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If you're dreaming of surf, sand and seafood, fret no longer - this is the guide you've been looking for. We've pulled together a stunning line up of hotels, cottages and holiday parks to bring you the best family-friendly places to stay in Cornwall.
Blessed with beautiful beaches, quaint harbour towns and a full roster of attractions for kids of all ages, Cornwall has a little something for everyone to enjoy, which is why Mumsnetters rate the county as one of the best destinations for a UK family holiday.
We've scoured the forums for top tips so you can hotfoot it to the southwest safe in the knowledge that the recommendations below have been tried and tested by real parents.
Best family hotels in Cornwall at a glance
Editor's picks: GLAMPING HOLIDAYS IN CORNWALL WITH FEATHER DOWN FARMS
Treganhoe Farm, Penzance
A sheep and pig farm stay near sandy beaches with a campfire area, pizza oven and animal feeding.
From £150 per night.
Gwel Teg Farm, Looe
An idyllic dairy farm with meadow views, hot tubs, farm tours and a playground.
From £150 per night.
1. Bedruthan Hotel & Spa, Newquay
Bedruthan Hotel & Spa | Check availability
"I second Bedruthan Hotel. It's lovely. Mawgan Porth is just perfect" - recommended by Mumsnet user, HemanOrSheRa
"Have a look at Bedruthan Steps. Gorgeous place and family friendly" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, SilverHairedCat
If you're looking for some well earned R&R, the Bedruthan Hotel & Spa offers luxury spa treatments, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, a thermal suite, and breathtaking views. It's completely geared up for families, too – with family suites, kids' clubs and indoor and outdoor play areas. You'll even get one evening of babysitting per stay if you book a baby and toddler package. That's in addition to complimentary use of all the hotel's baby and toddler hire equipment – you just need to tell them what you'll need when you book.
Situated in one of the best places to stay in Cornwall for families, Bedruthen Hotel offers easy access to Newquay's beautiful beaches. From the iconic Fistral Beach to the stunning Lusty Glaze Beach, you'll find white sands and surfing opportunities aplenty.
Nearest train station: Newquay (6 miles)
Read next: The best family-friendly hotels in Devon
2. Sands Resort Hotel, Newquay
Sands Resort Hotel | Check availability
"The activities laid on for the children were really, really good, we didn’t run out of things to do. There were daily arts & crafts, the swimming was pre-bookable (inside & outside pools) there was mini crazy golf, an indoor funfair which was amazing, the list was endless" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, BelterDelta
Sands Resort Hotel in Newquay is highly recommended by Mumsnetters. With picturesque sea views, it's a five-minute walk from Mawgan Porth beach, and a 10-minute drive from Newquay Zoo, Blue Reef Aquarium and Dairyland Farmworld. The Eden Project is just 35 minutes away by car. On top of that, the hotel offers lots of family fun such as kids' clubs, two swimming pools, free activities like tennis and mini-golf, buffet breakfast and children's menu, and – just for you – an on-site spa.
For Daphne du Maurier fans, the real-life Jamaica Inn is a must-see, as is the Smugglers Museum. Newquay also features a zoo and an aquarium, as well as an adventure park and an immersive, pirate-themed experience. What more could you ask for?
Nearest train station: Newquay (2 miles)
3. Rick Stein's Cafe, Padstow
Rick Steins Cafe | Check availability
"Both the cafe and the fish bar are fabulous. DH and I took our DTDs to Padstow for a holiday two summers ago, when they were two and a bit, and we ate in both. We had a great lunch in the cafe- service was excellent and the childrens' menu was perfect (both DTs had fish goujons and french fries, and ate very well) and DH and I had "proper" food" - recommended by Mumsnet user, EvilTwins
The quaint little harbour town of Padstow is heaven for foodies, and the famous Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant is its crowning jewel (honestly, you've never had fish and chips like it). Beyond the pretty boats and golden beaches, you'll find peaceful coves and beautiful walks, and plenty of outdoorsy activities for the more adventurous. Spend an afternoon learning to surf, taking the kids rockpooling, or – during the summer months – day-tripping in a local fisherman's boat.
Excitingly, you can also stay at Rick Stein's Café. The hotel welcomes children and pets, providing cots and children's beds on request. It's located right in the heart of Padstow too, and provides a 24-hour room drinks service, a 10% discount at all Rick Stein establishments, priority booking at his restaurants, and – of course – some of the best food Cornwall has to offer. Sweet added touches, like the homemade cookies and hamper you'll find in your room, make the experience extra special.
