10 reasons to visit Cornwall
In association with Haven Perran Sands
It's not hard to find a beautiful beach in Cornwall, and most are well-equipped to make your day as easy and enjoyable as possible. You'll also be spoiled for choice with all the fabulous pubs and restaurants on offer, many with fantastic sea views.
1. Best thing about the coast
In every direction, you'll find glorious, family friendly beaches: Perranporth, Holywell Bay, Crantock and Fistral. They cater for all your little ones' needs with handy toilets, relaxed cafés and good old-fashioned ice cream shops. This part of Cornwall offers lashings of down-to-earth, bucket and spade seaside fun – but with a sprinkling of surf chic, thanks to its new wave of trendy eateries and boutique hotels.
2. Best beach
It's a difficult choice but Crantock tops it. You have both the sea and the Gannel river: toddlers can splash in the big puddles from the river at low tide, and more confident swimmers can hit the surf with body boards. There's a lifeguard on hand, which is always nice to know.
3. Best child-friendly café
Blue Bar on the dunes of Porthtowan beach has everything: gorgeous location, relaxed atmosphere, a kids menu – and it serves food all day (a rare luxury in some parts of Cornwall).
4. Best pub
The Watering Hole – apparently the only bar on a beach in the UK. It just about survived the storms – phew – and is well worth a visit for its stunning location. You'll find it on Perranporth beach.
5. Best child-free night out
For a touch of grown up glamour after a hard day's rock pooling, you can't beat cocktails and dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen in Watergate Bay.
6. Best outside space
If you want a break from sand and sea, you could try Idless Woods. Carpeted with Bluebells in the spring, it's a lovely spot for walking and exploring.
7. Best hidden gem
The idyllic Lusty Glaze nestled in a horseshoe cove, or Tolcarne beaches in Newquay – they both have fab café/restaurants too. Perched on a cliff top with panoramic sea views, Lewinnick Lodge on Pentire Point has a chic (but family friendly) restaurant with the most incredible views at sunset.
8. Best free visitor attraction
Heartlands, just off the A30 in Pool, has climb-on sculptures, stunning gardens, a giant adventure playscape for kids, arts and crafts studios, exhibitions and a cool café.
9. Best days out
You're spoilt for choice in Cornwall. The National Trust's Trelissick Gardens, in Feock, near Truro, has beautiful gardens, art exhibitions and hosts all sorts of activities for children.
If you want to see wildlife, try the woodland safaris at Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre, or head to Paradise Park, which also has an indoor play centre for rainy days. Crealy Adventure Park isn't far away, or for a spot of old-fashioned seaside fun, try out the arcades at Holywell Fun Park. Surf wannabes need to head to Retallack Resort's Flowrider where you get to ride waves in a pool. Not to be missed. Then next step: Quicksilver's Surf School.
10. Best place to shop
Local fishing villages tend to have pretty shops for souvenirs, gifts and art. Padstow is a treasure trove of goodies like this. But Cornwall is all about hanging out on the beach - not shopping, unless you want to stock up on rock and fudge.
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Last updated: about 3 years ago