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St. Ives with toddlers...help!(19 Posts)
After posting this in, I think the wrong place! I will try my luck here.
We will be based in St. Ives for a week next month with our 2 DC under 3.
Is there anywhere we should go there or in the surrounding areas?
I think a trip to Mousehole and Lands End is on the cards.
Anywhere else? Anything/ anywhere really child friendly or of interest?
I'm thinking of mainly day trips and I'll bring packed lunches?
This is our first trip away with both of them I really want to have a good time and not be too stressed!
We don't really know the area so any recommendations would be very welcome.
there are loads of places with small ones. go to Newquay for the zoo, aquarium and water park. Lands End is a bit of a rip off unless your kids like Dr Who. go to st michaels mount, national trust places are all brilliant and really child friendly with trails etc to do. there are also theme parks like Flambards, Woodlands and Crealy as well as the Big Sheep further north. would not recommend the tate great for adults my kids hated it and it went out of its way to be as unchild friendly as possible. there are some brilliant beaches but would avoid Newquay beach.
Paradise Park near Hayle, a boat trip if you can keep hold of them to see the seals, watch the life boats come out in the port, watch the boats and just play in the sand if the weather is good.
Sennen Cove is a lovely beach and not too far from there (turn right just before Lands End)
If the weather is nice you won't leave the beach as they'll be very happy there - other than to get ice cream
You have chosen a fantastic place to go with small children. A trip on the St Ives Bay branch line is a MUST! It is a beautiful journey and the children will love it! I'd recommend using the branch line to go to Carbis Bay, and making the most of the fantastic beach there. Carbis Bay beach does not get anywhere near as busy as the beaches in St Ives, the sand is soft and the ocean (usually) calm and clear. Toilet facilites and shop / cafe available.
Days out would definately include Paradise Park at Hayle. If you go on a hot day, go in the morning when everyone else is at the beach, and you will be in with a chance of feeding the penguins (and stroking them / photos after if children would like!). Make sure you check out the times for feeding the farm animals too. Paradise Park is also good on a wet day as they have a soft play centre attached to it. Take a picnic and stay all day! Hayle is only 5 minute drive from St Ives (traffic permitting).
I'd also recommend going to the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek (about 45 mins) away. I think your children are a bit too young for Flambards - save it for another time.
Mousehole is a very pretty place. Make sure you get the book 'Mousehole Cat' for the children. If you buy it beforehand you can go on search of it!
Lands End is also good - although you will need to wrap up warm as it does get windy! There are things for the little ones to do there. You pay to park and only pay for the activities you want . There is a play park there with lifeboats etc. that are free, take a picnic and it could be a cheap day/half day out. Sennen Cove is a lovely - you could spend half a day on the beach there and then go to Lands End (very close).
St Michael's Mount is also fantastic, getting the boat to the island is a great experience, but there are a lot of steps to climb when you get there so depends how your children will cope with them.
When in St Ives (especially around the quayside) look out for the seals - they usually show their faces when the fisherman are coming home!
Also go to Gwithian and walk along the cliff tops - there are usually families of seals to be seen.
Have ice creams in MooMaids of Zennor and eat inside. Beware of the seagulls - don't let the children eat outside unless they are under some kind of shelter (beach tent, brolly, overhead wires all ok) - the seagulls swoop down and steal food ... and don't let the children feed them their chips - it only encourages them to steal more food later on .... and they can be vicious!
There is loads of stuff for little ones to do .... a week won't be long enough!
Loulou4- I cannot thank you enough! Our week is sorted! The chance to see seals and go on a train may blow our DS1's toddler mind!
Thank you for getting me excited instead of stressed about our holiday.
To be honest I wouldn't bother with Newquay as there is so much to do it the immediate area. I wasn't that impressed by Lands End but we went just to say we had been.
If you fancy a day trip my favourite place in the world is Porthcurno. But to be fair the beaches in St Ives are fantastic and you may not want to spend precious holiday time driving with toddlers.
St Michaels mount is a must. There is a good swing park right on the beach at Marazion too.
Oh I second the play place at Marazion, and it is free
Porthcurno is lovely, the Minack theatre above the beach does special performances for small kids.
Beware of Sennen cove, they have a problem with the sewage outlet........
seebuckthorn - there are loads of seals in st ives - they are pretty switched on and know when the fishermen are coming home and often pop up for a photo shoot!! but if you are really lucky you may also spot the dophins - we saw two in the bay just before Easter ! what a delight that was ...
