Top 5 Lesser-Known Family Friendly Attractions in Cornwall

Posted by Select Cornwall

on 23/05/2024

5 Secret Family Days Out For A Cornwall Adventure

Cornwall is a popular holiday destination for families, and it's easy to see why. The region is packed with attractions to suit all ages, from the famous Eden Project to the bustling, sandy beaches. However, if you’re looking to escape the crowds and discover some hidden gems, get off the beaten track and head to these five lesser-known family-friendly attractions in Cornwall that offer unique and memorable experiences, no matter the time of year- or the weather!

1. Porfell Wildlife Park & Sanctuary

Nestled in the Cornish countryside, Porfell Wildlife Park & Sanctuary is a delightful escape for animal lovers, plus being a family-ran charity proves more affordable than some other zoos and animal attractions in Cornwall. This sanctuary offers a chance to get up close with a variety of rescued, exotic and domestic animals which have been given a second chance. Kids will love the hands-on experiences, such as feeding the goats, deer and farm animals, and learning about their habitats. It’s a peaceful spot in the Cornish countryside, perfect for a leisurely family day out. We particularly love the friendly ring-tailed lemurs and the hungry capybara! Plus kids will love the entertainment of ducks and peacocks running freely around on site.

2. Pendennis Castle

Perched on a headland with stunning views over Falmouth, Pendennis Castle is a fascinating historical site to explore in the beautiful seaside village of St Mawes. Built by Henry VIII, this well-preserved fortress offers an interactive experience with exhibitions and reenactments that bring history to life. The expansive grounds are ideal for a picnic and a game of hide and seek, making it a hit with children of all ages. There are some stunning walks around the coast here, and you could even hop on a ferry to Falmouth or neighbouring villages on the water.

3. Mineral Tramways Cycle Network

For families who love outdoor adventures, the Mineral Tramways Cycle Network is a must-visit. This extensive network of trails runs through some of Cornwall’s most scenic landscapes, including disused mining areas that have been reclaimed by nature. Whether you’re cycling or walking, the trails offer a safe and engaging way to explore Cornwall’s industrial heritage and natural beauty. This coast to coast trail starts at Devoran and ends at the historic mining town of Portreath, a lovely family seaside village with lots to explore. You can hire bikes from £8 per child per day from Bissoe café, or bring your own from home!

4. Carnglaze Caverns

Step into an underground world at Carnglaze Caverns. This former slate mine offers a unique adventure with its three enormous caverns and a subterranean lake. Guided tours provide insights into the mining history and the geology of the area. The cool, dimly lit environment is both eerie and enchanting, making it a thrilling experience for kids and adults alike. If you’re looking for something unique for your UK adventure, or a rainy day activity, this comes highly recommended.

5. Jubilee Pool

While natural sea pools and semi-man made, tidal swimming pools are scattered along the Cornish coast, the Jubilee Pool in Penzance stands out with its unique addition: a geothermal section that provides warm waters year-round. This Art Deco lido offers a safe and fun environment for swimming and splashing around. The thermal pool is a great way to relax, making it a perfect spot for families looking to combine fun with relaxation. There is also a cafe and bar attached, and the pool is a short stroll from Penzance promenade, lovely for wandering and exploring.

Cornwall is home to fantastic family-friendly beaches, many of which are also dog-friendly, and hundreds of attractions for sunny or rainy days. From exploring the lush tropical biomes of the Eden Project to splashing around in natural and man-made sea pools, there’s no end to free and affordable days out. So, next time you’re planning a family day out, skip the busy tourist hotspots and head to these off-the-beaten-track gems for a more relaxed and memorable experience.