4. Shark Fin Cottage, Sennen
Shark Fin Cottage | Check availability
"I’ve stayed at Shark Fin Cottage in Sennen. A beautiful place and very modern" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Angelf1sh
Located on headland at Mayon Cove in the village of Sennen in southwestern Cornwall, Shark Fin Cottage is a gorgeous property with stunning sea views. The modern cottage sleeps up to up to six and features a wood burning stove, floor-to-ceiling windows, a contemporary kitchen and a utility room. From the huge deck and landscaped gardens you can take in views of Sennen, Land's End and the Isles of Scilly. There are cots and highchairs for kids and you're within easy reach of a restaurant, cafe, local pub and tea rooms. The area is a popular spot for surfers and the Minack Theatre and Land's End are both nearby.
Nearest train station: Penzance (10 miles)
5. Fowey Hall Hotel, Fowey
Fowey Hall Hotel | Check availability
"Fowey Hall is the most wonderful hotel, we absolutely adored it. It's like being in a country house hotel, as you relax with your paper by the open fire. I'd definitely recommend it" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, thinkingabout3
In pretty Fowey you'll find a picturesque harbour, historic 14-century blockhouses, and vistas so beautiful the area has been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You'll see kayaks and cruise ships pass by while you're enjoying the town's quaint shops and eateries.
If you're after a luxury family holiday in Cornwall, Fowey Hall really delivers. A listed building, it's set on a hill high above the port – and, fun fact, is said to have inspired Toad Hall. Deliciously opulent, it's a mere 15 minutes from the beach, where you can take buckets, spades, nets and crabbing lines, all provided by the hotel. It also provides a lot in the way of children's entertainment – with a two-hour complimentary session per day in the (Ofsted-registered) crèche. The gourmet cuisine and spa, meanwhile, are the cherries on top.
Nearest train station: Par (4.5 miles)
6. Daisy Cottage, Perranporth
Daisy Cottage | Check availability
"I love Perranporth, it has a beautiful big beach and pub actually on it which is great to sit outside and watch the sunsets.There are plenty of lovely beaches nearby too such as Holywell Bay and Porth Joke which is usually quiet as you have to park and walk to it" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Gertie75
Sleeping up to four in two bedrooms, Daisy Cottage is a converted farm building a few minutes from the seaside town of Perranporth where the family can enjoy three miles of golden sands backed by dunes. The cottage offers open-plan living with a kitchen and a laundry room and there's a patio area and a lawn with garden furniture for sunny alfresco meals.
Nearest train station: Newquay (9 miles)
7. Pedn Olva Hotel, St Ives
Pedn Olva Hotel | Check availability
"Pedn Olva is bloody lovely and worth a look" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Wrongkindofovercoat
Ah, St Ives. A maze of cobbled streets and fisherman's homes, it's been voted the best UK family holiday destination by Coast magazine. For good reason, too – there's lots to do and see, including the Tate Gallery, the award-winning Porthgwidden Beach, the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden, and animal sanctuary Paradise Park, a 15-minute drive away. You can also whisk the family away on a boat ride to Seal Island, where you can see – you guessed it – seals.
If ocean views are what you're after, ocean views are what you'll get at the Pedn Olva Hotel. Perched on St Ives Harbour Beach, the hotel offers some of the most glorious vistas Cornwall has to offer, and is just a 10-minute walk from the town centre. Stylish and contemporary, Pedn Olva has family rooms available, as well as cots and highchairs on request. There's a children's menu too, and breakfast is included.
Nearest train station: St Ives (1 mile)
8. Tregenna Castle Resort, St Ives
Tregenna Castle Resort | Check availability
"I would highly recommend Tregenna Castle Hotel...it is situated just above Porthminster beach and is a 5-min stroll down hill into the centre of St Ives. We are going back for the 3rd time this Christmas. We stay in the beautiful self catering cottages in the grounds of the hotel (amongst the woods, golf course, tennis courts, gardens etc)... and get to use all of the hotel facilities for free" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, knakered
Why not stay in an actual castle? Overlooking St Ives, Tregenna Castle Resort is rated highly by families. Set in 72 acres of private grounds, the impressive hotel is surrounded by woodland walks and picture-perfect gardens, just waiting to be explored. All the food is made using local ingredients, and there are both indoor and outdoor pools on the premises, as well as an outdoor play area, family rooms, soundproof rooms if you have a baby in tow, and a babysitting service, too.
