrenalin Quarry in Liskeard is an action-packed adventure park; somewhere to get your palms sweating and heart racing! From karting and axe throwing to coasteering and an aquapark, this place has an abundance of fun activities for both adults and children to enjoy. The aquapark is brand new to Adrenalin Quarry, with slides, trampolines, monkey bars and other massive inflatables.
There are two top attractions at Adrenalin Quarry, the Giant Swing and the Blob. The Giant Swing is considered the scariest ride they have ever built, and it is not for those who are easily afraid. You are pulled up 160ft above the lake, and then you are released, experiencing complete weightlessness as the swing drops you and leaves you to glide over the water. The Blob, on the other hand, is slightly more fun rather than scary. It is a humongous inflatable tube that floats on the water. The attraction works by one person sitting on one end, and then someone else climbs the ladder at the other end and leaps off to jump onto the inflatable. This results in the person sitting down to catapult into the air before splashing into the water. An excellent opportunity to see a family member or friend fly through the sky!
The Eden Project
Considered the world’s largest greenhouse, the Eden Project is a fascinating attraction. The Eden Project isn’t exactly unknown in Cornwall and is, in fact, a rather popular attraction, but that doesn’t take away from that fact that it isn’t your ordinary day out. Consisting of multiple gigantic biomes, the aim of the Eden Project is to promote environmental sustainability. They spent a whopping £141 million to collect tropical plants from all over the world to showcase them in these natural habitats. Among these beautiful climates are an array of other activities, such as England’s longest zip wire, a soft play area for the little ones, a great outdoor play centre and a delicious café.
Bodmin Jail is undoubtedly a captivating place to discover and understand exactly what life was like for a prisoner many years ago. The jail was built in 1779, and while holding many criminals, it was also the safe haven for the state papers and the Domesday book during the First World War. Nowadays, the jail is a historical attraction and no longer functions as a working prison. Bodmin Jail visitors can explore the cold and dark cells and imagine what the life of a captured criminal was like. The execution shed is open to visitors too, which features the Victorian hanging pit; a 4.5-metre drop and it is the only one of its kind in the UK. Furthermore, there is an exhibition which features a tour across six floors of the jail.
Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
If you’ve got an interest in anything dark and spooky or anthropology, this is the place for you! The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is situated in the picturesque town of Boscastle, and it is a place for you to explore the magical practice in Britain. As you walk around this museum, you’ll soon realise the fascinating nature of witchcraft and magic. It has been around since 1961 and is one of the world’s largest collections of items relating to witchcraft and magic, with over 3,000 objects to discover!
Should you choose to visit Cornwall, we highly recommend you take a trip to some of these fantastic attractions. If you would like to book a holiday to the South, why not add a touch of luxury to your trip and stay in a hot tub cottage in Cornwall? No matter the weather, a hot tub is an excellent addition to any holiday; adding that extra element of relaxation and escape! Here at The Valley, we offer self-catering holiday cottages that are both child-friendly and dog-friendly, so that the whole family can enjoy a getaway to Cornwall. Are you looking for some more holiday inspiration? Take a look at our previous blog that looks at the best places for a family day out in Cornwall!
What’s On In September
August 12th, 2019
As summer is coming to an end and its time we welcome in autumn, don’t feel disheartened, because, in September 2019, Cornwall is hosting an array of exciting events! From food festivals and summer activities to car shows and sailing festivals, there is plenty to keep you busy during your holiday!
Summer on St Michael’s Mount
2nd – 4th September 2019
Summer on St Michael’s Mount is the perfect activity to spend some quality time with your loved ones and to let the kids get creative. Once you have paid admission to St Michael’s Mount, you can enjoy some crafty family fun free of charge! All of the activities are connected to the Mount stories, and the band of storytellers perform these tales every day during the school holidays!
On Monday, the event that takes place is called “Tall Stories of the Castle” and this is where you can learn all about Cormoran the Giant. You will also get the opportunity to model your own giant’s head using clay and other natural materials. As well as clay modelling, you can also make your own mini catapult!
On Tuesday, it’s all about the “Myths and Legends of the Sea”. Here you get the chance to create your own mini reed boat and test them on the rock pools! You can also collect some seashore treasures and create your very own underwater world.
On Wednesday, it is “Garden Magic on the Mount”, and this is your opportunity to explore the glorious colours of the gardens through the kaleidoscope or create a giant mandala! Furthermore, you can make your own flag using the art of Hapa Zome; this is where you collect numerous natural prints, such as leaves, and paint them to then decorate the flag by pressing the colour down!
