I have just had a brilliant holiday in Cornwall with the extended family. The weather was great and made for a very different holiday to the rainy weeks we usually have.
Padstow has a stunning harbour. It is the perfect place for crabbing and getting some fish and chips. You can get the ferry across the river to Rock or a boat trip along the coast. Two of our party had a great trip with Padstow Sealife Safaris and got to see some baby dolphins. The National Lobster Hatchery is a small centre (a bit of a pain to get the buggy round) with lots of information. It is full of lobsters at each growth stage so an interesting place to visit.
2) The Eden Project
The Eden Project is a must do! It is such a unique place and fantastic to visit the Rainforest Biome and see pineapples, bananas, tea and rice plants. The Core had a great exhibition – Invisible Worlds with the amazing Blue which kept the kids entertained for ages. I am glad we took the buggy as it is lots of walking for the kids and tough going in all the heat too. Eden can be an expensive day out but we got our tickets for just £8 each using Tesco Clubcard vouchers.
3) Rick Steins Restaurants
Rick Stein has a number of restaurants in Padstow along with a lovely Deli. We were lucky to book a bar stool at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. It is an expensive meal but the food is absolutely delicious and really worth it. We had barely sat down before we were given some beautiful bread and a very tasty Thai Fishcake with sweet chilli appetiser.
I had the Scallops with Hazelnut butter which were divine followed by a John Dory Fillet which was the best fish fillet I have ever eaten. I stole a chip from my Mum and it was the best chip I have had too. My Father had the Indonesian Curry which although quite hot was all about the flavour and delightful to eat. I was full already but knew I had to try a dessert and wasn’t disappointed by the amazingly light cheesecake. A real treat and one I won’t forget, I need to try some more Rick Stein recipes out!
4) Mawgan Porth Beach
Make sure you check the tide times but Mawgan Porth Beach is a fantastic family beach. Lifeguards were on duty and the heatwave meant the sea was actually warm! A huge beach when the tide is out and not too crowded either. There is a stream along the beach which was brilliant for the little ones to play in. The beach was easily accessible from the small car parks and there were several shops and some toilets nearby.
5) Camel Creek Adventure Park
Camel Creek is a lovely park with a range of animal attractions and rides to keep the kids entertained. There were several rides and play areas in the Toddler Village suitable for my 2 year old. My 4 year old absolutely loved the pirate ship play area. For our holiday we actually stayed in a fantastic Farm Cottage Trewlow Barton a large holiday home with plenty of space for the three families. The cottage is just outside Camel Creek Adventure Park but we were given free access to the park for our stay. This meant the kids could be entertained very easily. The park also offered us the opportunity to walk and groom one of their ponies in the mornings which my nieces loved.
If you like Castles and the legend of King Arthur then Tintagel Castle is a must. It is not the most accessible castle and I would recommend anyone with difficulties walking or very small children don’t go but my 4 year old absolutely loved it. Tintagel village is full of shops and cafe’s and plenty to entertain you. The Old Post office is a small but very interesting National Trust property you can also visit in the village.
7) Trebarwith Beach
Not far from Tintagel is Trebarwith Beach, again make sure you check the tide times. A stunning beach accessed over some flat rocks. If the tide is out there are lots of rock pools to explore along with some impressive caves. There are lifeguards on duty in the Summer, some shops, a cafe and toilets all near the beach.
8) The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a lovely day out. A large estate with plenty to explore. The Jungle is unique and worth a visit. Although not accessible to buggies, we used the buggy park- the youngest we had were two year olds so they could walk. There are lots of play areas to keep the kids busy along with a small farm. The Flower and Kitchen gardens are great to see but were struggling a little due to the recent heatwave. The food available here was lovely with some great options at the BBQ Hut too.
9) Gorran Haven
Gorran Haven is a smaller beach that almost completely disappears at high tide. There is a large car park, toilets and a good fish and chip shop here. The beach was great for the kids and we all enjoyed fish and chips on the harbour wall.
You have to try the best local food while you are away and Cornwall is full of delights. There is some fantastic fish available and you should always try and have fish and chips to end a day at the beach in Cornwall. Beaches are also the best place for an ice cream and you will see plenty of Kelly’s whip ice cream vans around. A visit to Cornwall should include a good Pasty, personally I think a traditional Cornish Pasty is a must. Finally you can’t go to Cornwall and not have a Cream Tea, a freshly baked scone with jam and clotted cream.
Holiday tips for a child with autism, our holiday in Cornwall
My eldest son has autism and our holiday was much easier with a bit of preparation. I had visual aids ready so we could prepare him for where we would be staying and what we would be doing. Happy kids = happy parents so lots of activities that my son would like to do needed to be included. My son loves messy play, particularly sand and water so beach days are a must for him. Finding large beaches where he will have space from other people makes a big difference. Having a holiday home next to a park with soft play and playgrounds available was also great for both my energetic boys.