My Favourites

My Favourites

Save your favourites with a single click and you’ll never forget a brilliant Muddy recommendation.

The Muddy Awards
are go!

Muddy Awards logo

Nominate your local Indies now

Back to Kids

Half term in Cornwall May/June 2021

Looking for some Cornish half-term fun? You've come to the right place - here's our Muddy picks for the week.

No need to get bored at half term, even if the wet weather sticks around longer than expected. Here’s a whole host of things to get stuck into this half term no matter how old you are.

ON ALL WEEK

Rogue Theatre Wonder Walks, Tehidy Woods (28 May – 6 June)

The Path to The Heart of The Wild is a trail of fantastical tales in the ancient wood, from the mines of Cornish myth, the fields of forgotten folklore and the ocean of unexpected gifts; it leads adventurers into a world that remembers the language of nature, the roots that connect all life together and the magick that fills life with wonder.

Wonder Walks was imagined whilst human beings were hibernating, and nature was running wild.  Wonder Walks is an immersive theatre adventure that blends life with dreams, imagination with reality and the wild with human nature (as it has always been)!

Mini Monsters of the Not So Deep, Rock Pooling Town Trail, Falmouth (29 May – 20 June)

Organised by the National Maritime Museum, dotted throughout Falmouth are a series of Mini Monster markers. Each with a QR code to find out more about the fascinating world of rock pools. With The Rock Pool Project we’ll look at how to rock pool safely, how to identify creatures and how to look after their environment. At the end of the trail, if the tides are right, use your new rock pooling skills and go searching for the Mini Monsters of the not so Deep.

Kids Rule at Pendennis Castle, Falmouth (29 May – 6 June)

Set on a headland with breathtaking views out to sea, Pendennis Castle is one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses. Visit Pendennis Castle (members free but still need to book) and take the family on an outdoor adventure, with performances to watch and story telling to listen to, all included in standard admission.

Wild Week, Lost Gardens of Heligan (29 May – 6 June)

Help your kids rediscover their wild side, to restore their survival skills and to enjoy a week of much needed outdoor play. Explore the Giant’s Head Adventure Trail and follow the route to East Lawn.

Head to the survival skills enclosure where the team from Canoe Cornwall will teach you how to throw an axe like a woodsman, and to take aim and fire with our target practice lessons. What skills for survival in the wild will you learn? All Heligan Wild Week activities are included within normal garden admission charges.

{SOLD OUT} Sea Show Storytelling, The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno (30 May – 2 June)

The Sea Show is a quirky and hilarious mix of puppet show, natural history and comedy cabaret. Meet crazy characters like Morwenna the ‘beautiful’ mermaid, Ruan the reformed seagull and salty seadog Captain Pemburthy, as well as a cast of mischievous sea-squirts, anemones, limpets, crabs and pilchards. The Sea Show is the creation of Craig Johnson, an actor, musician and puppeteer, and long-standing member of Cornwall’s renowned Kneehigh Theatre.

Dino Week, Camel Creek (31 May – 4 June)

Go back 150 million years for Dino Week at Camel Creek – release your inner dinosaur and run wild to unearth some hidden secrets.

Get up close to the real-life dinosaurs in the daily shows, find clues and follow the trail around the park using the brand-new app or learn all the fun facts in the educational stands.

Make and Take at Home with National Maritime Museum, Falmouth (31 May – 4 June)

Live on Facebook each day, and then on the website, join Sophie from the National Maritime Museum to create a sketchbook inspired by rock pooling and be inspired by the different ways to fill it.

ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER KIDS

Tintagel Castle

Photo credit: Hufton & Crow Photography

Immerse yourself in history, myths and stunning scenery at Tintagel Castle set high on Cornwall’s rugged north coast. Inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur, for centuries this dramatic castle and coastline has fired the imaginations of writers, artists and even the brother of a king. Now it’s your turn to be inspired – complete with a trip across the new bridge. Note that there is currently a one-way system in place which means leaving via 140 steep steps.

Caerhays Castle Gardens, Gorran, St Austell

Caerhays Castle Cornwall © Emily Whitfield Wicks

On the south coast near St Austell you’ll find the magnificent gardens and Grade II listed 140 acre woodland at Caerhays, often described as a spring-time wonderland for visitors. Home to a National Magnolia Collection, the collection even houses a 100 year old Magnolia tree. The gardens also feature many rhododendrons, camellias and trees which are nationally classed as Champion Trees by the Tree Register.