St Ives September Festival
14th – 28th September 2019
Back in 1977, the first-ever St Ives September Festival took place, and it has been successful for the last forty years. St Ives is a picturesque seaside town in Cornwall that is very popular with visitors, primarily due to is stunning scenery! From music and comedy to workshops and street entertainment, this is a festival worth attending. With so much to do, you can choose how you spend your time. You could decide to take the active route and join in on walks and workshops, or you might prefer to relax and unwind by watching some plays and listening to live music.
Taste of Scilly Food & Drink Festival
1st – 30th September 2019
The Isles of Scilly are just off the coast of Cornwall and can be accessed by a boat service, plane or helicopter. There are multiple islands; St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martins, Bryher, St Agnes and the uninhabited islands! The stunning Isles of Scilly hosts a food and drink festival throughout the month of September and offers a range of locally sourced produce. To start the event, on the 1st of September, there is the Low Tide Experience; at the sandbank between Tresco & Bryher, visitors roll up their trousers and visit the mini food festival. Here you can try some garlic mussels, seafood paella and much more! Along with the delicious local food, you can enjoy some live music with a gin cocktail or prosecco.
Something new for 2019 is series of Distillery Tours and Gin Schools! At the Spirit Scilly distillery on St Mary’s, you can browse a selection of botanical cabinets, and craft your own juniper creation to take home – the perfect holiday souvenir! In the evenings, you can expect family-farm tours, gin tasting, baking competitions, and so much more! With an abundance of things to see, do, and of course taste, this is an event that cannot be missed. Visit the spectacular islands, meet the local producers and try some of their exquisite food and drink!
Cornwall’s Motorsport Month
1st – 30th September 2019
Cornwall is most well-known for sailing, but many forget its passion for motors! September is the month for cars, motorbikes and everything a petrolhead could dream of. Throughout the month there are different occasions; some of the highlights are the 4 x 4 event, Greenpower and Classic Car Show, Motorfest and Motor Cycle Trial.
Showcasing some fantastic cars and bikes, the Greenpower and Classic Car Show is hosted at the Truro Girls School and is a great day out. On the 8th of September between 11 am and 3 pm, there will be over 150 classic cars, motorbikes and a selection of military vehicles from WW2! As well as all this, there will be a market full of food and drink stalls selling some delicious goodies!
If you are looking to visit Cornwall in September, we hope we have encouraged you to visit some of these fantastic events while you are here. When planning a trip with the kids it can be tough to find suitable accommodation. Here at The Valley, we offer family-friendly holidays in Cornwall with our range of self-catering cottages! Perfect for a family getaway, we are situated in a great location, so you can visit as many events as you desire!
How to Spend a Day in Falmouth
July 29th, 2019
Falmouth is a beautiful Cornish seaside town, and because of its glorious scenery it’s a popular tourist spot. With so many people visiting Falmouth, it accommodates by having an abundance of attractions! From museums and castles to beaches and boat trips, there is plenty to see and do in this stunning part of the country! We take a look at how best to spend a day in Falmouth so you can take full advantage of your time in Cornwall.
Explore Pendennis Castle
Start your day by learning about some of Falmouth’s heritage at Pendennis Castle. With spectacular views of the sea, this castle was formerly one of Henry the Eighth’s most beautiful coastal fortresses! Additionally, the incredible castle has defended Cornwall since the Tudor times and played a vital role in both of the World War’s, so it is bursting with a fascinating history!
Today, you can visit Pendennis Castle and experience what it was like during battle! You can meet characters dressed up in costume from the past, and in the summer months, you can watch a daily firing of a historic gun! There is also a mesmerising exhibit that showcases what the castle was like during World War One; discover heart-wrenching letters, photographs and artefacts from the tragic time. Furthermore, on selected dates, the castle hosts Legendary Joust events; take a trip to the past and be a spectator of a thrilling battle!
After you have immersed yourself in the history of the remarkable castle, take a trip to the café and have a traditional Cornish bite to eat. If you prefer some alfresco dining, bring along your own picnic and set up on the lawn area; take in the exquisite views as you tuck into some delicious goodies!
Take a Boat Trip with AK Wildlife Cruises
What better way to spend your time in the seaside town of Falmouth than on a boat discovering some of the fascinating creatures living in the waters! On your journey, you will have the opportunity to see whales, dolphins, basking sharks, seals and many other species! AK Wildlife Cruises have introduced a new boat tour called “Family Bay Exploration” which is a three-hour experience to explore the spectacular coastline. There are also four-hour and seven-hour cruises if you would prefer to spend some more time out at sea.
