First time to Cornwall - some Q's and tips welcome.(30 Posts)
Where in Cornwall are you staying?
In my experience your more likely to run into traffic issues on the A30 at around that time as most people set off with the same idea! Personally we have always just cracked on with the journey and arrived at our destination in Cornwall and then gone for breakfast.
I know it makes for a long old trip but take some snacks and just get it over with would be my opinion. If you stop for breakfast after Bristol all the traffic you left early to beat will just catch up on you on the A30!
Actually I completely forgot that last year we set off the evening before and had pre booked a £29 family room at travelodge at Taunton. Then we got up and left very early the next morning and was eating breakfast by the sea by 9am.
ohmaigawash. The traffic. Not even holiday season with the English schools, and, honesty, after a week, we bailed for the Jurassic coast. The traffic. Astonishing. Such little weeny roads. And, so many big old vans. Wasn't like that 30 years ago, back when I was a lad, must drive the locals bonkers. <wiht apologies from a grockle. Failed>
eden is huge, you could dash in and out of the biomes in half a day but you'd miss the rest of the site. You can convert your ticket to an annual pass and return later in the week though.
Thursday traffic isn't too bad. It's the Friday traffic that is a nightmare.
Where in Cornwall are you going? There are slightly different routes in depending on your destination.
There are endless places to go, but it depends how much time you want to spend in the car. Cornish miles can be long. Tis beautiful.
Eden is quite a long way out of the way for Tintagel. If you can't check in until 4, after a long drive, I would just take the kids out to the beach or a walk along the cliff paths to let off some steam. Or even up to Tintagel itself. Once you've factored in lunch, it's not actually that much time. There are some lovely pasty shops in Tintagel. Thursday is quite a good day to travel down as most places do changeover on a Sat. We always stop for breakfast at Tesco in Exeter (come off motorway at junction marked services, then carry on past them, follow signs for superstore.) You can get a huge breakfast there for a few quid, we usually do our holiday food shop there at the same time. In terms of things to do, my kids always love Lappa Valley Railway nr Newquay. Gweek Seal Sanctuary can be fun but quite a long way from you. There's a nice Lido in Bude, crab fishing at Padstow harbour is fun, as are some of the boat trips (we like the Jubilee Queen). Apart from that, we go from beach to beach the whole time!
And yes to a big map. The back roads are like a labyrinth! You, presumably, will only be going on the A30 as far as Launceston so should be fine, it's the section down towards Bodmin that usually gets blocked up, ime.
Loads of gorgeous beaches for swimming, surfing and rock pooling. Good ones around Newquay are tolcarne, crantock (which is in a beautiful village). Fistral bay is a famous surfing beach - check out theHeadland hotel (shabby chique)on the north side for a cream tea or Bodhis on the south side for divine fresh meals in a cool setting or the lewanick lodge (bar and restaurant) up on the cliff tips for view over the sea. Polly joke is a 'secret' beach and is above shortish walk from a car park of the Bowgie inn pub - beautiful walk and exciting beach. Polzeath is nearish tintagel and is a great family beach - great for a day on the beach. Good surfing. It's quite a 'naice' posh place with good food and shops. It may be too far but we sometimes go to carbis bay (another gorgeous beach) and catch the train to st ives and there's a beach cafe there which does gosh n chips. St eves is anothe v pretty village.
If you are coming off at Launceston you should be fine it snags up aroubd temple plus they have road works there too. Eden is about 45mins from Tintagel if the weather is nice it would be better to head into Tintagel or Boscastle, maybe Trebarwith and have a mooch round and a pasty. Lovey places slong north coast Port Issac, Padstow, Bude etc all within an hours drive or if you fancy heading south Mevagissy,Fowey, Looe etc are nice. Loads of stunning places down West too, depends how much dribing you want to do.
Ooh Tintagel. I live a couple of villages away. It's a lovely part of the world.
From my mums in London I always do m25, m3, a303. Although I appreciate that's a different starting place.