Restormel Castle, Lostwithiel

Restormel is said to be one of the most remarkable castles in Britain – and certainly sits among some beautiful countryside near Lostwithiel, with far reaching views across the valley to the river Fowey. The present circular structure, built in the late 13th century, was a luxurious retreat for its medieval owners and was twice visited by Edward, the Black Prince. Now looked after by the English Heritage, don’t miss the new walking trail between the castle and Muddy fave Duchy of Cornwall Nursery where you can pick up a takeaway coffee, or even some plants.

Launceston Castle, Launceston

Launceston Castle is an imposing sight in the town itself, the ancient capital of Cornwall. Building of the castle started soon after the Norman Conquest – it is an unusual keep consisting of a 13th-century round tower built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, inside an earlier circular shell-keep. The castles main function used to be a prison before Bodmin Jail was constructed. After you’ve walked up to the keep and round the town you can also head out on to the moor to see the Hurlers which are three fine late Neolithic or early Bronze Age stone circles arranged in a line, a grouping unique in England. Parking is free, but you’ll need to keep dogs on leads due to grazing lambs.

Via Ferrata Cornwall, Penryn

Penryn’s Adrenaline centre, Via Ferrata, is launching a range of new activities for the 2021 season following a successful first season in 2020. The 60-acre site hosts a high-wire and climbing route around a disused granite quarry. This year it has added kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding as well as coasteering and archery. Via Ferrata is also operating an adventure holiday club during the hols with activities for 6–13-year-olds. Options include courses in climbing, zip-lining, kayaking, canoeing and archery as well as half, full and wraparound day care

Hangloose Zip Wire, Eden Project

Skywire is England’s longest and fastest zip wire experience – soar over the Eden Project! Only for those over 8 years of age (they must also weigh between 40kg and 120kg).

Adrenalin Quarry, Plymouth

With its mega zip wires and giant swing, Adrenalin Quarry is a fun day out for the whole family. Great for stroppy teens too – throwing axes at tree trunks is all part of the fun (12+ on that).

Retallack Aqua Park, St Columb Major

Jump, splash, bounce, climb and slide at the huge ‘total wipeout’ style floating inflatable Aqua Park, including the FlowRider (above), at Retallack Resort. This huge inflatable Aqua Park has a giant trampoline, catapult, water wheel, ‘stepping stones’ climbing wall, slides, blast bags, challenging balance beams and lots more. Sessions cost £15 per person and include wetsuits, buoyancy aids and lifeguards (Age 6+) The resort also offers wake boarding.

Get on the water

Giving surfing a go is a must on a Cornish getaway (no, dipping your toes in wearing a wetsuit doesn’t count). George’s Surf School at Polzeath is great for individual coaching, or there’s Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay and the Sennen Surfing Centre, near Land’s End.

Try Stand Up Paddleboarding at Polkerris or Gylly Beach in Falmouth, and there’s also Cornish Rock Tours based at Port Gaverne, near Port Isaac, which will take you kyaking, SUP, coasteering or open water swimming. Check out Camel Ski School at Rock for waterskiing and sailing schools operate in Fowey, Rock, Mylor and Falmouth. Porthoustock, on the eastern side of The Lizard peninsular, is a great spot for kayaking.

On your mountain bike – Old Hill Bike Park near Wadebridge, which is not so much a trail as a maze of wheeled obstacle courses! You’ll need to have got all the kit in advance (helmets with face protection are mandatory, body armour recommended) – book in for a half or full day’s riding and try out jumps, ramps and drops along miles of graded tracks in what looks like off-road biking heaven (opens end of March). Top tip – walk the black route first!

SUGGESTIONS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Giant Slip and Slide, St Endellion

Loads of fun – kids of all ages (including the big kids) will love to slip and slide down the giant 100m water slide with sea views near Port Isaac on the North Coast. £11.50 per person per hour, under 4s free but must be accompanied and booked in advance as an add-on to your ticket. Wetsuits highly recommended – bring your own – and no changing rooms this year, but you can bring your own picnic.