Nearest train station: St Ives (1 mile)
9. Towan Valley Holiday Park, St Agnes
Towan Valley Holiday Park | Check availability
"Near there is St Agnes, not so beachy (beaches nearby) more upmarket (yuk, hate that word...but you know what I mean?) shops - little crafty shops and galleries etc - some nice restaurants and pubs ( great sunday roast!)" - recommended by Mumsnet user, JessaJam
Hoping for more of a rural affair? Situated on Cornwall's north coast, St Agnes (or Aggie as it's otherwise known), is a picture-perfect village rich in history. There are plenty of family- and dog-friendly beaches to enjoy nearby, as well as spectacular coastal views, independent shops to dip in and out of, and mouthwatering, locally-sourced cuisine.
A holiday park is a good shout if the whole family is coming along, and Towan Valley – just a short walk from Porthtowan Beach – has everything you need. With a rustic, lodge-style exterior and relaxed country vibe inside, its timber cottages are spacious, bright, and built with families in mind. Most cottages are pet-friendly, and several include a hot tub to relax in after a day in the sand.
Nearest train station: Truro (8 miles)
10. Wrens Nook, St Agnes
Wrens Nook | Check availability
Wrens Nook is another cottage you'll want to consider. A Grade II-listed property just a mile from the beach, the village's shops, restaurants and bars are within easy reach. With access to your own garden, there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the cottage's verdant surroundings.
11. The Loft House, Mousehole
The Loft House | Check availability
"Mousehole is lovely. Nice beach nearby at Porthcurno. The village itself has a few shops and pubs. Close enough to Sennan Cove, St Ives, Lands End to visit, also St Michaels Mount. We liked the telegaph museum place at Porthcurno - it was a good few years since we were there" - recommended by Mumsnet user, NicoAndTheNiners
Famous the world over (we know it from The Mousehole Cat), Dylan Thomas called this village the loveliest in England. History and myth swirl around the port – telling tales of giants, hermits, a Spanish sacking, and a name no one knows the origins of. Huddled cottages and rocky coastal paths make up Mousehole, as do little shops, bright galleries, and a windy harbour. And before you go, don't forget to look up how to pronounce the place – not as easy as it might seem, as the Mumsnet Pedants can attest (FYI: it's 'mowzel').
Just 'moments from Mousehole's beautiful harbour', The Loft House is set over three floors, and is full of rustic features. We're talking exposed beams, stained glass and restored furniture begging to be posted on Instagram grids.
12. Oaken Cottage, Mousehole
Oaken Cottage | Check availability
Another lovely property just metres from the harbour and beach, Oaken Cottage is a former fisherman's cottage and comes with a cosy electric burner, a travel cot, a highchair, and all the mod-cons to make you feel right at home. It's a short walk from Mousehole so it's easy to explore the town's galleries, cafes, shops and restaurants. Penzance, Land's End and the Minack Theatre are all within easy reach.
Nearest train station: Penzance (3.5 miles)
13. The Sandy Duck, Falmouth
The Sandy Duck | Check availability
"From Falmouth you have good access to the Lizard Peninsula, and also across the King Harry Ferry to the Roseland Peninsula. Both of which are beautiful. If you are NT members Glendurgan is another garden option" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Springchickpea
Did you know that Falmouth was one of the Sunday Times Great Places to Live in 2018? That tells you a lot about this pretty port town. Because it's a university town, there's plenty going on, and lots to see and do. Explore Pendennis Castle or the National Maritime Museum on a cloudy day, or head to the award-winning Gyllngvase beach when the sun's out.
With warm interiors and bright rooms, The Sandy Duck offers stunning sea views if you're angled the right way. Child-friendly, this bed and breakfast is just shy of two miles from the castle, and provides flat-screen TVs, free WiFi and parking, and an extremely tasty continental breakfast.
Nearest train station: Falmouth (0.6 miles)
15. Rachel's Lodge, Truro
Rachel's Lodge | Check availability
"Truro has the beaches to the north which are as good as St ives but less crowded, but also has beaches (and, as mentioned above, gardens) to the south as well" - recommended by Mumsnet user, melezka
If cobbled streets and impressive cathedrals are your thing, Truro could be the Cornish destination for you. A real cultural hub, it's brimming with art galleries and live music. There's the Royal Cornwall Museum too, as well as sailing tours on the river Fal, plenty of walks and cycle routes, and the stunning Enys Gardens to explore.
