The memories we made together as a family on our Cornwall road trip are going to stay with us all for a very long time. This is why I wanted to share with you our stay in Cornwall including the places we stayed and the things we did, just incase you were looking for inspiration for planning your own child friendly Cornwall holidays.
One of the reasons this Cornwall road trip worked so well was because it featured a series of 2 night hotel and accommodation stays in Cornwall and we made it our mission to explore as much of the county as possible during the eight days we stayed there. Cornwall is a long way to travel from Nottingham, so we wanted to make sure we made the most of it.
Why Take a Cornwall Road Trip
If you have ever taken a cruise holiday before, you will know that one of the huge benefits of this type of travel is waking up in a different port almost every day. This keeps the holiday excitement going and you just don’t have time to think about the going home part.
Now, we didn’t stay in a new place in Cornwall every night, but we did move every two nights. All it took on my part was packing the holiday clothes into smaller cases, but essentially we took the same things that we would take on any other kind of family holiday. If you are thinking it would be hard work, honestly it really isn’t and the benefits you will experience when you visit Cornwall will be huge.
Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary
Our visit to Cornwall, England lasted about a week, well 8 days to be precise, and we made the most of every minute of it. If you are interested in holidays in Cornwall with your family, here are the child friendly holiday plans you will need to recreate this trip:
Day 1 – Esplanade Hotel, Fistral Beach
We arrived in Newquay around lunch time and headed straight to our sea view hotel at Fistral beach. If you are looking for Cornwall beach hotels The Esplanade is a great option for families. We were keen to start relaxing, so we opted for lunch at The Esplanade, where we were due to be staying for a 2 night hotel break. If your looking for hotels in Cornwall, England with great facilities and activities for kids we would certainly be happy to recommend The Esplanade on Fistral Beach in Newquay.
The girls loved burning off some steam in the indoor play area and thoroughly enjoyed the build a bear party that took place in the hotel bar that evening. We also spent some time exploring Fistral beach before our delicious family dinner in the hotel restaurant. It was a lovely start to our Cornwall road trip and is worth checking out if you are looking for child friendly hotels in Cornwall or Newquay.
- The Esplanade Hotel Review: Family Friendly Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
- Eating Out In Newquay: Lewinnick Lodge Restaurant Review
Some people prefer to stay in self catering accommodation and one thing Cornwall has plenty of is holiday parks. I found this great review of Trevella caravan park by Practically Perfect Mums that you might also like to check out to help with your Cornwall holidays.
Day 2 – Pirates Quest and Charlestown Harbour
With our batteries fully recharged it was time to start exploring great places to visit in Cornwall. Our first visit was to Pirates Quest in Newquay, which was a lot of fun. This is a theatrical experience about pirates and their lives in Cornwall and beyond. It’s perfect for pirate fans of all sizes!
We really enjoyed this Cornwall attraction, and it was a very big hit with Daddy, even though he ended up in the stocks! It’s an indoor activity in Newquay, so if the weather is against you, it’s the perfect thing to do. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s only 1 hour long so you will have the rest of the day at to visit other Cornwall destinations.
We found lots of ideas for places to visit in Cornwall in our Find and Seek guide and decided to head over to Charlestown Harbour for the afternoon. If you are a Poldark fan, you might already be familiar with this part of Cornwall, as this is where the TV show was filmed.
Charleston Harbour is really is a lovely place to visit in South East Cornwall, so I strongly advise you to add it to your road trip, regardless of where your Cornwall accommodation is. As we walked towards the harbour we were greeted by the tall ships and it seemed quite fitting after our pirate inspired activity in the morning.
The tide was out so we headed down to the beach, after Daddy retrieved the girls outdoor boots from the car. It was the perfect beach for them to play on with lots of rock pools and climbing to be done.
There are plenty of independent cafe’s and restaurants in Charlestown Harbour if you are looking for a places to eat or drink during your visit. There is also the Shipwreck Museum, which I suspect is worth a visit, but unfortunately for us it hadn’t opened for the season when we arrived. A day out to Charleston harbour will be a big hit with the family, and it’s a lovely place to visit if you are conscious of your holiday budget going a bit further while you are staying in Cornwall.