Would also recommend the open top bus around Lands' End peninsula - my 3 yr old still talks about it regularly a year on - I think it goes from St Ives to Penzance. St Ives branch line is great, as the others have said. We also love Paradise Park (they have an indoor picnic area - which I haven't seen in many places and which is very helpful! - we do a quick trip into Hayle to pick up Philps pasties - best in Cornwall in my view). With a week I wouldn't bother going as far as Newquay personally, but the zoo there is great for little kids.
Have a great time!
Yes to Paradise park, the train to Carbis bay. I like Sennen, not as busy as St Ives.
However, the walk down from the top carpark is quite "interesting" with toddlers.
Mousehole is sweet.
The Mount is great if you can time it so you take the boat one way and walk the other. My 10yo was very taken with sailing back over where she'd been able to walk.
There is a swimming pool in Falmouth if it just pours.
Goodrevy, beach and rocks to scramble on. Beautiful views you can see from the car, so you can picnic on a cold day. Beautiful walk along the cliffs. Some very near the edge so you need big wheeled buggy or reins, but then you can go in land and find the trig point and the DC can run about.
Seals, fulmars and lovely ponies along there if you are lucky, wild flowers, heather and miles of yellow gorse.
Belongs to the national trust so you have to pay to park, but is one of my all time fav. places. Good to run around on non beach days, has a cafe I've never been to and icecream van which I have been to a lot
The cafe is used a lot by surfers and they are fun to watch and again are often out on pretty wild days.
St Ives is about 45 mins from Newquay, where just inland (near Trerice) is a boy toddler heaven place called Lappa Valley. There are three miniature railways, crazy golf, canoes, a huuuge tunnel slide, a climbing frame castle, sand pit and sit-on diggers, playgrounds, a maze, picnic areas... we're going to be staying in the nearby village for the second year in a row this year because we have a boy preschooler...
forgot about Lappa Valley - brilliant for toddlers. Godrevy Cafe is very nice and friendly and does good cakes. Swimming pool in Falmouth is 1:1 ratio for under 5s (bane of my life!), Carn Brea near Redruth has a good kids pool and is 1:2 if that matters to you.
I would suggest you have a look at the following app that's available which has lots of beaches on it throughout Devon and Cornwall. Includes directions how to get there and lots of other info. Westcountry Beaches
There is the most amazing place to have a yummy afternoon tea - at St Michael's mount - it's just off the road, and it's called Seagrove Gallery - somekind of art gallery.. but, they have tables outside and inside - and serve afternoon tea. We sat outside, and looked over the road to the mount.. lovely!
Sennen cove beach was lovely... despite the bad weather. Car parking reasonable.
lands end - disappointing really £5 to drive in and park... very over commercialised.. but lovely views - and photo of you and the 'signpost' saying your family name on it - was £12 i think (got a pretty snotty look from the photographer, why i tried to take a photo of it! lol!) the playground was great there - and the real lifeboat - and the icecreams were great... so, actually, really worth the £5
st ives - was lovely, cobbly lanes with shops on and the pretty harbour. we had lunch at pizza express (to hide from the elements!) really child friendly - and had lovely views of the harbour
we went in april - and had 3 kids in tow! 2 of them having sickness bugs... poor things. but, the secret is, be prepared:-
1. if you're staying in a cottage/house.... go online (we used asda.com) and order your weekly food to your cottage - bloody marvellous!!!!!
2. pack winter clothing and summer stuff, (we left our winter stuff at home and freezed! but, there was a good charity shop in st ives!)
3. most days, we had a lazy morning - and had lunch at home, then headed out for the day
Despite the appalling weather - we had the best time! And, we're desperate to go back again.
We stayed in St Just - which was perfectly situated.
Have fun! x
There are plenty of old threads on here with suggestions for good places to stop en route on the journey. Avoid the pubs in exeter, loads of traffic especially on football match days.
we did Tesco online for grocery shopping.
I know I am a little bit late to this, but vickles the seagrove gallery opposite St Michael's Mount you mentioned for afternoon tea, which is lovely by the way, has 2 holiday apartments above it owned by the same people marazion
we have stayed there a few times now, in both apartments, always lovely and clean and beautiful views, the 2 bed apartment has a window above the kitchen sink which looks straight out over St Michael's Mount, only time I've quite enjoyed washing up