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Autumn and Winter Family Holidays in Cornwall

Posted on: 16th July 2020

  • Own deserted beaches: stone skimming, rock-pooling, wild art, rock targets and – brrrr – sea swimming
  • Sealife safaris – dolphin and seal spotting
  • Lanhydrock and Camel cycle trails
  • Kayaking, SUP and surf lessons
  • Family friendly walks with sea, moors and stepping stones
  • Learn about ancient Cornwall
  • Go crabbing
  • Visit three Cornish Giants
  • Find the best hot chocolate at cosy, child-friendly cafes

2020. It’s been a Coronacoaster.  Family holiday arrangements lie in decay and disarray.  If you are anything like us, family diary plans are heartening and bolster morale.  It’s a staycation type of year and Cornwall offers milder autumns and winters (thanks to its maritime climate) as well as fresh air, socially distant space and new experiences.  We have LOTS of ideas to fill your autumn and winter holidays with:

Own a beach

The exact number of Cornish beaches is a matter of some dispute, but it’s more than 300 and less than 400.  October through to June, you can have one all to yourself.  Maybe a craggy cove like Palace or Parsons on the South Coast, or a majestic, sweeping stretch of sand like Crantock, Trevone or Porthcothan.  There’s nothing like untamed sea, the roar of waves and making the first footprints on fresh sand to bring peace and perspective to any situation. Timeless family activities including rock-pooling,  beach targets, wild art and stone skimming are ESSENTIAL!  Maximise the family-friendly quotient with a creamy hot chocolate in a family-friendly cafe or increase the detox with a wild swim.  Take a look at our top winter beach picks here.

Go dolphin and seal spotting

Cornwall is blessed with terrific wildlife spotting opportunities.  Take a Sealife Safari from Padstow harbour to stand an excellent chance of seeing dolphins and grey seals at any time of year.  our tip is to go on a day with low winds if you have younger children.  The RIB boat ride is amazing but can be a little too exhilarating with really young children.  Good alternatives would be seal-spotting at Godrevy or visiting the Gweek seal sanctuary, which offers the opportunity to see rescued seals and learn about their conservation.Lanhydrock and Camel cycle trails

Enjoy graded mountain bike trails at the National Trust’s Cycle Hub at Lanhydrock, just ten minutes drive from Tredethick.  The hub, with excellent cafe and loo facilities, also have a balance bike skills area to hone early bike handling skills.  The Camel Trail is a family-friendly cycle track stretching from Bodmin through to Padstow.  We love a family bike ride! Take a look at our guide to taking a young family on the Camel Trail and visiting Lanhydrock bike trails. Don’t forget our balance bike track at Tredethick too, it’s a perfect opportunity to improve balance and biking confidence in a traffic free environment.

Kayaking, SUPing and surfing

These aren’t just summer sports. Encounter Cornwall has plenty of winter weather gear to keep little (and big) hands warm and dry when kayaking.  It’s guided kayak trips are suitable for families with children aged three and above. Polkerris Beach offers SUP lessons and hire, just 20 minutes from Tredethick.   Or head to the north coast for surf lessons or SUP safaris at the Extreme Sports Academy at Watergate Bay.  SUP and surf lessons are suitable for adults or children aged eight up.

Family friendly walks with sea, moors and stepping stones!

We’d challenge you to find more beautiful walks!  The South West Coastal Path can be broken into manageable chunks and has some stretches suitable for baby carriers if not buggies.  Take a look at Rock to Polzeath, for example, and reward your walking crew with a trip to the Cracking Crab.  You can find full details here. Explore the Saints Way, an ancient pilgrimage route with traverses from South to North Cornwall, or stay closer to the farm: grab a coffee from Lerryn River stores and wander across the stepping stones into Ethy Wood. It’s just five minutes drive from the farm, and we’ve never known a family walk yet that isn’t improved by stepping stones!

Learn about ancient Cornwall

Much of Bodmin Moor has open access status, so you can walk freely within designated areas.  It’s an amazing landscape dotted with history from disused 18th century mine workings to rate Neolithic quoits and ancient stone circles.  Close by there’s Dozmary Pool, where King Arthur’s Lady of the Lake is reputed to dwell and the beautiful, buggy-friendly Golitha Falls.

Go crabbing!

It’s a quirky, timeless British past-time.  Here’s our guide to local crabbing and do watch this brilliant video on how to crab with Colin the Crab to ensure that crabs don’t suffer any unintentional harm and to stop them becoming too stressed.  Anecdotally, locals report the crabs are missing their regular bacon bait this year!   Have a go, it’s the stuff childhood is made of.

Visit Three Cornish Giants

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, the Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount are Cornish icons and need our support through this days.  Heligan and Eden are less than 30 mins drive from Tredethick and offer well-regulated, fascinating family days out.  St Michael’s Mount is a little further, but well worth the trip.  Don’t forget to check the tides so you can walk around the cobbles from island to shore.

Find the best hot chocolate

Funnily enough, this is ALWAYS popular with children!   Cornwall will give you a good run for your money.  It could be a good opportunity to bring along Uno or backgammon, or to curl up with a book as you sample and savour.  Check out offerings at the Beach Hut, Watergate Bay and the C-Bay, Crantock .  Or go all out and treat the kids to pancakes at the Blue Tomato in Rock.

That’s a full itinerary even before  we look at your family-friendly, all-weather options at Tredethick:

Also, we have soft play and play barn facilities, we will adapt these to work better for families in the current environment over the next few months.

Five of our cosy cottages have log burners so there’s a hugge-filled home for  your woolly socks at the end of each day


Posted in Activities they will love, Christmas, Easter, Royal Cornwall Show...