Day 3 – Porth Beach
Before leaving The Esplanade hotel, we decided to make the most of the hotel indoor pool and spa. If you are looking for where to stay in Cornwall with a pool, The Esplanade is perfect for families and there is also a jacuzzi and sauna for guests to use as well.
Shortly after some family fun in the pool, it was time to check out and make our way to the other side of Newquay. It was a beautiful blue sky day so we decided to go and explore Porth beach on the way. The tide was completely out, so there was lots of room to explore. There are also some stunning walks nearby if you can drag the kids away from building sandcastles that is.
This is where we learned all about Newquay Rocks, a local tradition that became a huge part of our Cornwall family break. If you haven’t caught up with this idea yet, people paint rocks and hide them in the local area.
- Best Day Out in Cornwall? Visiting the Eden Project with Kids
- Best Falmouth Fish & Chips? Try Harbour Lights
It happens in Newquay, but it is happening all over the place. Some of you may know them as Kindness Rocks, but the principal is pretty much the same. Looking for rocks took a whole new turn after we discovered the Facebook group and community spirit behind this feel good project.
Sands Hotel Resort & Spa
Later that afternoon, we headed up to the second of our chosen places to stay in Cornwall, the very popular Sands Hotel Resort & Spa. Getting settled into our sea view hotel suite took no time at all, and the girls made themselves very comfortable in their own room with flatscreen tv. Daddy and I took a moment to enjoy the stunning Cornwall coastal views while the kids caught up with the latest episode of My Little Pony.
We enjoyed a family supper in the child friendly hotel just as the sun was setting across the horizon, and it would have been all most perfect but for Indie deciding this was going to be the time to have a little strop. She was getting to the point where she needed a little time out and we all knew it. Fortunately the Sands Hotel have a kids club which makes it one of the best places to stay in Cornwall with kids.
Day 4 – Watergate Bay
One of the amazing things about Sands Hotel Resort & Spa is their childcare facilities, and both the girls were booked in the kids club for the morning session the next day. There were so many toys and activities for them to play with, and they literally had a ball while Daddy and I enjoyed some child free time to explore the costal walks near the hotel. I think we all needed to have a little break to recharge the batteries and what better place to do it than the Cornwall coast.
With Watergate Bay very near to the hotel, we borrowed some buckets and spades from Sands Resort and headed to the beach for the afternoon. More digging and sand castle building took place while Daddy and I took turns to take a stroll along the beach. Being by the sea is so good for the soul and is one of the reason we think Cornwall breaks are perfect for families.
Dinner at Lewinnick Lodge
We were all very excited about dinner that evening, and we headed up to Lewinnick Lodge early to enjoy the dramatic sea views. This was a very special family treat, and I am pleased to say we throughly enjoyed the location and the wonderful food. It is certainly the top of my list for best restaurants in Newquay and maybe even one of the best places in Cornwall for eating out.
Day 5 – The Eden Project & Megavissey
Considering that we took this Cornwall road trip during February half term, the weather was incredibly good to us all week. We had perfect beach days and could enjoy being outdoors with the kids. At Sands Resort Hotel & Spa they have some excellent outdoor facilities including a maze, bouncy castles and play area. In the summer months there is also an outdoor pool at this hotel too.
The girls very much enjoyed exploring the maze and play area before we hit the road to visit The Eden Project. If you haven’t visited The Eden Project before, or even if you have, I think it’s one of the best places to go in Cornwall with or without kids. The Eden Project is such a beautiful place with lots to explore especially more for families.
You might also be surprised to learn that dogs are allowed to visit The Eden Project. We thought that Cornwall was a really dog friendly destination, and if you need ideas for where you can take your four legged friend, Tin Box Traveller shares some great dog friendly days out in Cornwall in her blog post.