St Michael’s Mount, off Marazion, nr Penzance

Emerging out of the water in Mount’s Bay off the coast of Marazion is a tidal island with a castle perched on the top. As the tide falls, the causeway literally appears before your eyes; a magical fairytale in action, beguiling both adults and children to begin the intrepid journey across the bricks to the rugged outcrop across the bay (re-opens 23 May, you’ll need to pre-book a boat trip if your visit falls outside of the hours either side of low tide).

Plus loads more of Cornwall’s castles here & our top ten Cornish museums here too.

Camel Creek Adventure Park, Tredinnick, Wadebridge

With exhilarating rides, a gigantic indoor play centre, outdoor fun, water flumes and the UK’s most hi-tech 5D Super Sim Theatre (look out for the new time-travel film coming this summer!), Camel Creek is great fun for the kids, rain or shine. Look out on social media for their character days.

Bike Riding

Check out our piece on bike trails here which includes the Camel trailBissoe trail, through Cardinham Woods or around the woodland paths at Lanhydrock (you’ll need to book first) – all pretty kid-friendly, even for those with no gears!

Wind in the Willows Afternoon Tea at Fowey Hall Hotel

There are many who believe that Fowey Hall was the model for ‘Toad Hall’ in Kenneth Grahame’s. ‘The Wind in the Willows’.  Grahame was a frequent visitor to the Hall and eight bedrooms in the Courtyard are named after the characters in the book – so it seems fitting that the hotel is launching two new Wind in the Willows-inspired Afternoon Teas for guests to enjoy on their terrace for outdoor dining and then inside as well from 17 May 2021. This special tea will be served throughout the spring and summer until the end of September and features an adult version as well as a special kids version.

The Seal Sanctuary, Gweek

On the river at Gweek, which is beautiful, find the seals – so full of Cornish character. Pre-booking essential.

Monsters of the Deep, National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

The National Maritime Museum re-opens on 16 May with their Monsters of the Deep exhibition which was due to open in 2020. Explore the centuries-old myths and legends, when chance sightings and odd appearances led to tall tales of deep sea creatures. Learn how, even today, these stories continue to capture imaginations, fuelled by fake news and conspiracy theories.

Tate St Ives, St Ives

Re-opening on 17 May, the Tate St Ives has a new one way route to ensure visitor safety. Catch the Haegue Yang exhibition which has been extended for the summer season, and keep an eye out for the Tate Create series of activities for children, no details have yet been released on whether these will run, but the Tate is still a great day out for the whole fam, and brings a little culture to your beach trip.

Eden Project 

Yes, it is a little touristy, but it’s still well worth an explore – the grounds are beautiful at this time of year, there’s a playground and the biomes of course are fascinating and educational. Plus, a little drier as they are under cover.


National Marine Aquarium
, Plymouth

Inspired by Netflix’ Sea-spiracy? Head to Plymouth’s harbour for the UK’s largest aquarium, with sharks, rays, octopus feeding-time and fascinating jellyfish. They’ve made some changes to their pricing so all tickets now come with a year’s free pass, and locals with a PL postcode always pay the cheaper Saver price, regardless of what time you visit. All 3-15 child tickets are HALF the price of an adult and under 3s go free. Booking essential.

IDEAS FOR YOUNGER KIDS

Cornwall has some of the most scenic railways in Britain – soak up the views of glorious beaches, estuaries and wooded valleys – we like the The St Ives Bay Line (from St Erth to St Ives) and the The Atlantic Coast Line crosses some of the finest countryside traversing the county from Par on the south coast to Newquay on the north. Fancy a more old-fashioned kinda trip – hitch a ride on the steam railways at Bodmin (above) or the Lappa Valley.

Playgrounds – the best have a cafe nearby for that essential coffee fix whilst you watch them, so head for Cardinham Woods, Lanhydrock, Callestick farm (above), Tanglewood wild garden near Penzance, Roskilly’s, Heartlands at Redruth – or choose a sea view and pack your own tea. My personal faves are Polruan and Port Isaac, both handily next to the car park.

Find more ideas here

Kids

Tell us what you think

Your email address will not be published.

* Required
* Required

Little Black Book

The Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

View the businesses
Reader Treats Just For You!