To prepare for your wildlife discovery, take some binoculars to see as much as you can and also bring along some snack for if you get peckish! The boat is called “Free Spirit” and has both indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate all guests, and there is also a toilet on board. The boat captain and wildlife specialist, Keith, is incredibly passionate about what he does which resonates through the tours – he will help you spot all of the remarkable creatures! He will teach you all about them; any questions you may have, ask him, and he will be happy to answer!
Unwind at The Beach
In the late afternoon, take a trip to the beach to enjoy the spectacular scenery and relax on the golden sand. Considered the best in the area, Gyllyngvase Beach is the perfect spot to spend your evening! With toilet and shower facilities as well as hot and cold food on offer, this beach is brilliant for a family trip. If you are fancying a dip in the sea, the beach is manned by a lifeguard and the ocean is safe to swim in!
Once you have had a splash around in the beautiful blue waters, built some impressive sandcastles and soaked up some afternoon sunshine, you would’ve worked up an appetite. Why not taste the delights of local food and have some fish and chips by the beach? The Firepit Gylly Grill has an extensive menu from burgers and steak to pasta and obviously the glorious fish and chips!
If you would like to visit the lovely coastal town, consider a luxury Falmouth holiday and treat yourself and your family to a getaway at The Valley! With a unique collection of beautiful self-catering holiday cottages situated in a picturesque landscape, it is the perfect spot for your trip to the seaside! Want to learn more about Cornwall and what there is to do? Take a look at our previous blog that lists some great places for a family day out in Cornwall!
Great Places for a Family Day Out in Cornwall
March 28th, 2019
Planning a holiday that will please the whole family can sometimes feel a little challenging, especially when you are not familiar with the area. We’ve taken the stress away a little by sharing some of our favourite child-friendly spots that are fun for the whole family! Before heading off on a family-friendly holiday in Cornwall, check out these awesome places to go for a great day out with the kids!
Flambards’ Experience, Helston
This theme park has great thrill rides open in the summer and there is also a chance for the kids to learn something too, with Flambards’ Victorian Village showing you an authentic recreation of the period.
Camel Creek Adventure Park, Tredinnick
Camel Creek is home to an abundance of indoor and outdoor rides, as well as a range of adorable animals and curious creatures! From drop slides and rollercoasters to land trains and carousels, there’s something to entertain both adults and kids alike. Perfect for an all-weather day out, the Dragon’s Kingdom indoor play area is crammed full with ball pools, mazes, tunnels, walkways and slides!
Newquay Zoo, Newquay
The only place in Cornwall that has lions, Newquay Zoo is also home to exotic birds, snakes, meerkats and some very cute penguins! Up close animal encounters are available where the whole family can learn about the animals from the keepers, including encounter talks, watching the meerkats, lions and monkeys being fed, and a special penguin talk as they enjoy a fishy afternoon snack!
National Seal Sanctuary, Helston
Cornwall’s only seal sanctuary and rescue centre is a great day out, and they do very important work helping out Cornwall marine life! There are not just seals to visit, but sea lions, otters, penguins, sheep, goats and ponies!
Orca Sea Safaris, Falmouth
Get out to sea on Marine Safari where you see porpoise, dolphins, seals and basking sharks out in the wild. Being on a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) means everyone can get really close to these amazing creatures. This activity is only suitable for children over the age of six.
The Monkey Sanctuary, Looe
Open since 1964, this sanctuary is set in beautiful woodland near the scenic south coast of Cornwall. The sanctuary is home to a range of rescued monkey species, including Capuchin monkeys, Barbary Macaques and Marmosets. Kids can get involved with arts and crafts workshops and pretend to be little monkey’s in the Wild Play Area!
Paradise Park, Hayle
Over 650 birds are featured at this park, from exotic parrots, flamingos and toucans to Cornish choughs, owls, kookaburras and eagles and the cutest red pandas too. There are also farmyard animals to pet and play with and a café for a cup of tea and juice to refuel. No worries if the weather turns bad either; just head over to the JungleBarn for some fantastic fun in the indoor play area!
For more inspiration for things to do in Cornwall, check out our guide for what is on this Easter!
The Best Family-Friendly Days out this Winter in Cornwall
November 27th, 2018
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas; busy streets lined with late-night shoppers and fairy lights illuminating the front of houses. However, as much as you may love the Christmas period, sometimes it is nice to have a break with your family away from all the festivities.
Although it may not be the first location that springs to mind at this time of the year, Cornwall is the perfect destination for a winter holiday with your family. Visiting the county off-season can award you with a host of perks, from quieter activities to better availability for your accommodation, whether that be a hotel or selecting from our range of child friendly cottages. Cornwall this time of the year has a range of things for all you all to enjoy, for adults to children alike. Check out our guide on what to do over the coming months and see if it’s the place for you this winter!
