Travelling to Cornwall with kids
I cant believe its taken me 37 years to get myself to Cornwall. I think, if I’m being honest it’s the drive that has always put me off. 6 hours in a car made me wince before, but hey, you can spend the same amount of time in the airport and flying, so it doesn’t seem to bad when you think of it that way. On the way down we decided to break it up because we were travelling down later in the day and 1) didn’t want to drive super late into the night and 2) we couldn’t get into our rental house until the next day. We drove from Leeds to Exeter with a break and stayed at the Hampton by Hilton, which to be honest wasn’t great. The beds were a bit lumpy and the breakfast wasn’t good.
The next morning we were up and set off for the final part of the journey. We were staying in Perranporth but decided to go the first day to PorthPean, which was a great little beach to kick of our holiday. It had a little cafe at the top and toilets and you could pay for parking at the top of the hill with the Ring Go app, super handy.
I liked this beach a lot, it wasn’t too deep and the boys could rock pool before the tide came in – always check the tide times because each location changes daily. It also wasn’t to deep too fast which was great for the boys to paddle in. I dont know about anybody else but I love a beach where they can have some ‘independent’ time aka – not have to be watched like a hawk from me 😉
We planned to stay here just a couple of hours and then head on to Mevagissey but we never got there, so that’s one to try when we go back.
We headed over to our rental property which was in Perranporth and only about a 25 minute drive away. We stayed at a little place called Rolling Waves and it was perfect for what we needed. 1 level, sea views, garden and veranda – a good size on that we could all use.
We had a full day at Perranporth beach the next day. After all the driving and travelling we just wanted to chill for a little while and do not much of anything – so thats exactly what we did. I feel that pull of always needing to be on the go but actually a holiday is about totally getting into a happy groove and thats what the day called for.
Some things that were a hit for travelling to cornwall with kids:
- Bucket and spade
- Colouring book
- Sticker book
- animals/dinosaurs/cars dumper trucks
- own snacks in cooler
The beach at Perranporth also has a great bar and restaurant on it so you can stay all evening, getting food having a few drinks and watching the sun go down. Our boys are only 2.5 and 4.5 so we didn’t get to the full sun set with them this time. But they did love having food on the beach, us a couple of drinks and being able to run around freely!
We went to the Wavecrest cafe first grabbed a couple of ice creams and coffees and looked out for seals over the stunning bay. From here you can walk round to Kynance Cove but with the pram it would have been a tad tricky – plus you have to walk back so we just parked in the car park right next to the cafe. It wasn’t expensive but they did take cash only so remember that.
We did walk down to the sea front though, past the out lifeboat centre and then we did some seal watching up at the top. If you walk left from the cafe across to the lighthouse you can get to a ridiculously beautiful beach, but we only managed to look at it this time, again because we had the pram.
We then went to the little centre of the village where the parking is free and grabbed some lunch before the next part of the day, which I think we were all ready for 😉 This team of mine including me tends to get a little Hangry from time to time 😉
After lunch we drove onto Kynance Cove which was only a few minutes away and I am SO glad that we did. Its a National Trust car park but you can pay too.
We took the pram, which next time I wouldn’t do. There is a pram friendly route but actually the steps are not that long so if you can go light do that. The water was crystal clear but we didn’t have too long before the tide was making its way back in. So when we had exhausted any more beach space left we headed up to the cafe where they have deckchairs over looking the sea, sell ice cream, pies, snacks, drinks etc. The perfect way to end your day. The sea was beautiful and we even saw a seal swimming.
Our next day we had plans to go to St Ives but since the weather was so good we made a last minute decision to go to Porthcurno beach, which was definitely a good idea; 😉 . What a beach!!! We parked in the car park near by – again cash needed -and then did the small walk to the beach which honestly could have been In Mallorca. It was beautiful. We spent the whole day here.
Our next day was our last full day. We only went for 5 nights, so we opted to have our full last day in St Ives because we wanted to do the Seal boat and also we wanted to check out the beaches and I’m so glad we spent the full day because the whole place changes from morning to evening.
We went arrived at parked at the car park right at the top of the town, but next time I would have done the park and ride to where the train starts because the hill back was a killer. Nearly 20 weeks pregnant it was a puff for me, thank god my husband was pushing the boys in the pram. The bus back to the car park finished at 7 and we were there until way after 9. In fact it was getting dark just by the time we reached the car.
So, we did our Seal tour, my eldest is an animal mega fan so he loved it. We used Dolly P tours and our guide was super knowledgable! After the seal tour we had a lunch stop and a browse round the town. We had lunch on the front over looking the sea and then I took Otto for a change in the public toilets because our restaurant didn’t have baby changing facilities. Which turned out to be a winner because I found a little undercover craft centre of local makers where I bought some prints. We walked around the town, picked up some Cornish whisky, gift shop tack and treats. Then after that we decided to go to beach where my youngest had a pram nap. We went to Porthminster beach which was lovely. It has a cafe on it and minutes away were the toilets. We stayed there for quite a while, had a swim, read books and then headed up to the train where we went for a little train ride to the last stop on the track – which is where you get the park and ride. It was only about 20 minutes there and back but my littlest really wanted a train ride so he loved and it plus it was such a great way to see parts of the beaches you wouldn’t probably get too.
The train by the way is just next to Porthminster beach, so it made it super easy.
After the train we headed to the cafe further round on Porthminster, where they have a great looking restaurant. We sadly missed the BBQ but we did get Fish and chips (again) and had them on the beach. Which was a perfect easy last night tea. The kids played on the beach until the sun was going down.
We then wanted to check out the main port that we had seen when we first arrived. We walked all around to the front of the bay for a final leg stretch, watched the sky turn pink and the bay which was just sand when we arrived was now floating boats.
We also got a late night wrap from the restaurant Silco and ate it on the seafront – which was soooo delicious and next time we will be going for a full meal for sure.
Before we headed Home next day, we met some family at Fistral Beach. Fish and chips were on the menu AGAIN from Rick Steins, which to be honest I did not rate. The beach was ok, but we had full sea mist so the weather was a tad chilly/ But still, another good one to see and ace I hear if you want to surf!
Cornwall is such a beautiful place and one that we will definitely be exploring again. Travelling to Cornwall with kids doesn’t have to be stressful at all and actually when you are there- after the drive – its so so worth it!