Our first ever holiday as a family was to the stunning county of Cornwall when Jake was just 6 months old. We didn’t fancy attempting a holiday abroad with a baby due to the fact we didn’t know how he would take to the heat or even flying so we looked at our options of where to stay in the UK. Cornwall stood out to us because there is just so much to see and do and let’s face it when you have a baby your priorities of what a holiday has to offer completely change – bye, bye long days spent sunning yourself on a beach whilst drinking cocktails!
We booked a caravan on the family-friendly site of Sandymouth Holiday Resort which is set in North Cornwall and has plenty of onsite facilities which include a shop, a play area, bar and restaurant, an indoor swimming pool and plenty of green space for playing games. Just down the road is Sandymouth Beach which stretches for 2 miles down to Bude. With its golden sand, beautiful scenery and perfect waves for surfing/bodyboarding, it is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy. We enjoyed the holiday so much that we returned to the same caravan park and the same caravan the following year when Jake was 18 months old.
The best thing about Cornwall is that as long as you have a car you can visit so many amazing places in a day and this is all doable even with a baby.
These are our top destinations to visit in Cornwall with a baby:
This quaint village of Boscastle is just full of rustic charm. With its natural harbour, stunning scenery, shops offering handmade gifts, cute coffee shops and even a witchcraft museum there is something for everybody. There is plenty of parking which includes spaces for camper vans. If you are taking a baby I would recommend using a baby carrier rather than a pushchair/pram especially if you wanted to explore the coastline and mouth of the harbour. If you have a baby or toddler just be wary of the water and the climb up to the coast. A carrier or reins will be your best bet here.
Approximately 30 minutes from Boscastle sits another beautiful village called Polzeath. This is a very popular surfing spot and there are plenty of places to hire wetsuits and boards. We chose to sit in a quieter area where we could enjoy the views, explore the rock pools, have a game of frisbee and play in the sand. It was a little chilly on our visit but if you shelter by the cliffs your baby will be fine. Investing in a windbreak is a must with all of these beaches. I think there is much more to do in the summer season and I have been told that at certain times of year, it can be a great place to spot dolphins, puffins and other coastal birds.
Port Isaac is a picturesque town which is now more commonly known for being the setting of the tv show Doc Martin. When my friend visited a couple of years ago they even asked for her son to be an extra!
The Port is just so beautiful and is set back from the rugged coastline that offers miles of clifftop walks. The village is bursting with small shops, cafes and art galleries along cobbled streets. It can get very busy in the summer months so I would check what events are on prior to visiting and leaving the pushchair behind for easy mobility through the crowds and the street.
You simply cannot visit Cornwall without seeing the incredible Eden Project. What once was a large clay pit is now home to one of the world’s largest eco sites which is teaming with plants and flowers from around the world. The large biomes are hard to miss and each will completely blow you away. The Rainforest Biome is the world’s largest greenhouse and you need to be prepared to get a little warm and sweaty in here! With tropical temperatures, stunning plants and walk up to the waterfall it is truly breathtaking. The Mediterranean Biome is much cooler in temperature but equally spectacular with a Spanish feel and often full of live music or stories. Such a great place for a baby to see and enjoy a variety of sensory stimulations at.
Outside of these biomes are beautiful gardens, educational stations, a sensory walk and activities for all to enjoy. There is also a variety of food on offer and a gift shop filled to the brim with garden items, plants, eco products, toys and crafts. I could probably write an entire post just on this one destination because there is so much to talk about. All walks are pushchair and wheelchair friendly and feeding rooms are available inside the buildings if you feel you need some privacy or a bit of quiet time for your baby. You definitely need a whole day to explore everything the Eden Project has to offer or why not purchase an annual pass and pop back? When we visited Cornwall the following year the Eden Project was top on my list and it still had me captivated.
We came across these lakes in the second year of visiting Cornwall. They are set in North Cornwall, close to Bude and just a few minutes drive from our holiday home. If you enjoy relaxing walks, watersports, bike riding or fishing then this is the place to go. We chose to hire bikes, which included the child seat and explored the lower lake which begins at the aqueduct.
Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre
Set in Launceston this little gem is found out in the countryside and is home to Otters, peacocks, deer, wallabies and much more. If you are an animal lover I can highly recommend this attraction. Owned by the Otter trust it is the only place in the West Country to have a breeding and rehabilitation programme. At certain times of day you can help with the feeding of the Otters or enjoy talks on their birds of prey. The site has a lovely cafe and gift shop and we found all of the staff to be friendly and welcoming.
This is just a handful of what Cornwall has on offer and we haven’t even begun to explore further south. We managed to squeeze so much into both of our holidays by planning our destinations and routes before we left as so much is easily connected – even Devon which has beautiful coastlines such as Hartland Quay and the breathtaking village of Clovelly right next door to Cornwall. There are also the well-known theme parks The Big Sheep and The Milkyway which are great for keeping a child of any age entertained.
I cannot wait to go back and discover more of Cornwall’s gems.
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