The only way to even begin to avoid holiday traffic is to travel in the dead of night.
How old are your children and I'll think of all the places we go, in and out of season. My dc are 5 and 8.
As for beaches round here, Crackington is small and beautiful and good for surfing. Widemouth at the top of Bude is awesome. Bude itself has a lovely stretch of beach, plus a sea pool.
Also, Trebarwith Strand is a favourite place, very wild and if you catch the tide right there are a few caves in the cliffs.
Anyway, there's tons of stuff I can tell you about so let me know what you need!!
It's been a while since we were there. Last time we came across some Victorian gardens just a bit further along from where you're staying. The kids with us loved it as the entire garden is a maze with secrets hidden throughout. Really nice.
The castle there is really nice, but it's a bit of a walk from the car park.
Tintagel is lovely.
Watch out for the Scientologists at Camelot Castle Hotel.
Hold on to your pasties when the seagulls are about.
Boscastle is definitely worth a visit. I would look for Roskillys ice cream and you won't be disappointed!
I wouldn't attempt to visit Eden in half a day. Better to allow a full day as there is lots to see if you have not been before.
Watch the waves from the Port William pub at Trebarwith.
Hidden Valley is near Launceston and a good day out for kids. Crystal Maze style challenges.
Swim at Port Quin. Sheltered inlet.
St Nectan's Glen also worth a visit.
We've just been for a Crealy day today (the Cornwall one of course). It's a smallish theme park but quite good for your age group. Whale of a time had by all today as the weather was so sunny. I think most people must've been at the beach as it wasn't too busy.
Yes, Hidden Valley is excellent. I'm personally not that keen on Trethorne nearby.
Oh, Trevathan Farm is fab for strawberry picking plus it has a much improved play area.
The Boscastle Farm shop on the top road out of Crackington towards Boscastle is lovely. Great food.
And if you're considering Eden (and for me, where we live, it's a right fag to get there so only go if there's something amazing on), google the Lost Gardens of Heligan. A Tim Smit project ages before Eden IIRC. it's totally beautiful, and poignant. I much prefer it, less hype. Although a totally different concept to be fair.
Of course, Lanhydrock House is great. Sometimes on sunny days we just go and get lost in the gardens, take a picnic, run off into the woods. Don't go near the house.
Talking of woods, Cardinham Woods is another great place, woodland walks and cycle paths.
More will come to me, I'll be back.
chocolatelime do you live down here?
As for pasties, try Andrea's pasties (and amazing cakes) at the Cabin in Crackington. Their home made pickle is wunderbar.
We're just back from 2 weeks in crackington haven. Kids' had a whale of a time! We did a day walking the coastal path, well took 6hrs from CHaven to just before wide mouth bay. Nervous about the cliffs but the boys (8 and almost 5) listened very well, and we're careful. Am amazed they did it actually as normally whine for a carry after about 10mins in the city.
Enjoyed schlepping around padstow, went to the lobster conservation place on the wharf, cute and fast with interesting info and teeny baby lobsters. Also took the walk the other side of the port I the beach, boys had a lovely time playing there. Spent another great afternoon on Newquay beach. If you like fresh seafood look for a little place called amity, one girl band, awesome lobster rolls, fresh oysters etc. she serves what comes in off the boats that day.
Had a nice lunch in Truro at SAMs (?) bistro. Again for me highlight was seafood. That was on the way back from lands end (just went to say we'd been tbh, can't recommend it)
Otherwise we kicked around on the beach in rock pools, tried a bit of fishing (no joy) but we felt so relaxed and the boys so happy they didn't want to leave UK, we've been scheming how we can buy a place in Cornwall (not very likely)
...there is also a sea pool to swim in at bude. I meant to go visit it but forgot in the end
....sorry, re Eden project, we went on the way back to London at the end of holiday and intended a quick 2hrs as was supposed to meet my brother, but you wouldn't want less than 5hrs there. Really interesting, if your DC like dinosaurs they have model Dino's in the garden this month, not sure from when exactly.
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