If you want to tick some more of the best places to visit in Cornwall off your list, then I can strongly recommend a visit to Megavissey. It’s a small and unique harbour village, and we decided to stop by the Sharksfin for a family dinner after our visit to The Eden Project. Please do check out our restaurant review for hints and tips for visiting Megavissey, as driving around the harbour is nail biting stuff.
After a lovely dinner and wonderful view of the boats we headed to Porthleven Holiday Cottages to sample what their Cornwall accommodation by the sea was like. This self catering holiday cottage to rent in Cornwall by the sea was in a great location complete with the best harbour views we had seen the entire holiday, and that’s saying something. We also enjoyed having a bit of extra space now that we were over half way through our Cornwall road trip.
Day 6 – Cornish Seal Sanctuary
We really enjoyed waking up to see the fishing boats returning to Porthleven harbour from their time at sea while we enjoyed croissants from the local bakery and a cup of fresh local coffee left on our hospitality tray. It was pretty easy getting everyone washed and dressed when they knew they knew we were going to be meeting seals for out Cornwall sightseeing that day.
We headed over to Gweek to find the Cornish Seal Sanctuary for our Breakfast with the Seals experience. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Porthleven, so it’s the perfect day trip for a family visiting Porthleven. We enjoyed a private tour of the Cornwall seal sanctuary before getting the opportunity to feed the seals ourselves, which was such a huge hit with the girls. Then we got to have breakfast ourselves in the cafe before exploring the rest of the park including the otter trail and nature walk.
After a busy day outing Cornwall, we headed back to Porthleven to see what was on offer near our luxury self catering cottage. This fishing harbour is packed with cafe’s and restaurants and has an excellent beach perfect for curious little people to explore.
Day 7 – Falmouth
Check out from our self catering cottage in Cornwall was at 10am, so we got straight on the road and headed over to Falmouth to explore this popular Cornish town.
The obvious place to visit in Falmouth is the National Maritime Museum, and if you are looking for where to go in Cornwall I don’t think you will be disappointed. This museum is so hands on, that the kids will love it. I also think you will all enjoy the stunning views over Falmouth Harbour from the Lookout Tower.
After a busy morning exploring the museum, we had worked up quite an appetite, so we headed into Falmouth in search of the best fish and chip shop in Cornwall. Actually scrub that, Harbour Lights was awarded best independent fish and chip shop in the UK, and they certainly live up to that title very well. If you want great food, with amazing sea views, then this is a great place to eat for families visiting Falmouth.
The Olde House, Cornwall
With happy kids and full tummies we left Falmouth to head to the final stop of our Cornwall road trip. The girls were super excited about the lambing weekend at The Olde House, and we were all really looking forward to staying on a working farm for the final part of our Cornwall trip.
The Olde House had everything we needed for the final 2 nights of our Cornwall break, with excellent indoor and outdoor play facilities and a wonderful new indoor pool and spa. The best part was being able to see the lambs being born, and the girls loved being able to visit the sheds to feed and cuddle them whenever they wanted.
Our self catering farm stay was a real high to end our Cornwall road trip on, and we came away with so many happy memories to look back on. I think what made this trip to Cornwall such a success was how we got to explore so much of the area.
Moving around Cornwall meant we always had something new to look forward to. There was never a point where we felt we had seen and done everything. I can strongly recommend choosing a few places to stay if you are planning a Cornwall road trip, so that you can truly explore what this beautiful county has to offer. If you need some more ideas for places to stay in Cornwall for your next road trip, we really enjoyed Actually Mummy’s review of Piran Meadows Resort in Newquay.
For more information to help you plan your Cornwall travel you might find the following websites and resources helpful:
We would like to thank all the partners who helped us to make this Cornwall road trip possible and for contributing with ideas for where to go and what to see in Cornwall. If you decide to follow this Cornwall guide or visit any of the places mentioned in this post, please do let us know in the comments below.
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This post was created after an arranged press trip and features partners who provided complimentary accommodation, attractions and restaurant reviews to be featured in our Cornwall road trip.