From lazy days on the beach to long coastal walks, there are countless ways to fill your days in North Cornwall. But if you visit with children, sometimes you need something a little more structured where the whole family is guaranteed a good time. With that in mind, here is our guide to the very best child friendly activities and attractions within striking distance of Padstow.
Camel Creek Family Adventure Park
Located near Wadebridge, this classic theme park offers entertainment for kids of all ages, whatever the weather. Favourite rides include the log flume, mega slides and roller coasters. Children under 92cm get in free and will love riding in the tea cups. Look out for special guests throughout the summer, including characters from Bluey and Paw Patrol.
Open 10am to 5:30pm throughout July and August, prices vary, see website for details.
The Eden Project – Summer of Play
The famous biomes and gardens at the Eden Project have long attracted both adults and children. But from July 2023 there is another reason for families to spend a day here – the Summer of Play sees the opening of Nature’s Playground, featuring a 9m tree of life, along with nets, swings, water play and a mini clay quarry.
Open from 9am to 6pm and included in the ticket price. Pre-booking required, see website for details.
Lappa Valley Steam Railway
There are many ways to explore the magic of the Cornish countryside but few are more child friendly than a ride on a steam railway. At Lappa Valley you’ll find one of the county’s oldest. It winds through the woods where you can get off and take part in a variety of activities including crazy golf, a brick path maze and a boating lake. If the weather’s bad there’s soft play and a cafe in the Engine Shed.
Opening times and departures for the railway and attractions vary as do prices, but children under 2 ride for free. See their website for the full timetable.
Tintagel Castle, Merlin’s Cave and King Arthur’s Great Halls
Whisk the family back in time for a day out at Tintagel Castle and discover the legend of King Arthur at this 13th-century ruin clinging to an especially craggy outcrop. If you have older children, clamber down 100 steps to the beach below and explore Merlin’s Cave. On the cliffside see if you measure up to the monumental 8 foot bronze statue before heading into the village to visit King Arthur’s Great Halls, complete with round table and laser light show!
All attractions are open throughout the summer and welcome all ages. Check the links above for opening times and further details.
Trethorne Leisure Park, Launceston
A classic family day out offering more than an acre of outdoor play, with fluffy bunnies and guinea pigs to meet too. If you bring the rain with you don’t worry, there’s an indoor play barn with soft play, a ten-pin bowling alley, amusement arcade and dodgems.
Opening hours vary and booking is advised at weekends. See their website for more information.
Dairyland Farm Park, near Newquay
Trampolines, tractor rides and pony trekking will keep you entertained for hours at Dairyland Farm Park. This is a working farm so there are sheep as well as meerkats and llamas to visit, with baby animals in the hay barn too. Head indoors for soft play and take aim with the soft ball cannon!
Opening hours are from 10am to 5pm. Tickets for adults and children over 80cm are £11, horse riding and other experiences need to be booked separately. See website for more info.
Hidden Valley Puzzle Park, Launceston
Fun, exploration and exercise combine with a bit of whimsical magic at Hidden Valley Puzzle Park. Follow a variety of themed puzzle trails through landscaped gardens, ride on the Porterswick Junction Light Railway, get lost in the maze and explore the mysterious Forbidden Mansion.
Hidden Valley is open daily throughout the summer from 10am to 5pm. Entry prices vary, see their website for booking and further information.