The National Maritime Museum
Nowhere in Cornwall is further than 17 miles from the sea, and what better way to celebrate the wonders of the ocean than visiting the National Maritime Museum. Head on down to Discovery Quay for a wonderful day out for all the family. Since its opening in 2003, the independent museum fused the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and the former Cornwall Maritime museum together to celebrate the outstanding influence of the sea.
The perfect place to spend a rainy day, explore the five floors of interactive exhibitions. Until 7th January, discover the history of tattoos in the Tattoo: British Art Revealed exhibition, or remember the notable West Countryman, Captain Bligh, on the 200th anniversary of his death at the Captain Bligh: Myth, Man and Mutiny exhibition.
Cornish Seal Sanctuary
With over 55 years experience in seal rescue, rehabilitation and release, a visit to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary should be on the cards this winter! Set in 42 acres of land, the park is home to 29 different animals, from sea lions and penguins to otters. The perfect location for your family-friendly day out, take a stroll through the woodland area, providing breathtaking views out over the Helford River, before pausing for a bite to eat at the café.
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm
Try something different on your next visit to Cornwall with a trip to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm. With free entry to the site, join in on a guided tour around the family-run farm, sampling their traditional farm house cyders and fruit wines. Learn about the process involved behind making the beverages, exploring the press house, jam factory, museum and distillery, amongst other locations. This winter, enjoy the most of the offers available including the chance to enjoy a traditional Cornish Cream Tea.
Spend a day at the most westerly point England while marvelling in the natural beauty that Cornwall has to offer. With a host of activities to entertain you and your family, take a wander along the outstanding coastal paths before learning about the famous journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats and the modes of transport that would be used to take you there.
This year, kids will enjoy visiting the Shaun the Sheep Experience, which introduces the whole family to his wonderful world. Or, for those of you with slightly older children, why not explore Greeb Farm, where you can meet the friendly animals that reside there?
Have you ever booked a holiday to Cornwall during the winter? If so, we would love to hear about the experience, so reach out to us on our social channels to let us know what your favourite part about visiting off-peak was!
National Maritime Museum in Summer
August 10th, 2018
With most of Cornwall surrounded by the sea, it is no surprise that the National Maritime Museum finds itself in Falmouth, home to one of the deepest natural harbours in the world. This summer, the museum is putting on a full spread of family fun, from educational exhibits to exciting play zones. We take a look at what’s on offer.
One of the must-see events on at the National Maritime Museum this summer is the Titanic Stories exhibition, which, as the name may suggest, takes a look at some of the stories surrounding the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Exploring the myths, controversies and tales of the time, the exhibition sees a collection of items from private collectors and other museums put together in an impressive display. Coming together as a retelling of the historical event, you’ll also get to read some incredible stories of survivors, victims and the families of those on the impressive ship.
Some items in the collection include photographs belonging to passengers aboard the ship, passenger lists and belongings, as well as one of the iconic costumes worn by Kate Winslet in the 1997 classic cinematic adaptation of the disaster. As part of the installation, artists have been commissioned to recreate a life-size replica of one of the lifeboats, as well as produce a recreation of the iceberg! The impressive iceberg sculpture is put together with 2208 monkey’s fish knots, which represents the number of passengers on the ship.
The Titanic Stories exhibition will continue running until the end of the year, so if you can’t make it over to the National Maritime Museum this summer, there’s still time to see it all!
While the kids may have broken up for school for the summer, Pirate School continues throughout August, giving the little ones a lesson in Buccaneering! Find out what it takes to be a pirate with the fun school sessions running Monday to Friday, four times a day, then join in the crafty make and take tables to create your own pirate cutlass, hook, parrot and a treasure chest to stash all your loot away in! Pirate School will teach you how to load a cannon, find your way around a ship and a few sea shanties to entertain you on your travels across the ocean. Once you’re all geared up and certified as a pirate, head off on the Pirate Parrot Treasure Trail and find the missing treasure!
Treasure Island Play Zone
Fun for all ages can be found at the Treasure Island Play Zone, if ye be brave enough to pass the Pirates! All sorts of fun and games can be found. Solve the treasure map maze, attempt to pin the buckle on the pirate, beat the giant magnetic picture puzzle and – if you dare – walk the plank!
The National Maritime Museum is only a short drive away from our luxury Cornish cottages, so if you want to see all that Falmouth has to offer, come and stay at The Valley for an incredible holiday away in Cornwall!