A 10-minute drive from Truro, Rachel's Lodge sleeps up to six in three bedrooms and sits within the Carnon Downs Caravan and Motorhome site where there are landscaped gardens, a children's play area and a cafe. It's within walking distance of the River Fal and you can explore the nearby hamlets of Penpol and Devoran. The Eden Project and St Austell are a short drive away.
Nearest train station: Truro (4 miles)
16. Moonrakers Cottage, Truro
Moonrakers cottage | Check availability
If you'd like an even more rural escape, Moonrakers cottage is situated in the quiet village of Ruan Lanihorne, which just happens to be an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the cottage is equipped with superfast broadband, a highchair (on request), and a decked terrace complete with garden furniture and a BBQ.
Nearest train station: Truro (10 miles)
17. Camelot Castle Hotel, Tintagel
Camelot Castle Hotel | Check availability
"In Tintagel - there's the castle obviously, and the carnival is great if that's on. Trebarwith strand beach is wonderful when the tide is out. lots of rocks to climb. The camel trail is not that far away if they like cycling" - recommended by Mumsnet user, serin
The air in Tintagel buzzes with myths and folklore of generations past. For King Arthur fans, Tintagel Castle is a must-see. Rumoured to be the place where the king was conceived (with Merlin's help), Tintagel's legendary associations drew the Earl of Cornwall to build the castle in the 1230s. Standing in ruins, it's accessible via a rather spectacular footbridge and provides some of the most incredible sea views Cornwall has to offer.
For the stay of a lifetime, it doesn't get much better than the famous Camelot Castle Hotel. You'll be transported straight to the mythical land with the help of plush, four-poster beds, grand fireplaces, and – of course – fantastic sea views.
Nearest train station: Bodmin Parkway (21 miles)
18. The Country Lodge, Tintagel
The Country Lodge | Check availability
For a more stripped-back experience, this Country Lodge offers plenty in the way of luxury. Featuring an outdoor hot tub and a flat-screen TV, there are also cots and highchairs available, and pets are welcome too. It sleeps up to four people in two bedrooms and sits in the Bossiney Bay holiday park, a small scenic site a short walk from Tintagel.
What's the best area to stay in Cornwall?
Wherever you stay as a family in Cornwall, you're likely to be within easy reach of a stunning beach, a cute rural village or a fun attraction. North Cornwall can feel a little rugged with cliffs and dunes (and fantastic beaches) and south Cornwall is blessed with sandy beaches and fishing villages. Surfers flock to Fistral Beach in Newquay and Widemouth Bay in Bude. St Ives is a favourite with Mumsnetters - it's home to Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden as well as fantastic cafes, restaurants and pubs. There are loads of family-friendly attractions in Newquay (a handy base if you're flying to Cornwall) including Newquay Zoo, the Blue Reef Aquarium and Dairyland Farmworld. According to Mumsnet user, PhannyMcNee Falmouth makes the perfect base: "It has a good train line, beaches, restaurants, sailing and a general buzz about the place".
What's the most beautiful place in Cornwall?
This is entirely subjective and every visitor will have their own favourite corner of Cornwall but Mumsnet users are huge fans of St Ives for its gorgeous beaches, cobbled streets and fisherman's cottages.
What's the best way to get to Cornwall?
It depends where you're travelling from and how much travelling you want to do when there. There are no motorways in Cornwall so if you're driving, your main route in will be via the A30. Cornwall's major train stations include Penzance, Truro, St Austell, Bodmin Parkway and Newquay (but do bear in mind that smaller villages aren't very well connected by public transport. Flights to Newquay Airport are available from across the UK. The town of Newquay is around a 15-minute drive from the airport.
What's the best family-friendly hotel in Cornwall?
The Bedruthan Hotel & Spa has something for all family members to enjoy. From its elevated position you can enjoy stunning views of Mawgan Porth beach and the hotel is totally geared up for little ones. Pack light as the hotel offers buggies and bottle warmers to borrow and there are a range of family rooms to choose from. The restaurants do a great job of catering to kids and there are babysitting services available (for when you want to make use of the spa).
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what family hotels and destinations in Cornwall were being recommended.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which family hotels in Cornwall had won awards or had been featured in top publications as well as what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best family hotels in Cornwall at the moment.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.